How to please God.

“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations…”
Colossians 2:20 NKJV

As Christians, we are free from the law (Romans 6:14) and are no longer under the bondage of having to live under rules and regulations regarding our relationship with God. We are dead to the influences of rules and regulations (see Galatians 5:1-5).

“…why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?”
Colossians 2:20c-22 NKJV

Paul is asking why we as Christians, who are free from rules and regulations, would subject ourselves to the bondages that we are now dead to? We should be enjoying the freedom of the abundant Christ-life instead! Man and religion, are consumed with actions and appearances, whereas God is always more concerned with the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The law can only regulate actions – it cannot change the heart. We have been set free from the weak and worthless principles (Galatians 4:9) of external regulation – true holiness could not (and cannot) be produced through adherence to it!

Too many Christians are far too intimate with the law which is weak and powerless to produce a life that pleases God; this intimacy will not produce anything that is life-giving and it will not please God.


“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Galatians 3:11-14 NKJV

“…without faith it is impossible to please Him…”
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

It’s plain and simple: the law is not of faith and the just (the justified, aka Christian) lives by faith. Therefore, the Christian should not have a relationship with the law. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ – the Gospel (Romans 10:17) – and faith is built-up as we focus on Jesus who is the origin and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), therefore, we should not be focused on the law nor should we have a relationship with the law. Holiness and the abundant life can only be produced by focusing on Jesus and having faith in what He has done for us.

“I know that these regulations look wise with their self-inspired efforts at worship, their policy of self-humbling, and their studied neglect of the body. But in actual practice they do honour, not to God, but to man’s own pride.”
Colossians 2:23 PHILLIPS

Rules and regulations appeal to our carnality because it gives us a sense of achievement which reinforces a performance-based mentality, all of which is focused on self and fills us with pride. We think we’re worshipping God through strict adherence to the law but we’re actually worshipping (or honouring) ourselves. What honours God is faith, and faith is a heart issue. We worship God when we let go of trying to be right with Him and trying to please Him, and when we look to Jesus and trust in (faith) what He has done for us. The Christian life is not about what we do for God – it’s about what He has done for us!

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