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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Substance or Shadow

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Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 698

 Substance or Shadow

Substance or Shadow

Substance or shadow what will it be
One makes you a slave and one sets you free
For substance is power through life in the Son
But shadows lack life where true power is from

Oh shadows have wisdom and knowledge contain
But lack power our sinful desires to restrain
But Jesus is substance with power and might
Through sharing his nature you can do what’s right

So study the shadows for wisdom you’ll find
But remember the Jews who could see but were blind
They memorized Law and the Psalms they could sing
But they worshipped the shadows and rejected their King

Now don’t become haughty or laugh out too loud
And suppose you are better than they and are proud
For how can you know which of these you adore
Whether shadows like Jews or the life of our Lord

It’s not what you know and it’s not what you do
It is who you know if His life’s formed in you
So study the difference I pray you will find
His substance has placed all the shadows behind

All the Law contained was shadows of the good things that were coming, not the realities themselves. Food and drink, feasts, new moons and sabbaths are all shadows. Paul exhorted the Colossians not to allow anyone to judge them by these shadows. These shadows are also referred to as the basic principles of the world to which we died. They are fleshly ordinances rather than Spirit and life. Paul was describing these basic principles in the Law, which he clearly states that we died to through the body of Christ in order that we might belong to another - to Him who was raised from the dead. This death to the Law through the body of Christ enables us to serve in the new way of the Spirit and not the old way of the letter.
There is a danger in setting our mind upon the basic principles of this world rather than Christ. That is why Paul begins chapter 3 of Colossians with set your mind on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Food and drink, feast days, new moons and Sabbaths are merely basic principles which we were all placed in temporary custody under until Christ came. Those who are observing days, months, season and years are in danger; Paul said he feared for such, that his labor had been in vain.
Brothers beware lest any man spoil you with fine sounding arguments that are based upon the basic principles of this world rather than Christ. Such individuals will go into great detail to explain these basic principles, but in reality they have lost connection with the head.
There is a great danger in allowing yourself to be perusaded to look to these basic principles (food and drink, feast days, new moons and Sabbaths) for righteousness rather than the righteousness of God (apart from the Law) which is through faith in Christ alone. The danger is that as soon as you believe that you must do one of the basic principles in order to have life and be righteous, you are obligated to do them all. Moreover, you have fallen from grace and Christ has become to you of no effect. The Kingdom of God is not food and drink, nor will it ever come by scrupulous observation of feast days, new moons or Sabbaths. All of these things are mere shadows, basic principles without the very substance of the life of God which is only in Christ.
The Judaizers still live, and they are still as great a threat to the church today as they were in the days of Paul. Stand fast in the liberty where with Christ has set us free and do not be entangled again in the yoke of bondage. The first covenant, Haggai, Mt. Sinai, bears children unto slavery - she is not our mother. Our mother is the New Jerusalem, where Christ reigns, and from whence He pours out His Spirit of liberty and righteousness.
Don't allow yourself to be persuaded by the great details, and the very fine arguments all based upon the Law's shadows. Christ is the source of all our life, our righteousness, our wisdom, our sanctification and our redemption from the dead works of the Law.

Free from the Law O happy condition
Jesus has bled and there is remission
Cursed by the Law and bruised by the Fall
Christ has redeemed us once for all

Once for all O sinner receive it
Once for all O brother believe it
Cling to the cross the burden will fall
Christ has redeemed us once for all

Now we are free, there’s no condemnation,
Jesus provides a perfect salvation.
“Come unto Me,” O hear His sweet call,
Come, and He saves us once for all.

Once for all O sinner receive it
Once for all O brother believe it
Cling to the cross the burden will fall
Christ has redeemed us once for all

Alan and Dina Martin

 2008/5/9 13:17Profile

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