I was recently watching a home renovation tv show. I very much enjoy these home renovation shows, sometimes I even get good craft ideas. Anyway at one point in the show someone had a design element idea for the stairs. I had to admit it was a neat idea. They brought the idea to the person in charge of the project and they were like that is a good idea but does it meet the code? It was a cool idea but it did not meet the standards set by the governing authorities for safety. So good idea but it could not be done.
When I think about the Christian Faith there are the two sides. On one side we have freedom, we no longer have to live by the strict law that was set in the Old Testament rather when we walk by the spirit we live in freedom as we love God and neighbor. But living by the spirit does not mean that we have no code. For there are still very much a code we live by for it is what provides us safety, accountability and guidance on how to effectively live by the spirit, love God and neighbor.
In the Old Testament there was the 10 commandments but also a string of religious law. Many things where considered unclean. There were many rules and codes. Then Jesus came, died, rose again and establish a new law founded on grace and love. We as Christians have the opportunity to live by the spirit, love and grace in this new covenant. But the Bible and the body of Christ still gives us a code of standards that help us to know whether we are living by the spirit. This code is not meant to chain us rather keep us safe. Much like in the renovation show, some ideas we think might be great ideas may not be safe. The Christian code very much does the same for us believers.
One reason we need the body of Christ, ie the church, is to help us with this code. One reason we need to know God’s word in the Bible is it helps us know God’s code. We as Christians are free but our freedom should be used to love, help and serve. Not harm. We need the code to help prevent harm and effectively live by the spirit.