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#13876 Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:00 AM
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Is there an objective standard for determing what is right(righteous) for men to do?

Whould the same standard apply to God?

Charlemagne #13877 Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:55 AM
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Is there an objective standard for determing what is right(righteous) for men to do?

Yes. The Bible is the infallible, divinely inspired Word of God:

2 Timothy 3:14-17
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

For a good introduction to the theology of the Bible, look at what the Westminster Confession of Faith has to say about it:

http://www.the-highway.com/WCFChI.html


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Would the same standard apply to God?

Well, yes. God is absolutely holy, righteous, and just.

Exodus 15:11:
Who is like You among the gods, O LORD?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?

I Samuel 2:2-3
2 There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
3 Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.

Psalm 93:5
Your testimonies are fully confirmed;
Holiness befits Your house,
O LORD, forevermore.

Wonderful words for the Christian:

I Peter 1:14-2:3
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
24 For,
"ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,
AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.
THE GRASS WITHERS,
AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,
25
BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER."
And this is the word which was preached to you.
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #13878 Sun Apr 18, 2004 6:03 PM
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I appreciate your reply, SemperReformanda.

I would answer my own question by saying that love is the standard by which righteousness is measured. In other words, that which is in accord with love, is that which is righteous. If we love God and love our neighbor as ourselves then we naturally fulfill the just requirements of the law and do what is right.

Would you agree with that?

My question would then be, does this same principle apply to God? If God always acts in accord with love, then is that why He is righteous in all that He does? If God is love, the very personification of Love, then can He act in a way which is not in accord with love? I don't think so. And this, I believe, is why all that He does is righteous.

Anybody agree or disagree with this?


A man cannot get anything unless it is given him by heaven. God gives to all life, and breath and all.
Charlemagne #13879 Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:10 PM
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Charlemagne wrote:
I would answer my own question by saying that love is the standard by which righteousness is measured.
I would agree with this qualification: love is the standard for the motive out of which one is to act. But love must be defined by an objective standard; i.e., the duty that love is expressed. If all the Scripture said was, "Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength" and nothing further, then we would be at a loss to know HOW to express that love. Fortunately, God hasn't left us to wonder about these things for He has also included by inspiration His law, which is the guide to loving Him and our neighbor.

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Charlemagne further wrote:
My question would then be, does this same principle apply to God? If God always acts in accord with love, then is that why He is righteous in all that He does? If God is love, the very personification of Love, then can He act in a way which is not in accord with love? I don't think so. And this, I believe, is why all that He does is righteous.
Many today want to make "love" a superior attribute of God over all His other attributes. Of course, I have no idea if this is what you are wanting to do too. And since I don't know, I'm not going to assume this at this time. First of all, God is not to be defined by the sum of His attributes, for He is far more than this. Second, God loves in two basic ways: 1) Generally, in that He is benevolent upon all men without discrimination which we can see in that He gives life itself, provides food, shelter, etc. 2) Particularly, in that He acts in a salvific manner, redeeming undeserving sinners by His sovereign grace. In both ways, "love" is an action of God and not a sentiment as men are want to define it. Third, if one were to do a study of all the appearances of God's attributes in Scripture, it is "holiness" that exceeds them all. First and foremost, He has revealed Himself as the "Holy One", in whom there is no unrighteousness and Who is just. All that God does is right, perfect and just. (Gen 18:25; Deut 32:4; Job 8:3; Ps 11:5-7; 98:9; Rom 3:5, 6; et al) Fourth, the Scripture speaks of God hating sinners. Yet this hatred is a perfect hatred. (Ps 139:22).

Both God's love and His hatred is based upon His holiness, for He is perfect.

Lastly, there are things which are reserved only to God and to which we are not able and/or allowed to do, for we are finite and subjects of God and His law. The Lord cannot circumvent nor violate His own holiness, but He is all wise and therefore does all things perfectly and by His infinite and sovereign will.

Isaiah 55:9 (ASV) "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Romans 11:33-36 (ASV) "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him [be] the glory for ever. Amen."


In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Charlemagne #13880 Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:27 AM
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Dear Charlemagne, First I want to say that I find your choice in names quite interesting and would find it of interest as to how you came to choose this name, I also want to welcome you to the forum.

Now, as for your question, something my current youth minister has said comes to mind, 'Good Intentions Do Not Always Equal Good Deeds/Actions.' I think that this is true. I would say that the Bible tells us that we are to 1st Love God with all that we are and that we are to then Love our Neighbors as Ourselves, but I would point out that the Bible also says to be Perfect as the Father is Perfect (the last verse of Matthew 5). Also, love is a very general term in English and so we must understand what type of love the Bible is telling us to love with, and that I believe is the Agape (Godly love), though I do not have at this present moment a greek interliner with me. I must say that I agree with SemperReformanda and Pilgrim, the Bible is the standard given to men to judge wether an action is sin or not. I don't know that that is specific enough though, and I would point you towards Romans 14:23b which I personally use as the definition of sin. I would therefore say that anything not done in faith to glorify God is sin, and that is why I shudder at the depravity of man, b/c it is such a wide contrast between what I am and do as vs. what I should be and do.

As for God, I had to learn this the hard way, that God is sovereign. The only way God can be held back is by Himself and His desires. That means that only b/c of God's very character which He Himself has determined to have can God be in any way even remotely limited. God cannot be stopped simply b/c love compels him to stop or b/c He has said He will or will not do something, but whatever God does must flow from His very character and desire in His purposeful actions. To say that Love determines wether an act is righteouss or not means that God to be righteouss must act in love and I do not believe that to be true all of the time, God does not love sin nor does He love the devil or any hellbound creature. He may be benevolent b/c it suits His purpose, but God's love does not over ride Him or His purposes or His mental Processes. If that were the case then Love would be greater and pre-existant to God. No, God determines what is Righteouss. IF God were to love what we call sin now, then sin would be righteouss. But praise God that God has chosen to Love Mercy and Compassion and Kindness and has Chosen in His wisdom and for His purpose to have these qualities in Abundence, especially towards us who are being saved.

SO simply put, Love cannot be the objective standard for Righteoussness, not only b/c it isn't objective but b/c it would undermine God's authority. I'm quite able to go on and quite happy to, but I doubt that would be well received by everyone, so I'm just going to shut up now.
Again, welcome to the board.

-Brother Luke

BrimstonePreacha #13881 Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:55 PM
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SO simply put, Love cannot be the objective standard for Righteoussness, not only b/c it isn't objective but b/c it would undermine God's authority.

I know in person I tend to nod in agreement with you, and on here, disagree, but I think on this matter I would even disagree in person.

We, as humans, show that we have been made righteous by the good deeds that we do.

[color:"0000FF"]For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. [/color] James 2:26

If we are not doing good deeds, than it is hard to be able to say that we have truly been made right with God. This is probably wrong, so someone will probably need to correct this statement.

Another thing to throw out here.

Isn't God showing His wrath on the ungodly a way of showing His love for the elect? Yes, I agree with Pilgrim and you that God's holiness is His overriding atribute, but from a human perspective, I really believe that God's wrath on sinners more clearly reveals His love for me as one of His elect.

#13882 Tue Apr 20, 2004 6:00 PM
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Kalled, I do not mind that you disagree with me wether in person or on this board, that is one of the things that keeps our friendship interesting, the ability to logically debate whatever our personal feelings.
As for your response, it is true that man must do the good deeds God has fore-ordained for the regenerate, and that those deeds are done in Love, just as I John talks about.
Concerening what you quoted from my first post though, I was speaking of God and as you and I both know, God has different standards. While we as finite man cannot control our emotions, I cannot reason that God is the same way, God has self-control, He must.

Your input is much appreciated as always though.

-Brother Luke


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