by László Balogh
I’m pretty sure most of us are aware of the evolution of AI, and have seen some amazing displays of robotics before. It is also a much-loved theme of a number of sci-fi movies, which I actually enjoy watching. Some people are excited about the prospects AI can offer, but others rather differ. Will this technological advancement improve our lives, or will it eventually turn against us?
This is a hard question to answer, and it’s not even the object of this article. However, I was going to use super-intelligent robots as an illustration – but let’s start somewhere else.
You may know that the core of Christianity is about how to become a born-again new creation of God and how to apply the benefits that come with it. You may have met Christians who told you about all this, and have asked you if you wanted to accept Jesus as your personal Savior. But, why is this so important? Why does one need to get “born-again”? Couldn’t someone just be a good person, and still be accepted by God? I know many have wondered about the same question, and possibly heard many answers. I know for a fact that there are many wonderful, nice people in the world, who are not born-again Christians, and there are also a great number of Christians who have done awful things. How is that possible? I will answer this now, and even get to talk about AI and robots in the end, so stick with me for a bit.
As humans, we are a three part being. In our core we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. At first it may be a little difficult to grasp the difference between the spirit and the soul, but the spirit is what keeps our body alive and the soul is what includes our intellect and emotions. God is a Spirit and He relates to humans on a spiritual level. Although our body and soul are important and they have a purpose, in the end it’s the spirit that remains. It’s the spirit that holds eternal value, thus it’s deemed the most important of the three.
When a person accepts Jesus as their Savior, and they become “born-again”, it’s their spirit that gets saved immediately without any problem or delay. The full act of redemption from God applies to the soul and the body too, but the salvation of the soul and the body needs to be implemented by the person who just got born again. And of course, the full manifestation of that redemption will only happen once the born again person leaves this Earth and moves on to their heavenly reward.
The Bible specifically instructs us to renew our mind. That means we need to renew the way we think; we need to bring our thought life in alignment with the Word of God. The reason why this is so important is because our mind is like a filter.
My mind needs to agree with my spirit, or else the spirit can’t manifest its nature through me.
I can have all the goodness of God deposited inside of me, right in my spirit, but if my mind doesn’t let it out, all that goodness will stay trapped. This is why many Christians don’t properly represent the nature of God. The way you think and feel will eventually direct your life. This is why the Bible instructs us to bring every thought into alignment with Christ. The Holy Spirit will speak to Christians, but let’s get a little practical here: he speaks to the mind. That’s the seat of our understanding – the mind.
A person can be a born-again new creation in their spirit, but they can still think like somebody who doesn’t know God. A new spiritual birth is exactly what it sounds like: a new birth. But a baby needs to grow up both in body and in understanding. Sadly, many Christians stay spiritual infants till the end of their lives. This is why the fact that somebody is born-again or not, cannot be seen obviously in every case. Now, in my opinion, it should! I am a great proponent of life transformation. That’s what our salvation should cause in us – a change for the better! The normal Christian life should be a process of growing in the knowledge of Christ and reflecting His nature accordingly.
On the other hand, there are many wonderful and kind-hearted people in the world, who are not born-again Christians. But that should not be a surprise. After all, humans were created in the image of God. We naturally have a conscience, and a perception of goodness, beauty and morality. Plus, good values can be taught and learned. All of what I just mentioned is stored and nurtured in our soul – the area of our intellect and emotions.
So then, why is it important to get saved in our spirits? Because at the end of our earthly lives, only our spirit remains. That’s the part that will survive into the next life. All of who we are will be carried on in our spirits. Of course I don’t know all the details of this, but I believe the quality of our soul and the likeness of our body will be carried on and live on in our spirit. I don’t think we will lose all of that, but our spirit will carry them on into the spirit world.
How this will play out, remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: God is a Spirit, and He cares greatly for our spirits. The Bible explains what happens when a person gets born-again: their spirit and God’s Spirit become one. Now, what do you think happens when a human spirit becomes one with God’s Spirit? I would say, great quality improvement for sure! In fact, an incomparable quality improvement. On its own, the human spirit is lacking certain quality requirements, so it’s a necessity for God to fix it. Jesus said, “you must be born again”. “Must” is a strong word.
I will describe a little scenario here, just to explain the difference between the unsaved human spirit and God’s Spirit. Imagine we live some years ahead when AI has made phenomenal progress and household robots have become common. You feel you need a new model, so you walk into one of the exhibition halls nearby to ask for information on the latest prototypes. The personnel kindly show you around and explain all you need to know about each model. Finally, it comes down to two similar looking robots, and you ask about the difference. The staff member politely smiles and says,
“The one here is a fairly good design, but it’s incapable of perfection, and it has a capacity for evil. The one on the other side is inherently flawless, and it’s impossible for it to turn evil.”
“So, which robot would you like to buy?”
(This article didn’t intend to deal with the question of whether someone can lose their salvation, and if so, how.)