A Matter of Wrong

Our innate response to sin is telling; we understand the concept of right and wrong, and we understand justice — that wrongdoing must be punished appropriately. (Ac 18:14) This instinct reveals the gospel through deductive reasoning.

If someone has wronged us:

  1. Then we acknowledge a moral standard. This standard is revealed in our instinct to find fault with others whether they agree with us or not; we impose an expectation of right behavior which is independent of human opinion.
  2. Then there must be a moral law Giver Who created this moral standard. Nature can’t create such a standard (since it’s metaphysical, spiritual), and Man can’t create it (since it’s independent of Man’s opinion). Therefore God created it (there are no other options).
  3. Then God will hold us accountable for violating this moral standard. A moral standard presumes a divine evaluation of human behavior, as well as a divine reaction for our obeying or violating this standard: a moral standard is meaningless otherwise.
  4. Then God has openly revealed this moral standard to Man. It is unjust for God to hold us accountable for violating His moral standard if we have no way of knowing what His standard is. We may think we know it apart from divine revelation, but this is effectively indistinguishable from making it up as we go, since our sense of goodness is impaired and compromised by selfishness. (De 4:6)
  5. Then this standard is Mosaic Law. Torah is credibly claimed to be revealed by God to Man through Israel, His chosen people; there is no other remotely credible claim here. (Is 8:20) One may argue that Israel could conceivably have created Torah on their own, but once we deduce that God has openly revealed His Law to Man, Torah is our only viable option.
  6. Then we have all violated this standard. We have not loved God with all our heart, soul and might (De 6:5), nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves. (Le 19:18) We are all guilty of breaking God’s Law (Ro 3:19), and we’re without excuse. (Ro 1:20)
  7. So, in the same way we require just punishment for those who wrong us, God must justly punish our sin against Himself. Our instinct for justice generates anger instinctively; we’re created in His image, so we should expect this in God (Ro 2:8-9), but in a perfect way: there will be ultimate justice for God. (Ro 2:2)
  8. Yet the punishment we deserve is infinite: we can never pay it in full. Since our sin against God is entirely unjustified, offending One Who is perfectly holy, infinitely worthy of obedience and worship (Re 14:11) we’re all in a desperate case, with no alibi or escape, and there’s nothing we can do about this unless God mercifully intervenes on our behalf.
  9. So, we need a Savior to deliver us, not only from the punishment we deserve, but also from our very nature which deserves it. Seeing our need, God has kindly provided us just such a Savior (Mt 1:21), offering to deliver us not only from the punishment we deserve, but also from our very nature which deserves it. (Tit 2:14)

We can know all this by carefully observing ourselves and others. So, how shall we escape the wrath of God if we neglect so great salvation? (He 2:3) If we think this through as we should, we will see our need, repent and run to God for deliverance. (Ac 16:29-30)

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One thought on “A Matter of Wrong”

  1. The following may help bridge perceived gaps in the above reasoning:

    1. To accuse another of wrongdoing we presume a moral standard which we may rightly impose on others. Whether there actually is such a standard isn’t the point (just yet); the point is that we all act like there is one, and we can’t help it: we cannot live any other way.

    The notion of “my truth”, that one may create their own moral standard and then rightly expect others to acknowledge and respect it, is nonsense; it renders truth meaningless (true to what?), explicitly denying the existence of any moral standard while imposing this non-standard on others.

    2. Physics can’t describe morality because [A] moral standards don’t exist physically, and [B] because moral codes don’t describe mere physical activity; the same physical action might be good or bad depending on the motive. The essence of deity itself implies the right to define good and evil.

    3. If God created moral law (and He did), He did so with intent to evaluate and respond to our behavior in either pleasure or displeasure. Apart from this divine reaction, a moral standard is meaningless. So, there will be an ultimate divine reaction to all human behavior, and we should expect this reaction to be utterly just, holy and perfect.

    4. There are only two ways in which might God reveal His laws to mankind: He might impress them on our minds and hearts, and convict us of sin by His Spirit when we violate them; and/or He might cause them to be written down in a book. The first way, without including the second, results in imprecision, ambiguity and weakness when developing legal/civil standards, which would be incomplete and therefore inappropriate.

    5. There is only one nation which claims God specifically chose them to reveal His divine Law to mankind through them: Israel. Their national history is miraculous on every level; apart from divine intervention and revelation, the very existence of Israel as a nation defies rational explanation on a grand scale. This evidence is corroborated by the witness of the early Church of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, who upheld and honored Torah as God’s divine standard. This is proven historically beyond any reasonable doubt.

    6. We all fail to pass our own moral standard; we would each accuse ourselves of wrong if we perceived our own behavior as others do.

    7. The biblical record is replete with references to God’s wrath toward all who neglect or willfully disobey the truth. All functioning civil institutions are based on this principle, that anger is rightly directed toward those who willfully violate moral law. Our natural instinct also requires it; it is built into our souls and we cannot live otherwise.

    8. We selfishly evaluate sin from merely a human perspective, but if we were to view our own sin, rebellion, presumption and hatred from God’s perspective we would be disgusted and enraged. Our own instinct for justice will eventually betray us all here; there is no escaping it.

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