Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (Colossians 2:20 - 22).

In this entire chapter of Colossians, God has been teaching and showing us that it is “faith in Christ” (Colossians 2:5) that saves us and not rituals or ordinances (like circumcision or baptism or communion, etc.). The ordinances are merely reminders, imperfect symbols, or “shadows” (Colossians 2:17) of Jesus and how He saved us by dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. A “shadow” is not going to save us. Even in Paul's day (and I'm sure long before that), there were those who taught that these symbols, which are always performed by the religious leaders of the day, will save you. We should practice these symbols but only as symbols and nothing more. God tells us that when we have trusted Christ alone for salvation, we are “dead” to the world, its devices, and its “commandments of men.” In other words, it is Jesus, and Him alone, Who saves us, and nothing or no one else. Yes, we should try and follow the Ten Commandments out of gratitude for what Jesus has done for us. Yes, we should participate in the ordinances like baptism and communion as a reminder and a symbol, or “shadow,” of Jesus and what He did for us. But the moment we start trusting in these things, then we have chosen not to place our entire trust in Jesus, and that is a fatal mistake.

Imagine a large, flat, solidly anchored rock in the middle of quicksand. If we stand with both feet on that rock, we will be saved. If we get into the quicksand, we will be lost. Would you want to stand with both of your feet on that rock (Jesus) or with one foot on the rock and one foot on the quicksand?