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by Wayne Blank
Paul explained that converted Christians (see Christian Living) remain flesh and blood humans, in bondage to the carnal and sinful "elements" of the world (for why, see Who Still Rules The World Today?), as he starkly admitted for himself:
"For we know that the Law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin ... For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." (Romans 7:14,22-23 KJV).
Paul "delighted" in the Law of God, he never abandoned it (see Paul's Ministry and What Law Was "Nailed To The Cross"?). Paul never taught the Satanic doctrine that Christians are not subject to obeying the holy and righteous Law of God - Satan likes nothing more than for people, especially Christian-professing people, to be as self-worshipping rebellious against obeying God's Law as he is! Nor did Paul commit blasphemy by calling the Law of God "weak and beggarly elements" (see below). By that he was referring to their own man-made religious traditions, just as Jesus Christ rebuked people for the same thing:
"Why do ye also transgress the Commandment of God by your tradition? ... But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:3,9 KJV)
Paul used the Greek word stoy-key-on twice below, translated as "elements," to describe how all humans remain sinners who are forgiven if they repent by obeying God (see "Works" Means Obedience):
"Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world [see Mortals]: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption [see Spiritual Adoption] of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
Paul repeated the same points to the Colossians, practically repeating Christ's own words from Matthew 15:3,9 above, using the same Greek word stoy-key-on, which is here translated as "rudiments":
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:8-9 KJV)
Paul again repeats the same "the commandments and doctrines of men," which are not the Commandments and doctrines of God, using the Greek word stoy-key-on translated as "rudiments":
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
Paul encouraged the recently converted Jews to recognize the long-awaited Messiah and stop viewing the "first principles," the preparations, and the traditions that they added to them, for His coming as an end in itself:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the Oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." [see Babes]
Peter also used the Greek word stoy-key-on to warn that the time will come when all will face Judgment (see When Will You Be Judged?). The righteous from all ages will be transformed to eternal spirit, the wicked from all ages will be obliterated in the fire that will purify the earth, during which all of the "elements" (stoy-key-on) will be melted and burned by means of the same elements as it was created - including Hydrogen (see also The First Scientist). That includes not just the unrighteous, but the self-righteous (see I Did It My Way...)
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
Fact Finder: Does the Word of God plainly say that faith without works (i.e. obedience to God) is a dead faith?