Romans 8 – Solid Ground When All Else is Sinking Sand

Romans 8 is a lighthouse of encouragement when the fog of life rolls in confining our view to immediate circumstances. In it we find perspective. In it we find Hope. Despite the pain and heartache we may encounter on our journey, Romans 8 reminds of us of truth.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of what we already know. 

Sometimes we need to rehearse to ourselves the truths we already claim.

Sometimes we need to stop focusing on how we feel, and focus on what we know.

Romans 8 is a proclamation of the one and only Solid Ground. All other ground is sinking sand.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

How Can I Know The Bible Is True?

monkimage.phpYesterday I had the privilege to preach at our church on this very important question.

“How can I know the Bible is true?”

It is a question of foundations, how do we really know. In universities and seminaries this is called epistemology, but I never dropped that word bomb in my sermon. For us, its just real life. How do we know the bible is true, as well anything at all? Can we really have certainty on anything!

My answer is ultimately, yes, we can.

You can listen to my sermon HERE for the full audio of the discussion under the media player. Keep reading for the main point.

There are many ways to tackle this question.

I outline the 1) Personal Experience Standard, 2) Just have Faith Approach, 3) The Bible says it Method, 4) Textual Uniqueness, 5) External Evidences, 6) Internal Divine Insights, – all of which have strengths and weaknesses.

The most powerful explanation I have found for certitude on the Truth of Scripture is in its exclusive ability to provide a foundation for Reason and Morality. The Bible alone explains why we can trust our own understanding and our sense of right and wrong.

  • The primordial soup of evolution has no basis to really trust the chemicals in our brain, yet we do.
  • The doubt of the atheists and agonists destroys any confidence to trust their own knowledge, yet they do.
  • Other religions have contradictory foundations for truth, yet they still trust our ability to know.

Only the Bible presents an accurate picture of reality. Carl Henry nails it as he astutely writes,

“But the nature of truth is such that the Christian revelation is formally intelligible to all men; it convincingly overlaps ineradicable elements of every man’s experience, and offers a more consistent, more comprehensive, and more satisfying explanation to the meaning and worth of life than do other views.” (GRA I, 238)

This worldview is one in which logic and reason are rooted in the Image of God.  Genesis 1:27 says in His image he created us, male and female.

The bible shows that God Himself is the standard to judge all things. Col. 2:3 “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Logic has its root in the person of God. The Bible reveals this to us.

The way in which God’s mind works is purely logical; Titus 1:2.- “for God cannot lie”, also in 1 Cor. 14:33 “God is not a God of confusion.”

Without the Bible we would not have a firm foundation from which we could know anything! If we dismiss the bible, how do we account for the logic we depend on for every thought or discussion?

We count on the laws of logic to never change, why is that?

Because God never changes.  Micah 3:6 says, “I the Lord do not change.” James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

We are rational beings having rational thoughts right now because God is who he says he is, and we know this through the Bible.

Morality is equally rooted in the person of God as revealed in the bible.

The bible has revealed a God who is Good and a world that is fallen. Every person and every society of all time has had a sense of right and wrong. Where did this come from? Why do we even seek for truth rather than a lie?

Because we were created in the image of God.

The bible does not ignore the evil in our world or make excuses, but explains it. We see ourselves for who we really are as we read its pages. We find the answer to the problem of evil through the redemptive plan of God to rescue us from that evil. All of this is revealed in the bible. It accurately describes our reality.

What anchors our understanding of Good?

Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever”. Psalm 136:1 “give thanks to God for he is Good”. In John 10 Jesus is called the “Good Shepard”. And yet we know that we are not Good, which is affirmed in the bible. Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked”. Mark 7 talks about the sinfulness of man does not comes from just his mouth, but from his heart.  Romans 3:23 rightly says, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

The understanding of right and wrong is not a herd mentality or social construct, but it is written on our hearts by our Creator.

Apart from the bible we have no foundation for the reality that we all live in and accept as truth every moment of every day.

Why is there reason and rationality? Why is there right and wrong? God has revealed why in the bible.

How do we know the bible is true?

If it is not true, we have no foundation to make sense of reality as we know it. Without presuming the truth of the bible, we cannot prove anything else.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” -CS Lewis

 

Everyone Accepts Absolutes

“There are no absolutes.”

“Everything is relative.”

Statements similar to these exhibit the height of ignorance. Despite their self-contriditicting nature, (Isn’t “there are no absolutes” a very absolute statement? If “everything is relative,” isn’t this statement relative too?) it is very interesting that people who says silly things like this, actually only say it in reference to a small scope of reality.

These fallacious statements are said only when it comes to ethical, philosophical, and/or religious discussions.

Have you ever thought about that? No one ever applies it to all of reality!

No one ever tries to say “there are no absolutes” when it comes to mathematics! You would be scoffed out of the room if you tried to implement this belief into the scientific method. The Judge never winks at the criminal while in court and assures them that “there are no absolutes”.

Everyone accepts absolutes.  It is impossible to live otherwise.  Everyone accepts that 2+2=5 NEVER happens. Everyone understands that murder and rape are wrong at a fundamental level for all people of all times and places. Everyone lives on a planet that obeys ultra-specific, absolute, laws of physics.

Consider the fine tuning of our universe. The constants that make life sustainable are razor-edge specific. If any one of these constants were off by a fraction, there would be no you, no me, no earth.  Yet, we live because there are absolutes all around us.  This video explaines these powerful facts better than I can.

So I pose a question. If our world is filled with absolutes, where do these absolutes come from?

And even more importantly, Why?

I think you know my answer to these questions. But have you thought them through for yourself?

 

 

To Get You Thinking: 12 Great Quotes about Apologetics

Thank you Poached Egg for this compilation of inspiring quotes. See the original article at Pulling Back the Curtains: 12 Apologetics Quotes.

 

 

  1. Christian Apologetics QuotesBelief doesn’t create truth. Unbelief doesn’t destroy truth. Christian faith goes beyond reason but not against reason. —Paul E. Little (from, Know Why You Believe)
  2. Christian Apologetics QuotesAs humans, we are limited in our search for truth by our fallen nature, which can make truth difficult to accept and apply. Knowing truth is not just the product of the intellect but also of the will and the personality. Truth begins not with observation, but with a direction to look and a willingness to see.  —Mark Cosgrove  (from, Foundations of Christian Thought)
  3. Christian Apologetics QuotesThe Bible says we should “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Can you help someone work through the “Why does God allow suffering?” question? Can you help a university student see that science has not, will not and cannot disprove God? Do you know why it is logically impossible that all religions could lead to God? We need to be ready to answer these because the Bible commands us to do so. As Christians we have a tremendous heritage we have inherited from those who have taken 1 Peter 3:15 seriously.—Jon Morrison (from, 5 Reasons To Rethink Apologetics)
  4. Christian Apologetics QuotesIt is a hard thing to look at the truth when it runs contrary to what you’ve always believed. The experience is like pulling back the curtains in a dimly lit room and looking out the window to see what’s really outside. When your eyes are used to artificial light, the bright sunlight is almost blinding; your eyes may sting and even water at the brightness, and the temptation is to turn away to the more comfortable dimness. But consider: the electricity that powers artificial light is produced by fossil fuel, made from plants that long ago took in the light of the sun—or from windmills, powered by air currents moved by the sun’s heat—or from solar panels, absorbing the sun’s rays. We may think we are in control of the light when we can turn it on or off by a flick of a switch—but ultimately that tame, comfortable indoor light has its source in the wild heart of the sun. Just so with the truth. Whatever we know of what is right and good and true comes from God, the Author of all Truth—whether we know it or not. But His truth is so much greater than our little partial glimpses of the truth that it can be blinding. —Dr. Holly Ordway (from, Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith)
  5. Christian Apologetics QuotesAny and every other belief you hold, about anything whatsoever, if it is to be taken seriously, if it is to be of any value or worth anyone’s consideration, it must have in its favor more than your emotions, personal history or external circumstantial factors. It must have reasons—Clint Roberts (from the article, Believing for No Reason)
  6. Christian Apologetics QuotesI assert that nothing ever comes to pass without a cause. What is self-existent must be from eternity, and must unchangeable: but as to all things that begin to be, they are not self-existent, and therefore must have some foundation of their existence without themselves. – Jonathan Edwards
  7. Christian Apologetics QuotesAs parents, we are the folks who will have the most repeated contact with our children; we are the ones who can have the most impact (good or bad). This is the simple truth for all of us who are raising kids in the church. We have to become the best Christian Case Makers our kids know so we can respond quickly to their concerns and questions. As parents, we are still the first line of Christian defense. —J. Warner Wallace (from the article, Parents Are Still the First Line of Defense)
  8. Christian Apologetics QuotesI suggest you completely ban the phrase “leap of faith” from your vocabulary.  Biblical faith is based on knowledge, not wishing or blind leaps.  Knowledge builds confidence and confidence leads to trust.  The kind of faith God is interested in is not wishing.  It’s trust based on knowing, a sure confidence grounded in evidence. – Greg Koukl
  9. Christian Apologetics QuotesNaturalism requires one to believe humans are special for no reason at all, or else to deny that we are special at all. Either option is odd. Naturalism is a strange belief. It’s one thing to hold that it is possibly true (though that strains credulity beyond my personal reach). It’s another thing altogether — and one can only pause to contemplate what might be the reason for it — for anyone to think it’s definitely true, or almost certainly true.—Tom Gilson (from, Naturalism is a Strange Belief)
  10. Christian Apologetics QuotesSincerity does not trump truth. After all, one can be sincerely wrong. But sincerity is indispensable to any truth we wish others to believe. There is something winsome, even irresistible, about a life lived with conviction. I am reminded of the Scottish philosopher and skeptic, David Hume, who was recognized among a crowd of those listening to the preaching of George Whitefield, the famed evangelist of the First Great Awakening:  “I thought you didn’t believe in the Gospel,” someone asked.  “I do not,” Hume replied. Then, with a nod toward Whitefield, he added, “But he does.” —Larry Taunton (from, Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity)
  11. Christian Apologetics QuotesSkeptics must provide more than alternative theories to the Resurrection; they must provide first-century evidence for those theories. —Gary Habermas (quoted in, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist)
  12. Christian Apologetics QuotesThere’s a fine line, though, between being someone who questions and being someone who refuses to believe any answers-a true skeptic. In fact, I don’t think many skeptics actually question anything. They may phrase their challenges as questions, but their heart is set on rejection and disproving, not asking. To truly question something is to query it and to ask about it for the sake of greater and deeper understanding. This may lead to evidence that disproves or to propositions worthy of rejecting, but the heart behind it is to learn, to know. And in this sense, we ought to question everything. And I do mean everything… — Barnabas Piper (from, The unskeptical questioner)

 

Ken Ham addresses Bill Nye

I bet all of you saw the video of Bill Nye slamming the belief in creationism. He accuses opponents of evolution of holding back society and teaching inappropriate material to children. Listen for yourself.

Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis offers a rebuttal to Bill Nye.

Here are some creation scientists pointing out some glaring flaws with Bill Nye’s position.

I hope you can think critically about the presuppositions behind the science you hold. Does it really correspond with reality? I hope these videos made you think.

-Adam