Colossian 2:16-19 led me to the Message translation. It is a paraphrased translation and uses modern terms and words to help us decipher what Paul was trying to tell us. The Colossian Christians were under a great deal of pressure to add rules to the gospel. The Judaizers were trying to get the Gentile Christians to practice the Jewish laws and customs so they could consider them Christians. These were no longer necessary as Christ freed man from the need to follow all the mosaic laws and rituals. Our connection through faith in Christ brings us His indwelling Holy Spirit. As Paul stated in Colossians 2:11 it is a circumcision brought by Christ and is of the heart. So as they struggled with these issues, Paul did not want them intimidated or bullied into doing things that were not necessary for faith in Christ. Paul denounces rules about diet or saying they have to bow and worship angels.
16-17 So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ. 18-19 Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.”
Paul wants them to stay focused on Christ as He is the source of life that flows through us. Jesus himself said in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Christ alone is the way to truth and life. Only through Him can we know and experience God. Hebrews 5:9 names Christ as the source of all salvation. “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,” Here are a few other verses to help us focus on Christ as the only source of our faith and life: John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Romans 16:26-27 “but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! and Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.“
What does this mean for me and you? The message from Paul is one for all of us. Martin Luther took it to heart when he nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the Wittenberg church on October 31, 1517 in Germany that sparked the Reformation. Solo Christo- Christ alone is the answer and in Him all is Yes and Amen.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can know Christ, be indwelt by His Holy Spirit and have a relationship with Almighty God through the power of Christ Alone!