Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Shipping freight often involves a lot of rules and regulations. It is even harder when you have different rules and/or regulations for different types of freight. Sometimes the regulations make sense, such as needing a minimum of ten feet of distance between a class eight corrosive and anything food related. Other times it may seem arbitrary, such as not being able to ship automotive batteries with floor cleaner, even though both are class eight corrosives. Truth is, even within a given hazardous material class, there are sub-divisions and thus reasons that even certain items within the same classification can not ship together.
Rules and regulations can also govern our safety. Some rules are better followed than others. Most of us actually do wear our seat belts when driving someplace, regardless of distance. Many of us do not generally drive after consuming alcohol, regardless of how little it may seem. However, there are those who will and do break the rules, often with dramatic and dire consequences.
Churches have rules too. Not really a big surprise. We have the Commandments (whether it is ten or more is quite debatable, yet for reasons of polity, we say there are ten). We have various rules about tithing. Yes, churches do have rules. Not everyone obeys the rules, nor do all churches necessarily have the same rules. However, there are some that are nearly universal within the Christian church.
In the third chapter (chapters are verses were not initially part of the scripture, but added later to help with reading and memorization) of the Letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul discusses the Law and Prophets. In it, Paul points out that we can not be saved by the Law. This does not nullify the Law. Rather, the point of the Law was to show us how sinful we truly are and why we need a Savior. In short, we can not earn salvation by doing the works of the Law, for salvation can only come by faith and this by God’s grace. It is an undeserved gift.
Now, we are know full well that we have to abide by the rules, regulations, and laws in the world around us. In doing so, we can generally expect a reasonably peaceful life, with little in the way of trouble. However, we don’t do so well in following God’s law. In fact, we can not follow God’s law completely and perfectly. If anything, we do a pretty bang up job of disobeying God’s law. Now then, how can we be saved if we frequently do that which is contrary to God’s law? Simple, Jesus did not come to abolish the law, he came to fulfill it. He did this in our stead because we can not.
Are we still under command from God to obey his law? Yes, but not necessarily the whole of the Mosaic code. We should seek to obey the Commandments, not practicing witch craft or occult practices (including the celebration of pagan holidays such as halloween), avoid causing harm to our neighbors, and otherwise seek to live a life pleasing to God. Will this save us from our sins? No. However, doing so can help to lessen the temptation of sin in our lives. Indeed, if we trust in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, then we should want to live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God.
As long as our lives persist, we are bound to abide by various rules and regulations. Some rules and regulations we should abide by for the simple sake of our safety. Other rules we should abide by simply because of our love for and faith in Christ. Yes, both life and church have rules. Both are sets of rules are completely necessary. In fact, they are vital if we are live in this life with in faith in Christ.
There are those rules which tell us what to do and what not to do. When we are confronted by them, we should look carefully. Especially if God says “don’t do that”. If we truly trust in Christ as Savior, we will do what God says, even if we want to do something he says not to do.