Laws are the inherent principles that regulate the nature of life and relationships in God’s creation both natural and spiritual to guarantee maximum fulfilment of the purpose and potential of life.
Principles are the guiding rules that govern actions.
Law Vs Grace
Before I go into the full details of what law is, I would like to distinguish at this point the difference between law and grace.
Whenever believers hear the word law, the first thing that comes to mind is that Christ has set us free from the law and we are now under grace.
But in his very first statement about laws, Jesus Christ didn’t say He came to free us from the law. In His exact words, He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” Matthew 5:17.
So Jesus said His coming didn’t abolish the law.
Yet, Paul said, in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
Does the Bible then contradict itself? No. This points us to the fact that they were talking about different types of laws.
4 Types of Law by Myles Munroe
There are four types of laws that exist.
1. Divine or spiritual laws
These are the laws that govern the spiritual realm. They guide how operations take place and dictate the consequences of spiritual actions.
An example of spiritual law is tithing. It is the law that guarantees open heavens over an individual and commits God to rebuke devourers.
2. Natural laws
These are original inherent natural principles and standards built into creation necessary and required for effective function. When God created all of creation, He set laws that determine how every creation should function.
For example, day and night, planting crops and reaping harvests, the law of gravity, and so on, are natural laws. Nothing can be done to change them. When you plant a maize seed, you don’t need to pray for it to bud; budding is a natural law built into it.
The fact that only a male and a female can bear children is also another natural law that cannot be broken. The marriage of two males or two females is therefore an attempt to violate a natural law that God has built into creation.
3. Legislative laws
Legislative laws are passed by human governments to coordinate human relationships. God allows humans to set their laws to coordinate their lives as long as it does not violate divine and natural laws.
Any legislative law that violates divine and natural laws, like legalising gay marriage, is an unrighteous law. This is why Kingdom citizens need to go into politics to ensure the laws that govern the nation are in line with divine and natural laws.
4. Ritual Law
Ritual laws are secondary, temporary rituals, customs, systems, and programs required for corrections and redemptive purposes. This is the law Christ came to set us free from.
The purpose of the ritual laws which God gave to Moses was to correct the loss of the divine law man was created with. Ritual laws, the Bible says, are a similitude of the real law.
The ritual law is like a prison (a correctional centre) where people who break the laws of the country are taken to be taught how to obey the laws of the country again.
Galatians 3:23-25 NKJV
But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
The purpose of the prison is not for the inmates to develop the lifestyle of the prison but for them to be tutored on living under authority, so that after they are released, they have already learnt to live under authority and so will live under the authority of the laws of the land.
So grace came to take us out of the prison (ritual law) which God set to teach us how to live under authority, so we can begin to obey the laws of God (the divine law). We don’t obey the laws to become citizens of God’s Kingdom, but obey them because we are citizens.
Why Do We Have To Obey Laws?
Summarising the 4 types of laws, we can see that we are only expected to obey divine laws and natural laws. Divine laws and natural laws are so intertwined that it is difficult to obey one without obeying the other.
But why do divine and natural laws exist?
(From here, any time I say laws I mean natural and divine laws).
To understand the importance of laws, we must understand that everything in life was created for a purpose with potential to operate by principles.
Purpose is the reason why the creation was created (the original intent of the Creator). Potential is the inherent ability of the creation (what the creation can do). Principles are the inherent laws for the function of the creation (how the creation is to function).
Purpose without potential is frustration because you cannot do what you were created to do without the abilities. But potential without principles is destruction because if your abilities are not guided, you will bring destruction to yourself.
Laws are designed to protect us — they are the definitions of the scope within which we can thrive. When God says do not have sex outside of marriage, He’s not saying, “I don’t want you to have sex outside of marriage.” He’s saying, “Based on the way you are designed, sex outside marriage will bring destruction upon you.”
When you disobey laws, God does not punish you. Laws have, inherent in themselves, their consequences. God does not pull you down when you jump out of a window— gravity does.
Also when you bear false witness, God doesn’t punish you. You naturally attract the consequences of destroyed relationships. When you obey laws, you naturally attract the blessings too. This is why an unbeliever can get wealth by obeying the principles.
Principles or Characteristics of Principle and Law by Myles Munroe
1. True principles and laws can never be broken or violated
You cannot break principles and law. If you have sex outside marriage and get negative consequences, you haven’t broken the law. You only attract the negative consequences of the law. The law is still fulfilled.
2. True principles and laws break those that violate them
Instead of breaking the law, violation of the principles of the law breaks you by bringing the consequences on you. You are the one who is served, not the law.
4. The creator of true principles and laws does not have to impose judgement
Laws have their consequences built into them. When you put your smartphone into water, the manufacturer does not have to destroy the phone. The law that the phone operates by destroys the phone. Same way, God doesn’t judge you when you violate laws, the laws do.
5. Judgement is inherent in true principles and laws
6. True principles and laws attract and accurate their own benefits and judgement
7 Benefits of Principles and Laws by Myles Munroe
- Principles and laws protect us: they protect us from the consequences of the law
- Principles and laws preserve us: they ensure we continue to live
- Principles and laws serve us: they work for our benefit. We don’t serve them.
- Principles and laws guarantee our function: violation of natural laws stops function e.g not resting (Sabbath) will harm your health.
- Principles and laws simplify our operations: laws guide you on what and what not to do based on your design so you aren’t left wandering or wondering.
- Principles and laws bring peace and confidence: once you obey laws, you are sure of the outcome you’ll get. You can be sure of success in life by obeying laws.
- Principles protect against experimentation: because you know exactly what to live for and how
- Principles and laws are enemies of fear: your fear ceases when you learn and obey principles and laws.
Christ has set us free from ritual laws and empowers us to obey divine and natural laws. Divine and natural laws guarantee our success in life.
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Olusegun Iyejare is career coach and certified counsellor. He helps entrepreneurs balance mental wellbeing and entrepreneurial success. Think about maximizing your potential or living a fulfilling life and Olusegun is your go to person.