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August 28 – Sanctification, not sanitation

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in this world, do you subject yourselves to regulations — “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle…” – Colossians 2:20,21

Scripture reading: Colossians 2:11-3:1

Our world, not having Christ, imposes its own holiness code on its citizens. So it is also with false religions that mandate their food laws and never-ending fasting rituals on their adherents.

In the church of Colossae, false teachers were insisting on man-made, rigorous restrictions and regulations concerning food, drink, festivals, new moon and sabbaths. The apostle Paul summarizes their regulations in this way, “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle.” It had an appearance of wisdom, of humility and of being near to God. They taught that one could overcome evil and achieve the fullness of salvation through man-made rules regarding eating, drinking and fasting.  The focus is on abstaining from this and from that. There is no joy; there is no feasting, only “Don’t touch, don’t taste, don’t handle.” The focus is on outward purity. Without Christ and His Spirit, the world imposes its own regulations concerning separation for well-being and holiness.

We need Christ. Fullness of salvation is in Him! Renewal comes from within by His Spirit. By trusting Christ alone for your salvation, you have a reason for feasting. The apostle Paul says if you died with Christ (2:20) and were raised with Him (3:1), you have made a complete break from man-made regulations. “Let no one cheat you of your reward” (v.18). By His Spirit, He continues to cleanse you from sin and cultivates a desire to grow in holiness. This is sanctification. Welcome to real living. Touch, taste, handle! Sing, rejoice and live!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for the full salvation and freedom He gives in Christ. Pray for renewal and growth in your love, holiness and obedience to Christ the Saviour and Lord.

Rev. Tony Zekveld currently serves as missionary-pastor in the Hope Congregation in East Brampton, Ontario, sent by Covenant Christian Church (URCNA) of Wyoming, Ontario. Rev. Zekveld and his wife, Arley-Ann, have five children and, so far, eight grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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