Monday, June 25, 2007

Reason and Revelation: Ethos (Part 2)

Jesus is the Starting Place
"Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed." (1 Peter 2:6)
In constructing a building, the most important stone is the corner stone. It is the first stone that is laid and it is the stone from which everything else is measured. All angles and measurements are made in reference to the corner stone. An angle and a measurement is "true" if it measures "true" from the corner stone. The same is true for Jesus. He is to be the corner stone in our lives. The one stone from which everything else in our life is measured from. The "rightness" and "trueness" of our lives is to be measured in relationship to our corner stone, Jesus Christ.

We must remember that, before there was ever a "canon" of the scriptures, there was the "canon" of Jesus. First, and before all else, our lives, values, and believes must be measured against the life of Jesus.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." (John 1:1-4)
Jesus Himself is the Word of God and His life is the light of men. He is our corner stone, our beginning and our end. In all our pursuit of the scriptures, we must never neglect our pursuit of Him. Jesus rebuked the religious of His day saying, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." (John 5:39-40) The canon of the scriptures is of little value in our lives if we have not the canon of His life. He is our starting point!
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone." (Ephesians 2:19-20)
Along with the corner stone of Jesus, our ethos must also include the foundation of the apostles and prophets. I believe that Paul was referring to the authoritative writings of the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles. The Old and New Testament authors reveal to us a single, consistent, message of God, His nature, and His plan for mankind. While we have published it as a collection of sixty six books, it really is one book, one revelation, of God's heart and mind to mankind. Peter encourages us to pay close attention to the written word.
"So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:19-21)
The written word is the spoken word of God, recorded for our sakes. Peter refers to it as the word "made more sure." The Word of God is a solid foundation upon which we can build our lives. When our ethos is grounded in the person of Jesus and the Word of God, then our ethos will be sure and true. They are like the corner stone and foundation of a large building. If the corner stone and foundation are true, then the building is sound and will survive all that comes against it.

More to come... David Robison

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