Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 41
The Cross Abolished all Legalism – Part 2
Colossians 2:14 – 4:18
Now as we begin this lesson we’re in chapter 2, and our next verse is 15. Remember now in the last half hour, how we saw the Law, the Ten Commandments were nailed to His cross. In other words, the Love of God which sent Him to the cross finished the power of the Ten Commandments over us as believers. Now for the world in general, yes it’s still a criteria for society. We know that the world needs something like that, but for us as believers it is no longer a valid thing, it’s been ended by nailing it to the cross of Christ. Now not only in verse 14 did He nail the Law to cross and all the things pertaining to it, but now in verse 15 we find that He also defeated Satan.
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
In other words none of this was done in a corner, it was all done in the open, and He became victorious over them in his finished work of the cross. Now let’s go back to Genesis 3:15. It’s been a long time since we’ve even mentioned Genesis in the programs. The years have been going by and we’ve been spending a lot of time of course in Paul’s epistles, and we’ll continue to spend a lot of time there because after all that’s where it’s at for us today in the Church age. This is the chapter of course where Adam and Eve have disobeyed and partaken of the fruit of the tree. They’ve fallen, and now are sin natured, but God comes right back immediately with the potential remedy. Here the Lord Himself is speaking to Satan.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed;…”
Now of course we have to pick up from other portions of Scripture that He’s referring to the Seed of the woman that Paul says in Galatians is Christ. So what you have here way back here in the chapter of the fall is the promise of a coming Redeemer in the Seed of the woman. Now the Lord continues to speak as we finish the verse.
“…it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.”
Now remember the Lord is talking to Satan who has embodied a serpent. And how do you utterly defeat and crush a serpent? You crush it’s head. So that’s the implication that God literally crushed the head of the serpent or Satan, but remember that Satan would also get his licks in by causing Christ to suffer, which is implied in the bruising of His heel. So way back here immediately after the fall, we have the promise then of a coming plan of redemption. Now I guess the other verse that comes to mind is in Romans chapter 8. My where should we start. I hate to just jump in on one verse so let’s start with verse 20. Remember what I want you to see is, that when Paul says in Colossians that He defeated these forces of Satan, and He did it openly. So utterly defeated the powers that were against Him. Paul looks at it in a little different light beginning in verse 20.
“For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected (or inundated the whole creation) the same in hope.”
Now you see as soon as Adam plunged everything in creation under the curse by his disobedience, God came right back in Genesis 3:15 with the promise of the Seed of the woman, and that was what? Hope. So for the last 6 thousand years, all of creation has been living in hope of that which was accomplished of course at the cross, when the Seed of the woman then became the victorious One over Satan and his minions. Now verse 21.
“Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (the curse) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
Which I feel look all the way forward to our resurrected state when we’ll rule and reign with Him in the Kingdom age.
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of our body.”
When we will totally in union with Him in our resurrected state. Now then another one I’d like to have you look at is in the Book of Hebrews chapter 2. And let’s just drop down to verse 14, and this is all backing up the statement that he made that Christ triumphed over the principalities and powers of Satan, and the demonic world.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; (He became flesh as Paul says in Colossians chapter 1. He became the visible image of the invisible God) that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil;”
And so the devil was utterly defeated, and operationally destroyed when Christ arose victoriously over sin and death on the resurrection morning. Now coming back to Colossians again. Remember we have to understand constantly that it wasn’t just another crucifixion, or another death, but Christ actually defeated all of the horrendous satanic powers, and the dominions and principalities that are under Satan’s rule, and He triumphed over them. Now verse 16. Since now everything has been done, since the Law has been crucified and nailed to His cross, and we can rest assured that He was victorious over sin and death, and Satan, and here we are as believers. Now remember Paul is writing to believers, so here we are set totally at liberty, and we’re free. Now look at our situation we find ourselves in today.
“Let no man therefore judge you…”
I had a fellow call the other day that he was getting involved with a group that wanted to put him under the Saturday Sabbath, and the next thing they wanted him to do was quit eating pork. I said can’t you see their putting you under the Law? And we’re not under Law, we’re under Grace. Now here it is. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can are can not do.
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, (you’re free from all of that. You’re going to let the Holy Spirit help you decide what’s good for you and what’s not. We’re not under a set of rules like the Law demanded, and this is what Paul is talking about) or in respect of an holyday,…”
Now you’ve got to know definitions, so what’s the definition for holy? Well it isn’t something supernatural perfect and righteous, but rather holy meant “set aside for God’s purposes.” So these holy days were simply days in Judaism and the Jewish economy that were indeed set apart for God’s purposes. You had the Passover, and all the Feast days, but you see in this age of Grace we’re not under any of that. We don’t have days set aside for special treatment.
“…or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:”
See where Paul puts Sabbath days? It’s frivolous, it has no use for us whatsoever, and don’t let anybody try to tell you “that you’re going to hell because you don’t keep the Saturday Sabbath.” I hear that all the time from our listeners. “Oh the preacher said today, “That if we don’t keep the Saturday Sabbath we’re going to go to hell.” How awful when you have verses like this that contradicts that completely. Don’t you let anybody tell you what day you have to worship God. Now those things were valid, they did have a purpose in the Old Testament economy because they were a shadow of that which was to come. That was their purpose, they were to show forth something that was coming. Now even Israel didn’t understand what they were, but God knew so He was showing it. Now let me show you another verse in Hebrews that says basically the same thing. Oh I can hardly wait till we get into the Book of Hebrews even though it was written to Jewish believers and not necessarily the Body of Christ, nevertheless there is so much that we can learn from that Book, and here is one of them. Paul is reviewing all of the aspects of the temple worship, or the tabernacle out in the wilderness or whatever.
“Now when these things were thus ordained, (that is the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, and all these things) the priests went always into the first tabernacle, (the first room what we normally call the sanctuary) accomplishing the service of God. 7. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, (on the day of atonement) not without blood, which he offered for himself, (then he would have to go back out a kill the second animal and offer it’s blood) and for the errors of the people:”
“The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all (the very throne room of heaven there behind the vial) was not yet made manifest, (no man dared to go into the presence of God except the high priest once a year) while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” Now here’s the reason we came here in verse 9 and 10. All those practices of Israel’s temple worship were just a picture of things to come.
“Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10. Which stood only in meats and drinks, (in other words their various offerings) and divers washings, (baptisms) and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”
They were forced to worship this way. All these things were forced on the children of Israel as part of their obedience to a Holy God who was not operating in Grace, but rather God was operating under the severity of the Law. Now when I say the Law was severe, what do I mean? If someone was caught in the act of adultery, what was the sentence? Death! There were no ifs ands or buts, no matter what the excuses. It was death, and on top of that it wasn’t instant death, but death by stoning, it was awful. The Law was severe, but it was also a picture of that which was to come. Now when I say that the Law was severe and hurtful as putting to death by stoning is, but remember this was a picture of the work of the cross. And what happened at the cross? Christ suffered beyond human comprehension, and for what purpose? Because He loved the human race, and it comes down to that same concept that the work of the cross was precipitated by the love and mercy and Grace of a Holy and Righteous God!
Now come on back to Colossians chapter 2, and verse 17. I would be willing to bet my ranch that 9 out 10 Church going Christians do not see the last few words of this verse. Look at it. All of these things in the Hebrew religion, everything, the holy of holies, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, the day of atonement, the brazen alter, the table of showbread, and all the things that pertain to the temple and tabernacle were just a preview of things to come for what group of people? The Body of Christ. Did you ever see that before? Look at it.
“Which are a shadow of things to come; but (the flip side) the body is of Christ.”
Now that’s what it was all pointing to. The day when Christ because of His finished work of the cross, could call out sinners from every point on the globe. Jew or Gentile, black or white, rich or poor, and He could save them by Grace and bring them into the Body of Christ. I had a gentlemen the other night that that we had a nice friendly discussion with and I made mention of the fact that there are people in almost every group where there are true believers. Depending of course on how much Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4 they have preached at them. I said it doesn’t matter whether they’re Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist or whatever, if they’re a true believer then they’re in the Body of Christ. His eyes got that big, and said you mean that you think that people can be saved even though they’re not in our Church? I won’t say which one he said, you probably know already.
But listen, that’s not according to the Book. The Body of Christ is that composite of believers from whatever back ground that have been saved by the Grace of God when they simply believed the Gospel for their Salvation. And that Gospel is that Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose from the dead. That comprises then the Body of Christ, which was the fulfillment of everything that had been taken place for over 2000 years. Now let’s move on to the next verse. Boy I wanted to finished Colossians today, I really did because that would wind up one whole tape series, and we may yet. Now verse 18. And just like in our last taping, Jerry put a perfect heading on part II of this particular book. “Paul Warns The Church,” and here’s another one.
“Let no man beguile (or deceive, or trick) you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels,…”
My goodness, someone sent me a little booklet the other day, and again I don’t have to name the group that had given this little booklet to this person. But they had given this booklet to their little 6 or 7 year old child, and just asked them all to read it. Well they sent it on to me and I opened the very first page and there it was, “before God made anything He created a special angel, and that angel He designated to create everything else. That angel that God had created in the booklet was a reference to what Christ would do.” That made Christ nothing more than a created angel. That is so contrary to what the Word of God says concerning Jesus Christ. Now here is a warning to the Church. Don’t be taken in by that kind of thing, don’t establish a false humility and then try to worship something less then the Christ of glory. Now continuing on with the verse.
“…intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.”
See that’s the new age movement. They have to appeal to the flesh, because there is no power of the Holy Spirit in it. So that’s what they do, they will appeal to the flesh, and with their high convoluted statements. My I read one of them again the other day that someone had sent me. It is a combination of higher intellectual, highly educated people you could tell that, but there’s not an ounce of truth in what they write, and yet people are falling for it. Here Paul is warning us, “Don’t fall for these things.” Now verse 19.
“And not holding the Head…”
Now in our last taping, I said the Body goes up to here just below the Head, and that’s where we are, we’re members of the Body, but Christ is the Head. It’s from Christ that the central nervous system in the analogy would come from. It’s the Head that controls the Body, and that’s what Paul is saying. “Don’t beguile by something that will turn you from the Headship of Christ.”
“And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishments ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” But where does it all originate? Christ the Head of the Body, that’s where it has to come from. Now verse 20
“Wherefore (because of our union with Christ) if ye be dead with Christ (dead to that old sin nature of Adam, and you have considered him dead, and God has considered him crucified with Christ) from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,“
What happened to those ordinances? They were nailed to the cross. Why try to resurrect them and put yourself under them, and what are they?
“(Touch not; taste not; handle not;”
Do you see that? Oh that’s what the legalists try to tell you to do. Oh the legal one will always say, “You can’t do that, or this, and you’ve got to do this or that.” And that is what Paul is calling beguilement, it’s deception, and we’re not under that set of circumstances. Now maybe I can finish the chapter.
“Which all are to perish with the using;)…” In other words these works of the flesh, all will perish with the using.
“…after the commandments and doctrines of men?”
Now you look at all the religions of the world, and way at the top they have one or two top kick men. And the whole group goes by what one man has decreed, even though it may not line up with Scripture. Now verse 23.
“Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, (remember, this is all in the flesh) and humility, (when they try to show humility in the flesh, what kind of humility is it? It’s a false humility. It’s the kind of humility that people will say, “I’m proud of the fact that I’m humble!” Isn’t that right? That’s the flesh. The flesh can say, “I’m proud that I’m so humble.”) and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”
Now to bring that around to where we can understand it, what Paul is really saying is, “These kind of people do all of this to satisfy the flesh,” but they don’t bring any glory to God by doing it because they are always going to come back and say what? “Look what I’ve done. Look what I’ve accomplished.” And listen, none of us can ever say that. I can’t say it. You can’t say it. Because if we have accomplished something, it is still not us. It’s God working in through us.