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God's Only Law Chapter 6

God Only Wants Us to Reason

 

“Our world is not divided by race, color, gender, or religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And the fools divide themselves by race, color, gender, or religion.” - Nelson Mandela. Proving this statement requires our reasoning, and God is ready to reason when we are, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isa. 1:18), because He knows our honest reasoning will provide the answers to all of our questions, eventually leading us to believe in Him. Those who know God know He never changes, but our reasoning always leads us to change, for none of us are perfect. We learn the truth of God’s existence, His great love for us, and then choose to join Him in the creation of His family. Of course, it is not God who is dividing us into small groups. However, He allows us to foolishly divide ourselves, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17).


Reasoning with God leads us to accept Jesus as our Savior, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:9-10), a bold statement. However, reasoning with Him requires patience, as we allow God to prove He is our Savior, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Ps. 27:14), and “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Eccl. 3:1), and “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31). If we refuse to open our minds, we will not be patient enough to reason with our perceived conflicts in His Word before others use them to lure us away from God’s love.


We can create all kinds of excuses for not reasoning with His Word, for not believing in Him. Many cite the hypocrites in our society, claiming to be Christians, as the reason for our apathy. Jesus witnessed the same problem with the religious leaders of His day. Our claiming someone else’s rebellion prevents us from reasoning with God’s truth is only an excuse. What we are really saying is, depart from us, we do not want to know your ways, “Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.” (Job 21:14), and all of our excuses are merely hollow attempts to somehow justify our willful ignorance. We have chosen to fill our days with activities, leaving us little time to think about God. We spend more time planning a vacation than planning our eternal future. It is a choice, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” (Eph. 4:17-18). Our willful ignorance will not save us, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jn. 12:48), for we will have already sentenced ourselves to this life only, giving up the eternal life He invites us to enjoy.


Reasoning with His Word tears the veil of our ignorance and frees us to see the truth, rather than the lies people tell, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32), allowing us to make better decisions. If we read just five pages a day, we will finish the Bible in a year. The year will pass, whether we read those five pages or not. Do we not owe it to ourselves to at least peak past the veil?


Those unwilling to reason with the Bible will never understand it. The truth within will seem like foolishness, “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” (Prov. 15:14). Without consistent feeding, our souls become the stony places, which futilely receives the seed of His Word, “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” (Matt. 13:20-21), but, with consistent feeding, we will find the treasure God has left for us, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (Jam. 3:17).


Reasoning with our Creator initiates the transformation process, which leads us to His eternal family, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom. 12:2). He calls this transformation process sanctification. We begin as seekers, trying to find the truth, and we discover the Bible is God’s truth revealed, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Tim. 3:16).


When we reason with the Bible, we learn who Jesus is. Initially, our new knowledge puffs us up, and we become arrogant, thinking we know it all, but God tells us we are feeding on milk because we are not ready for the meat of His Word, which is the deeper meaning hidden therein, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:12-14). We use our immature knowledge to condemn others for their sins by pointing our self-righteous fingers, and God corrects us, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” (Lk. 6:37).


When God was ready for Jesus to begin His ministry, God made it clear to all humble enough to hear, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16-17).


Before Jesus came, we were all dead in our sins, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23). Sure, people sacrificed spotless lambs in hopes of atoning for their sins. However, those sacrifices were only God’s foreshadowing Jesus’s first appearance because we had hardened our hearts to His law of love. God never wanted our sacrifices. He only wants us to surrender our hearts to Him by believing Jesus is our Savior. Ultimately, He wants us to show the same mercy He has shown us, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hos. 6:6), and “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” (Matt. 12:7).


When we set up our own rituals and worship them rather than God, we are left with burnt offerings and the symbols of religion, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Mic. 6:6-8), He wants us to humbly offer mercy to everyone. Unfortunately, most of us hide our conscious thoughts from the pain our sins cause. The pain is still there. We just want to ignore it because we would rather deal with the pain and continue sinning than accept His selfless love. And so, today, we witness an ever-increasing use of drugs to help us mask our pain.


Jesus came to free us from this illusion of unbreakable chains binding us to an endless cycle of sin. We are not slaves to our sins but rather willing participants who choose bondage by refusing to abide in Jesus. We thus free our appetites to reign in the flesh. When we abide in Jesus, our spirit reigns, freeing us from the flesh and the sin we have allowed into our lives, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17).


Freedom from the chains of bondage does not mean we sin no more. It means we no longer try to hide our sins. We are no longer willing participants pretending we are already good enough and do not need saving. After confessing our sins, we sorrow unto Godly repentance and look for ways of preventing those sins in the future, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Cor. 7:10). He calls us to progress since He knows we cannot reach perfection on our own. Paul describes the internal battle we all face, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Rom. 7:15).


“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matt. 28:19). God asks us to spread His Word but warns us not to preach another gospel, only the one Jesus brought us, for anything else leads to divisions, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?(1 Cor. 1:10-13). Is Jesus divided? Where do we find Jesus telling us His church should be divided?


Why would we follow any other voice? “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” (Acts 4:19). Instead of dividing ourselves into denominations, we should be working to unite into one church, His church, fully following His law of love. There were no denominations in the first-century church, and there are no denominations today in the Christian church in Iran. God calls us to get out of our heads and begin living His law of love instead of wasting our energy dividing His church.


When we believers have different interpretations of scripture, we can listen to each other. Then we can consider the new information, which helps us understand how the other person’s reasoning led them to their interpretation. Next, keeping every verse in context; chapter, book, and the whole Bible, remembering that there can be no conflicts in His Word, and using the discernment of the Holy Ghost, we each must decide for ourselves, “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Cor. 1:20-21). We are not to judge others and their beliefs. Instead, we are to help each other, as iron sharpens iron, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Prov. 27:17). We will all know the truth when we get to heaven.


We are all supposed to work together through the sanctification process to a better understanding of God’s Word, “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:14-15), and “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” (2 Tim. 2:23-25), and “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” (Tit. 3:9). We are then to preach Christ, in love, and let the Holy Ghost do His job, “What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Phil. 1:18). Most importantly, we are called to actively live God’s law of love.


Does the Holy Ghost need our help? As we grow in the Bible’s knowledge, some of us continue pointing our self-righteousness fingers to judge the wounded. Are we helping the Holy Ghost, or are we becoming stumbling blocks? God has harsh words for those of us who choose to become stumbling blocks, “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked: and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord.” (Zeph. 1:3). God’s Word is our spiritual mirror, which each of us can use to aid us in our own transformation. Our job is to love others, thus reflecting God’s love, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.” (Jam. 2:8), as the early Christians did. When we demonstrate God’s selfless love, others are drawn to reason with Him. So then, the Holy Ghost can hold our individual spiritual mirror for us to witness our own sins when we are ready to reason with them.


If we turn our spiritual mirror onto others, we illustrate our misunderstanding of God’s plan, for God has clearly told us the Holy Ghost does not need our help and we should not judge others, for we were never meant to cut down people in God’s name, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:1-5), and since we are not perfect, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Eccl. 7:20), those we accuse with our self-righteousness see us as hypocrites, driving them away from God instead of drawing them to Him.


God does call us to help introduce Him to others, which is why He wants us to be ready to give an answer, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Pet. 3:15). Being ready to answer questions is not the same as walking around, pointing our fingers at people, and telling them how they need to change. Instead, we must wait for their questions, which shows they are interested in reasoning with God. We can never justify pointing our fingers at others. And, what does it say about our own lives? “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (Jn. 8:7). Are we fully living God’s law of love? Or, are we picking up our stones instead of showing others God’s love and forgiveness? We are all on different parts of the path to God, and we never know whether another person is ahead of us or behind us. Do we really want to be judged before we have had every opportunity to understand the choice before us? We can learn from the religious leaders of Jesus’s time. The scribes were self-righteous and thought they were God’s chosen people. However, Jesus thought otherwise, “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.” (Lk. 20:46-47).


Reasoning requires us to study the whole Bible, not just a few selected verses. To do this, we must come to His Word with an open mind. Otherwise, we will respond with hostility, angrily crying, “no matter what you say, I will not believe.” This is what we witness as the Pharisees came to question Jesus, having no interest in learning, only in trapping Jesus into saying something they could use against Him, “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk … But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? … And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” (Matt. 22:15, 18, 46). Of course, they failed miserably.


Ultimately, there can be no conflicts in God’s Word, and if we think we are reading something that contradicts another part of the Bible, we misunderstand one, or both, of those messages from God. When we honestly reason with Him, we witness those perceived conflicts dissolve in the warm waters of His love. But, of course, living under the law of love, we must also allow others the same freedom, without judging them or their current opinions. I can testify that when I have opened my mind to different opinions, willingly reasoning rather than being closed to new ideas, I have grown in the knowledge of our Lord. We all have the same amount of time each day and suffer from the same ailment of procrastination. Therefore, only those who proactively allocate time to reason with God will actually do it.

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