Last Week in the Trenches – 2/3/15

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As some of you already know, though I have previous Bachelors in Church Ministry and Masters of Divinity degrees, I’ve gone back to school to pursue an Associates degree in Business Administration and Accounting Certification. One of my classes this semester is Business Law. Last week, my professor decided to derail the class by challenging everybody with the following statements:

“Most of you have never questioned your beliefs and have just gone along with what mom and dad believe. You’ve also been surrounded by people who always supported your beliefs and never called them into question. Now that you’re an adult and in college, we get to mess with you a little.”

“If I were to continue asking you all questions, you would find that eventually you stand alone in your beliefs and convictions about what is right and wrong, true and false. Wouldn’t it be extremely arrogant for you to try and force your beliefs and convictions on somebody else?”

The professor then assigned us all the assignment of writing down the rules, beliefs and convictions we live by, again stating, “What you will find when you take the time to write these down is how often you break your own rules. Again, wouldn’t it be arrogant to ask others to hold to standards you aren’t even able to keep?”

So, I thought I would share the paper I turned in with you. Great opportunity to share the gospel with my professor who had to read this. Haven’t got the grade back. That should be interesting.

My Core Belief/Ethic System

By: Jason Oakes

1/25/15

 

I would describe myself as an Evangelical Christian, but as time goes by and as you stated in class last week, that does not in itself describe my belief/ethic system specifically.

 

The first foundational piece to my belief/ethic system is that God does have a standard, that standard is perfection, which reflects His character, and it is impossible for any human being to live up to this standard. Below are some verses from the Bible that reflect this teaching:

 

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. – Romans 7:18

 

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;

We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. – Isaiah 64:6

 

They have all turned aside,they have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, no, not one. – Psalm 14:3

 

The second foundational piece to my belief/ethic system is that Jesus claimed specific and unique ability to be the solution to our problem as humans. Below are some quotes that reflect these claims:

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. – John 14:6

 

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. – John 6:44

 

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. – 1 Corinthians 2:14

 

The third and final piece to my belief/ethic system is that Jesus not only paid the price for our sin, but the living Lord Jesus has promised to indwell and live His life out through the believer. This does not take away the believers choice or ability to live out their self-willed life, but it does give the opportunity and ability for believers to, over time, be conformed into the image of Jesus. Here are some verses that reflect this truth:

 

I am crucified with Christ, and no longer live, *I*, but Christ lives in me; but in that I now live in flesh, I live by faith, the faith of the Son of God, who has loved me and given himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

 

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. – Colossians 3:3-4