My apologies, guys. Caught up in the business of life (although I guess that isn't really much of an excuse). Anyway, I'm currently struggling my way through Leviticus - man all the numbers and laws are driving me insane! Couldn't we have started in the New Testament somewhere and proceeded accordingly? *lol*
All this aside, I'm currently studying Colossians - it's a fantastic although often ignored book. This is recommended reading, people. My friend Sven and I spent more than an hour just going through the first chapter! I'll share some thoughts ...
I guess that to me, studying the Bible is about finding out what God wanted to say to the people at that time and in that context, and then lifting out the principles and applying them to our time, today. I find that Bible-text-hopping, while being useful to prove theology, takes a lot away from simply reading the Bible and application, plus it's fairly easy to take stuff out of context that way. But I'm just starting out on this, people. So don't shoot me down.
In Colossians, Paul was writing to the "saints and faithful brethern in Christ" - to assure them that while he understood that they wanted to do what was right, they were being influenced by a group of people who claimed to have been receiving visions from angels, saying that Christ was a great teacher but not God, and that one still needed to obey specific laws in order to be saved.
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation ... All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."
"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His Love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."
"Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ."
Powerful words eh?
Let's not forget that Christ should be central in our lives.