As we meditate upon chap. 2, we find the apostle expressing his fear and care for the Colossian Christians. You do not find this in his epistle to the Ephesian saints. The Ephesians were all right, being wholly occupied with their Head and Lord. The Colossians were taken up with the outside trappings, while they lost sight of resurrection and ascension realities. "And unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ." Here you see the Divine Three-in-One set forth, "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Hid! Who to? Not to the Ephesians, for they were revealed to them; but to the Colossians they were hid. Behind what? Behind their ceremonies, ordinances, rites, rules, and laws. Wherever you find such things as these abounding, you will be sure to detect the fact that the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden from view. The apostle continues: "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ." Nevertheless, throughout the succeeding portion of this chapter he warns them against their tendencies, and points them to the perfection they had in the doing and dying of Christ. Look at verse 9: "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power." They were incomplete in respect to those outward things which engrossed so much of their attention. Come to verse 16: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days." Blessed be God, we have a perpetual Sabbath in the person and work of Christ. See how Paul states this in Hebrews 4:9, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." While every other rest is disturbed this rest in Christ remaineth ever the same. "For we which have believed do enter into rest." It does not say we have entered into rest, though that is a blessed fact; but, we do enter into rest, or into a keeping of the Sabbath. What is this Sabbath? "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) When is this Sabbath? On Sunday? Yes, and on any day of the week He is pleased to reveal Himself to us. When He speaks home this precious command to our hearts, we do enter into God's rest, God's Sabbath, and we cease from our own works as He did from His. As we enjoy liberty and rest in Christ, the Holy Ghost by the apostle says to us, "Let no man judge you in those things which are a shadow of things to come, for the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." Here you notice the difference between this epistle and that to the Ephesians. The epistle to the Ephesians reveals Christ, the Head, holding the members, the epistle to the Colossians describes the members holding to the Head. Each position is one of blessed privilege. It is a mercy for me to hang upon Christ for life and salvation.
KEEPING GOD'S SABBATH
SHALL BE GLORIOUS
CHRIST OUR REST
| MIKE MCINNIS|
KEEPING THE SABBATH
The law of the Old Testament sabbath was clearly stated. "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou" (Deuteronomy 5:14). Note these words: "thou shalt not do any work...rest." The sabbath given to the Jews was a type of Christ. When it comes to our salvation, the rule still applies, "thou shalt do no work...rest." Redemption has been accomplished by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Concerning this work of reconciliation and justification, the Savior said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). Salvation, therefore, is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He hath saved us" (Titus 3:5). The word from the Scriptures is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
The penalty for breaking the sabbath was harsh and violent. "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people" (Exodus 31:14). On one occasion a man was arrested, incarcerated and later stoned to death because he picked up some sticks on the sabbath day (Numbers 15:32-36). Do you wonder why the punishment for working on the sabbath was so severe? Disobeying the commandment of God to rest on the sabbath pictured the refusal of proud, self-righteous sinners to be saved solely on the basis of the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. All who refuse to rest in Christ alone for eternal salvation must be cut off from His people and cast into everlasting destruction.