“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a ‘law man’ so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it”.
Gal 2:18, 19 EHP
There was a time when some Christians had a set of rules which marked them out from non-believers. Or so they supposed. Some of these rules were, “You don’t go to a cinema”; “You don’t use foul language”; “You don’t smoke”; “You don’t drink alcohol”; “You don’t dance”; “You don’t buy or read a Sunday Paper”; “You don’t play or watch sport on a Sunday”; “ If you are a woman you don’t use lipstick”. Many people lived by this set of rules (there might have been more) and genuinely believed they were making a witness for Christ.
Observing this code was really nothing more than a continuation of the Jewish system of strict adherence to the laws of Moses (or the Ten Commandments). Paul had said that obeying a set of rules didn’t work for him. That was not what Christianity was about. Paul found that it didn’t make him “God’s man”. He stopped doing it and instead became “God’s man”. Now he observed Christ’s life, and tried only to become like Christ. Instead of laws, he let love take over and dictate every part of his thought and life just like Christ.
Don’t allow any set of rules to become the be-all and end-all of your life. Rather let the love of Christ take over your heart and become the major motivating drive in all you think and do. Then life will become what Christ does in you, not what you do for him.
Lord, live your life in me.