Within every code of laws, there exists exceptions and loopholes for those smart enough to figure them out. A notable example of this is the movie “I, Robot” based loosely on the Isaac Asimov tome of the same name. In the movie, the three laws of robotics are repeated for the sake the audience, and the rest of the movie is the antagonist of the movie having actually found the loophole to the laws. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that the laws made it illegal for a robot to hurt human beings or allow them to be harmed. VIKI, the movies antagonistic supercomputer, discovered that human beings hurt themselves all the, and in order to keep them from doing this, she decided she needed to take over management through her millions of android proxies. The movie illustrates the breaking of a few eggs to make this particular omelet. By instructing the computer to honor all human life, individual human lives were sacrificed in the process “for the greater good.”

You might think that the law of Love as described in the Bible might also have some loopholes. The two laws of Christianity are simple: Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and the second, love your neighbor as yourself. Whereas the Old Testament laws numbered 623, these two cover just about every situation, right? Well, you might think so. But since we are human, we tend to look for shortcuts. I can’t tell you how tired I am of hearing this: “I just want to be able to walk through the pearly gates.” It’s like saying, “I only want to do enough to walk get in the door. I’m not trying to be a saint.” What’s the minimum effort to get into heaven? Is it a marginal faith in Jesus? An acknowledgement that God exists? Apparently it is for some.

But real salvation, salvation that allows you to walk into the presence of God, is the saving faith in Jesus Christ, and submission to his Lordship in your life. It isn’t measuring your life against a list of rules. Jesus didn’t call us to rules, which is why the rules He gave us don’t sound like a list of do not’s. His rules are do’s, and do’s that allow for a lot of creativity. How many different ways can you love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind? How many different ways can you show real sacrificial love to anyone who is your neighbor? Our God challenges us to be creative with our obedience. Who wouldn’t want to serve a God like that?

All of this to bring us back to our loophole. Why do you suppose Paul found it necessary to include this passage at all? Because of whatever loopholes followers of Christ will believe they have found. I have found this passage useful for those who ask about using email, the internet, or modern communications and media. “Is it okay if . . .” kind of questions. All I have to do is point to this verse and ask if what they want to do meet these criteria. I believe God knew that the world would advance beyond the first century. I believe He anticipated advances in media and technology. That’s why I believe the Bible continues to speak to each and every generation in a relevant and contemporary voice. Because for God, there are no loopholes. There are no “bare minimums” when it comes to salvation. Saving faith followed by immersion is the absolute base criteria, and when done ought to result in a Christian interested not in the bare minimums, but in how much they can do to show Jesus just how much they love and trust Him. I believe anyone looking for loopholes are lost.

Dear Lord, You have made me to be Your servant, saved me from the wickedness of my sin, and called out of darkness into light. Lord I know there is not enough I can do to deserve this favor, and I thank You over and again for the grace You have given me. May I ever serve and love You, for You alone cared enough for me to save me. Thank You Jesus. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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