Colossians 2:20-23 says this:
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
We like rules. We say we don’t, but we really do. The rules give us a measurement of our performance. After all, who doesn’t want an ‘A’? In chapter 2 of Colossians Paul is talking about our new life in Christ. To the Christian he says that we have died to sin and been made alive in Christ. He asks us why we would impose rules of behavior on ourselves. In verse 23 he rightly points out that these rules have an appearance of wisdom. These rules define a nice, clean self-made religion. These rules would be great, if they were the point.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we would behave. He didn’t rise from the grave so we could work a little harder. He didn’t shed His blood so that we could have clearer rules to follow. No, Jesus died on the cross to purchase our salvation and bring glory to His name. He invites us to join Him by faith. When we do this, we die with Him, we are buried with Him, and we are raised with Him. Therefore, our flesh has died. Following more rules may look good, but they do nothing to live out the flesh-dead life! This is what He wants for us, a life lived not in the flesh, but in the Spirit of the Lord.
Make rules. Follow rules. Just know they do not lead us to the goal…the flesh-dead life.