Is the concept of Karma Biblical?


By BibleAsk Team


Karma in Sanskrit means an action or work and its effect or consequences. In Eastern religions, the word more precisely refers to a principle of cause and effect, which is often called the principle of karma. In this philosophy, the intent and actions of an individual affect the future of that individual. Good intentions and good works bring about good karma and happier rebirths, bad intent and bad works bring about bad karma and bad rebirths.

The concept of karma is linked with the concept of rebirth in many of Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Taoism. In these religions, karma in the present life influences a person’s future. If one is good, he will be rewarded by being reincarnated into a good life. However, if one is evil, he will be reincarnated into a not good life.

What Does the Bible Teach?

The Bible does not teach reincarnation; therefore, it does not support the idea of karma. The Bible teaches that men live only one life and then the judgment. “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There is no endless cycle of life, death, rebirth nor is there a second chance as taught in the reincarnation belief. The afterlife is not a rebirth or a reincarnation into another body here on earth. It is either eternal death (Matthew 25:46) or eternal life in heaven with Jesus (John 3:16).

It is true that the Bible teaches the principle of reaping and sowing. Job 4:8 says, “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” Psalm 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” And Luke 12:24 says, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Also, the apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:8-9, “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

According to the Bible, good deeds are not produced through human efforts, but rather they are the works of God’s Spirit in the lives of people. Jesus Offered Himself to save us from death. Thus, salvation is a free gift from God and believers receive it by faith and submission to God (Ephesians 2:8).

We can’t earn salvation by any work we do. For all our works are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Man’s best efforts produce, not righteousness, but imperfection because man is sinful by nature. Only the robe of righteousness that Christ has provided will enable man to be accepted by our holy God (Galatians 2:16).

All we need to do is to accept Christ’s sacrifice, yield our hearts to His will, allow Him to change our lives and bring about good fruits of obedience to God by His grace (2 Timothy 1:9). Unlike Karma, in Christianity, Christ does His work cleansing work in us because of himself man cannot bring forth good works. It is necessary for him to be spiritually re-created in the Lord before he can bring forth the good works God plans he shall bring forth. By a change of the will, affections, and purposes the privilege and duty of witnessing by good works become possible (Matt. 5:14–16).

while we abide in Him by prayer, the study of His Word and and walk in His steps  (Ephesians 2:10). This is the good news of the gospel.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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