Theme: Evidences for My Faith –The Bible’s
Ethics and Relevancy and the Resurrection of
In This Issue:
- “Biblical Ethics vs. Situation Ethics” by Shannon Harden
- “The Resurrection of Christ” by Sean Cavender
- Reprint from the Past: “My Most Valued Possession: My Bible” by William C. Sexton
“Biblical Ethics vs. Situation Ethics”
Who hasn’t thought, “I know that I shouldn’t do this, but this is a special situation.” The definition of situation ethics from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is that it’s “a system of ethics by which acts are judged within their contexts instead of by categorical principles.” In essence, we decide that in this situation we can go around the law of God and do what we deem necessary.
Many try to justify sin, by using situational ethics. They may point to the story of Rahab in Joshua stating that she lied to save the spies and then is praised in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25. Maybe they’ll point to when David and his men ate the showbread that was reserved for the only the priests in Samuel 21 and who he was also praised as a man after God’s own heart. You can parallel that with Matthew 21 and how Jesus debated with the Pharisees over the apostles eating on the Sabbath.
The fact is that the bible never condones these acts of sin. All lying is condemned in Revelation 21:8 and the law required that only priests were to eat the showbread. In essence, we all sin and fall short (Rom 3:23) and these stories just show that people aren’t perfect without Jesus. This doesn’t justify the situation or the choice that these people chose. In Psalm 15:4 it reminds us that we have to recognize evil no matter what the context. There is no compromise regardless of the relationship you have with the person or the situation. As it states at the end of verse 4, we don’t change to resist hurt. A situation or choice is clearly good or bad. We must always choose doing good over bad (Ps 34:14; 1 Thess 5:15; 1 Pet 2:20) even if it costs you a best friend, a family member, or a job.
“The Resurrection of Christ”
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
The apostle Paul explains that importance of the resurrection of Christ as of primary, or first, importance. It is as essential and fundamental to Christianity as the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified upon the cross. It is no wonder that it has become such a controversial topic – a man who had been crucified and put to death and was securely placed in a grave has supposedly been raised from the dead sounds like nonsense to many people. Yet, it is exactly what Christians believe concerning Jesus the Christ, and is the confession we must make for salvation (Romans 10:9).
Many skeptics try to deny the resurrection, ridiculing the notion of faith and rely solely on logic and reason. They claim the body must have been stolen, but they fail to produce the missing body. Or they ask people to think the Roman soldiers did not actually kill Jesus, but He merely went into a coma. Or they want people to accept that everyone hallucinated seeing a resurrected Jesus. However, the resurrection of Christ is a reasonable explanation, most especially in light of the alternative explanations that skeptics attempt to offer. We can place our confidence in the resurrection because it offers proof to us of several things:
The Resurrection Confirms The Word of God
Paul states that the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ were not accidental, but according to the Scriptures. King David prophesied of Jesus’ resurrection (Psalm 16:8-10; Acts 2:25-31). Knowing that one of the most important events in the life of Christ was foretold about some 1,000 years before Christ lived is reassuring. The resurrection provides validation for the prophecies and instructions of God.
The Resurrection Validates The Forgiveness of Sins
By the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have been born again for a living hope (1 Peter 1:3), and our baptism is effective because of Christ’s victory over the grave (1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:4, 5). Paul said “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
The Resurrection Reveals The Power of God
“Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised” (1 Corinthians 15:15).
To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to deny the very power of God (Acts 13:34). We have a God who has demonstrated His love and power over Satan and the grave (Hebrews 2:14). Through Christ’s resurrection we can have the confidence that victory is through Christ, sin and Satan are rendered powerless, and the Lord God is sovereign.
Some have always doubted the explanation of the resurrection. Even among the apostles, Thomas did not believe, until he touched the resurrected Lord (John 20:25-27). However, Thomas came to the reasonable explanation that the resurrection attests to – the Deity of Jesus Christ (John 20:28).
We have not seen the empty grave. We have not witnessed the resurrected Lord with our eyes, nor touched Him with our hands. However, those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus are among those who are blessed (John 20:29). Will you accept the resurrection of Christ and the things that it attests? We can place our confidence in God’s word, the forgiveness He graciously offers, and His eternal power and sovereignty, and all of those things are witnessed in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A Reprint from the Past
“My Most Valued Possession: My Bible”
William C. Sexton
Recently in a writing assignment I was told to write a two paragraph article on my most valued possession. One paragraph was to state what it was and how it was so valuable to me, and the second paragraph was to state how it was disliked by me. Alter a little reflection, I decided on my Bible. Thus, in the next two paragraphs you have my evaluation of the book, my most valued possession.
The most valued possession I have is my Bible. My Bible tells me from whence I came; what my duties are; and where I am going. It tells me that I came from God, and that I shall return unto Him. Also, I am told that I will be required to give an account unto Him of my actions here on earth. (Rom. 14:11-12). I believe that the evidence is adequate to sustain its claims; therefore, I am concerned about doing what I am taught therein. From its teachings I find courage to sustain me in dangerous situations, comfort against difficulties, hope to inspire me in troubled times. Furthermore, my Bible teaches me to be humble when I am victorious and tempted to be lifted up in pride. I find from my Bible the promise of forgiveness and the terms on which I can obtain such (Gal. 3:26-27; Eph. 1:7). Christ Jesus, the Son of God, died that I might receive forgiveness; thus, my sins need not destroy me. I, having received forgiveness, can go to Him in a time of need; I can grow and develop spiritually and find peace of mind (Rom. 5:1; Heb. 4:14-16).
There is something about my book though, that gives me some trouble—sometimes its teachings are hard for me to keep, and I am tempted to disobey! My Bible tells me to do unto others as I would have them do unto me; this requires that I take the initiative, but I am inclined to follow–to treat them as they do me. Likewise, I am told to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Yet, I am tempted to put “these things,” the things of this world, first. Also, I find people who speak against my book, the Bible. Very often I believe that it is because they don’t really understand its contents. However, I am not always able to point out wherein they are missing the point, according to my concept. Often I don’t have the opportunity to study with them, perhaps the time element will not permit, or we just aren’t in a situation where conversation on the subject is possible. Thus, the book is my most valued possession, yet it does cause me a lot Of trouble. Nevertheless I am very glad that I found it, that I did study and learn some of its contents, and that I am influenced by it. I hope that I shall always find the strength to hold on to it and hold its principles high.
Dear reader, I wonder what your most valued possession is? Are you aware of it? Why do you value it so highly? Is it because of what it does for you, or is it because of the money it would bring on the market? When the day’s work is done, how valuable will it be? I ask you to investigate the Bible. It may have more lasting value than you have realized.
— TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: January 29, 1970, 12, pp. 13-14,