The Word of God says: “If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world?”1 This advice was given to the Colossians congregation because there were practices of infidel religions incorporated in the believers’ fellowship. The practices were about liturgy, shari’a and law. In general, the laws of these religions were also legalistic, in which they were satisfied with their religious model. They would continue to meddle with the law proudly or arrogantly. They think it showed piety and grandeur of their religion. The Jews were once capable to do so. We are not surprise to see such religious pattern of Judaism because they were not familiar with the inner truth taught by Jesus.
In the New Testament era – when the promise of salvation was fulfilled – believers are called to do God’s will. Doing the will of God is not just doing the law. Therefore, religious pattern must not be part of Christian lives. Christianity is something that is really exclusive in that there is no homologous form to any religion or belief. Christianity emphasizes on spiritual truth. If this inner truth materializes, then all laws and books of prophets manifest by themselves. Thus Christianity is not just doing the law (to do) but unites with the will of God (to be). One who puts up this truth certainly has great personality like the Lord Himself. In this case, Christian faith is not built based on the law of common religion, but it is constructed based on faith to Christ, namely it is about how to retain and understand God’s will and carry it out.
Related to the above, Paul himself affirmed: “For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God.”2 By this statement, however, Paul did not mean to degrade the Torah given by God to the Israelites, but he wanted to show that there was greater and more virtuous law rather than the Torah, because Paul’s law was God Himself. If one still parks himself in the area of law, it makes salvation meaningless. The purpose of salvation is for a believer to become a man in accordance with God’s original design, in which, though one is not under the shadow of the law, he is able to do the will of God.
Religious people, who put themselves under the law, cannot be referred yet to as living for God proportionately and correctly. They merely live for the law. However, people who live for God, they will do God’s will and fulfill His plans. Paul stated the above statement because he was a Jew who had a lifestyle like Jews in general, that lived under the law. When Paul said “For through the law I died to the law”, it meant he left behind his Judaism and applied the lifestyle of Lord Jesus. This is why believers are called Christians, which means similar to Christ. May this truth encourage us to continue to seek the Lord, try to know Him, build sensitivity to God’s will and do it. We do not need much time to understand the knowledge of law-based religion, because it is not complicated. But if it is based on God’s will, it will not be easy but difficult even an almost impossible task for us to understand God’s thought and feeling. This is the untainted truth from our ingenuous God.
1) Colossians 2