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Cause and Effect and the Gospel

When we teach someone how to drive a car, we don’t tell them that every time you step on the brake pedal, you are actually engaging a hydraulic system that causes a piston in your calipers to press your brake pads against your rotor. You tell them to press this pedal, and you stop. People without any automotive knowledge can understand that. This is what’s called cause and effect. We may not understand everything on every subject and be fine, but if we don’t understand the fundamental principle of cause and effect, we wouldn’t be able to function.

Every effect must a have a cause. If I throw a rock into a pond it is going to cause a ripple. The ripple is the effect and the rock is the cause.

Cause and effect is a law of science. People often criticize the Bible as being anti science but the fact is, the Bible begins with the scientific law of cause and effect. In the beginning God (cause) created the world (effect). The scientific community in general are the ones who break their own laws by saying that all matter came into existence without a cause.

The fall of man is based on the law of cause and effect. In Genesis 2:16-17 God says “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Most of us are familiar with the story. Eve is beguiled by the serpent, eats the fruit, and shares with her husband. Adam and Eve are both dead- the effects of their sin.

God’s laws and commandments were built on this law of cause and effect. One example can be found in Exodus 12. Wicked pharaoh would not let God’s people leave, so in the final plague God promised to strike down the all the first born in that region. God told his people to take blood from a lamb and wipe it on the door frame in order for their households to be safe. The houses that had the blood on the frame would be passed over but the houses that did not prepare would face the promise of death. The cause in this case is two-fold, it is both God AND the action or inaction of man that determines the effect.

Our salvation from our sins is based on this simple law of cause and effect. In Romans 6:23 Paul says, “the wages of sin(cause) is death(effect)”. The punishment for sin is death. That is simple. No matter how much bible understanding you have, you can grasp that.

The second half of that verse says “but the free gift of God(cause) is eternal life(effect) in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:23).

There are two possible outcomes for each and every one of us. Death or salvation. Just like the Israelites in Egypt we can accept the law of cause and effect or we can reject it. God told them to put blood on their doorposts, go inside the house and don’t come out (Ex 12:22). Salvation was for those who were in the house that had the blood of the lamb. For us salvation is “in Christ”. If we want to be saved, just like those people needed to get into the house, we need to make sure we are “In Christ”. Please appreciate the simplicity.

The all-important question is how does one get into Christ?

Many people say you don’t do anything to get into Christ. You just wait for the Holy Spirit to do work on your heart. They say you feel something and then you will know you are in Christ. Others say that you need to ask Jesus into your heart by saying some prayer. In other words, you pray yourself into Christ. Others still say that all you do is believe that Jesus is the Christ and that puts you “in Christ”.

Thankfully for us, the bible tells us how to get “in Christ”. That simple principle of cause and affect shows up again. Earlier in the chapter Paul makes it clear that we get “in Christ” by being baptized “into Christ”. Look at the verse and our principle in Romans 6:3, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized(cause) into Christ Jesus(effect)”. Isn’t that wonderfully simple? Just as those Israelites had to step into the house to be in the house, baptism is the final step one must take to step into Christ and is then in Christ. There was no promise of salvation outside of those homes on the Passover just as there is no promise of salvation outside of Christ.

Are you in Christ?


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