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Rules

Life is full of rules, everywhere we go... it's rules, rules, rules.
It seems there is no getting away from it.

We have speed limits, paying taxes, gun laws, drinking age minimum, driving age minimum,
we have to go to work, we have to park between the lines, we have to wear a shirt and shoes
to get served in some restaurants. We can't go up to complete strangers and hug or kiss
whoever we feel like. We can't cut lines at the amusement park, and we can't go to R rated
moves if we're under age. We can't bring knives or explosives on commercial airliner jets.
We can't be late for class, and we have to make sure our campfires are completely out.
We have to wear seat-belts, and we can't write checks for more money than we have in the bank.

Now of course... some people follow those rules better than others. But the point is,
there are rules in this life. It's interesting I once saw an exercise with many elementary
school students, and they were told to play a game. They asked what kind of game?
The game didn't really have a name, but the only rule was, that there were no rules.
You could go anywhere on the playground, anyway you wanted to get there. But you weren't allowed to
hurt anyone. (ah ha.. rule #1) It was fun for a few minutes, but after a while, the kids starting making
up their own rules.

For example you had to make it from the slide to the concrete patio without touching the ground.
some added even more rules like you had to use the merry go round, or the swing set, or the
monkey bars, but you still couldn't touch the ground. It seems the game wasn't very fun without
at least a few rules. Without rules it was impossible to tell if anyone was winning or losing.

All professional sports have rules, some have very thick books with dozens of rules and umpires
and referees that go to schools and take classes to understand these rules. Some professional
athletes have even done jail time for breaking these rules. Some of the rules have to do with the
specific game (basketball doesn't have the same rules as football or baseball) but some of the rules
have to do with conduct. Others have to do with drugs, steroids, and even alcohol.

Even in Christianity... there are rules.
Rule number 1. Believe in Jesus. For some who call themselves Christians... that's the "only" rule.
But is that true? After-all... we aren't "under the law" anymore is the most popular answer.
So does that mean anything goes? Homosexuality? Adultery? Child-molesting? Murder? Stealing?

Before I believed in Jesus, I knew I wasn't supposed to do those things. But now that I believe
in Jesus, it's OK for me to do those things? (We are under grace, not the law).

The funny thing about these rules, even non-Christians know them. Everyone knows that stealing is wrong.
Everyone knows that lying is wrong. Everyone knows that murder is wrong. They didn't have to read
the Bible to know this. They just know from life experiences that these things are wrong.

Rom 2:13; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
Rom 2:14; For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Rom 2:15; in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

Even the "Gentiles" (technically Gentile mean "non-Jewish", but in this context it means non-believers)
Even the non-believers who do not have the 10 commandments, already instinctively know the 10 commandments,
They show by their actions that the "law" (10 commandments) is written on their hearts. Their own conscience
tells them if something is right or something is wrong.

So even non Christian unbelievers know what the rules are. But of course they don't always follow the rules.
There are various reasons for this. First, if there is no God, there is no one to judge me.
Second, if there is no heaven and hell, there is no punishment for sin. Third, these are just "rules" but there
is no such thing as sin. The list goes on.

Christians also know the rules... (the 10 commandments at least) they knew the rules before they became a
Christian. They knew they had broken the rules. The Bible says even if you just break one of these rules,
you are just as guilty as if you broke all the rules. The word sin simply means "missing the mark".
We've all missed the mark at some time in our lives. Everyone of us. The price of missing the mark..
even just once... is death.

So along comes Jesus, and He pays this price of death for us. He took what we deserved. That's what
is meant by grace. Getting something you don't deserve, or in this case, not getting something we do deserve.

But now that we believe in Jesus, and He paid the price of death for us... does that mean there are no longer
any rules? Since we are under grace, and not under the law... does that mean we can do whatever we want?
I can rape and murder children all I want and God will still let me into heaven just because I believe in Jesus?
It seems some Christians believe this.

Grace without the law is simply licentiousness and chaos.
Some say as soon as we put put rules on Christianity, it becomes "religion". Perhaps, but without rules it is
unrepentance and an excuse to sin.
 
Member
Rules

Life is full of rules, everywhere we go... it's rules, rules, rules.
It seems there is no getting away from it.

We have speed limits, paying taxes, gun laws, drinking age minimum, driving age minimum,
we have to go to work, we have to park between the lines, we have to wear a shirt and shoes
to get served in some restaurants. We can't go up to complete strangers and hug or kiss
whoever we feel like. We can't cut lines at the amusement park, and we can't go to R rated
moves if we're under age. We can't bring knives or explosives on commercial airliner jets.
We can't be late for class, and we have to make sure our campfires are completely out.
We have to wear seat-belts, and we can't write checks for more money than we have in the bank.

Now of course... some people follow those rules better than others. But the point is,
there are rules in this life. It's interesting I once saw an exercise with many elementary
school students, and they were told to play a game. They asked what kind of game?
The game didn't really have a name, but the only rule was, that there were no rules.
You could go anywhere on the playground, anyway you wanted to get there. But you weren't allowed to
hurt anyone. (ah ha.. rule #1) It was fun for a few minutes, but after a while, the kids starting making
up their own rules.

For example you had to make it from the slide to the concrete patio without touching the ground.
some added even more rules like you had to use the merry go round, or the swing set, or the
monkey bars, but you still couldn't touch the ground. It seems the game wasn't very fun without
at least a few rules. Without rules it was impossible to tell if anyone was winning or losing.

All professional sports have rules, some have very thick books with dozens of rules and umpires
and referees that go to schools and take classes to understand these rules. Some professional
athletes have even done jail time for breaking these rules. Some of the rules have to do with the
specific game (basketball doesn't have the same rules as football or baseball) but some of the rules
have to do with conduct. Others have to do with drugs, steroids, and even alcohol.

Even in Christianity... there are rules.
Rule number 1. Believe in Jesus. For some who call themselves Christians... that's the "only" rule.
But is that true? After-all... we aren't "under the law" anymore is the most popular answer.
So does that mean anything goes? Homosexuality? Adultery? Child-molesting? Murder? Stealing?

Before I believed in Jesus, I knew I wasn't supposed to do those things. But now that I believe
in Jesus, it's OK for me to do those things? (We are under grace, not the law).

The funny thing about these rules, even non-Christians know them. Everyone knows that stealing is wrong.
Everyone knows that lying is wrong. Everyone knows that murder is wrong. They didn't have to read
the Bible to know this. They just know from life experiences that these things are wrong.

Rom 2:13; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
Rom 2:14; For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Rom 2:15; in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

Even the "Gentiles" (technically Gentile mean "non-Jewish", but in this context it means non-believers)
Even the non-believers who do not have the 10 commandments, already instinctively know the 10 commandments,
They show by their actions that the "law" (10 commandments) is written on their hearts. Their own conscience
tells them if something is right or something is wrong.

So even non Christian unbelievers know what the rules are. But of course they don't always follow the rules.
There are various reasons for this. First, if there is no God, there is no one to judge me.
Second, if there is no heaven and hell, there is no punishment for sin. Third, these are just "rules" but there
is no such thing as sin. The list goes on.

Christians also know the rules... (the 10 commandments at least) they knew the rules before they became a
Christian. They knew they had broken the rules. The Bible says even if you just break one of these rules,
you are just as guilty as if you broke all the rules. The word sin simply means "missing the mark".
We've all missed the mark at some time in our lives. Everyone of us. The price of missing the mark..
even just once... is death.

So along comes Jesus, and He pays this price of death for us. He took what we deserved. That's what
is meant by grace. Getting something you don't deserve, or in this case, not getting something we do deserve.

But now that we believe in Jesus, and He paid the price of death for us... does that mean there are no longer
any rules? Since we are under grace, and not under the law... does that mean we can do whatever we want?
I can rape and murder children all I want and God will still let me into heaven just because I believe in Jesus?
It seems some Christians believe this.

Grace without the law is simply licentiousness and chaos.
Some say as soon as we put put rules on Christianity, it becomes "religion". Perhaps, but without rules it is
unrepentance and an excuse to sin.
Well said B-A-C, God's people are not a people of lawlessness, they are Christ's representatives on this planet and would not differ from those in the world if they were lawless. The law is more than a set of rules, if we love our neighbor we will not steal from them or covet their wife and certainly not kill them. If we fail to see love in the law we have missed the mark. If we would learn to love with the love of Jesus we would live in harmony with the law simply by loving which is the spirit of God in Christ. Looking at the law this way it becomes more than a set of rules but a standerd of love. "Love is the fulfilling of the law"
 

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