“Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch”
The Apostle Paul tells us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to stay well away from the concision and those who are false towards Christ. Going backwards is not an option, and we cling to the reality of Christ and not faded pictures from a past era. He is vehement about this assertion. He tells us not to touch or taste or handle these false doctrines which keep harking back to the Ceremonial law, and the worship of any entirety other than God.
To practice the observance of the Old Testament ceremonial feasts and religious ceremonies, encourages the development of a legalistic mindset which becomes oppressive towards our own personal life and others. We easily become judgmental and think that everyone must adhere to the personal standards we set ourselves. We can become hard line in our thinking and gradually shut down the working of the Spirit because of our legalistic ways and strict personal judgment about what to do or not do. We are constrained to obey the moral law of God, but not the pictures of the past, which are now made reality in the coming of Christ.
This is a mindset of legalism. It looks at, tastes and handles the self-righteousness of judgmentalism and encourages salvation by works and therefore undermines our faith. We become the weaker brother, with all kinds of rules and regulations that we construct around our lives, making us slaves again to fear. The moral law stands above this and is set by God for humankind through all time. It is the peerless expression of a holy and just God and we are duty bound to keep it with great effort and dedication. Paul is telling us to stay away from the legalism of the Old Testament covenants with God, surrounding the old life choices of the Israelites nation – the old shadows that pointed to the coming kingdom.
It starts with “looking”and progresses to “touching” this mindset of rules. We think we are becoming more holy by taking to ourselves more and more stringent “laws” about living, and then imposing them on others. God sets us free to be at liberty in our lives, and we must not become, enslaved by the unnecessary observances of laws which have passed away. We can become very judgmental and put ourselves in the slavery of these issues. We can become very obsessed with the minute details of the law and lose the liberty we have received from Christ, and end up offending our own conscience.
Paul is telling us to not go near this kind of attitude and to stand firm in the faith we possess in Christ. Don’t let your faith get sullied by the unfruitful works of dead laws, which Jesus has allowed to pass away.