Trying to please God by simply keeping a list of religious rules and regulations can be a frustrating, discouraging and unsatisfying proposition! Not only that, if you succeed at keeping the rules to any degree, it can feed one of the worst sins of all – pride!
There is a better way according to Apostle Paul! Here is what he recommended under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…
“You have died to the law [i.e. trying to please God by simply keeping a list of religious rules] through the body of Christ [i.e. What Jesus accomplished for us through His death for our sins on the cross], so that you may belong to another – to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God! … Now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, SO THAT WE MAY SERVE IN THE NEW WAY OF THE SPIRIT and not in the old way of the written code!” (from Romans 7:1-6 ESV)
And to that I say Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!
That doesn’t mean, however, that we are free to go on living in sin! The same apostle, in the preceding chapter said, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!… And are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:1-2, 15)
So what it means is this; having been redeemed, forgiven, and cleansed by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins. And having been given eternal life through “new birth.” the Holy Spirit is now at work in our lives leading us and empowering us to live pleasing to God! Consequently, we moved from simply living by an external list of rules or just living to please self, to an inner dynamic at work within us – the Holy Spirit – prompting us and empowering us to live in a way that pleases God! And that, my friend, is a good deal!!