Q. What does it mean to not conform to the traditions of men?
A. Variations of this phrase were used throughout the Bible. In almost every case the Lord was referring to the tendency of people to follow rules and traditions taught by men rather than adhere to the written word of God.
These traditions are man’s addition to God’s word and are attempts to turn the gift of salvation by grace that Jesus died to make free into a works based religion that man has to work to maintain. This has the effect of rendering the Lord’s death on our behalf as incomplete without our efforts, and makes us responsible for our own salvation.
The Bible repeatedly warns us not to be taken captive by these traditions but to cling to the belief that our salvation is by grace through faith, and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).