Don't Judge Me? Really?
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility...Colossians 2:13-18
On Wednesday, I was doing a Bible study with my family on gluttony and this verse came up in our conversation. A challenge was posed to me from it to test me and see how I would respond to it in which my answer would really be defending the authority of scripture. I'm not sure if I'm making much sense, but anyways here is the challenge (paraphrased).
“It says here, “...Let no one judge you in food or in drink...,” so don't judge me in how much I choose to eat or in what I eat.””
Praise God! I was able to answer it okay, but the big thing I got wrong was that I interpreted the scripture wrong even though I had read the context first, to try to interpret it the right way. :(
I pray that God will work through my writing and fill you with His Holy Spirit to be able to understand far beyond my frail attempts to explain and encourage you with His Holy Word.
Before I tell you what those verses mean, I want you to think about it and figure out what you would say. (Ask God to help you!)
POP QUIZ! ~Write in your answers.
What do we do first when we are trying to interpret scripture?
What parts stood out to you as key verses to help you interpret the challenge?
Are these scriptures talking about things relating to the Old, New Testament or both?
What specific things in these verses related to the Old Testament such as things that were only done during the OT?
Why is all this important?
Now are you starting to get an idea of the interpretation of this text? I know...it's confusing sometimes, but keep persevering and you will make it to the other side more wise because of it.
We read the context of scripture.
Answer will vary. But the parts that stood out to me were, “which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” and “ taking delight in false humility.”
I would say both, because it is talking about OT sacrifices etc... and then relating them to the NT and what replaced those requirements.
Festival, new moon, sabbaths. Optional~circumcision of your flesh, principalities and powers (being disarmed)
Because when we gather the “pieces,” it makes it easier to interpret it as a “whole” correctly.
Okay. Now for the full interpretation of the challenge.
Q.“It says here, “...Let no one judge you in food or in drink...,” so don't judge me in how much I choose to eat or in what I eat.””
A. The problem Paul addresses in this passage, is the legalistic submission to regulations, thinking that observing them can replace a congregation's devotion to Christ. What results is often called "self-righteousness." For Paul, the mark of true religion is not a devoted keeping of the rules of self-denial, but by faith in Christ and a life in his Spirit. True Christianity is "being in Christ," where God's grace transforms a selfish person into someone who LIVES for Christ. Any definition of Christianity that substitutes strict laws that you have to keep out of self-denial, for transformation by the grace of God, is spiritually needy and will become a useless tool of God.
To observe a Jewish calendar of worship seemed foolish to Paul because it didn't even celebrate Jesus as Lord Christ. He argued that it elevates ashadow (which is the Jewish worship's anticipation of God's salvation) over the reality that the future blessings of God's salvation are already being experienced by those in Christ. The Jews had a very dangerous tendency to deny the truth about God's promised salvation. This tendency is expressed by Judaism's worship on holy days or in eating patterns in the Old Testament rather than their purpose being to assert that the Messiah has already fulfilled the promise so that the reality is present, not future.
The Promise= ...Having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us...And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross...triumphing over them.
I pray that you truly believe this wonderful grace and truth of God. May God go with you each minute this week as you seek to live for Him.