Unit 09 02 Shadow and Substance Why Old Testament Rituals Became Obsolete for New Testament Christians


The Old Testament required a number of things that the New Testament doesn't require. Now, how in the world? Was it possible for New Testament Christianity to make such a switch if The Old Testament was the Word of God? For example, the Old Testament has some very strong judgments on a variety of matters. It says of circumcision, that any uncircumcised male shall be cut off from his people, he has broken my covenant. And those are the direct words of the Lord God himself, you had better be circumcised, or else. There are a number of laws in the Old Testament about what you must not eat. You shall not eat any of their flesh of these various prohibited animals, they are unclean to you, you shall regard them as detestable. When it comes to the Passover, God said, If anyone fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people. Regarding the Sabbath, God said, whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Now, those are pretty strong words, and they are words from God Himself, how would anyone dare to say that you don't have to be circumcised, go ahead and eat flesh from any kind of animal. The Passover is no longer binding anymore. And it's not that big a deal if you don't keep the Sabbath and festivals who would dare to say such things? Well, there are a number of different ways to deal with these statements from the Old Testament. And one way of dealing with that was a way followed by some people called Judaizers. They insisted that Christians had to keep Old Testament laws regarding circumcision, or food restrictions or special days, and they had to do this in order to be saved. Now, some Judaizers wanted to simply go back to Judaism and ignore Jesus Christ entirely. But what we normally call Judaizers, when speaking of people addressed by New Testament documents were people who did think you needed to believe in Jesus to be saved. But you also had to keep on obeying all of the Old Testament laws that came from God, you had to follow the Old Testament because it was the Word of God and you had to obey those requirements. Another approach taken by some people, called Gnostics was that the Old Testament was bad, and it's evil Lord should be ignored. A man named Marcian follow this approach, his entire bible was made up of a few very edited New Testament books he throughout the whole Old Testament, and any part of the New Testament that seemed to have a positive view of the Old Testament. And he ended up with parts of Paul's epistles, and an edited version of the book of Luke. So you have these two approaches, one said, you have to keep all Old Testament laws. And the other approach was, you have to get rid of the old testament and reject the Old Testament God.


That seems to be the logical choice in front of us. If God commands all these things, then you either have to follow God's commands, or you have to reject that God. And yet, the New Testament Christians took a different approach. They said, that Christ fulfilled Old Testament signs and shadows, and these Old Testament things had been good. And the Old Testament was indeed the Word of God and continued to be valuable for study and as God's Word had to be listened to. But some of these things have passed away with the coming of Christ, because Jesus was the fulfillment, and the substance that these signs and shadows had been pointing to. So their view was Old Testament revelation is good, but New Testament revelation of Jesus Christ is better, and replaces some of these older things. They did not accept the position of the Judaizers that all Old Testament rituals had to continue being observed. And they definitely and strongly rejected the Gnostic approach of saying the Old Testament was bad and that it's God was bad. So let's think about how the New Testament believers came to hold this position and how they dealt with Old Testament laws. Now, when you think of something in terms of a sign, and that's how the Old Testament was viewed, the Old Testament rituals, at least were viewed by the New Testament Christians. If you're following a sign towards a destination, you have to pay very, very close attention to those signs because their purpose is to keep leading you closer and closer until you arrive at your destination. So for instance, if you're following signs toward the Grand Canyon, if you said, Who cares about signs, signs are stupid, get rid of them all, it would probably indicate that you didn't care about the Grand Canyon, and weren't really interested in getting there. The signs are very valuable on your way there. But once you get there, the important thing to realize is that the signs purpose is not just to draw attention to itself, but to point you to the goal. And so when you reach the goal, you delight in the goal and you focus on it, you don't focus on the sign, once you've made it to the Grand Canyon, you don't go back and take snapshots of all the signs and then dwell upon those lovely snapshots of the signs pointing you to the Grand Canyon, you look at the splendor of that canyon. The signs purpose, then is to draw your attention to the canyon. Now, if you glimpsed the goal, but then turned away and wanted to go back and gaze at each side, you're heading away from the splendor and you're missing out on the splendor to pay attention to the signs, once you've reached the destination, would mean that you are rejecting the destination. Jesus is the final destination. Jesus is the ultimate splendor. And the Old Testament signs and rituals were pointing in that direction. But once they got you to Jesus, their purpose had been fulfilled. And you were not to go back to those rituals, again, to those old covenant regulations, you were to stay focused on Jesus, of which these things had only been pointers, and science. Now, the Judaizers didn't understand that they wanted to insist that all of the ritual requirements were still binding. They said that circumcision was required for salvation. They emphasize that the food and drink requirements of the Old Testament were still in effect, the kosher laws of what you could or couldn't eat, were still in effect, you could not eat pork. And there were many other things you couldn't eat. Meat had to be certified as killed properly. They added things that weren't even in the Old Testament hands and utensils had to be ritually washed, and you couldn't share any meals with Gentiles. And so there was a whole host of food and drink requirements, the fat, the festivals of Passover of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, and various other festival days and seasons had to be strictly observed according to the Judaizers, because they were part of the Word of God, and you can't just reject the Word of God. And that's what they thought you were doing, if you rejected festivals, or food and drink restrictions or circumcision. And they said Sabbath observance had to be observed strictly in the Judaizers. And the Pharisees who had a lot in common with the Judaizers. They kept making rules even stricter and more detailed than the rules that Moses had laid down from God. So these were the positions that the Judaizers took on these matters. The Judaizers are in action in the book of Acts, chapter 15.


It tells about a council that had to be held, and it says some men came down from Judea, and we're teaching the brothers in Antioch that unless you are circumcised, according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. And then later on, some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, it is necessary to circumcise them and order them to keep the Law of Moses, Gentiles were coming into the church. And the question was, do they have to follow all the ritual requirements in the Law of Moses and be circumcised in order to be saved? What happened? The Spirit led the apostles and church leaders to hold the council. And at that council, they issued a decision in which they said it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to give you the following directions. And the basic thing of it, that they decided was that the spirit had revealed that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised, did not have to obey mosaic rituals. They did suggest just a couple of things, to make it easier for Jews to find the Gentiles acceptable. And so they said, we recommend the Gentiles to observe a few of these things just to avoid needless offence, but the Spirit had revealed that they did not have to be circumcised did not have to consider mosaic rituals, binding. They were not to consider salvation as being Jesus plus, circumcision, salvation, a new life is Jesus Christ plus nothing. The Bible goes on to speak of this decision and to apply it in a whole variety of ways. And one thing we need to understand is that circumcision is not necessarily something just done with a knife on the force skin of a male human being. The apostle Paul writes in Christ also you are circumcised by a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God who raised him from the dead. So, if you've been baptized into Jesus Christ, you have already been circumcised with the only circumcision that matters. He insisted that you already have all the circumcision you need if you've been baptized, and you're a believer in Jesus Christ. Paul wrote in Romans 241, no one is a Jew, who is merely one outwardly. He said, Everybody's a child of Abraham, if they have faith in Christ, and to have faith like Abraham, just to be a physical descendant of Abraham didn't make you a real Jew. Neither is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly. And circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man, but from God. And so you have the circumcision, without hands done by Jesus Christ, you have an inward heart, circumcision, not a physical bodily circumcision, which is the important thing under the new covenant. Paul says that if you're tied to the law, you're actually cut off from Jesus Christ, the law was valuable as a pointer leading up to Christ. But once you had reached Christ, and then tried to latch on to the law again, and all of its rituals, you are going to lose Christ. I Paul say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision, that he is obligated to keep the whole law, you are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law, you have fallen away from grace. What strong words, Paul, in that same letter says, of who's bewitched you? And he says, of these people who keep insisting on circumcision, I just wish the knife would slip and they cut everything off. He was very, very upset. And why? Because he knew that if they were depending on all of this, they were going back to rely on some of the things that had pointed to Christ and were rejecting Christ Himself. If you got circumcised because you thought faith in Jesus wasn't enough for salvation, you would lose Christ, you would lose salvation, because you're treating Jesus as inadequate and insufficient.


Paul says that those people who talk a lot about circumcision aren't really the true circumcision. Look out for the dogs. Look out for the evildoers look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we, Christians are the circumcision, who worshipped by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh, though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. And Paul goes on the list all the things, he was circumcised, He was part of a Jewish tribe. He had all kinds of qualifications under the old law, and he said, I consider it all rubbish for the sake of gaining Christ. Jesus accomplishes what Old Testament circumcision was only a sign of the pain and blood of Old Testament circumcision. Jesus endured much more intense, plain pain and shed his blood in order to satisfy God's law. And Jesus doesn't just change for skins, he changes hearts. And so those who belong to Jesus can say we are the circumcision. Now, Scripture treats circumcision a certain way in the Old Testament, and it's very highly esteemed and very important, and why well, it pictures and foreshadows blood and pain as a punishment for sin. So it's pointing to Jesus. It's a sign of faith and belonging to God's people. In the Old Testament, Scripture says that circumcision is a sign of faith. And so if you rejected circumcision, and you were Jew living in Old Testament times, you were rejecting God because it was a sign of your faith and of covenant belonging to him. It was a mark of your commitment to keeping God's law not as a way of salvation, but to keep in God's law because you belong to him, and because he had claimed you as his own. And it was a symbol just as for skin was rolled away from the male sexual organs. So it was a symbol of stripping away sin on the inside. So circumcision is a very valuable and important thing in the Old Testament. The view of circumcision in the New Testament is different because things have shifted circumcision has been fulfilled in Jesus blood and in his pain. And circumcision has been replaced by painless, bloodless baptism which applies not just to men but to women as well. So it's been replaced by a better sign. And if you then chose to be circumcised for religious purposes, I'm not talking about sanitary reasons or reasons of custom. But if you did it for the purposes of being right with God of adding it onto what Jesus had done, then it was a mark of trusting in ritual law for your salvation not trusting God's grace in Christ, and it became a symbol of an obsession with external things rather than internal transformation. This helps us then to see how the attitude and the meaning of circumcision shifted with the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the apostle warns about the circumcision party. He says, There are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party, they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families, therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith not in devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. And so here we have the Judaizers. They were requiring circumcision. They had their food and drink laws, they had their requirements regarding festivals. And regarding Sabbath observance, we've dealt in some detail now with circumcision. Let's look at these other matters as well, and how the New Testament believers dealt with that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians, two verses 16 and 17, perhaps the clearest crispest shortest statement on the matter, 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. These things are a shadow, and Christ is the substance. And so you shouldn't be judged on these once you have Christ, the substance. Let no one pass judgment on you says, Paul, if a regulation has been outdated, will you still be condemned on the basis of that regulation? Let's say a judge has retired because his area of law became outdated. Well, would you let that Judge put you in jail for having bacon for breakfast?


He says, oh, pork is prohibited, I hereby sentence you to five years in prison for eating pork. Well, the guy has been retired. And the things he enforced aren't in effect anymore. And the Apostle Paul says that those Old Testament requirements regarding diet and other things are not in effect anymore. And the old law has now been retired. And you shouldn't let anybody use that as a basis for judging you anymore. If there was a corrupt judge who was fired, would you listen to him if he said he would imprison you for peeling potatoes on Sunday? You're violating that day? Well, the apostle Paul says there are elemental spirits, the Greek word is stuck here. The elemental spirits are sometimes also translated the basic principles of this world but better translated elemental spirits. And Paul says these demonic powers are trying to pass judgment on you on things that they would never have cared about in the first place. They're corrupt, but they're trying to get you to fall away from Christ. And it's been happening ever since. By the way, the structures of Judaism that have focused so much on ritual have persistently rejected Jesus Christ, completely. Islam, which got very caught up in prohibitions against pork and unfollowing, various rituals and observing certain fast seasons and all of that as your way to be right with God, have denied that Jesus is the Christ of denied that his death saves. And they use things from Old Testament law, which are no longer in effect, to come down. And that is the work actually not just of religions, but of corrupt spirits behind those religions. Paul says, Let no one pass judgment on you because it's the store where the elemental spirits who are at work when they're trying to pull you away from Jesus Christ, and back into the things that were only pointers to Christ. He says don't let them pass judgment in questions of food and drink. He goes on to say a little later in that passage, regulations about do not handle do not taste, do not touch, referring to things that all perish as they are you He says, Come on, these aren't eternal things. Food, you know, you eat it and then it parishes. And Paul is echoing here, his master the Lord Jesus. Jesus says, Don't you see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart, but his stomach, and his expelled you know, food goes in one end and out the other of this is not the essence of a relationship with God. And Jesus insisted on it, and so did Paul. Now, a note is added by Mark, it says thus Jesus declared all foods clean. Thus, Jesus declared all foods clean. Still, today, there are some Christians who think it might be evil to take in pork. Jesus declared all foods clean. Is there anything about that statement? That is not clear. All foods have been declared clean by Jesus Christ Himself. And so don't let anybody judge you in questions of food and drink. Now, Peter had heard Jesus teaching and yet even Peter still had a hard time accepting these things in regard to foods. And then also in regard to some of the things that were represented by the foods separating yourself from Gentiles who would eat those foods. Peter had a dream of things being let down to him in a vision, and they were unclean things they were animals, that were not part of what was permitted under Old Testament law and in Division. The voice from Heaven told Peter now kill it. And Peter said, Now, I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. The reply from Heaven was what God has made clean, do not call common. So you were free to eat what had formerly been declared unclean. And then you were also more importantly for Peter called to eat with Gentile people who weren't following your cleanliness laws, Peter was called to go to the Gentile, the Roman centurion, Cornelius and his household and share the gospel with them, and become a brother in Christ to them. So God has declared these foods clean, you don't get to declare them unclean. Now, even then, Peter still needed to be reminded in Galatians chapter two we read of Paul having to remind Peter, Paul told Peter, if you though a Jew live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews? You see, what happened was this.


Peter had taken to heart the fact that you could eat whatever you wanted, and that you didn't have to follow all the old requirements anymore. And so he began to live that way. And when he was with some believers, he who were Gentiles, he sat down and ate with them without question about what they were eating. And all was well, but then some people from the circumcision party from the Judaizers, were coming to town. And Peter got a little nervous, he thought, well, they're not going to like it that I'm Jewish. And yet I'm kind of living like a Gentile. So he separated himself from those Gentile Christians and wouldn't eat with them anymore. And Paul stood up and rebuked him right to his face. And he said, Man, you live like a Gentile now all of a sudden, your Mr. Jewish again. Now you're Mr. ritually pure, and eat only the right things, what happened. And then he goes on to say that you're rejecting and sinning against the grace of Christ and you're betraying the gospel. He says, I no longer live Christ lives in me. And he reminded Peter of that, and Peter took that to heart. But this was a this was a hard thing. I want you to get just how hard it was for a good devout Jewish man, to suddenly realize that a good deal of the Word of God in the Old Testament had reached its fulfillment in Christ, and it was no longer required of us. The law rightly understood was to prepare people for Christ in at least two ways. First, it was to reveal our desperate need for Christ's salvation by showing us the sinfulness of our sin. And much of Old Testament law is God's moral law abiding for all ages, and it continues to serve that function of showing us our desperate need for Jesus because we break that moral law so much. Another way that it was pointing people to Christ, the Old Testament law was it was foreshadowing the reality of Christ by sacrifices and other rituals. So the moral law remained abiding, but that law which was foreshadowing through sacrifices and rituals, was no longer binding once Jesus came, and if people wanted the law instead of Christ, they missed the point of the law. If people wanted to add dependence on law and on ritual to dependence on Christ, they were denying the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. The apostle warned them that that would mean going back to slavery he said for Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature were not gods, they were demons. But now you have come to know God now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principals, again, that's actually elemental spirits of the world whose slaves you want to be once more, you observe days and months and seasons and years, I'm afraid I may have labored over you in vain. So he says, if you're getting into this whole schedule, where you're locked in, because that's part of how you're making yourself right with God, did I waste my time bringing you the gospel of salvation through Jesus. The book of Hebrews speaks in a similar vein, it says the former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless for the law made nothing perfect. And a better hope is introduced by which we draw near to God. So those old regulations have been set aside old covenant regulations of food and festivals, they were weakened, useless, except as pointers to Jesus. And of course, if these God given rules and pointers were set aside, then a whole bunch of manmade rules were certainly not binding. And so we, the New Testament believers said, Old Testament ritual requirements weren't binding on certainly neither were all the other requirements that have been heaped up by people that are not even in the Old Testament Scriptures at all.


Paul said in Colossians, two, these are a shadow of the things to come but the substance belongs to Christ. And Hebrews eight and 10 Say something very similar. They serve as a copy and a shadow of the heavenly things. But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it's an act on better promises, the law has been a shadow of the good things to come, instead of the true form of these realities. Now, if you see a shadow of a person moving along the ground from around the corner of a building, then that shadow tells you that somebody is coming, the shadow doesn't just exist on its own, and have its own individual importance. It is the shadow of somebody. And when you're talking to that person, you focus on the person and you look them in the eyes, you don't keep looking at the shadow and say, Oh, Shadow, you're so fabulous of you're dealing with the person in that shadow that you saw coming around the corner just a little bit before the person himself arrived, was simply an indicator that the person was about to come. And so it is with the Old Testament rituals, they are indicators of the Christ who was to come. But the substance or the body belongs to Christ that were translated substance is actually in the Greek simply the word body. So you have the shadow. In the rituals, you have the body of the person in Christ. When we look at ultrasounds, they give us kind of a shadow of things to come before a baby arrives. And ultrasound is the best look, you get at that baby, you see kind of a fuzzy black and white image, and that's your best picture. And you're glad to have it and parents, new, new parents are expecting their first baby are kind of excited about that ultrasound. Well, after the child is born, you keep looking at the ultrasound, and you keep kissing that ultrasound and say, Oh, beautiful ultrasound. Exactly, you've got a real baby. And the ultrasound is you know, just kind of forgotten, you may throw it in a scrapbook somewhere. But it is not the object of your attention and your affection, you file that thing away, and you focus on the child. And so it is with Christ. The Old Testament gave us a bit of an ultrasound of who was coming. But now Jesus has come and the body the reality the substance is here. Now, unfortunately, despite all that the New Testament reveals about focusing on Jesus and him being totally sufficient, and leaving behind the old ritual requirements. Very often Christians have gotten too fixated on rituals and gotten right back to them again, food and drink, they may have ignored some of the Jewish requirements. But then all of a sudden, it was required to go without meat on Fridays, and you are sitting if you didn't, and you would get certain fast days that are required. Now it's important and valuable for people to fast from time to time, but for the church to set it up as a requirement on certain days. And to make it something that was mandatory for everybody was simply to going back to the kind of ritual system that had previously existed. The church in leaving behind Old Testament seasons and festivals set up its own on schedule. And again, it's not necessarily bad to have certain special moments and days, but it would require them it would have a church here with advent leading up to Christmas, and then epiphany, and then the season of Lent, and then Good Friday and Easter and then certain required feasts for various saints. By the year 190. Pope Victor tried to excommunicate Eastern Eastern Christians, because they had a different date for ending the fast of Advent, or the fast of Lent and then having the feast of Easter, they were getting the date wrong. So they were to be excommunicated and cut off from Christ. That is how quickly Christians can forget the Word of God. They can make their own invented festival date, something that is required for everybody right now.


And you're out. If you don't follow my date, priestly ritual came back in the priesthood was fulfilled in Christ, but churches began to come up with vestments, and liturgies, and all the other things to recover that sense of the priestly and the stately pilgrimage to the Holy Land. And the whole notion of this was the spot on Earth where special things are and where God is present in a special way, and holy relics and the bones of saints and the hair of the Virgin Mary, and enough wood from Jesus cross to fill several ships, and sacred sites where everything was holy, and the sale of sanctified souvenirs. It was all a part of this. Going back to things that were meant to be left behind. Jesus Himself said to a woman of some area that you worship in one place, and the Jewish people from whom salvation comes. worship in Jerusalem at a time is coming and has come when you will not worship here or there, but will worship in spirit and in truth. And the notion that the Holy Land is a place to get especially close to God is simply not true. And yet Christians keep going back to these kinds of things. And they are in many cases, I'm afraid denying the sufficiency of Christ. Now, I've been in Israel, I spent two months there, I love visiting the various places where Jesus had been to see the various places where he had been, but not in order to become especially holy. I'm closer to God, when I'm in the presence of another person indwelt by God's Spirit, than when I'm standing on some rocks in a land where Jesus once walked. Messianic Christians sometimes observe the Old Testament festivals and food laws, even as they accept Jesus Christ as divine savior. Now, not all of these things are horrible in and of themselves, but they very quickly get turned into a whole system that exists alongside of Jesus Christ, and is considered to be as mandatory as faith in Jesus Christ Himself. And we need to be aware of them when they reach that status. Now, how do we handle foods and festivals? Well, some might say you must keep regulations of foods and festivals or you will not be saved. That's false. New Testament believers said, under God's inspiration, you must not put your faith in foods and special days, or you will not be saved. If you put your faith in things like that, your faith is in the wrong thing and you cannot be saved. Some said, Well, you have to keep regulations of foods and festivals, if not to be saved, at least to be an elite Christian, you know, you can be saved without that, but that still kind of moves you up a little higher and gets you to a higher level. Well, what did the New Testament say? Foods and festivals are matters of personal preference, as long as you keep your focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, but they do not make you better. If you observe them, they do not make you worse if you ignore them. They are matters of personal preference. Now, when we read in the Bible, sometimes it sounds like the New Testament just totally against all of that any observation of what to eat or special days and that it would just be disastrous if you did any of that. But that's not quite the whole Old New Testament revelation regarding the Old Testament, rituals and signs. If you were relying on those things for salvation, they were disastrous. If you're using them as a basis for judging others, or for promoting yourself, it was disastrous. But if it was a matter between you and God, and where you love God and kept your focus on Jesus, then it was a matter of personal preference. Romans 14 develops that it says one person believes you may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains and lightens The one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats for God has welcomed him, Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another. It is before his own master that he stands or falls, and he will be upheld, For the Lord is able to make him stand. If God makes him stand, you don't get to judge him. Even if he has some different opinions about what diet is proper to follow. Just don't pass judgment on each other in these matters.


One person esteemed one day as better than another, well, another esteems all days alike. Maybe one person still wants to observe the Sabbath, or have very strong convictions about the Lord's Day and certain ways of observing it. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind, the one who observes the day observes it in honor of the Lord, the one who eats eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains abstains in honor of the Lord, and gives thanks to God. So whatever you happen to be doing with the day, or the food, just be doing it to the Lord, and to honor Him, and to express faith in Jesus Christ, and you'll be okay. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness and peace, and joy. In the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God, and approved by men. So then, let's pursue what makes for peace, and for mutual building. So as long as you kept these things as a matter of personal preference between you and God and serving Him and doing it for His glory, it was fine. Whether you did it or chose not to do it, but using it as a basis for judging others, using it as a basis for making yourself better than them, or using it worst of all, as a basis to make yourself right with God, alongside of faith in Jesus Christ, then you had to leave such things and faith in them behind entirely. So there are the strong statements in Galatians and Colossians. Be aware of using these as a basis for your standing with God or for judging others. And then in Romans, there's a little milder statement in a less controversial setting where people aren't in danger of trusting in food and drink for their salvation, of saying, Okay, do as it seems right to you. And this may be applied then to some of the ritual things like observance of Easter, or of land, or of particular days, they might help one person's faith, they might be useless to another person's faith, let each do whatever honors Christ and helps him walk with the Lord as long as you're not relying on it for salvation, or judging others with it. The substance belongs to Christ, there was the signs there was the shadow, but the body the reality is of Jesus. And this is where our focus is to be. This is why New Testament Christianity left behind requirements of Old Testament rituals because they had all been pointing to the riches of Jesus Christ, the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, not just kosher food in you, Christ, in you, Christ, in whom are hidden, all the treasures of wisdom, and knowledge are in Christ, the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, he's not just a shadow. He is the fullness of deity in bodily form, the word of God, the second person of the Trinity become flesh, and you have been filled in him. You don't need other things added to him, you've been filled in him, he's the head of all ruined authority. So 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 things are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Last modified: Tuesday, July 25, 2023, 5:08 PM