By Patrick McGuire
This short letter from Paul is known by many to be a powerful testimony of Messiah, which it is. However, it is also a testimony of following the Torah of Elohim. This is plainly seen when one realizes the meaning of the phrases “Faithfulness in Messiah Yeshua,” “walk in a manner worthy of Adonai,” “bearing fruit,” etc.
However, there are some “catch phrases” in this letter that many Christians use to justify their antinomial beliefs (lawlessness). For instance, Paul speaks of the “certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us” being “nailed to the cross.” Christians believe that to be a slightly veiled reference to the Torah being abolished. But it certainly is not! The Torah is not “decrees against Elohim’s people.” Paul describes Torah as “holy,” “righteous,” “good,” and “spiritual” in Romans chapter 7. He is hardly schizophrenic. Although Christian doctrine paints him to be as such, or at least confused. You will find our investigation of that passage at least interesting, if not eye-opening.
Another passage in Colossians that is often misinterpreted is Paul’s call to not let others act as judge in what they eat, drink, or how they celebrate the Sabbath, new moons, and Feast Days. Paul did not want harsh criticism from the Pharisees of the day to be a discouragement to their obedience to Elohim. But the passage in no way promotes sin.
A favorite misinterpretation from this letter is one used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses! They use Colossians 1:15 to claim that “Jesus” was the first creation of “Jehovah” and “Jesus” created everything else after that. That is a sad and lazy misconception of that passage. Paul writes that Messiah is the “firstborn of all creation.” Paul does not write that He was the “first created.” So what does the phrase “firstborn of all creation” mean? All one must do is read down a couple verses to verse 18 where it is stated that He is “the first born from the dead.” He is the “first resurrected.” That makes Him the “first fruits” of the resurrection!
(1 Cor 15:20 NASB) But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
Enjoy this oft-misunderstood letter! It is a gem!