More Meditation: Psalm 19

So if there are two books that God has written – Creation and the Bible – how do they work together? That is, can someone who has never heard the truth that Jesus as God came to earth, lived a righteous life, died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, and rose again for our justification; can this person be saved? Can a person merely look at the beauty of creation and be saved?

Simply put: Creation is interpreted by the Bible. That is, creation attests to the work of God’s hand (thus no man has an excuse for not believing in the existence of God – Romans 1:20). However, there is no name under heaven by which someone can be saved – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12 ).” That means, that tree nor clouds nor good living can save someone.

Call me narrow minded, but you will then contend with the ways of God. I will post more exclusivity later. Suffice to say: God has ordered the events of history in such a way that Christ is the only sacrifice and righteousness we can have in order to commune with God. Do not take this lightly. Do not scoff at the singular mind of God the Father to exalt the beauty and majesty of his Son.

Just as the names for things in creation must be taught to a child: Cow! No that is a tree. Car! No that is a bicycle. Who made this? God. Who is that? Let’s read the Bible…

Meditation: Psalm 19

7           The law of the Lord is perfect,
        reviving the soul;
        the testimony of the Lord is sure,
        making wise the simple;
8          the precepts of the Lord are right,
                rejoicing the heart;
        the commandment of the Lord is pure,
        enlightening the eyes;
9         the fear of the Lord is clean,
                enduring forever;
        the rules of the Lord are true,
                and righteous altogether.

This section comes right after David exults in the glory of nature and its witness to the glory of God. In his mind, their are two testimonies to the glory of God: nature and the Word. They are not mutually exclusive but help humanity embrace God as their Creator and Savior. Not only does he fix all the boundaries of the earth and determine when a snowflake falls or a tidal wave will crash on the coast (Ps. 74:17), but he also has gifted us his Word to give us boundaries by which we can enjoy the fullness of life (Ps. 16:6).

The world will always scoff at the Christian who loves the Bible. It is foolishness and a stumbling block. For in it contains the paradoxes the fleshly mind cannot perceive. But to us it is sweeter than even honey.

Notice: What areas does the law of the Lord affect? Every one. Firstly, the soul is revived. If your soul has been downcast with worry and pain, go to the Word of God. There you will find solace and hope. Then the mind is taught – the simple are made wise. How else can you explain doltish fishermen confounding the learned. Then the heart is made glad. Only those who have been born again can be made happy by hearing the precepts of God. Next, the eyes are enlightened. Only those who have been born of the Spirit of God can see the Kingdom of God – the rest are blinded to its majesty. Finally, what brings this section together is the response on the part of the hearer. He fears God. The unbeliever walks through life cursing the rain (though it waters the plants that sustain him), cursing his neighbor (though community is what keeps him alive), cursing God (though he is the one who gives him the very breath to utter the curse).

The proper response upon seeing the marvel of creation and hearing the law of the Lord is fear. It is clean. Outside of the person it endures forever. It does not depend on man keeping it in order to be alive. Unlike many who would deceive and say that culture determines right and wrong, fear is clean and in the last day all flesh will know what it means to fear rightly. Parallel to the fear of the Lord are the rules of the Lord; they are true and thoroughly righteous (regardless of whether man heeds them or not).

Blasphemy does not have to be uttered by the lips. It can be proclaimed by a life not lived in fear of God. Embrace the perfection, the surety, the rightness, the purity, the truthfulness, and the righteousness of the Word of God.

A Work of the Holy Spirit is Necessary for Salvation – Not Just Knowledge

Just finished Edwards’ sermon, “A Divine and Supernatural Light IMparted to the Soul”. In it he argues that what is necessary for someone to be saved is not just knowing that Jesus died for sinners and understanding how sins are atoned for. What is necessary is a work of the Holy Spirit to make the truths the mind and reason can grasp into sweet and excellent beauties the entire person admires.

It is out of reason’s [the mind’s] province to perceive the beauty or loveliness of any thing: such a perception does not belong to that faculty. Reason’s work is to perceive truth and not excellency.

Reason may determine that a countenance is beautiful to others, it may determine that honey is sweet to others; but it will never give me a perception of its sweetness.

What must happen is that the tongue of the soul cannot merely acknowledge that chocolate is sweet and the eyes see that it is brown and nose perceive its smell. What must happen for someone to be saved is for them to desire and crave the chocolate.

A Non-Christian Must Contradict Himself

On my summer reading list I enjoyed the book, The God Who Is There, by Francis Schaeffer. I read it right after a class I had on Christian Philosophy which served to help me work through some of Schaeffer’s well-versed sentences.

One of the things that stuck with me was the fact that the non-Christian must constantly live in a state of contradiction. This is much different than the tension the Christian is called to live in (the already-not yet kingdom reality: sanctified and being sanctified, saved and not-yet saved, sinner and saint, insert-your-own-thought-here). The difference lies in the worldview each one holds. The non-Christian is constantly borrowing from different (and contradictory) worldviews – such as Buddhist reincarnation and Christian creation.

This shouldn’t surprise us. If we look at the culture around us, we see lazy people who have not thought through anything other than when their favorite show comes on prime-time. We sit around and are fed by others the things that we should know in order to graduate college or be successful in life. It is unusual to find someone who has thought through their position and can cogently explain it. They can’t logically explain, because their position is not logical, period. People go to the buffet of worldviews and glutton themselves on things that sound sweet to the ear, but have no fiber. Thus, we need presuppositional apologetics.

Ask any non-Christian if he believes there is a God. If he says “yes”, then have him define his god. It will become very apparent that this god is not God. In the depraved human heart there is no room for perfect justice – only the kind they deem right. If he says “no”, ask him what has convinced him there is no God. Then, whether he believes in right and wrong. Then, from what does he base this right and wrong? If from himself, then what keeps me from hitting him if it is right for me? If determined by a society, what prevents the Nazis from exterminating people it sees as disposable? This is but a taste of presuppositional apologetics. Stay tuned for more thoughts on this.

Remember: there is no way that a non-Christian can live in the world and be logically responsible.