Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 2

Should Christians follow rules that control their behaviour?

Colossians 2:20

Christ died and then he became alive again. The Bible teaches that those events are facts of history (Acts 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7). However, it also urges Christians to recognise those events as part of their own experiences.

In other words, to become a Christian is to begin a new life (John 1:12-13; John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17). So now there is no proper place in a Christian’s life for the selfish and evil behaviour that, perhaps, he formerly followed (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:7-10). That person’s former life ended with Christ’s death (Romans 6:1-7). Now the person begins a new life with Christ, even as Christ himself rose from death (3:1-4).

That Christian’s true home is with Christ in heaven, even while he is still physically in this world. So, his relationship with this world has changed completely. Formerly, he depended completely upon this world and the things in it. Now, instead, he depends on God (Matthew 6:25-34). God can use the things in this world to provide for him, or God can provide for him in some other way.

Various people were trying to make rules to control the behaviour of Christians (2:16-19). They argued that their rules would make the Christians more humble. The result, they said, would be to give the Christians more power in the spirit world (2:23).

A more humble Christian really is more powerful in prayer. However, that is not the result of rules to try to control his behaviour. It is the result of a strong relationship with God (see Ephesians 6:10-18). Any rules can only direct a person’s relationship with this world. So for a Christian, who does not belong to this world, their benefit is small. A Christian does the right things because of the strength of his relationship with God, not because of any rules (Colossians 3:5-14; 1 John 4:19).

Next part: Rules about physical actions do not benefit our spirits (Colossians 2:21-22)


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