Paul says in Colossians 2:20, “Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules.” Paul was basically asking the Colossians, “Why are you still living like you didn’t die to the ways of this world?” Apparently some of the Colossians were still living in worldly ways that Christ came to free them from. Paul is reminding them that when they came to faith in Jesus they died to those things. They no longer belonged to the world and its principles but to Christ and his. Dying to the world means that we no longer live for its desires and follow its path, but live for Jesus and follow his path.
Christ brought us a life that brings freedom, peace, love, harmony, and joy when we live a life of selflessness and sacrifice for others. Dying to the elemental spiritual forces of the world means that we do not let the culture around us, the people among us, and the twisted desires inside us control our lives but instead we live for the ways of Jesus.
Luke has been asking me a lot of interesting questions lately. One that he asked me the other day was, “Why are we not dead?” Hmmm. Not sure how to answer that to a three year old, but I think it was a question similar to the one Paul was asking the Colossians, “Why are you not dead to the world like you are supposed to be?” That’s a good question for us to think about. Daily recommitment to carrying our cross, which is a powerful imagery to dying to self and the world, is necessary as followers of Christ.