We’re Christians. We have laws. We have the Ten Commandments. They are not called The Ten Principles. Still…
Principles are better than laws, even when our principles happen to be laws.
The nice thing about laws is that they don’t require thinking. We just have to be afraid of the law giver, and voila, order. But if you know anything about Christianity, then you know that laws don’t have power to save.
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Ro 8:3-4).
The law cannot save us because our “flesh is weak.” This means that we may know we are supposed to do something, or not do something, but when we try to obey that law, we fail time and again. We assume that we cannot help it. Isn’t that why Jesus had to die? Because we are so bad at not sinning?
Well, yes, it is. But there is more. Jesus fulfilled the “righteous requirement of the law,” for us who, “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Now what does that mean? I’d like to propose that one effect of walking according to the Spirit is that it makes all our laws into principles. In our sin, the “thou shalt nots, and thou shalts” seem like hard restrictions, keeping us from having any fun in life. But in the Spirit, sin having been “dealt with” by Christ, we are able to see the laws of God as a path to true personhood.
Our destiny is eternity with God that began at our salvation. We will never lose our free will, but we will one day learn to always choose God of our own joyful volition. We will always seek his kingdom and his righteousness, because we will have learned that it is the only way to be. It is the only path to joy, and to pleasures evermore in and under Christ. It is the only way to truly enjoy the good gifts of God without putting them above him.
In my next posts, I’ll take the Great Commandment and the Ten Commandments and see if they also work as the Great Principle and the Ten Principles.