God’s Renewing Word of Love
Colossians 2:20—3:4: In today’s reading, the apostle Paul reminds the Colossians that they have been “set free from the ruling spirits of the universe” because they have “died with Christ” (2:20) and have been “raised to life with Christ” (3:1). What he says about obeying certain rules is a continuation of the preceding statements in 2:16-19 from yesterday’s reading and may refer to false religious practices and to Jewish Christians who were trying to convince the Colossians to follow the Jewish laws pertaining to food and drink.
Dying and Living with Christ
20You have died with Christ and are set free from the ruling spirits of the universe. Why, then, do you live as though you belonged to this world? Why do you obey such rules as 21“Don’t handle this,” “Don’t taste that,” “Don’t touch the other”? 22All these refer to things which become useless once they are used; they are only human rules and teachings. 23Of course such rules appear to be based on wisdom in their forced worship of angels, and false humility, and severe treatment of the body; but they have no real value in controlling physical passions.
1 You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. 2Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory!
Today’s Key Verse: Colossians 3:4
Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory!
What is your understanding of Paul’s statements to the Colossians that they have “died with Christ” (2:20) and have been “raised to life with Christ” (3:1)? Is it hard to avoid living as though you belong to this world (2:20) and instead set your heart on the things that are in heaven (3:1)? In his letters, Paul often wrote about a day when Jesus would return, and verses 2:20 and 3:1 may be reflective of his belief (see 1 Corinthians 1:8; 15:20-28; Philippians 1:6; 3:20, 21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). In 2:21-23, what does Paul say about obeying certain rules? Does your community of faith observe any religious laws and regulations?
Dear Jesus, I thank you that I have been raised to life with you and that, when you appear, I will share your glory. Keep me steadfast in faith and help me to follow you and do what is pleasing in your sight. Amen.
Colossians 3:5-17: The apostle Paul describes the old life and the new