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15 September 2010

Ye are being legalistic if ye say there should be no laws whatsoever

20Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (Colossians 2:20-23)

Say it like this
Paul was trying to explain now that we have come into our salvation, we are no longer of the world, although we are still in the world; by this it is meant that we are no longer to follow rules of the world or men-made rules legalistically {legalism}. By saying of the “don’ts”, I believe Paul was trying to imply that we do not legalistically follow every rules, but to see if they are in line with the will of God, and if it will help us to comply with the will of God; in broad strokes, the will of God is that we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength; and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Of significance, was what Paul remarked as many of the world’s regulations or men-made rules do not effectively restrain sensual indulgence. The way to read this is firstly to understand that sensual indulgence is not something that would please God. The statement implicitly tells that one needs to restrain sensual indulgence, and not sensual indulgence is to be condoned. Secondly, it also implied that there are the “hows” to restrain sensual indulgence, but a mere rule per se may not necessarily help in the restraining.

One example to illustrate this is that for some countries, children pornography or child sex was banned, and the residents would not dare do these things because the penalties of law were very harsh, but they would commit these immoral acts overseas, in countries where there are no prohibitive laws. This clearly showed that such men-made laws have limitations.

However, Christ Jesus did not come to bring us into law-lessness. Laws, both Mosaic and secular, have their limitations, but they are not necessarily devoid of any good purposes. Furthermore there are still God’s commandments, and precepts and instructions which we have to obey, out of our love for God, and for our own good. The Old Covenant indeed has been superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ, but commands of God, separately from the Old Covenant, must be adhered to, if they have not been specifically set aside by the works of Christ on the Cross. Paul was more specifically against HUMAN commands and teachings, NOT God’s commands, separate from the Old Covenant.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions, Say It Like This

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