Some Christians seem to think that the most important thing about being a Christian is following all the rules and commandments in the Bible. They not only get caught up in following rules, but sometimes they are intent on imposing them on other people, often to negative reaction.
The Ten Commandments, along with other laws, were given to the Israelites in the Old Testament to give them guides to help them live lives pleasing to God, and to atone for their sins. According to God’s plan, when Jesus died and was resurrected, he became the sacrifice for sin for those who accepted him.
Romans 3:20-22 No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law, rather through the law we become conscious of our sin. But apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known, given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
What this means is that people do not receive salvation by following rules, but by accepting Jesus as savior. This does not mean that the Christian can just disregard the rules. The rules are still important, they just aren’t the reason a Christian is saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
Over emphasis on following rules can also lead to ‘self-righteousness’, because people think they’re righteous just by living ‘holy’ lives. Living a holy life alone doesn’t save, because according to the Bible, a genuine, humble acceptance of Jesus is what saves.
Titus 3:4 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
Even though the rules are important, over emphasis on following rules can make Christians lose sight of their most important job, to lovingly share the good news of Jesus.
Next: When Jesus Broke the Rules