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 — “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
(Colossians 2:20-3:11 NKJV)
Having a nice set of rules won’t make me righteous. It won’t improve my character. It might have some improvements on my behavior, but not my identity.
Like Ebenezer Scrooge after meeting the ghosts, or George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” after his guardian angel shows him what others’ lives would have been like without his influence, we should be dancing through the streets, joyously celebrating having been freed from death and determined to embrace life as fully as possible with the second chance we have received.
Rules can’t fix what was wrong with us. Only death can help. Having received the grace to die and then be brought back to life in Jesus, we should be able to see the grand values of eternal things and live in and for them. We are still distracted by temporary, costly, wasteful things though.
You believe that you are dead to your former self and alive to Christ. Act like it. His strength is able to make that an invitation, not just a command!