Better People

     The Lord never stops teaching. We just need to keep learning. He teaches us in two ways. In a general way He teaches us through the world around us. An important Biblical statement on this subject is Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” In specific ways He teaches by His Word, which since the first century AD we have had as the Old and New Testaments of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible is not only inspired by God it is sufficient for all our spiritual needs.

     There is another compelling element to Paul’s words in Romans 1:18-22. In verses 18 and 19 Paul spoke of the wrath of God being revealed against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Paul also says that men ought to know better because God has revealed Himself in that general way we referenced above in the world and in man himself. God made human beings in His own image (Genesis 1:27). We are not God nor will we ever be. But we are designed with the capability to manifest godliness (as in 2 Peter 1:3-11) just as we have the capability of being ungodly. We must exercise our free will properly and chose to do God’s will and live godly lives.

     The point of this is that people reveal the principles by which they choose to live by the way they choose to live. One’s principles are revealed by one’s life. Every good and proper principle that people may choose to live by comes in one way or another from God. Since its completion the Bible has accepted by some people and rejected by others. But it has had an influence over everyone. This is true even with those who reject the Bible because in the act of rejection they even then are dealing with it. Then there are the millions of people on this earth who live by at least some of the principles of God’s Word even if not by conscious acts. Think, for example, of the influence of the “golden rule” (Matthew 7:12).

     This idea comes to mind whenever I see people being good to strangers. Jesus depicted this principle in Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan. There was really no material reason for the Samaritan to do what he did. But there was a tremendous spiritual reason for him to do it: It was the right thing to do. His kind actions put him in tune with God’s will. Therefore, doing what is right is the very thing that makes us better people.