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No Rules; Just Right

No Rules; Just Right

Words of Faith 11-1-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 2

       [20] Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:   [21] "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"?   [22] These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.   [23] Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.  

 

        The problem with our human nature is that we like to control things.  We like to be in charge.  We like to call the shots.  This even goes for the way we try to handle God through religion.  We prefer rules to relationship.

         Why is this?  The problem with relationship is that God requires us to be transparent and authentic, allowing Him to rule every aspect of our lives.  Rules leave us in control and limit the way in which God is “permitted” to act in our lives.  Even rules concerned with self-denial are ultimately self-serving. 

         The heretics in Colosse had reduced their religious practice of Jesus religion to a few slogans and rules—Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch! The problem was that such prohibitions do not achieve a right relationship with God and do not in any way deal with the basic problems of sin. These are all destined to perish with use because they are based on human commands and teachings.

        Interestingly, this same legalism was manifest in Eve's exaggeration in the Garden. “But God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" (Genesis 3:3) This sort of selfish self-denial rises out of guilt.  The truth is that Christ has taken away all human guilt by His death. Since believers died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, they are no longer obligated by fleshly inclinations to obey them.

       Only those alive to sin need to obey it as master. Paul instructed the Romans that we died to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:2-7).

       You see, worldliness is living by the man-made system of the world’s rules. Spirituality is living by the power of the Spirit in union with Christ by whom the believer has died to sin.  For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless (Rom. 6:6).

        In Christ, we are not about rules; we are about a healed relationship established by grace and received by faith.  We are “right” with God because of the work of Jesus.  No rules; Just right.

 

       Thank You Lord for the wonder of Your grace.  Work in me to sanctify me by the power of Your grace.  Make me whole and make me holy, not by rules but by the working of Your Spirit.  In Jesus’ Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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