Many people who resist religious faith often complain about its strictness and rules, as if it severely restricts their freedom. Still, in actuality, the Christian life is very simple and is as easy as being and doing good.
“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.”
–2 Corinthians 1:12
The apostle Paul elaborated on Christianity’s simplicity in the above verse, reminding us that being a Christian is as easy as following a good conscience. There’s nothing complicated about it.
People who resist religious faith complain loudly about its restrictiveness. Others complain about how difficult it is to follow the “rules” of religion.
Pastor John MacArthur says that God constrains evil through our conscience. That he gave humankind a conscience so that we could use it for personal restraint. Even if someone had never read the Bible, following their consciousness alone can help them know good from evil and avoid what is sinful.
Therefore, even if someone were a complete atheist and always focused on being and doing good, they would be living a life that was mostly in harmony with biblical teachings. Mostly, but missing a vital ingredient that will be discussed shortly.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
– John 13:34
The above is the primary teaching of Christianity. It’s all about being loving, friendly, caring, and helpful. It’s hard to imagine someone who would not want to be this way.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Jesus outlined the simplicity of Christianity and how easy it is to follow when He said:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“Let all that you do be done in love.”
– 1 Corinthians 16:14
The Spirit of Christianity is about love. Loving God. Loving your neighbor as you would yourself. You should also love yourself in a self-respecting, not narcissistic way.
You also need to love the right things, meaning philosophies, attitudes and moral beliefs. Essentially, it is about loving all good things.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”
– Romans 12:9
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
– Matthew 22:37-38
There is no getting around the first commandment for Christians. You can be nice, do good things, but if you don’t honor God – you’ve left out the most important thing.
“We love because he first loved us.”
– 1 John 4:19
Love starts by loving the one who loved us first, God our Creator.
Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love.
– 1 John 4:8