“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 you subject yourselves to regulations—”
“Regulations” are man-made rules. They have no basis in the Bible. Living by external rules to Scripture is a do-it-yourself religion. Christianity is not a religion. Religion places emphasis on man’s responsibility. Grace emphasizes what God did and does.
Everyone thinks their religion is right. Most of these people are sincere. However, the more earnest we are, the farther astray we will go from the truth if we are wrong in our sincerity. Sincerity, in this case, becomes a facade for avoiding the truth. Sincerity is no virtue if we are sincerely wrong. Sincerity can be counterfeit. Most do-gooders are sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. Do-gooders try to improve things. When it comes to suffering for sin, we cannot improve on the death of Christ. God will reject all human good when we face him. Only the work of Christ on the cross impresses Him.
The Bible does not give us the right to superimpose our standards on someone else.
Jesus did not live an ascetic life. He went to feasts and weddings when asked. He went to the party like an ordinary guest. Our Lord did not sit in a corner mourning over the world’s wickedness.
Christians love taboos. Religion sucks them into false ideas all the time. A taboo is something a Christian thinks is wrong, but the Bible says nothing about it. Years ago, some Christians believed it was inappropriate for boys and girls to swim in the same pool. “Mixed bathing” was a taboo in certain parts of the United States. Wearing makeup is wrong in other circles. The Bible does not say these things are sins.
We all have a trend toward asceticism. We love to put ourselves into new bondage. Regulation is the backbone of religion. Keeping rules gives people the idea that they are pious. Note the next verse, “Touch not, taste not, handle not.”
Not all taboos are harmful. The mature Christian does not offend the weaker brother who holds a taboo (Romans 14,15; 1 Corinthians 8-10). However, some people look for any daylight whereby they might justify their sin.
Hi Dr Grant. I'm loving your commentary. It's really makes me think about my walk with Christ. In my life, I'm trying to find the balance in what I do, what I think and say but I really struggle. I just don't know how to 'rest in The Lord' I don't want to put to much effort in so I suffer burnout but I don't want to do nothing at the same time. I know that God will do 'his will' through me by his grace but then at the same time I can't help thinking that I must do something as well, almost like I have to 'force the issue'. Do you understand what I mean? I hope it makes sense. Do you have any advice to give? I really need your help. God bless
I believe Ron has hit on a point that all true Believer's (if their honest with themselves )struggle with. The same struggle Paul talks about in Romans 7 wanting to do good but not doing it. The flesh battling against the Spirit. I've been a believer most of my adult life and still wonder if I'm ever going to grow up and enter into God's rest. That worry free life filled with the fruits of the Spirit, having the faith to truly claim the promises of God when your in the middle of sin or testing. I believe the entire Christian life and what God exspects from us can be summed up by Galations 5:16 "Walk by the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh". That's easier said than done! Living in a body of flesh that can never measure up no matter how much we may want to but can't. It can be a very fine line to determine whether our true motives are driven by the flesh or the Spirit. Sin and our failure to live the life is the nat in the room and unfortunately that's where the church put's most of it's emphasis. Teaching Believer's how to live by the Spirit is what is needed instead of the do's and donts of legalism. I have concluded living a life controlled by the Spirit cannot be formulated or mapped out.