Once Christ has set us free from sin we are indeed free! But many false religions in Paul’s day, and in ours, will attempt to diminish the merits of Christ and force into our lives a system of performance based on rituals and man-made standards.  There are many religious sounding siren songs that lure us away from the sufficiency of Christ.  We should not let any of them distract us. Paul warns us all “let no one…” rob us of our freedom in Christ. Verse 16 says, “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.” Verse 18 begins, “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism…”

All the religious rule, regulations, ceremonies and rituals are nothing but shadows. They are completely without substance. Christ is the only reality. Verse 17 says, “These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” These regulations and rules were a shadow cast backward from Christ. He’s also casting a shadow forward over our lives now.  We are all living in what C. S. Lewis called “Shadowlands.” In this life of shadows, faith calls us to believe that real life begins when we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Death, to C. S. Lewis, was awakening from the “Shadowlands” into reality. He even puts this discussion in his Narnia Chronicles from the mouth of the Christ figure, Aslan. After the last battle, he speaks to the children. “Then Aslan turned to them and said: “You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be.” Lucy said, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.” “No fear of that,” said Aslan. “Have you not guessed?” Their hearts leapt and a wild hope rose within them. “There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call it in the Shadowlands—dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.” 

We must focus all our attention on the “real thing” not a shadow.


“These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” Colossians 2:17