16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow (Colossians 2.16-19).
In today’s world we hear words like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusive’ being used in all kinds of contexts and situations. But what do they mean and why are they being used and how do they apply to today’s lesson? Let us begin by defining ‘diversity’ “It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences” Inclusive is defined as, “Including or encompassing the stated limit or extremes in consideration or account; while aiming to include and integrate all people and groups in activities, organizations, or political processes” (my emphasis added). These words are being used to encourage us to include more people of other races, backgrounds, sexual orientations, religions, etc… into our groups. To be more diverse in the things we do and believe and not to be so closed minded. On the one hand there is nothing wrong with being diverse and inclusive knowing what others think and how they live and what they believe is good, and can help us to better understand each other and help us all get along. But it can also cause us to be divided, cause division and set up barriers ever when we do not intend for it to happen.
Paul was addressing a similar situation with the church at Colossae where some people had come in and began to convince the church they were unworthy of being Christians unless they did certain things. They were being judged, held accountable or having judgment passed against them for not adhering to certain Jewish customs and religious rites and rituals.
Paul says, “Therefore…” causing them and us to focus back to the previous versus, to think about what he had just said. We are free; why, because Christ took our sins, our debt and nailed it to the cross; therefore, there is no more condemnation for us because of the blood of Jesus Christ (2.13-14, Romans 8.1). “Therefore, do not let anyone judge you…” do not let anyone pass judgment on you for the things you do or do not do according to the Word of God. Now let us be clear about something before we proceed, Paul is not saying people should not look at one another and point out when we are living in sin, continually walking in sin or becoming a disgrace to the cause of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, we are to watch out for each other, help each other and protect each other with love, encouragement, guidance, and correction as the Word of God says (Galatians 6.1-5; Philippians 2.1-4; Hebrews 10.23-25).
When it comes to eating a certain way or observing certain things, we have been set free from the law. The law was a shadow, or image of things to come, it was pointing the way to better things. When Christ entered the world, He was fulfilling the law and its requirements. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matthew 5.17, ESV). By Christ’s death on the cross He made the final sacrifice, paid the final blood debt and covered all our sins. The very thing the law could never do, it could only do it temporarily, Christ did it permanently (Romans 10.4; Galatians 3.24).
Christ was the fulfilment of the law; hence, we do not need to follow any certain eating requirements, or holiday schedule. However, if the Holy Spirit leads us to do something: fast, observe, worship, or abstain from something then we should. But it does not mean we command, force, or demand others do the same, it is something God has given us, and only us.
We must also be careful of who we worship and why. Our worship must be to God of Heaven. He alone is worthy of worship and no one or nothing else is worthy, not angels or man or any other thing. People will always try and get us to worship something or someone else, but we must remember God is who we must worship (Exodus 20.1-4; Philippians 2.9-11; Hebrews 1.5-6; Revelation 19.10, 22.9).
We must remember who we are, we are Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, He is our Lord and Savior, the Head of the Church, the Groom. We must be focused on Him and what He has done for us in our lives and through us, allowing us to be a shining example of Who He is to a lost and dying world.
God Your throne is forever and forever, and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of justice. You are a God Who loves righteousness, and hates lawlessness, You have set Your Son over all things, and today I give You praise and glory (Hebrews 1.8-9). Lord I humbly bow to You as the Creator of the universe, seeking Your face, asking for Your understanding in my life. Lord help me to remain focused on Your will for my life, to help others when needed, not to judge, to know when I am doing the right things, and to know when I am not. Lord give me wisdom to walk alongside You every day serving You, worshiping You and obeying You and You alone. I thank You for being in my life, please continue to use me every day for Your glory, in Your Son Jesus Christ’s Name, I pray, Amen.
 The New International Version. (2011). (Col 2:16–19). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 5:17). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.