2018-05-03 Basics #2 God & man

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com


May 3, 2018

This is a letter to our friends –

Basics #2

(I hope this series of posts will be thought worth saving.)

[John Locke, “Of Civil Government” 1689] “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another’s pleasure: …

“Basics #1” Established the existence of God. This “Basics” column discusses man’s relationship with God. We begin by parsing Locke’s statement (above).

Locke establishes that everything, including man, has a law of nature to govern it. He continues that these laws make common sense. If men would only reason it out, they would realize that, everyone being equal and independent, no one should harm another’s life, health, liberty, or property.

Then he tells us why this is so. We are all created by one all-powerful, all-wise Maker, put on the Earth by His authority, for His purpose. We are His property, made to last during His, not one another’s pleasure!

“Revealed Law”, found only in the Holy Scriptures, teaches that God put man on the earth to love Him, and to love one another. To “love” is to unselfishly want the very best for the loved one [John 3:16]. Humans are slow learners! After at least six thousand years, we are still learning. The good news is that we are making progress! The study of God’s hand in human history “Providence” is fascinating. I hope to discuss it in future columns.

How are God and man alike? Both have a being and both create choices. We have no choice regarding our being. Neither, apparently, has God. He knows everything that is knowable. He is uncreated. He is all-powerful. He is everywhere present. He is eternal. He can’t help it. That is just the way it is. Man also has a being. Man has life. Man has body. Man can’t help it. That is just the way it is. The big difference is that man’s being is finite. It has a beginning and an end.

The mind blowing discovery is that God created man with a choice! All creation is governed. Inert things like rocks and dirt are governed by cause and effect. Plant life is governed by things like photosynthesis. Animal life is governed by instinct. Only man (and angels) share God’s ability to create choices. Once a choice is created, its existence is eternal. A choice once created, cannot be uncreated!

My grandfather taught me that, “Words unspoken often fall back, dead. Once they are spoken even God cannot change them!”

God cannot help being God. However He can choose to be loving, wrathful, peaceful, forgiving, just, …, … . His choices define His personality. Man’s choices define man’s personality. One day our bodies will no longer exist, but the choices we made are eternal. Our choices define who we really, truly are. The totality of our life’s choices will define who we are for eternity, in heaven or hell.

Some choices are more important than others. Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [John 14:6] The choice is ours. The consequences are eternal.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

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Ben Gilmore 1929-2023

On March 30, 2023 Ben Gilmore, the co-founder of ACHStudyGroups (co-founded with his wife Fran), went to be with the Lord in Glory.

A Memorial: https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/BenGilmore/