FREE booklet : The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
¬ Introduction
¬ God's Magnificent Series of Covenants
  Did Abraham Keep the Same Commandments God Gave to Moses?
  How Can We Obey God's Commandments?
  The Sinai Covenant and the 'Voice of the Lord'
  God's 'Laws, Statutes and Judgments'
  Key Elements of the Sinai Covenant
  Rightly Understanding 'Justification' and 'Righteousness'
  Did the Ten Commandments Exist Before Moses?
  God's Law: Is It a Burden or a Blessing?
¬ A New Covenant for Transforming the Heart
  What Was the Main Weakness of the Sinai Covenant?
  How God Balances Justice With Mercy
  How Is the New Covenant 'New'?
  The Ten Commandments: Keys in a Law of Love
¬ The High Priest Essential to Salvation
  Grace and Law: Why Are They Inseparable?
  A High Priest Eager to Help Us
¬ Circumcision vs. a 'New Creation' in Christ
  Current Confusion Over Christian Freedom
  The 'Curse of the Law'
  Galatians 4:9-10: Are God's Laws Bondage?
  Did Paul's Words to the Galatians Contradict His Actions?
  Why Paul Used the Term 'the Whole Law' in Galatians 5:3
  What's Wrong With Our Human Nature?
  The Holy Spirit: God's Promise of His Divine Help
¬ The Justice and Judgment of God
  How Paul Put the Law on 'Firmer Footing'
  How Does Justification Relate to Salvation?
  Does Romans 14 Abolish Laws on Unclean Meats?
  Did Paul Teach That All Days of Worship Are Alike?
  Did Paul Tell the Romans One Thing and the Corinthians the Opposite?
¬ Peace and Unity in Christ
  Paul Imprisoned Over a Man-Made Taboo
  The Corruption of Apostolic Christianity
  What Was 'Wiped Out' by Jesus Christ's Death?
  What Does 'Shadow of Things to Come' Mean?
  The Calendar Used by the Earliest Gentile Christians
  The Ascetic Philosophy Affecting the Colossians
  Colossians 2:16-17: Are God's Laws Obsolete?
¬ The Apostles, the Old Testament and God's Law
  Jesus and Paul Emphasize the Law's Correct Focus
  Paul Regularly Used the Old Testament as the Authority for His Teaching
  Acts Shows What the Early Church Believed and Practiced
  What Did Paul Mean by 'Christ Is the End of the Law'?
  The Jerusalem Conference of Acts 15: What Was Decided?
¬ Jesus' Teaching on God's Law
  Other Important Ways Jesus Fulfilled the Law
  Does the New Covenant Abolish the Commandments?
  The 'New' Part of Jesus Christ's 'New Commandment'
  Confusion Over Legalism: What It Is and Isn't
  Does God Set Conditions on His Gift of Eternal Life?
¬ All the World Under the New Covenant
  Liberty Through God's Law
  A Covenant of Marriage
   
From the publisher of The Good News magazine.
The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
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What Does 'Shadow of Things to Come' Mean?

Paul explains in Colossians 2:17 that God's weekly Sabbath day and sacred festivals are "a shadow of things to come" (verse 17). Many think he was saying this to demean them and show why they are unnecessary for Christians. The reality is just the opposite. Paul was acknowledging their abiding significance for us.

In the Greek language the word mello, translated "to come," is a present active participle. It explicitly points to events yet future. According to The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, mello means "to be about to do or suffer something, to be at the point of, to be impending" (Spiros Zodhiates, 1992, p. 956). Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words explains its meaning as "to be about (to do something), often implying the necessity and therefore the certainty of what is to take place" (1985, "Come, Came," p. 109).

Paul is saying that the Sabbath and Holy Days, which the Colossians celebrated by feasting according to biblical instruction, had been given by God to foreshadow future events—things yet to come. The grammar of Paul's statement requires this meaning.

When God first commanded that these "feasts of the Lord" be observed (Leviticus 23:2-4), each event they foreshadowed was still in the future. Even today, most of the events foreshadowed by these festivals are yet to be fulfilled in God's plan.

These sacred days have always foreshadowed God's promises to intervene in human affairs through Jesus Christ. They signify the fulfillment of His master plan to offer salvation to all of humankind through Jesus Christ. Therefore, their themes and symbolism are unequivocally Christian.

Paul understood and taught this. For full details on the meaning and Christian significance of God's festivals, request your free copy of our booklet God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.


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