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God’s Word for You

Colossians 2:16-17 do not let anyone judge you

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, May 4, 2019

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, New Moons, or Sabbaths.  17 These are only a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

This “therefore” should stand in our minds like twenty-foot tall letters blocking out everything around, taking up all our attention. THEREFORE!!! Why? What does this “Therefore” point back to? It draws a conclusion from the glorious fact of Christ’s death and resurrection. The work of the Savior is completed. Therefore, do not let anyone judge you.

The matters of food or drink were important to God’s Old Testament people. There were many foods that were forbidden besides yeast on certain days. There were countless animals, fish and birds that were off the menu for the Jews (Leviticus 11:1-42). Regarding festivals, there were all sorts of holidays to be observed under the Law of Moses. But now God’s word had moved out into the Greek world, and Christians were beginning to wonder about Greek holidays and Greek food other things. Could a Christians partake of these things with a clear conscience? Yes, Paul says. Do not let anyone judge you about these things—not even yourself.

Why? All of the Old Testament regulations were “only a shadow of things to come.” Those things were all in Christ. His obedience kept all of the law, all of the festivals, all of the eating and drinking and Sabbath regulations, all of it, perfectly. His death erased the debt of every sin ever committed by anyone. All who put their faith in him have access to that vast pool of forgiveness. There is enough of Christ for everyone.

So: When someone tells you that if you worship on Monday instead of Saturday that you’re sinning, you’re not. When someone tells you that you should only eat fish on Friday, be sure to order steak. When someone tells you that this or that drink is forbidden, don’t believe them. Paul warned about them in another letter:

“They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:3-5).

Everything required of us was done in our place by Jesus Christ. This is the true fulfillment of the Law. Whatever we do now, we do out of thanks for what Jesus did in our place. Whatever you do today, do it from thanks to Jesus and to give God glory. When this is what you do, do not let anyone judge it, or you.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.



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