In my last post I talked about the fact that the Bible isn’t meant to be a rule book. The Old Testament law teaches us that a set of rules could never bring us closer to God.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
This verse makes it abundantly clear that on the cross, Christ cancelled – obliterated, blotted out – the rule book. God no longer wants us to follow Him by rule, but by the Spirit.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
1 Corinthians 15:56
This verse tells me that all of Satan’s so called power comes from the law. His only mode of attack is to enforce the law. That’s the power of his weaponry.
This verse also shows the basis of how Christ could disarm the demonic forces. On the cross, Christ obliterated the power source of the enemy. Satan’s kingdom is now an army of unloaded guns.
The only power they have is the power we give them, by subjecting ourselves, once again, to the law. That’s the trouble with our human nature. We all want rules. We’d rather someone tell us, “do this”, than to spend time with the Father and seek His will.
The verse we looked at in my last post showed us that following the apostles teaching as a rule opens us up to the sin of pride. Paul said that’s why they were talking arrogantly against one another. Pride is the sin that caused the devil to fall from the place he was created for.
Don’t let subjection to the law ruin your walk with God. The tendency of using the Bible as a rule-book causes many divisions and problems in the Body of Christ.
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Using the Bible as a rule book causes most of the arguments we see between believers. We get so passionate about our own pet rules. It’s all talked about in this verse.
Believers argue about what Christians can or cannot eat and drink. There are controversies over whether or not to celebrate Christmas; or whether to worship God on Saturday or Sunday. None of these issues have any place under the New Covenant.
The reality is that God wants a relationship with His children. He’s not looking for robots. The Lord wants us to seek time with Him so that He can teach us to follow Him.
I realize that I’ve had to deal with this subject very quickly here. But I’m sure I’ll get back to it again in future posts.
Question: What divisions have you seen in the church over what the “rules” are?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016
December 30, 2016 at 9:28 AM
Judgmental application of rules in a church really hurts people. Spiritual abuse happens. Rules can kill the Spirit and drive people away from God.
December 30, 2016 at 7:10 PM
Rules truly hurt the body especially when you are a new believer. I experienced it when I was a new believer. I didn’t know anything and was pulled aside in a church because I had pants on I was told you can’t do that, you can’t wear that. I left that church and persuade my relationship with God. Over the years I have seen some unfortunate situations in the church because of rules of dos and donts and pray that the Holy Spirit would arrest hearts that truly want a relationship and truth of God.
December 30, 2016 at 7:19 PM
Thanks for your comment. I think there have been many new believers who have had their growth stifled by the rules of men. We need to trust the Holy Spirit to mature us.