October 18, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 18 October 2016
Have your eyes ever deceived you? Golfers become frustrated when making a good swing and good contact, yet the ball sometimes slices to the left or right. Golfer’s eyes can deceive them into thinking they are parallel to the ball, yet in fact, their feet and divot is pointing to the left or right. The eyes deceived the brain, and the brain decides what was seen. If a golfer’s eyes deceive them on the goal course, it can be frustrating. Many times we see what we want to see. Scripture warns us not to be deceived because the result can be eternally worse than mere frustration. Consequently, we are to examine all things as true or false by the absolute standard of God’s Word. We are to heed to nothing but the truth of Scripture.
The command to “test the spirits” is because not everyone who claims to have the Spirit of God actually does. Gullibility is not a biblical virtue: “do not believe every spirit.” There are only two spiritual influences in the world: “the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” The latter influences and motivates “many false prophets” who “have gone out into the world.” A specific issue with regard to Jesus being true man and true God is addressed in 1 John 4:2-3, then verses 4-6 emphasize a generalized test to be applied to any and all religious and spiritual matters.
How do we know “that we are of the truth” (1 John 3:19)? The answer is by deeds of action and abiding in truth (vv. 17-18). The command to love necessitates action (2:7; 3:11, 18). One reason that God revealed First John was to correct false teaching. The antichrists (2:18) taught that they knew the truth through mystical, spiritual knowledge, even though their lives were characterized by greed and hatred. The true, biblical teaching is that one can know he/she is “of the truth” when one’s lifestyle is characterized by godliness in action and belief as the result of trusting in Christ Jesus.
Does 1 John 4:1-6 not only relate to our personal lives, but also to the Capitol community? These verses are applicable to both. Morality and politics are interrelated. Politics is an extension of ethics, and ethics is an extension of theology. Ethics involves decision making in all realms of life. The rationale for that decision-making is not always obvious because it is based upon one’s worldview (i.e. one’s reason for living, one’s decision for the focus of their life, and one’s consequences for those decisions).
One’s worldview is their answer to the following questions: (1) what is ultimate reality?; (2) what is the goal of history?; (3) what is man?; (4) what occurs at death?; and, (5) what is the basis of authority for morality? Theology is the answer to those questions. Therefore, your theology will determine your ethics, from which is determined morality and politics; it is absolutely critical then to abide in the truth of God’s Word and in the Savior, so that one’s ethics are based upon the spirit of truth, not the spirit of error. Good men and women — because God has constituted them as such — will make good politics.
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.