Traditions of Men

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Colossians 2:8 ** Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

While the Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he wrote this letter to believers in Colosse that had been planted by a co-worker of Paul (Epaphras 1:7, 4:12). The community of believers in the newly established Church of our God (circa 60 AD) was already being infiltrated with traditions and pagan customs. At a time when the Roman Empire ravaged the entire known world, leaving behind conquered, ransacked peoples who felt helpless, hungry and depressed with caused by the state of chaos under the might of Rome. Colosse located now in southern Turkey was willing, even eager to return to the pagan customs of the kingdom of darkness. The mood of today’s world parallels the despair of the new believers in Colosse with a sense of despair and hopelessness.

The traditions of men described in 2:8 with hollow deceit and philosophy describes the previous pagan customs of nonsense that comes from human thinking from the evil powers of this world. This is exactly the way mankind is led astray today. However, from his prison cell in Rome, Paul provided corrective measures to the persecuted Colossians. The first philosophy was to eliminate mysticism which replaces the importance of Christ, God’s only son, the perfect lamb who shed His precious and holy blood to wash away the sins of mankind. The second was God setting an example of raising all mankind from the dead as He did with the resurrection in three days as predicted by Christ Jesus. The third message indicates a pretend battle to take away sin which Christ had already won for us. The fourth message places more importance on divine intermediaries such as angels of Satan who masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14, Colossians 2:18). The fifth message indicates how mankind is cut off from Christ who has overcome the world (John 16:33). The sixth message in 2:11 was an indication for the Colossian gentiles to be circumcised. Paul emphasized that by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, spiritual circumcise of the heart by Christ would take place.

In verse 16, other infiltrators criticized the Colossians for correctly following holy teachings of Christ and Jewish Apostles to observe God’s clean food laws and Sabbath observance and festivals such as Passover and Pentecost. The shadow of things to come in verse 17 did come shortly after the Roman Empire killed the Apostle Paul, destroyed the temple as Christ predicted in 70 AD, and began killing Christians and Jews alike if they observed God’s Holy Sabbaths. 

In chapter 3, Paul reminded the Colossians to follow the rules of our Creator by first enjoying fellowship ‘for your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ (3:3). Second we must obey Him and put to death earthy natures of evil desires and greed which is idolatry (3:5). Third we must imitate Him by putting on the new man, renewed with knowledge according to the image of our Creator (3:10). Fourth we must glorify Him by teaching with the wisdom Christ has given (3:16). Fifth, we must represent Him in truth and spirit ‘whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him’(3:17).

Psalm 25:10 ** All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.   ** David spoke these words for those that believe the Lord will deliver and forgive the sins of all that show their love for the Lord by keeping His commandments (Exodus 20:6, Matthew 15:9). ** The Messiah, Y’shua Christ Jesus spoke these words again in Mark 7:7, saying, “But in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”. ** The covenant for all sinners is the agreement God made to give eternal life to those that abide in the laws of love for those few that truly love and keep the rules. Both Old and New Testaments identify the struggles of honesty, fears and doubts. Yet, our Lord wishes to forgive our sins and release us from the guilt and traps that men make to bind us to Satan’s rule, not our Creator’s rules of love.

Colossians 1:5-6 ** .Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.  ** Believe the truth, repent, follow the rules of God, be immersed in water to show His blood and water spilt on Calvary will wash away your sins and give you true love forever more!