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Today’s study deals with human rituals that humanity says are mandatory, and what causes them. Then we look as how a Christian should behave in this atmosphere of what could be called forced fear.
It just amazes me how God makes things go full circle. Not only that. How He points you in a certain direction to do a certain thing. That is the case with today’s study of the Bible. God wishes for this message to be sent out and I hope you listen or read it.
Now I know what is to follow was originally for those practices done by the Jewish people and to some extend it is performed today. But, I want you reading or listening to look past that to the environment we now live within globally, which has resulted in lockdowns and demands to change our behavior. Like to constantly and repeatedly wash our hands. The verses come from Colossians. They begin in the 2nd chapter:
Colossians 2:20-3:6 – You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. 3:1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. 5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.
What these verses boil down to is not worrying about things that transpire in the world and to have the self-control to end sin in our lives. Our eyes should be upon our life away from this temporal existence. Being concerned about having rituals imposed upon us by those that fear their eternal life, shows a lack of faith in He who died for our sins upon that cross nearly two thousand years ago. Who promised us eternal happiness. When humanity tries to impose things upon us for our safety. We are ignoring the only thing that truly counts: Our life in the eternity that is to come once we leave this temporal plain of existence.
Only those that don’t know where they stand upon the enteral plain, fear what they will find there. Those that distress over death and what lies beyond it. Live in the here and the now. While those that truly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ seek after that eternal reward. So, there is no need for fear.
Philippians 4:4-7 – Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Now if you look back to the verses of Colossians, we are told not to be greedy. So, in the Philippians verses, when it states to “tell God what you need.” It is not referring to earthly goods or wealth, but for health and wellbeing and those things that will lead us to the eternal life that is yet to come. Like comfort and reassurance. Knowing that we are destine for something well beyond events and happenings that take place here on earth. To be afraid of things that transpire here on earth shows a lack of belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ if someone professes to be “Christian.” Yet I hear of this fear on a daily occurrence. Mainly from those that live in the temporal. From these I expect it. But from those that profess to be of Christ I hear it as well.
2 Timothy 1:7-10 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.
Those that say they are of Christ should have no fear of anything that occurs here in this life. No matter its form. Especially if it could lead to death. For death is the open door to eternity. The only exception to this is the return of Jesus Christ when those that are His and are alive will be called up into the sky to meet Him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
When people fear death. They fear what is not known. Yet, as is witnessed in the verses that are in today’s study. Those that know God in turn know what is beyond death. Since they have taken the path which leads to the open door that leads to eternity who is Jesus Christ. This means that they should not fear death. However, many still do, why is this?
This can be seen in the verses of the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
One of the key elements that deals with the study we are doing today is verse fifteen so let us look at it again:
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
In my research of this verse, I had to dig deep. For I wished to give the best answer to this verse. The meaning of the verse seemed hollow in that represented from Strong’s Concordance. So I read the several pages that was offered for the word “peace” in the TDNT (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). The core of it boiled down to this paragraph:
“As regards the material use of the term in the NT three conceptions call for notice: a. peace as a feeling of peace and rest; b. peace as a state of reconciliation with God; and c. peace as the salvation of the whole man in an ultimate eschatological sense. All three possibilities are present, but the last is the basis. This confirms the link with OT and Rabbinic usage.”
In other words, “peace” first comes when asking for salvation that comes only through accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. This leads to reconciliation with God which in turn gives each person a sense of eternal peace. Thus, confirming that to have fear of what is beyond this corrupt temporal life is to not be reconciled with God through His Son. This complex imagery of the word “peace” is what is meant in this verse.
The only way to achieve this peace is by being prepared with the knowledge that comes from an understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ and His chosen disciples. These teachings later were turned into the New Testament. The only way to know what is in them is to fully study these letters and come to know their true meaning. This is accomplished by deep study into the Greek it was originally written in. It is also important not to take the word of others. For this leaves the door open to false teachings. Not even to listen to me. Verify the contents of the Bible for yourself, for all of humanity, even those who are saved are yet still open to corruption. For we will not know perfection until we meet Jesus Christ upon His return.
We are told time and again to have self-control. Is not part of self-control knowing what information we allow into our lives? Without proofing what we are being told is true how can we determine truth? Substantiation only comes from one source. The Bible itself, and this can only be achieved with full knowledge of what is written within it. It is this lack of knowledge that opens the door to false teachers.
This is witnessed by the early centuries of the church. This is witness when a man said that the Bible says men are to go to war over the city of Jerusalem. There is nothing in the Bible that states this. Thus, the popes that said this were false teachers.
This is witnessed when objects called “relics” were worshipped as items from Jesus Christ. Violating the command to not worship carved images. This is shown when all people have to do was pay money to obtain a piece of paper called an “indulgence,” that stated their sins were forgiven. Totally removing the need to ask for salvation from Jesus Christ. Who, the Bible states, is the only way into heaven. Again, a false teaching.
There are modern examples that are present in many religious groups that say things not found within the Bible. Yet people fully accept them as truth and fact. When again it is not found within the Bible. Thus, again a false teaching. But it is not my job to tell you which denominations partake of these false doctrines. They are for you the reader and listener of this podcast. By studying, truly studying, the Gospel is the only way to know without a doubt the truth found within the Bible. By you yourself. For who is responsible for their own salvation? You or someone else?
2 Corinthians 5:8-10 – Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
Even here we return to the very point of this study. That we should seek after our life beyond this temporal existence. Never in fear of its coming but welcome its coming and embrace it when it comes. Not in fright but in anticipation. An expectation of a child seeing the approach of a beloved Father. Who has loved and comforted us in times of sorrow and strife, as well as joined in with our happiness and joyous celebrations of our success in following the teaches of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is only when we reject God and His Son by denying what is found within the Bible. By living in sin and saying it is more important than our Creator. It is then that all must fear death. For it is right to have this dread. For it is made clear that to live in that which is said will not be welcomed in heaven. Since it is not welcome with God it can only be welcomed in one other location. So that is something to fear. That is something you can feel concern about and so desire never to die.
As we all know that is something that none of us can run away from. So how will you the listener and the reader of this study accept what is to come. Will we accept the end of our time in this temporal realm in fear or in comfort and joy?
Philippians 3:17-21 – Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.