Distractions to Watch Out For

A former police officer tells of the tactics of roving bands of thieves: “They enter the store as a group. One or two separate themselves from the group, and the others start a loud commotion in another section of the store. This grabs the attention of the clerks and custome … More

Distractions

Distractions are a fact of life. Children must be taught to heed distractions and adults must be reminded as well. It seems like human nature thrives on religious rules and regulations. Paul now gives us three distractions to watch out for:

  1. “Let no man judge you” (vv.16-17). This distraction emphasizes the danger of legalism. The false teachers, in Colosse, were claiming a “deeper spiritual life” for all who would practice the Law. It seems that human nature thrives on religious rules and regulations. It is a popular thing because you can “measure” your spiritual life and even brag about it. We must remember that the Law reveals sin and warns of its consequences but it has no power to prevent sin or redeem the sinner.
  2. “Let no man beguile you” (vv. 18-19). The word beguile as it is used here means “to declare unworthy of a prize.” A person competing in the Olympics may violate a rule and forfeit the honor of winning a prize but he does not cease to be a citizen of his country. A Christian who fails to obey God does not lose his salvation but he does lose his rewards.
  3. “Let no man defraud you” (vv. 20-23). Paul is not suggesting that Christians should be lawless (I Peter 2:11) but he is warning us not to think we are spiritual because we obey certain rules and regulations. While there are definite connections between physical discipline and health, there is no connection between such discipline and holiness (v. 23).

Application

I must never measure my Christian life by a list of do’s and don’ts but by my relationship with Jesus Christ? I need to watch out for distractions because Christ is all I need.

 

Colossians 2:16-23 (English Standard Version)

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 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.

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