When I first learned about the Bible, I thought it was written to give us rules. In short, I thought the Bible is a rulebook. Some people think that the word BIBLE means Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. But as I get to understand what the Bible is really about, it occurs to me that the Bible is not about rules. It is about Jesus (John 20:31).
This book is designed in the context of relationship. The goal in reading the Word shouldn’t be to get to know the rules. It is about getting to know Jesus, meeting Him along the way and encountering Him personally in our lives. It is about knowing WHO God is, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is about participating in a relationship not with a doctrine or statement of beliefs but the very person of God Himself.
I have to admit — all of this was very new to me. What I learned is that some of my “Christian beliefs” were actually misguided and inspired more by worldly religion than the Word of God.
What is sad is that many non-Christians have lots of misconceptions regarding what true Christianity is. Worse is that many of those who grow up in church have them, too. And so many of us Christians think that we have a God that can be influenced by our behavior. I grew up trying to find ways to please God as if He will only love us if we please Him.
We set up all kinds of rules for ourselves, thinking that it is the way to get God’s approval and love.
Yet, when we truly understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, we see that God loves us despite our behavior. We don’t have to try to use our behavior to earn God’s love. Didn’t Christ die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8)?
God is love for eternity. He is love even before time existed. He is who He is even before we existed. Therefore, God’s love for us isn’t based on what we do or don’t do. God’s love for us is His nature. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit is love not because of us but it is His Being.