Colossians 2:20b-22 NKJV - "...why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations--'do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,' which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men?"
"Chapter and verse?" I'm finding myself asking that whenever I hear someone teach a rule or regulation that other Christians "must follow." My response is, "Show me the chapter and verse where that regulation is clearly taught in the New Testament." If you can't show it then stop teaching it as if God commanded it!
I grew up with rules and regulations as a way for Christians to measure their spiritual growth. If they "did all the Do's" and "didn't do the Don'ts" then they were a good Christian. Never mind if that had a thriving personal time with Christ in daily worship, Bible study and prayer! It was important that Christians "follow the rules!" What a pathetic way to live the Christian life!
God's Holy Spirit was sent to convict this world of sin, righteousness and judgment, John 16:7-11. Basically that meant that if a person of the world continued living in their sin and did not receive the righteousness of Christ, they would face judgment.
But with a Christian the Bible tells us we are "led by the Spirit," Romans 8:14 and we are to keep on being filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18. As a Christian grows to follow the Spirit's leading they will also grow in godliness and Christ-like character. My job as a pastor is to encourage them to do just that. I may have my own personal convictions but I must be careful not to teach them as "commandments of God" unless I can clearly show the "chapter and verse" to support that teaching.
Freedom in Christ is not freedom to sin, but it is freedom to let the Holy Spirit guide your walk that it would be fully pleasing to your Savior. I can trust the Spirit of God to do that for you because I've learned I can trust Him to do that for me.
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288