One of the reasons many people aren’t interested in Jesus is because they see people trapped by religion. People who seem addicted to spiritual activity or rules who practice religion in a way that bugs everyone around them. People who restrain themselves with incredible discipline yet lack real peace, joy, impact and sometime humility in their lives.
They see people who have fallen in spiritual traps and they instinctively know they don’t want that for themselves. Who would!!
Recognizing these traps is one thing, avoiding them is even better! Colossians 2:16-23 shows us three timeless spiritual traps that steal freedom and kill joy. These traps deceive by sending us down a road that will never lead to the deep peace of Christ. See which one is most likely to trip you up and make plans to avoid it.
#1 Avoid the Better Rules Trap.
“…anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God…” 1Jn 3:10
How are followers of Christ supposed to live in today’s world? Specifically how are we to think about sin & holiness. Who decides which is which? What does it look like to practice righteousness? Is this a requirement for a true relationship with God?
Some make their own definition of righteousness. Our age has no sin except that which blocks or violates my personal desires. The biggest cultural fights are for the right to do what I want & become what I want without restraint or limitation of any kind or regard for anyone else.
Even among believers, sin is being redefined faster then melting snow in April. Many seek relief from the struggle by concluding that sin is not the big deal we thought it was and just embracing it when it seems promising.
Others set out clarifying the rules we need to live by if we are serious about God. This sounds good at first but leads either to proud legalism or great frustration. Often it has an angry & panicked tone that judges all who refuse to conform. The error is that it twists what God says to mean that we get to God by practicing righteousness with serious commitment.
Understanding this week’s passage actually brings great confidence and freedom WITH real holiness (1Jn 2:28-3:10). We will connect the dots this Sunday, but I’ll give you a big piece to consider now. We are made holy by Jesus’ presence within us. That is His purpose. It is not what we do, it’s what He does! Look closely for yourself and ask, “what is the relationship between sin, holiness and a true relationship with God? How is this relevant for life today?”