Colossians 2* The apostle expresses his love to, and joy in believers. (1-7)He cautions against the errors of heathen philosophy; alsoagainst Jewish traditions, and rites which had been fulfilled inChrist. (8-17) Against worshipping angels; and against legalordinances. (18-23)1-7 The soul prospers when we have clear knowledge of the truthas it is in Jesus. When we not only believe with the heart, butare ready, when called, to make confession with the mouth.Knowledge and faith make a soul rich. The stronger our faith,and the warmer our love, the more will our comfort be. Thetreasures of wisdom are hid, not from us, but for us, in Christ.These were hid from proud unbelievers, but displayed in theperson and redemption of Christ. See the danger of enticingwords; how many are ruined by the false disguises and fairappearances of evil principles and wicked practices! Be awareand afraid of those who would entice to any evil; for they aimto spoil you. All Christians have, in profession at least,received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken himfor theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him,unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Beingestablished in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve init more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from thosewho do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for hismercies is justly required by God. 8-17 There is a philosophy which rightly exercises ourreasonable faculties; a study of the works of God, which leadsus to the knowledge of God, and confirms our faith in him. Butthere is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful; and while itpleases men's fancies, hinders their faith: such are curiousspeculations about things above us, or no concern to us. Thosewho walk in the way of the world, are turned from followingChrist. We have in Him the substance of all the shadows of theceremonial law. All the defects of it are made up in the gospelof Christ, by his complete sacrifice for sin, and by therevelation of the will of God. To be complete, is to befurnished with all things necessary for salvation. By this oneword "complete," is shown that we have in Christ whatever isrequired. "In him," not when we look to Christ, as though hewere distant from us, but we are in him, when, by the power ofthe Spirit, we have faith wrought in our hearts by the Spirit,and we are united to our Head. The circumcision of the heart,the crucifixion of the flesh, the death and burial to sin and tothe world, and the resurrection to newness of life, set forth inbaptism, and by faith wrought in our hearts, prove that our sinsare forgiven, and that we are fully delivered from the curse ofthe law. Through Christ, we, who were dead in sins, arequickened. Christ's death was the death of our sins; Christ'sresurrection is the quickening of our souls. The law ofordinances, which was a yoke to the Jews, and a partition-wallto the Gentiles, the Lord Jesus took out of the way. When thesubstance was come, the shadows fled. Since every mortal man is,through the hand-writing of the law, guilty of death, how verydreadful is the condition of the ungodly and unholy, who trampleunder foot that blood of the Son of God, whereby alone thisdeadly hand-writing can be blotted out! Let not any be troubledabout bigoted judgments which related to meats, or the Jewishsolemnities. The setting apart a portion of our time for theworship and service of God, is a moral and unchangeable duty,but had no necessary dependence upon the seventh day of theweek, the sabbath of the Jews. The first day of the week, or theLord's day, is the time kept holy by Christians, in remembranceof Christ's resurrection. All the Jewish rites were shadows ofgospel blessings. 18-23 It looked like humility to apply to angels, as if menwere conscious of their unworthiness to speak directly to God.But it is not warrantable; it is taking that honour which is dueto Christ only, and giving it to a creature. There really waspride in this seeming humility. Those who worship angels,disclaim Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man.It is an insult to Christ, who is the Head of the church, to useany intercessors but him. When men let go their hold of Christ,they catch at what will stand them in no stead. The body ofChrist is a growing body. And true believers cannot live in thefashions of the world. True wisdom is, to keep close to theappointments of the gospel; in entire subjection to Christ, whois the only Head of his church. Self-imposed sufferings andfastings, might have a show of uncommon spirituality andwillingness for suffering, but this was not "in any honour" toGod. The whole tended, in a wrong manner, to satisfy the carnalmind, by gratifying self-will, self-wisdom, self-righteousness,and contempt of others. The things being such as carry not withthem so much as the show of wisdom; or so faint a show that theydo the soul no good, and provide not for the satisfying of theflesh. What the Lord has left indifferent, let us regard assuch, and leave others to the like freedom; and remembering thepassing nature of earthly things, let us seek to glorify God inthe use of them.
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