“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Matthew 5:37 (NIV)
If you’ve ever used a computer or a smartphone you will undoubtedly have come across T&Cs – Terms and Conditions (or EULA – End User Licence Agreement) that you need to agree to when installing software. Typically, these are written in turgid legalise and often as long as a Shakespeare play. No wonder that for the vast majority of us, our eyes just glaze over and we click ‘I AGREE’ and be done with it. A cynic would say that they are designed to do just that.
A few months ago an IT company did an interesting experiment. They provided free wi-fi for people in a small town, but buried in the T&Cs was a clause that, if you agreed to use the ‘free’ service, you would have to give the company your first born child. Needless to say, as usual nobody read the T&Cs and they all signed their firstborn’s lives away without a second thought. When researchers stopped people and asked them why they had agreed to give their first born in exchange for ‘free’ wi-fi, they were shocked to have discovered exactly what they had agreed to!
What are the T&Cs for a Christian? When we sign up, so to speak, what are we agreeing to? Does God write eons of incomprehensible verbiage designed to swindle us in some way? Fortunately not. In fact, God only really asks one thing of us, so simple that anybody (including lawyers) can understand: That we believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that, having lived a perfect life, he paid the penalty for everything we have done/will do wrong in our lives by dying a horrific death in our place. John 17:3 says, “This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.”
In return, He offers us the chance to become His adopted children, to live forever. Isn’t that incredible? In fact, it’s so good that it’s almost unbelievable—this simple thing in exchange for utopia and eternal life. Normally, we would ask what’s the catch? After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But there is no catch. That is the Good News of the Gospel in a nutshell.
Father, we thank you for all that you have done for us, that you sent your son to die for us in our place and to offer us eternal life. No catch. How can we ever express our gratitude for such a promise?
Study by Chris Burmajster
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
READING RG30 4EL
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