The average American thinks, “I’m a good person and God will accept me because I’m not as bad as someone else I know. I’m better than him or her. I’ve never killed anybody.”
The Muslim thinks, “If I keep the commandments in the Qur’an, Allah will accept me and give me eternal life.”
The Jew believes, “If I keep the law of Moses, God will accept me. Or if I keep some of it God will be gracious enough to accept me for my effort.”
The Buddhist believes, “If I do bad in this life, I will pay for it in the next. If I do good in this life, I will be rewarded by a better life next time around.”
What ties all of these religions and worldviews together? Law, or karma even. What you put in you get back. What goes around comes back around. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The laws of physics: for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. This sort of thinking is the heartbeat of the universe. True. But it hits us even closer than that; it’s actually the heartbeat of our own hears, as Paul says this law is written on our hearts. Do this and live. Don’t, and die.
But to all of this, God says NO in Christ. He says NO. You don’t reap what you sow. In the gospel, Jesus reaped what you sow and you reap what he sowed.
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