By: admin On: March 25, 2013 In: Colossians, Rules Comments: 0


Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations —  “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
Colossians 2:20-23
There are verses in the Bible, like Colossians 2:20 that we may come across, but never stop to take the time to consider. In skimming the surface of a verse or a passage, we miss discovering the treasure that is buried deep within. 

Colossians 2:20 is packed with challenge for the believer’s life.

We already understand the “therefore”. What Paul is saying is that in light of the fact that you are completely saved, completely forgiven and completely victorious, and died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations?
Good question, isn’t it? Later in verse 23 he refers to this “subjection of regulations” and calls it self imposed religion.
If understanding God’s grace is the key to victorious Christian living, then we must continually challenge ourselves to heed the warnings of self-imposed religion; the rules and regulations that seek to keep us from our relationship with Him – do not touch, do not taste, do not handle!
Rules, Devotional, Women Ministry
I just had the opportunity to teach at our last session of “Set Apart”, a Bible study I wrote to help women seek a lifestyle of holiness. Peter’s parting words to a church he desired to see remain holy were these, “grow in grace”. Without the grace of God, we certainly have no ability in and of ourselves to walk in holiness.
Peter teaches us that to grow in grace is to mature as a Christian. Maturing in our Christian life is not about what we do, but about what God does in us, by His grace. Grace is not merely the way God draws us to Him in the beginning. It is also the way we grow and stay in our steadfastness. We can never grow apart from the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We prevent a fall from our own steadfastness by a continual growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus.

Devotional, Rules, Women Ministry

We all have been discouraged, ashamed and sometimes even slumped down in guilt – berating ourselves by something we’ve done wrong, knowing as a Christian we should have known better. Yet God isn’t concerned so much with the mistakes we have made but how much we learn because of them. By His abounding grace, He encourages us to try again. He wants to use our failures and mistakes to be the ground from which we may grow. That is the life of grace.
We need to continually remind ourselves that the Christian life is not the life of “trying harder”, “doing more” or “self-effort”. What religion have you adopted that you might be imposing on yourself that really isn’t biblical at all?Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Am I trying to earn God’s grace when it is already available?
  • Am I more concerned with what I do for Jesus than being with Him?
  • Am I falling into the rules and regulations for myself and demanding them of others versus enjoying relationship with God and His people?

Rules, Devotional, Women Ministry, Women Connection

If legalism wasn’t going to be a problem for us, there wouldn’t be so much written about it in the Bible. The entire book of Galatians is devoted to it. Paul makes it very clear:
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
Galatians 3:1-4
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24-25
Commentator Grant Ritchie adds great insight here:
Most of us do not know what God did for us when we became a Christian. We look at the cross and see one thing and God sees another.  When we look at the cross we see Christ dying there.  When God looks at the cross he sees both Christ and the believer dying there. God sees every person who would ever believe dying there with Christ. The word “died” is the most intensive word for death. It emphasizes separation from human rules which the believer’s death with Christ produced.  When Jesus died, we died. Our life is forever hidden with Christ in God.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which 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 set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. Galatians 2:20-21
This excerpt from Chuck Smith’s book, “Why Grace Changes Everything” is excellent:
Love, not the law, is the key to our relationship with God and with one another. God wants us to experience the beauty of being drawn to Him by a cord far stronger than the obligation and guilt of the law. If we were still bound to God by a list of rules and regulations, we would soon find ourselves chomping at the bit and struggling against the restraints. There is a huge difference between being bound in relationship by the joy of love, and being tied up in obligation and guilt.
God never intended that His people be bound by an endless list of external pressures. It isn’t pleasing to God to hear us moan and complain, “What a drag! I have to go to church again when there are a hundred other things I’d rather do. But if I don’t go, God won’t love me anymore and the preacher will give me the evil eye for missing his sermon.”
If we find ourselves laboring under such burdensome attitudes, it is a sure indicator that we are not operating in a love relationship with God, but have instead fallen into legalism. God certainly wants better things for us than a drab, loveless existence!
My precious sisters remember that religion bankrupts relationship! God is more interested in who you are than what you do. Enjoy Him and live a life of faith — free from the law! Pursue your relationship with Him! 

Don’t fight with the flesh, strengthen the Spirit!  
Don’t fight against the darkness; turn on the light

Allow grace to be your teacher.

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