Christians Are Not Rule Keepers

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It is not in our strength we are careful to keep the rules, but rather by God's Spirit.

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why…do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" Colossians 2:20-21

Here Paul is making the astonishing statement that Christians are not to be focused on rule keeping. This is because we are under the new covenant of grace. St. Augustine went as far as to say, "Love God and do whatever you want". St. Augustine knew that if we really love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength then we will only do what pleases him.

Reading the Old Testament we soon realize that God's people were not able to keep rules and Peter made this clear when he addressed the Council at Jerusalem, "Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?" (Acts 15:10).

In our own strength we cannot obey the rules. However through Jesus' death and resurrection we enter the New Covenant and live under grace. This verse in Colossians teaches us about the rich freedom of living under grace where we no longer have to worry about rule keeping. This freedom is overwhelming yet God didn't leave us without direction. He promised his Spirit, "And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezekiel 36:27). 

It is not in our strength we are careful to keep the rules, but rather by God's Spirit.

Written by Susan Barnes

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