God created laws, activated most of them, and revealed the definitions of each to humankind at particular moments in time. Without laws, this world and the universe would be in chaos. Gravity could change its mind at any time, leaving us floating weightless toward the heavenlies or flattened like a bug on a windshield, against the earth. Without a law governing physics, water could solidify without the application of cold temperatures; cold temperatures could feel hot; slight heat could suddenly have a burning effect. Imagine the oceans suddenly solidifying and then floating toward the upper atmosphere. There would be far more destruction than any known natural disaster or terrorist act could unleash.
Obviously, we need such laws, which existed even before they were known to exist. Some of the activations are alluded to in Genesis, such as the moment God created and activated gravity in chapter one. When David wrote the Psalms, describing with wonder the magnificence of God’s creation, he knew that gravity and other forces existed, but he did not know why or how they worked.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God created the whole world and everything in it. Do you realize that God created and activated the Law of Gravity, the Law of Physics, the Law of Nature, and the Law of Relativity? From the three laws of motion and Galileo’s law of uniform acceleration, Isaac Newton was able to define the Law of Gravity. According to Richard Koch, “Newton’s three laws say that some force must be responsible for acceleration, and this force must be constant if…acceleration was constant. This force must therefore be gravity.” Even before these laws were defined, they were active. The Bible says, “And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so” (Genesis 1:6). This seems to be when God created and activated gravity. Gravity worked long before Isaac Newton discovered and defined it. Here is a simple definition of the Law of Gravity: if you drop it, it will fall.
After gravity, God created the laws of physics, nature, and relativity. Everything in our universe is in constant motion, from the vast expanse to the cellular level. Molecules are in constant motion. When you increase the speed of the molecules of water by increasing the temperature, they begin bouncing off each other at a higher rate, until the speed causes the water to become steam. What happens to the physical properties of water when it is exposed to temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower? When the temperature of the water is decreased, the molecules slow down. The water freezes to become ice. The Law of Physics has to do with the way physical matter reacts to any external alteration of its environment. Here is a simple example of the Law of Physics: if you boil it, it will turn to steam; if you freeze it, it will solidify. The Law of Relativity has to do with motion and matter, and their relationship to each other. Simply put, if you move it, it will change its position in relation to matter around it.
Every law has a cause and effect. Every law in nature has an “if” and a “then.” Every law that was created by God was activated by God – with one exception. The Law of Sin and Death was created by God, but God did not activate it. Sin was in the world from the time of Adam (Genesis 3), and death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even though “sin is not taken into account when there is no law” (Romans 5:13b). The Law of Sin and Death was created by God, activated by Adam and Eve, and given by Moses as defined by God. The Law of Sin and Death states that if you sin, you will die. In other words, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a).
Before sin entered the world, Adam and Eve walked with the Lord in the cool of the day. They “were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25). Adam and Eve were clothed in the garments of righteousness. Righteousness has everything to do with life. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Good, in this instance, is synonymous with righteous. God created everything to be righteous. When they sinned, the garments of righteousness were torn away, leaving them exposed and ashamed. In order to cover their sin and shame, blood would be required. For the first time, blood would have to be shed. They would wear the garments of death – the skins of animals.
Sin and Death had been activated by Adam, even though the Law of Sin and Death had not yet been defined. Moses later defined it, but even before Moses defined it, God made a covenant with Abraham so that the sin and death that was activated would be covered – paid for – by blood. The Law of Sin and Death has everything to do with the Old Covenant. The Law of the Spirit of Life has everything to do with the New Covenant. If there were no Sin and Death there would be no need for the Spirit of Life. The New Covenant comes as a result of the Law of the Spirit of Life—not to obliterate the Law of Sin and Death, but to uphold it. Both covenants are acts of propitiation, provided by God, to extend forgiveness.
When Jesus Christ, who is Life and Righteousness, was on the cross, God poured all the sin of the world into him until it saturated him. Jesus became sin: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ did not die because of the nails, or the beatings, or the inability to breath due to blood-soaked lungs. He died on the cross because the sin that was poured into him replaced the righteousness. It was the only way he could become sin. Without the righteousness, death entered. In Matthew 27:43 Jesus cried out to the Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is when he was saturated with sin enough to become sin. This is what killed him.
Three days later, Jesus was raised to life, victorious. This was the activation of another law of God: The Law of the Spirit of Life. This law is defined like this: If you are in Christ, then you are free of the Law of Sin and Death. Amazingly, this law counteracts another law by its very definition. 2 Corinthians 5:21 states that Jesus became sin so that “we might become the righteousness of God.” In order to become the righteousness of God, we must be in Christ. John 3:16 really defines the Law of the Spirit of Life: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
In order for any cause-and-effect or if-and-then law to work, there must be one other element: time. The reason is that the cause and the effect do not happen at the same time. There is a process. Do you ever think about the fact that God created and activated time? God is in the future, in the past, and in the present, all at once. He is, was, and ever will be. Human beings cannot fathom being everywhere, everywhen. We cannot learn everything all at once; we cannot live eternally instantly and forever – we will live forever if we are in Christ, but we cannot do eternity all at once. God can. God lives eternally instantly and forever. He created us to be linear. We go from point A to point B on a linear life path. Point A is being born; Point B is giving God the Glory. There is a whole process in between. We learn things a little at a time. God created time so we could go through a process of healing, learning, and glorifying God. Our purpose is to glorify God.
Can we glorify God from the very beginning instead of having to go through a process? Adam and Eve started out glorifying God and we do too. Then we get distracted with self-awareness, circumstances, pain, belief systems, and world-defined life. God has put in us a hunger to seek our significance and our purpose in life. We have a lot to overcome in order to find our purpose, but every human being starts out glorifying God. Here is how: God is self-sufficient by definition. God breathes. God breathes out, but he never breathes in. He does not have to – he is God! When a child is born, he or she breathes in first. When the child breathes in, he or she breathes in the exhaled breath of God – the breath of life. Just the very act of breathing in and receiving God’s breath of life gives glory to God.
Since God sees us everywhen, all at once, he sees us glorifying him from the very beginning – when we first draw breath. He sees all the wounds, the shame, the sin, and the false belief systems that we will have to overcome to get to the point of believing in him through Christ Jesus. He feels our feelings, he knows our thoughts, and he is patient with us while he waits for us to trust him. Then once we trust him and choose to live in Christ, we are free from the Law of Sin. We become the righteousness of God. We will live “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).