Colossians Part 5: Relationship Over Rules OR Connection Over Compliance

When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

  1. Paul is connecting old testament with new
  2. Spiritual Circumcision is God placing His (Christ’s) Spirit in you, permanently
  3. The baptism he is referring to is the ‘Immersion’ of God’s Spirit
  4. Circumcision & Baptism are rituals to help us experience God setting us apart
  5. We get Baptized to ‘Confess’ what God has done, and our trust in it

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

  1. Sin awareness is crucial, we are all spiritually dead until surrendered to Christ
  2. We are spiritually alive eternally when we trust Christ to forgive that SIN
  3. Christ’s death on the cross cancels our Spiritual Death (when we surrender)

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed (Exposed) them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

  1. God showed evil / darkness / rebellion / death / destruction to be powerless!
  2. God let those forces do their worst…and then He did His best!

So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.

  • We trust God, not religious traditions or ceremonies
  • Christ is to be our reality, not our ability to follow rules and create facades
  • God used the Law to set His people apart to bring Christ out of them

Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things.

  • Control by condemnation is classic ‘Cult / Heretic’ behavior
  • Leaders with ‘Unique Vision’ or ‘Special Revelation’ are not Orthodox Christians
  • These thing will always appeal to some form of pride

Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

  • Worship of self, not Christ. Not Indwelt with Holy Spirit. Not disciples of Christ
  • John tells us to ‘Test The Spirits’ (1st John 4)
  • We need to be connected to Christ, through the body to grow to maturity

You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”?

  • Have you died with Christ? Tough question…
  • It is the ONLY way to be set free from the power of evil in this world
  • But if you have died then only Kingdom rules will matter

Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

  • Phariseeism, that is what it used to look like
  • Rules can never deliver you from evil without and within
  • The Law (Old Testament) was given to prove this point

Application Questions:
How would you describe ‘Biblical Salvation’? What role does Christ play?

Where are you in regards to receiving complete forgiveness from God in Christ?

What does it mean to your daily life that Christ ‘Disarmed’ the powers of evil?

Are there ares in your Christian life where you seek compliance over connection?

What influences your life, pointing you towards something other than Christ?

Where do you struggle with a compliance to rules over relationship to Christ

How might you live out connection over compliance in your discipleship of Christ?