"Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws that govern your relationship with God."From a fundamentalist perspective I have always enjoyed this idea of 'Spiritual Laws' ... seems neat and orderly ... but I have been thinking about this lately and have been wondering about this whole idea of legalistic rules masquerading as spiritual laws ... hmmm. I have been thinking about what Jesus said to Nicodemus about being born again:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil." (John 3:16-19)
I highlighted a few words to emphasize the universality of this passage. What I love about this passage is it's simplicity. The message is simply:
- God reached out to everyone by loving and giving ... His gift of love is Jesus.
- God offers the gift of eternl life to whoever believes in the Jesus ... you know I really want to leave off "believes" because it draws a line ... not everyone believes. Notice that the scripture doesn't say how to believe but it does say believe.
- God's plan for all people is salvation and not judgment ... He simply asks that we would love the Light more than the darkness.
I think that if Jesus didn't say these things I might not believe it ... it is too simple ... just believe. In light of this I really wonder about all of the Spiritual Laws that I have embraced over the years. Here is another quote from Jesus where He conveys that same simple message:
"This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." (John 6:29)I don't think that it gets much simpler than that. Maybe ... just maybe ... I have made life a bit too complex by embracing rules around spiritual stuff. Maybe life is truly all about believing in Jesus ... believing that He loves me ... believing that He loves you ... believing that He will be there no matter what. I think that truly believng this at a gut level transforms us.
Having said all that I have to admit that there are other sides of this. Some believe that what I have espoused is form of easy believerism ... these embrace a few rules around what it means to 'believe'. At the other end of the spectrum there are those who say that believing is not required ... they say that Christ's redemption is universal ... some are saved in this life and others after they die. Wherever you are in this debate you have to admit that it is good to just believe in Jesus ... even if it breaks a few of your spiritual laws or maybe creates a new one for you :)