The Four Spiritual Laws, Explained for Skeptics

This is based on the Four Spiritual Laws, which I encourage everyone to read.

Law 1: God loves us and has a plan for our lives.

God's love for the world is displayed in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament:

"The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin." (Ex 34:6-7)

The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
(Ps 145:14-17)

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:6-8)

God's love has always been universal:

Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth. (Is 45:22)

It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth. (Is 49:6)

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26-28)

(See also 1 Tim 2:1-6, Rev 7:9)

Law 2: People are sinful and separated from God.

We are all sinners, for we have all committed evil acts. Any amount of evil separates us from God, for God is morally perfect and condemns all evil. If you think there is no evil, see the article on moral relativism.

It's often hard for us to realize we're sinners, for most of us see ourselves as "pretty good" or "basically good" people who haven't committed any major wrongs. Yet morality is not graded on a curve. If we compare our lives with what we'd consider to be a perfect life, it's clear we fall far short of perfection. And perfection is the standard for us to enter heaven and be in God's presence; even someone who lives a good life by our standards still can't enter heaven on their own merits. (See Why won't good works get us into heaven?)

Law 3: The only way for us to be reconciled to God is through Jesus Christ.

Wrongdoing is a serious matter. We can repent and ask forgiveness for hurting someone, but the damage has still been done. We can't erase painful words from someone's memory, nor can a murderer bring someone back from the dead and erase their loved ones' grief. God doesn't make light of sin and the harm it causes; he sees to it that it's acknowledged and punished accordingly. Christ's sacrifice on the cross satisfies God's righteous anger and the need for justice, and consequently allows God to give us the forgiveness, mercy and love he desires us to have. (See also What's the purpose of Christ's crucifixion?)

Law 4: We must receive Christ as Lord and Savior in order to be reconciled to God.

Though God freely offers forgiveness, it doesn't do us any good if we refuse to admit we're wrong and turn to him. Therefore we must consciously choose to acknowledge our sin before God, accept his forgiveness, accept Christ as our Lord - in our mind and our heart - and consciously follow him. If you're ready to do this now, see Becoming a Christian.

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