If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Col. 2:20-23, ESV.
We serve a risen Savior! I pray that your hearts and your homes were filled with this truth yesterday. It was an odd Easter, but it was a good one for many as home worship services spilled over into a day of celebrating the risen Christ.
Now it’s Monday. And on Monday we have a fantastic opportunity to show that Sunday was true. We can move from the celebration of our risen King to servant obedience toward Him. And Colossians 2:20-23 is extremely helpful in making that transition.
Back in Colossians 2:15, we were told that Christ defeated the demonic powers that ruled over our lost hearts. He defeated them on the cross. Well, Sunday has come, and Christ is risen, and we are “alive in Christ.” So, on Monday, and every day thereafter, we should live like those old spirits no longer have power over us. We have, with Christ, died to them.
To be dead to these spirits and alive to Christ means not living according to the rules of men who still serve them. What are their rules? Paul lists a few, but the best way to identify them is this: They have “an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” They look good, but they are useless.
The world teaches that self-sacrifice and suffering in acts of religion will make you good. That is at the core of almost every world religion. But, in the end, it does not work and you still sin. There is the key. Only the self-sacrifice and suffering of Christ have any power to deal with your sin, make you righteous in God’s eyes, and give you a heart to follow Jesus. To be right in God’s eyes, you trust in Christ. You trust that he took your sin and paid for it on the cross and that His righteousness is now accounted to you. Then, with a new heart, you step out to serve King Jesus. You don’t do it to earn His favor by keeping His rules, but because that is who you now are. You don’t do it to look good to men, but to glorify Christ.
I am praying for you. May your Monday reflect your Easter Sunday.