Every family has its own set of rules. Rules dictate proper behavior, govern screen time, and establish daily schedules. Each family is a little bit different, but every family has rules.
Here’s a silly question: How long did you have to keep the rules before you were brought into your family?
You know the purpose of rules is not to bring people into a family. Rules indicate you are already in the family, and they provide a baseline for showing respect to everyone in the house.
Here is the same question but on a spiritual level: How long did you have to keep God’s rules before you were brought into his family?
Well, that’s not what his rules are for either. His rules were not designed to bring people in. Before God gave a single commandment to the Israelites, he established the basis for his relationship with them:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before me’” (Exodus 20:2,3).
God put his act of redemption before mentioning a single rule, because keeping rules does not bring you into God’s family. Only Jesus does.
The Holy Spirit gave you the gift of faith, which essentially means you are now God’s child. Jesus obeyed the rules perfectly for you, which means God is pleased with you. God’s rules can now serve as your guide to reflect the love that brought you into this family.