The Weakness of Rules

17 Nov

Don’t smoke.

Don’t drink.

Don’t cuss.

No tattoos.

No sex before marriage.


All of these things may be correct. They have the intention to keep people from things that could damage or hurt them.

But, is “no” really the best way?

Read what Paul says in Romans 7:5-10.

“When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.”

It’s not that rules and laws are bad. The problem is that they teach people what NOT to do, without telling them what they SHOULD do.

Notice the use of the word “aroused”. That word carries sexual meaning…the idea of lust.

Lust is one of the strongest human desires. It is powerful. It wants more. It never stops.

And this is what Paul is saying about the law. More often then not, rules and laws cause a strong, powerful desire to rise up inside of us that goes against the very thing the rule was meant to stop.

Is there a different way to live?

Of course!

Instead of saying “no”, maybe it would be better to consider using “yes”.

Instead of “no” sex before marriage, how about “yes” to valuing purity, “yes” to waiting to give your best to the man or woman that God has for you, “yes” to honor and respect, and “yes” to sacrificial love?

Did you notice that there are many more “yes” responses than there are “no” ones?

Grace living is “yes” living.

One last thing: “No” doesn’t teach anyone how to think, learn, and grow. “Yes” teaches people how to truly live.

Do you disagree? Let me know your thoughts.

If you agree, what are some “no’s” in your life that need to be changed to a “yes”?

Be blessed!


Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Life, Love, Ministry, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “The Weakness of Rules

  1. Joshua

    November 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Yes! Jeff, this is such a great message. A love how you INVITE people to experience something & someone. Christianity comes to a new dimension when you do that: it what I can partake in not avoid. Also, you give Hof a big whopping “Yes”, you don’t gotta worry about the no’s.

    My yes/no: Instead of no don’t overspend time on social networks, I’m gonna have a “Yes” to time interact more with people and God. Awesome job, Jeff.

    • Joshua

      November 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm


  2. savedbygrace

    December 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    When the sign says

    “Do not turn around” – why do you suddenly have the urge to turn around?
    “Do not open the door” – why do you suddenly have the impulse to open the door?
    “Do not eat the cake” – why do you suddenly have the a want to eat the cake?
    “Do not write on wall” – why do you suddenly feel like writing on the wall?

    “Do not….” feeds the flesh. The more you try to NOT, the more you WANT TO

    but your spirit disagrees with the flesh.

    We have nothing about obedience teachings. but truly, no one has obeyed based on flesh.

    our obedience has to be the fruit of faith – as Paul says

    “Obedience of Faith”
    – Romans 1:5

    apart from faith, obedience is flesh – self effort – works opposite of the spirit

    another one take on love,

    If its your love, It will fail.

    but if its God’s love – It will never fail.

    So, we have to experience God’s love first, then we can love

    “We love because He first loved us”
    -1 john 4:19

    Love is the fulfillment of the Law “the do not…” .

    not your love, but Gods love
    not your obedience, but of Faith’s

    grace and peace

    • Jeff Tolle

      December 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      Ummm…couldn’t say it better! You said it right!


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