Colossians 2:20-23 (NLT)
20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 �Don�t handle! Don�t taste! Don�t touch!�? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person�s evil desires.
Matthew Henry said, �They thought themselves wiser than their neighbours, in observing the law of Moses together with the gospel of Christ, that they might be sure in the one, at least, to be in the right; but, alas! it was but a show of wisdom, a mere invention and pretence. So they seem to neglect the body, by abstaining from such and such meats, and mortifying their bodily pleasures and appetites; but there is nothing of true devotion in these things, for the gospel teaches us to worship God in spirit and truth and not by ritual observances, and through the mediation of Christ alone and not of any angels.� The apostle was pointing out it is our relationship with Christ that motivates us and moves us to do what is right, not traditions, not learned rules, but our love for our Lord and Savior.
The Apostle Paul asks an important question to the Christians he is addressing, �Why do you keep on following the rules of the world?� Everyone struggles with some temptation in their life. And then there are those, such as addicts, who let temptations take over their life. So an addict may set up boundaries that consist of rules as a safeguard. For instance someone addicted to gambling may decide to follow rules such as:
Not watching sporting events
Making sure to stay away from casinos
Keep away from friends who talk about making idle bets
And while those rules are good to help establish boundaries the person finds themselves always in a constant battle to follow those rules. They may even add new rules worried the current rules aren�t good enough to keep them away from temptation. So they become trapped worried about following the rules of the rules; how to measure up to the world; and how to live to other�s expectations. In truth it is Christ�s expectation we want to live up to. It is Christ who should guide us and set us free from rules. We should follow Christ in our hearts and trust that He will lead us to do what is right. Rules are good to start a boundary, but then let Christ take over so you no longer worry about those boundaries, but instead live a holy and righteous life for His sake.