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"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

Colossians 2:16-17

The Apostle Paul, writing these words by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, makes his point. Believers in Christ are not to let anyone judge them in regard to their food or drink, in regard to observing certain holy days or religious festivals, or in regard to observing the Sabbath Day.

Why? Because believers in Jesus Christ are complete in Him. They are no longer subject to Old Testament laws which served only to point to the coming Messiah and the salvation He would provide for all mankind by His holy life and innocent sufferings and death upon the cross -- and the promised Messiah and Savior has come!

The word "therefore" is there for a reason. It gives the basis for the apostle's assertion, referring back to what was already written in the epistle. God the Father has made us meet and fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light through the sacrifice of His Son. When He brought us to faith in Christ, He delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. In Jesus, we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Christ Jesus is the very image of the invisible God and the creator of all things. In Him, all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, and He made peace through the blood of His cross and paid the price for the reconciliation of all mankind to God by His atoning sacrifice in our stead.

Believers in Christ, even though they were at one time alienated from God and enemies in their minds by wicked works, are now reconciled to God through faith in the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Messiah Jesus, that He might present them holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.

And how? Not by being circumcised, obeying dietary regulations or observing certain days, but by faith in the Son -- by continuing in the faith, grounded and settled, and not being moved away from the hope of the gospel (cf. Col. 1:23).

Believers in Christ are joined to Him in baptism, have their sins washed away, and are regenerated and given new life by the gracious working of the Holy Spirit, who also raised Christ from the dead on the third day.

Since believers in Christ Jesus already have forgiveness of sins, life and eternal salvation for the sake of His holy life and innocent sufferings and death upon the cross, why would they want to go back to mere shadows meant to point them to Jesus? Why would they listen to anyone telling them that to be saved and pleasing to God they must eat only certain foods, observe certain feasts and festivals and do no work on the Sabbath?

Jesus has already fulfilled all righteousness for us, and He has paid in full for all our sins. We rest from our labors when we place our trust in Him and the salvation He has won for us (cf. Heb. 4).

In the early church, when certain men said it was necessary for salvation to be circumcised and keep the laws of Moses, the apostles and believers in Jerusalem laid no such burden upon the churches but simply asked them to refrain from "pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood" because of the large numbers of Jews in every region (cf. Acts 15).

I remind you of Paul's admonition to the believers at Colosse: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.

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