Read: Colossians 2:16-23

In this section, Paul addresses heretical teaching that has entered the church. Specifically, he urges the church to not let anyone judge them for not partaking in external religious customs. Continuing his thought from earlier in chapter 2, Paul gives practical examples of philosophies that say “you must also do x, y, and z” in addition to following Christ for God to love you.

While the things he mentions may be of some benefit, they do not provide the substance that Jesus does. There is nothing wrong with having personal convictions on diet, how you celebrate certain religious holidays, or what a day of Sabbath looks like for you. It’s important to follow our convictions, but we must remember these things don’t save us. Only Christ can do that.

Just as we are not called to be “religious” in the sense of doing or not doing things to earn God’s love, we are also not called to be “spiritual” in the sense of having some mystical secret relationship with God. This is another aspect of wrong belief invading the church in Colossae. There was asceticism (refraining from all pleasures), invoking the protection of angels, and spiritual visions. These things do not nourish and build up the church in the same way Jesus does, yet they are tempting to try and pursue.

The Gospel of what Christ has done for us is the good news that while we have died to ourselves, we are alive in Christ. Becoming more religious or spiritual is nothing in comparison to becoming more like Jesus. Our aim as followers of Christ is not to show people how holy we are, it’s to become more like Jesus in how we love and treat others.

In other words, following Jesus is not about appearances, it’s about Jesus. Certain disciplines can help us toward that goal, but they are not the goal in and of themselves. This means the following Jesus is about becoming more like Jesus. That’s the goal, and we pray that the Holy Spirit would help us towards that end.

Today’s reflection:
What is one area of your life that doesn’t reflect Jesus? What would it look like today to confess it to God and ask Him to help you honor Him in that area of your life?

We would like to thank New City Church for providing this plan.