God’s and My Traditions

Colossians 2:8        See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Galatians 1:14-15   and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

2 Thessalonians 3:6          Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

Romans 14:14         I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.

NASB Translation

Paul said he learned from Jesus, nothing was evil in itself. I also learned from the Bible, money itself is not evil, but the love of it is. The same with everything, it’s not the thing, but what I think about it and what I do with it. How God wants me to think about things, and how to use them, is what’s important. Is tradition evil? What I have learned, it is not evil if it does not go against God’s word, and it does not hurt anyone, which it won’t if I stay in His word, and will. There are many good traditions. Paul encourages his flock to observe the ones he and his helpers have established. God, established festival traditions for the purposes of, remembrance, thankfulness, and praise for what He had done for Israel. As a Pharisee Paul, observed many traditions and legalisms the Jewish leadership started for their own purpose, with no useful spiritual value. As an evangelist for Jesus, Paul warned his flock not to get involved with useless, hurtful, Godless traditions and legalism. They accomplish nothing for God, and can hurt the brothers. Speaking with one of my mentors one day, I complained about some tradition and legalism I observed in someone else (a sin by itself). To get my attention to hopefully think hard about what I said, he said, I understand how you might feel, especially if it goes against your own tradition and legalism. Whammo! Right between the eyes, he made his point and accomplished his purpose of getting me to think seriously about my own sin. With the word of God available to me, I have no excuse for creating my own traditions, or following ungodly ones created by others. Unfortunately for a baby Christian starting out, it is hard not to be contaminated by these sins. Right along with true doctrine, the same sins the Pharisees practiced, are many times taught and exampled by today’s leadership. No wonder the world thinks little of us, by some of our actions we act like we think little of Jesus, as Lord.