Strain at a Gnat and Swallow a Camel (Colossians #43)

Text: Colossians 2:16-17

Matthew 23:23-24 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

We’ve got some phrases for the gnat straining:

  • Can’t see the forest for the trees.
  • The elephant in the room.

The kingdom of God is not food or holidays or sabbaths. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The other things are shadows of good things to come (Hebrews 10:1). But they are not spiritual abilities that overcome the flesh and bring love, joy, peace, longsuffering, etc. The kingdom of God is what the Spirit of God brings to a person like Galatians 5:21-23.

Judge righteous judgment – John 7:14-24

Kingdom of God is not food and holidays – Romans 14

Don’t be the hot iron that sears their conscience – 1 Corinthians 10:23-33

  • So eating is a good opportunity to be a testimony and glorify God. Until the other person wants to use it as an occasion to glorify an idol. Then they’ve made it an issue.
  • The same can be said of holidays. It’s good if you use this holiday to glorify God. But if you’re going to put another god in place of Jesus Christ for this holiday, then a Christian is told not to participate for the sake of the other person’s conscience. The idea being the Christian who is supposed to stand for the one true God has now excused idol worship in the mind of the lost man.
  • Here’s an example: a Gay Pride Parade. If the world gets some pastors together to march with them in a Gay Pride Parade, it reinforces the idea that this is acceptable.
  • Now, you’re the hot iron that sears that other person’s conscience in their wickedness by justifying it while claiming to represent God Almighty.

Dietary gospels are incredibly tempting – 1 Timothy 4:1-6

God the Father has exalted the Lord Jesus Christ above everything. But there are all kinds of ideas trying to get above Jesus Christ. Earlier in the chapter in verse 8 it was worldly forms of wisdom and education. Now we move into pretenses of righteousness that are outside of Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.