Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Reason and Revelation: Ethos (Part 4)

The Proof

Jesus told a parable to describe the two foundations we can build for our lives.
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV)
Notice carefully what differentiated the two men: they both heard the word but only one did the word. It is not enough to hear and know God's word, it is not enough to believe God's word, but it is essential to do God's word for it to have an effect in our lives. A foundation is not what you know, it is what you do.

How do you judge the quality of one's foundation? You examine their behavior. If they are living a godly, Christ-like life, then they have a solid foundation built upon the rock that is Jesus. If, however, they are living like the world, then their claims of a Christian foundation are empty. The same is true with our ethos. We can claim to have Biblical and godly values, ethics, and understanding, but if we are living according to the ways of the world, then we are merely deceiving ourselves. We can claim ourselves to be one way, but the truth of our ethos is born out by our behavior.
"To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed." (Titus 1:15-2:1)
Our ethos is shown by our behavior. We can confess one thing, but our behavior shows what and who we are in truth. We must not be like the church at Laodicea, who thought they were rich but in reality were poor.
"Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see." (Revelation 3:17-18)
We should judge ourselves to determine the source and quality of our ethos; our core beliefs, values, and knowledge. If we are found wanting, then we must go to Jesus to have Him remake our ethos, we should be willing to exchange our old ethos for one the is Christ centered and built upon the Word of God.

David Robison

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