If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees?

Colossians 2: 20

Here lies a question that all of us should ask ourselves on a regular basis. This is a challenge that seems universal in the community of people who serve Christ; for, we have been infused with the idea of following the rules of this world from the earliest days of our lives. Paul is not advocating civil disobedience, and he is certainly not suggesting anarchy, but he is saying that our perspective on how we view what is important and on the way that we establish our rules for righteous living need to be profoundly changed by the infusion of Christ’s view of these things into our beings.

Most of the rules that are created by people are focused on external, temporary, and human-controlled issues, and they tend to establish situations where people can be viewed as superior or as failures based upon strict adherence to them. Also they often grant power to individuals who become the judges of the degree of compliance that others achieve. They allow people to obtain a false sense of godliness that comes from their own tough minded ability to follow the letter of a rule rather than one that flows naturally out of a deep relationship with God, Himself.

As we are committed to Christ, we are also committed to His death and to the new life that follows. The shallow, divisive, and self-focused aspects of worldly living are among the things which Christ put to death on the cross. When we choose to follow Him, we are transformed and transitioned into a new view of our world that no longer needs to be subject to these old ways of thinking and acting. The rules, the decrees and pronouncements of the world’s system of thinking do not die easily. They continue to invade the minds of people, and they will attempt to regain control of our hearts. That is why it is vitally important to continually examine and to test the things that we hold as marks of righteous living against the Spirit filled Word of God.

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