What Saith the Scripture?
from the series
What the Bible Says About...
What the Bible Says About
What Every Man Knows
"Let him that glorieth glory in this,
that he understandeth and knoweth Me,
that I am the LORD"
by Tom Stewart
What does every man know, according to the Scriptures?
"What saith the Scripture?" (Romans 4:3).
Man knows much more than he commonly admits.
First, man knows that God exists. "19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of Him from The Creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His Eternal Power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:19-21).
Second, man comprehends that God must be loved supremely, for the Faithful Creator rewards those that diligently seek Him. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). God implicitly rewards all wholehearted seekers of Himself. "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole Earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (2Chronicles 16:9). This, then, is the foundation of God's Moral Law, that "thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the First and Great Commandment." (Matthew 22:37, 38).
Third, and finally, every man knows that he ought to love his neighbour as himself. "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matthew 22:39). God specifically defines sin as the "transgression of the Law" (1John 3:4), which would be not loving God supremely, and not loving man as an equal and a neighbour. Therefore, the Just God can never unfairly burden man with the responsibility of loving his neighbour on penalty of sin, if that obligation was not already understood. "For this is the Love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous [literally, burdensome, severe, or unbearable]" (5:3). Organized religion may or may not admit to the universal necessity of loving all men equally as you would yourself desire to be treated; but, God's precedence in loving us first, i.e., "God is love... He first loved us" (4:8, 19), makes it impossible for us to claim that we have never seen that love or an even greater love exercised, nor that we did not know to reciprocate that love back to Him, or duplicate that love to our neighbour. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God" (4:7).
Goodness Given to All and Known by All
God's faithfulness to His Creation demonstrates His love for the works of His hands. "The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9). The very ground we stand upon is testimony that God is watching out for us, e.g., God's law of gravity keeps us from flying off into outer space. "9 Thou visitest the Earth, and waterest it: Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: Thou preparest them corn, when Thou hast so provided for it. 10 Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: Thou settlest the furrows thereof: Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof. 11 Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; and Thy paths drop fatness. 12 They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. 13 The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing" (Psalms 65:9-13). If it were not for the loving faithfulness of God, the turning of the Earth that gives us the seasons, would cease. "While the Earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).
But, the very fact that the existence of God is disputed, that loving obedience to Him is refused, and that man routinely abuses his neighbour, indicates that God is entirely justified in saying that "all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God" (Romans 3:23). This is merely stating that those who have the capacity to understand, i.e., Moral Agents (and, not infants, toddlers, or mentally disabled), have sinned against the Little Truth that they have grasped. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (3:10). Our sin is sad and dismal as it is wicked; but, in stark contrast, there is Good News that must yet be declared clearly, for it is difficult to believe it, even after it is heard. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1Timothy 1:15). This is the Gospel that God has commanded to be preached to all the world, to give all men a Second Chance to repent before He shortly returns to judge the world for its sins. "19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto The End of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:19-20).
Unlike "Another Gospel" (Galatians 1:6) preached by too many Professed Christians today, the Truth is that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1Corinthians 15:3, 4); but, He also rose again to restore us to obedience to His Moral Law of Love. "3 And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments. 4 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth [Christ] is not in Him" (1John 2:3-4). Of course, the good works of keeping the Moral Law of Love do not and cannot save us, for Jesus alone saves, i.e., "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).; but, He saves us not merely to make us happy, but to make us finally useful, i.e., "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men" (3:8). The present lawlessness of the World is the same lawlessness in much of the Professed Church, which is a revulsion of obedience to the Moral Law of Love of the LORD Jesus Christ. "But His citizens hated Him, and sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this Man [Christ Jesus] to reign over us" (Luke 19:14).
What we do with the Truth that we understand, separates the wise man from the fool. "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished" (Proverbs 27:12). Acknowledging that we know what God says we know, "as the Truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:21), is the "beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). Laying hold of the Truth will only be the beginning of an Eternity of learning about God. "33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:33-34). And, the great glory of the Saints will be new discoveries about the "LORD that bought them" (2Peter 2:1). "But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise Lovingkindness, Judgment, and Righteousness, in the Earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 9:24)
"The True Light, which lighteth every
man that cometh into the world"
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