Pauline Prison Blues
Prison is fine, but it's not a total cakewalk. Go figure. It's mostly a bummer because Paul can't get out to see any of his fellow Christians. He has to settle for writing letters. Luckily, he's pretty good at that. Paul wants all his Christian friends to know that the key is Jesus. He's the source of all God's wisdom and knowledge. He might not be physically present, but Paul's there with them in spirit. Time for a Clean Slate Just keep living lives in Christ and everyone will be fine, says Paul. Paul warns them not to be swayed by false teachers who swoop in with their fancy theories and lead nice Christians astray. Human traditions and ideas don't mean anything. It's the stuff that God tells us that really matters. The Christians in Colossae used to be non-believing Gentiles. That means they weren't circumcised like Jewish guys. They knew and understood God through Jesus, not through thousands of years of Jewish law, scripture, and traditions. After Jesus died, God didn't worry so much about all the laws and traditions that he had made such a big deal about starting way back in Exodus. God took those rules and the sins of the world and he nailed them to that cross with Jesus. Watch Out for False Teachers. They also shouldn't panic about what foods they eat, or which festivals they celebrate or what they should and shouldn't be doing on the Sabbath. God just wants everyone to put their faith in Jesus. Besides, if Christians are dead to the world, then why would they need to worry so much about all the worldly things they're doing? No bacon? No work on the Sabbath? No touching unclean things. They think they're being holy when they do these things, but in reality, following these rules doesn't have any effect on a person's heart, says Paul. Sorry, law-lovers.
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