Emanna for 01/03/2021

Asceticism versus the Cross of Christ (1)

Bible Verses

Col 2:21 Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch, (22) (Regarding things which are all to perish when used) according to the commandments and teachings of men? (23) Such things indeed have a reputation of wisdom in self-imposed worship and lowliness and severe treatment of the body, but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Words of Ministry

[Part 1 of 3]
In this message we shall go on to see that the experience of Christ's death is versus asceticism. In the Christian life there is no place for asceticism, no place for treating the body severely in the attempt to restrict the indulgence of the flesh. Asceticism is not God's way. On the contrary, it is a human invention, a product of man's fallen mind. Hindus and Buddhists may practice asceticism, but Christians should not. Asceticism is part of the "elements of the world" spoken of in 2:20. These elements are the elementary principles of outward, material things, the childish teachings of externalism. These elements denote the rudimentary teachings of both Jews and Gentiles, teachings that consist of asceticism and of ritualistic observances in meats, drink, and washings. It is an elementary principle of asceticism to mistreat the body or to treat ourselves severely in an effort to suppress the flesh. God's way, the way of the cross, is altogether different. According to the economy of God's salvation, the cross is God's central way in the universe. I wish to emphasize the fact that God's way is not asceticism. No Christian should practice asceticism. As believers in Christ, we are not a joyless people. On the contrary, we are a joyful people, those who constantly rejoice in the Lord. Why then should we inflict pain on our bodies or mistreat ourselves? How foolish! Our way, the unique way, is the cross. Therefore, the experience of the cross is versus asceticism.
[continued tomorrow]

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry, from Witness Lee, Life- study of Colossians, pp. 212. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. (Repeat 3/15/2000) Please visit us at www.emanna.com Comments to: comment@emanna.com.