Col 2:20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances: 21 Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch, 22 (Regarding things which are all to perish when used) according to the commandments and teachings of men? 23 Such things indeed have a reputation of wisdom in self-imposed worship and lowliness and severe treatment of the body, but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.
[Part 1 of 2] In 2:20 Paul points out that we have died with Christ from the elements of the world. These elements include Jewish observances, heathen ordinances, and philosophy. They also include mysticism and asceticism. With Christ we have died to these elements of the world. When Christ was crucified, we were crucified also. In His crucifixion we were released from the elementary principles of the world. In verse 21 Paul lists some of these ordinances: "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch." These are rules and regulations in material things. These rules refer respectively to things that move, to things that are edible, and to things that are tangible. Handling, tasting, and touching include virtually every kind of action. Because these regulations are related to the practice of asceticism, to submit to ordinances concerning handling, tasting, and touching is to practice asceticism. As those who have the one Person and the one way, we do not need regulations… When we go to bed at night, however, we should pass through the cross. This means that no matter what we have done during the day or what has happened to us, the cross takes care of everything. Suppose in the afternoon you are made unhappy in some way by your wife or husband. At bedtime you need to apply the cross to your feeling of unhappiness. If you do this, the feeling of unhappiness will disappear. This indicates that our way is the cross, not asceticism or any severe treatment of the self. Realizing that we have already died in Christ, we should go to bed at night with a consciousness of the cross. If we practice going to bed through the cross, lying down with the realization that we have died in Christ, the next morning we shall wake up in resurrection as a new person. We not only have Christ, the unique Person who is versus all things; we also have the cross, the unique way, which is versus all other ways. (Continued tomorrow) (c) 2007 Living Stream Ministry.
Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Colossians, pp. 214-215. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: email@example.com.
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