Soccer is a popular game that attracts the attention of both young and old across the world, even in the dingiest corners of remote villages. However, soccer is a game of rules. For players in national, regional, or world leagues, the game comes with a set of rules that each player must adhere to in order to participate successfully.
We are united in faith as one people with a common goal.
If you are a player and you do not know the basic rules of the game, you may not know how to play the game successfully either. For that reason, many books and journals have been published about the secrets of playing great soccer, goal-keeping skills, and more. Honestly, the game of soccer would be so unfair without rules. Every year, the Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA) in association with the International Football Association Board (IFAB), publishes “Laws of the Game.”
The laws guide players on various issues, including the field of play, the soccer ball, the number of players, the equipment required, and many others. Currently, every player on the field must observe 17 laws for playing a successful soccer game. The laws of soccer define what the fans believe in, just as much as we as church members have doctrinal beliefs to define what we believe in. The laws unite players for a specific course. Players might come from different backgrounds, but once on the field, they follow the rules together for a common goal. On matters of salvation, God provides the rules of the game.
The Bible provides a detailed account of what God expects of us. More important, Christ is our referee, and He ensures that we follow the rules of the game. As Christians, we have a common goal to follow the rules of salvation in the template that Christ provides in the Bible. We might come from different races, countries, and regions of the world, but we are united in faith as one people with a common goal: to reap the rewards of God’s everlasting kingdom through observance of Bible teachings. This is possible when we remain loyal to Christ and follow the rules of the game.
In a game of soccer, the referee makes the final decision. Any player who questions the referee’s decision “can be disciplined further simply for dissent.”1 In the game of salvation, Christ has the last word. Fortunately, He is able to accept us as His own regardless of our backgrounds. This week, we study biblical pillars that shape our beliefs and define our course as Adventists around the world.