by Mark Roberts
Have you read the tract “The Four Spiritual Laws”? It was written by Dr. Bill Bright, the president of Campus Crusade for Christ. Approximately 1.5
billion copies of this tract have been printed and distributed all over the world. It was written to quickly and efficiently teach people how to be
Unfortunately, “The Four Spiritual Laws” tract is badly flawed. A simple comparison between its teaching and the teaching of scripture reveals that
“The Four Spiritual Laws” simply does not teach God’s plan of salvation.
Here are the Four Spiritual Laws:
- Law 1: God loves you and offers a wonderful Plan for your life.
- Law 2: Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life.
- Law 3: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life.
- Law 4: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
What exactly does the tract mean “receive Jesus Christ?” How do you do that?
We are not left to wonder:
- We Must Receive Christ – Jn 1:12
- We Receive Christ Through Faith – Eph. 2:8-9
- When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth – Jn 3:1-8
- We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation – Rev. 3:20
The tract goes on to say “You Can Receive Christ Right Now By Faith Through Prayer” and even includes a suggested prayer to ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life and receive Him by faith alone.
What could be wrong with this? A study of the Bible shows these laws are terribly flawed.
Flaw 1: “The Four Laws” forgets that faith works.
Read Genesis 6:13-14. Did Noah have faith? Yes! But did his faith alone save him? Could he have been saved by merely believing God without building the ark? Of course not. Noah’s faith led him to obey God ( Gen. 6:22; 7:5, 16). Romans 1:5 speaks of our “obedience to the faith.” Obedience and true faith in God always go together. You can’t have one without the other (read James 2:14-26).
Where is this concept in the “Four Laws” pamphlet? The “Four Laws” says nothing about obedience, only faith!
Flaw 2: The pamphlet forgets baptism.
The New Testament teaches that water baptism is very important. It…
- Puts you into Jesus Christ – Gal. 3:27
- Saves you – 1 Peter 3:21
- Forgives your sins – Acts 22:16; 2:38
Baptism is so crucial because it is linked to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection (see Romans 6:3-6).
The “Four Laws” teaches you can be saved without baptism, advocating a prayer and faith alone approach. This simply is not the teaching of the scriptures. No passage of scripture promises the non-Christian that he can pray and receive forgiveness of sin. No passage of scripture says that you can pray “into Jesus Christ.” No passage says prayer can save you. All of these vital functions are ascribed to baptism, not prayer!
Flaw 3: The tract forgets that the N.T. specifically teaches that faith alone cannot save.
The “Four Laws” says that to be saved you need only believe in Jesus Christ. What does the Bible say?
“You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” James 2:24
Once again we see how scripture puts faith and obedience together, while “The Four Laws” artificially and arbitrarily divorces them.
Who should we believe — a booklet written by a mere man, or the inspired word of God?
Flaw 4: The tract forgets that God’s grace doesn’t exclude man’s obedience
Many seem to think that there are only two choices: be saved by your actions and doing, or be saved completely by God’s grace.
This is why so many oppose baptism. They believe that baptism is an attempt to earn or merit salvation. This is false. The Bible never sees obedience
and grace opposing each other.
Read Hebrews 11 and notice how these men and women of faith responded to God’s grace by obeying the Lord. Their obedience didn’t earn salvation but was absolutely necessary to being saved.
Likewise, you cannot earn salvation today by doing good works. But you must do what God has said if you want to be saved. These works of obedience demonstrate our faith and love for God. Won’t you do what God says so you can be saved today?
What must I do to be saved?
- Believe in Jesus Christ – John 3:16
- Repent of past sins – Luke 13:3
- Confess Jesus as the Son of God – Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10
- Be baptized in water for the forgiveness of your sins – Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16
Don’t be fooled by the ideas of men. Read your Bible. Study these things carefully. Then obey God’s simple plan for salvation today and become a New Testament Christian!