Colossians Devotional | Don't Get Disqualified
Colossians: Christ Above and Before All
The Glory of God Revealed in Jesus
Don’t Get Disqualified
“18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” - (Colossians 2:18-19)
What does Paul mean by “disqualify?”
He means, don’t let someone make you believe you’re not good enough to be a Christian. The heretics in Colossae were adding a bunch of stuff to the gospel. Apparently, you had to learn about all sorts of angels and have dream-like visions of insight and spiritual realms. You were supposed to engage in asceticism, which is the practice of not enjoying anything--food, drink, sex. You have to divest yourself of all pleasure and enjoyment. If you don’t do these things, you’re disqualified--you’re not making the cut and you’re not a Christian.
Paul describes these people as “puffed up without reason,” that is...they’re irrational and foolish. Why? Because they’re thinking with their “sensuous mind.” They’re setting their minds on the flesh and not on the Spirit (Romans 8:5-8). They’re not thinking like Jesus--they’re not “holding fast to the Head.”
Huh? The Head?
Yeah...Paul told us who that is in chapter 1, verse 18. He’s the head of the church and the church is the body of believers, those who are saved and have been made new by the gospel of Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus is the beginning and the end, fully God, and Creator. What he says, is. What he decides, is right. The standard is set by him and he’s the only one who can get us salvation. These heretics and liars aren’t holding fast to him. They want to go back to the old ways, where you can only find God’s approval through your moral and religious effort. They want to add new-wave, mystical stuff from other religions--again, which rely on your mystical and spiritual insight to earn God’s approval.
No...the church is mean to be “nourished and knit together” with “a growth that is from God.” From God--and not man. So, I urge you, along with Paul, don’t let anyone disqualify you because you don’t read and learn from the King James Version Bible (only); because you don’t speak in tongues or prophecy; because you wear jeans to church or watch Marvel movies. But...also, don’t let anyone disqualify you because you’re modest and you abstain from alcohol and you feel uncomfortable watching mainstream Hollywood movies.
You are a Christian because of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done--not because of what you do or don’t do. Put your faith in the Head...the one who made you right with God by the blood of his cross (chapter 1, verse 20), and not by your moral or religious activity.
God isn’t opposed to effort. He’s opposed to earning. We are meant to obey God and pursue holiness, trying to be like Jesus. However, how are you tempted to believe that your morality or religious practice actually earns God’s favor?
I want you to pray and ask the Lord to show you where your legalism shows up. When and how do you end up feeling disqualified based off your performance? When and how might you be tempted to see others as not earning God’s approval because they don’t do as you do? Find it and put it to death. Confess and repent and hold fast to the Head, of whose gospel alone saves.