18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,
19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

Complementarianism or egalitarianism? Three-point Calvinism, four-point Calvinism, or “What’s Calvinism?” Conservative or moderate? Do these questions matter, and if so, how much?

The tendency of believers to create, debate, and fixate on theological positions is certainly not a new issue. In Colossians 2, Paul addressed the teachings of purity and dietary laws some had imposed to judge and disqualify believers. Though having the appearance of spirituality, man-made laws and human traditions at best have only temporary value. And anything with only temporary value is ultimately insignificant. Further, even at their best, such laws provide no help in curbing the sinful cravings of the flesh.

As Paul explained, we shouldn’t get caught up in anything that distracts us from what is ultimate—Jesus Christ. Jesus alone is the Head of the whole body, which is the global Church. He alone strengthens the body, holds it together, and grows it. Holding fast to human rules, regulations, and nonessential positions, then, distracts and leads us away from true spirituality found only in identification with Christ.

Therefore, Paul explained, don’t focus on earthly things. Don’t hold more tightly to positions and traditions than you hold onto Jesus Himself. Don’t make essential to the gospel things that are not essential. You don’t come to salvation by grace through faith alone and then hold onto that salvation by some other means. Instead, hold fast to the confession of Jesus who sympathizes with you and enables you to draw near to the throne of grace. Jesus did everything necessary for you to enter into a relationship with God, and He also provided everything necessary to sustain your relationship with God.

• Read John 15:5. How do we sustain our faith? What does it mean to abide in Christ?

• How has God grown you in your faith recently (v. 19)? Is Christian growth meant to be primarily about knowledge or something else?

• Thank Jesus for securing and sustaining your salvation. Pray that you would honor Christ’s sacrifice by relying on His work instead of your own. Acknowledge that nothing we do could ever add to the finished work of Christ and pray that you would continue to turn to Christ for your spiritual growth.