When I started learning Spanish, one of the things that quickly caught my attention was its verb conjugation and the difference from that of the English language.
In one of the lessons, I learnt that verb conjugation in Spanish is more complicated than in English. In Spanish, the verb endings change in order to describe who is doing the action and when. For example, for “comer,” “I eat” is “yo como” and “you eat” is “tú comes.”
Because the conjugations indicate who is doing the action, it is usually possible to omit the pronoun. For instance, instead of saying, “Yo como arroz,” (I eat rice), you can say, “Como arroz.” And, instead of saying, “Yo soy un niño,” (I am a boy), you can say, “Soy un niño.”
Now, imagine a native Spanish speaker who is learning English and has to write an exam in English. He would fail woefully if he applied the rules in Spanish to English, and begins a sentence with “Am” instead of “I am.” If he wants to succeed in the new language, he has to work by the new rules.
The same thing applies in the Christian faith. When a person becomes born again, they are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. They are expected to begin to live and operate by the rules of the new kingdom.
And, yes! there are rules in the kingdom of God. The Bible is our rulebook. Those who practise ‘lawless-Christianity’ (if there’s anything like that) are alien to the truth. Paul wrote, “Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, LET US WALK BY THE SAME RULE, let us mind the same thing.” (Philippians 3:16 KJV)
You can’t claim to be in the kingdom of God but be living like you’re still in the world. The rules are different.
By default, the broad way accommodates a person with their pride, lusts, immorality, profanity, and all shades of sinfulness. The rules of that kingdom allow it.
But, when you come into the kingdom of God — into the narrow way — there’s room for just one, YOU. In this kingdom, there’s an expected change of life. Old things must pass away. All things should become new.
The rules of God’s kingdom demand abstinence from all appearances of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). The rule demands following peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14), walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), watching and praying (Matthew 26:41), overcoming sin by the Spirit’s power (1 Corinthians 10:13), and whatever else the ‘rulebook’ says.
I like the way a songwriter puts it:
“If you say you love the the Saviour,
In His word you’ll always live;
If you say your sins are forgiven and gone then,
Prove it by the life you live.”