A young man came running to Jesus one day.
He must have been anxious about something.He was a wealthy man with some community status. But, his question reveals he was feeling a measure of emptiness inside.
“Good Master,” he addressed Jesus. “What must I do to gain eternal life?”
Jesus response is a little unsettling. “Why do you call me good? No one is good, but One, that is God.” Jesus’ immediate focus was not on the question of eternal life, but the young man’s measure of excellence.
Was the young man saying Jesus was a good teacher; one of the good guys; or was he saying Jesus is absolutely good?”
What is intrinsically good?
How does one measure good and evil?
What is the plumb line?
Jesus clearly answered that question. Good and evil are not determined by society or culture. Jean Paul Sartre had it wrong. Man is not autocratic and the will of the people; the ballot box; not even the Supreme Court is the one who determines good and evil.
Where does one turn when a nation’s social engineering goes a drift? To whom will psychiatry, medicine, congress and sociology turn when they have drifted into a moral free fall? What is the measure that tells them when the nation is culturally and morally bankrupt? What guideline assures the social order will not be ravaged by crime, violence and intimidation? Who determines if they have crossed the line into sexual perversion?
There is One alone who sets the standard. “No one is [absolutely] good, but One, that is God.” Almighty God is plumb line of good. All knowing God is the rule of social order. Omniscient God is the measure of good evil for all nations, all societies, and all cultures for of all time.
When God delivered the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt and was taking them to establish a new nation with a new culture. He gave clear instructions what would be the measure for good and evil for their national laws; their cultural norms and for their interpersonal relationships. “For I am the Lord your God… you shall be holy for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44).
When Jesus established the Church, He gave the same instructions during His Sermon on the Mount. “Therefore, you shall be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). This standard is not just the divine fiat that declares a person to be “the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” when they have repented of their sin and experienced new birth. It is to be the standard for their daily life.
The Apostle Paul declared,
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us… But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting… because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:1-7 NKJV).
The same apostle wrote to the Church in Thessalonica urging them to live their lives in a way that is pleasing to God because they knew the commandments Jesus Christ had given to them. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification; that you should abstain for sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-7 NKJV).
Where does a nation look to find the anchor bolts that will secure it from societal and moral destruction?
They must look to the Living God. His Holy Word will give them the wisdom and understanding.
His precepts and principles will be the plumb line for good and evil.
Dear ones, the Church is to be the living example of that standard for a nation gone adrift. But when the Church of Jesus Christ compromises God’s holiness; yields to tolerance; adopts political correctness; and silences her voice that distinguishes between the sacred and the carnal; the nation is left with no certain standard for measuring good and evil.
The Church has put a covering over the light of God leaving the nation in darkness.
The Church has bleached her cultural flavoring.
She is good for nothing and she will be trampled under the feet of ungodly men.