Colossians 2:16-23, Bible Study

If all we need is Christ, what about this other stuff?  What is the purpose of the spiritual disciplines we are to observe?  If they do not add to our salvation, what value do they have, if any?  In Christ, we are complete.  Religious practices are the outgrowth of our Christian experience.

Colossians 2:16-23

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

Paul continues to warn the Colossians about the dangers of Judaism.  A teaching which sought to add circumcision and other Jewish practices as requirements for salvation.  Paul, not stopping with the warning, begins to point to the way to true holiness.  Holiness is more than outward ritual.  He points out that the Jewish religious practices (holy feasts, circumcision, dietary laws, etc. own ) were only earthly shadows of heavenly truths that were fulfilled in Christ.  They may appear to make one wise, but they only add to the satisfying of flesh’s desire to save its own skin.

Now, what about prayer?  How about Bible reading?  Or, what about attending church and many other spiritual disciplines?  Paul points out that we still need to set our mind on the things that are above (heavenly).  Religious practices are preparatory in nature.  They help to make us ready to receive God’s blessing; they put us into spiritual readiness.  They do not add to our salvation.

Again, Jesus is all you need for salvation.  Spiritual disciplines help you walk in Christ.