A Life Free of Rules and Full of Peace
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
Colossians 2:20–23 ESV Read More
When Christ died on the cross, He took on all of our sin and carried all of our punishment. On the cross, a sacrifice was made that would exchange our sin for His righteousness. Because He did this, the Law was made obsolete. Where faith used to be expressed by obedience to a written code, now faith is expressed by living a life in Christ.
Because life is more complex than rules, we have confidence that we no longer have to live by a list. No life came from not touching this or that. It was a way for the Jewish people to show that they were set apart for God. The Law protected them in many ways, but it did not bring life into anything. Instead, for centuries there were some people that became experts at bending the Law so they could feed their own will, not God’s.
To indulge the flesh is to live for yourself and not for God. To live for God is to live for His will and His plan with our own life secondary to His. If we use our life to do what we want and then justify it with religious rules, we’re doing it wrong.
Pastors get asked, “Is it ok for me to _____?” like someone is trying to learn about the rights and wrongs of being a Christian. The rights and wrongs are the lifestyle that Paul is talking about here. Being a Christian isn’t about living by a list of rights and wrongs.
Being a Christian is best summed up Galatians 2:20–21:
‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. ’
Christ lives in all who believe in Him. We no longer have to be afraid of rules, afraid of right and wrong, or afraid of God’s judgment. We get love, not fear, from God’s mercy – all day long.