ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 224


So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not
celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For
these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious
self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about
these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not
connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body
together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual
powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the
world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules
are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them.
These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious
self-­denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the
realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right
hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you
died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when
Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in
all his glory.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t
be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of
this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used
to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is
the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty
language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful
nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed
as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life,
it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and
he lives in all of us.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe
yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and
patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who
offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always
be thankful.

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