But What do the Rules Say?

For much of my life I have concerned myself with following the rules. It is part of who I am. I am the oldest of four children and have always felt responsible. I encouraged my younger siblings to follow the rules my parents set and watched out for their safety. When it came to my Christian life, I approached it much the same way. I wanted to have a list of rules that I could follow to know that I was doing it the way God wanted me to. The problem was when you study the New Testament that does not seem to be the way God intended us to live.

Peter writes instructions to help us “make your calling and election sure.” (2 Peter 1:10) When we look at what Peter wrote he does not give us a list of rules to follow, instead he talks about those things that are internal, that can help us to be more like God. God intends for us to become like Christ and imbue our lives with His characteristics. When we become like Christ, we will naturally do what God wants.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Pe- ter 1:5-8)

Peter tells us how to accomplish this challenging feet. God has given us everything we need. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil de- sires.” (2 Peter 1:3,4) Knowing Jesus and the love that God has for us directs our choices and our actions. While the New Testament includes some lists we consider to be rules our lives and our actions should come from love and a desire to live like Christ. Knowing the Word is to know Jesus and that is what we base our lives on. Each step we take each discission we make should follow in the steps of Christ. ~Brad Tolbert