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What does the word say?
- Jacob Ninan
When a man is born again and becomes a Christian, he has the divine nature born into him in a seed form (1Jn.3:9;1Pe.1:23). Even though he has the potential to grow into the fullness of Christ (Ep.4:13), and all things have started to become new (2Co.5:17), it is not automatic that he grows up in his spiritual status nor it is that he understands everything rightly. He has a long way to go in terms of growth, both in knowledge and understanding, and also in his character and nature. One of the things we have to grow in is in terms of our world view. What is our understanding of ourselves, the others and the world, with respect to our purpose, goals, direction, values and ethics that influences our way forward? Where does God fit into this scheme of things, and what importance does He get in each of these aspects in our thinking and actions?
It is obvious that not all Christians (born again believers) share the same world view. The Bible calls some carnal (living according to fleshly desires), some natural (perhaps decent, 'good' people but living according to reason or feelings) and others 'spiritually minded' (1Co.3:3;2:14;Ro.8:6). The category we fall into is decided by how much we have allowed God to transform our understanding and thinking (Ro.12:2). It is the Bible, the written word of God, revealed to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, that God uses to carry out this transformation in those who long for it and submit to it (1Pe.2:2;2Ti.3:16,17). As we sit under the leadership of the word and practise the things we hear, we get understanding, wisdom and character (Ps.119:33-36).
But how is it with us in daily life? What do we do when we come face to face with a fork in the road, a crucial issue to decide on, a new teaching, a new idea that is becoming popular in the world, etc.? Do we basically mull over them in our mind considering what we think is right or best, what we feel must be right, what the learned men are saying, what the majority of our friends think, etc.? Then it will be no wonder if we slowly get sucked into the carnal or natural world view.
Shouldn't we first of all think, "What does God say in His word?" If His word is clear on the issue shouldn't that settle things for us? If things are still not clear, shouldn't we prayerfully seek to apply the values and principles in His word to our practical issues? It doesn't matter if we take time to come to conclusions, but we need to be sure we are on the right track.
When Satan tries to squeeze us into the world's mould, and less and less Christians seem to be fighting to keep their heads clear, shouldn't we hold up the testimony? Why are we so afraid to displease our friends or colleagues in the workplace and not at all concerned about pleasing our Lord and honouring Him? Surely our strength is small, but we shall stand in His strength. Even if our outward circumstances limit our actions, we don't need to let that twist our inner being and our thoughts (2Co.4:16).