Has anyone ever asked you if you were “epistemologically self-conscious?” Do what!!!! Epistemo what!?!? Was I just called a filthy name or was it a compliment? What in the world are you talking about?Just relax. I was simply asking about the way you live your life; the reason why you do what you do; what shapes and guides your choices, your decisions. Simply put- when asked the question about being “epistemologically self-conscious”, we are being asked: “do you know what you believe” and “why you believe it?” Most of us go through life acting and reacting without thinking about the choices we make and the things that we do. We simply DO IT! Sounds like a neat saying for a T-shirt. Or we make decisions based upon what’s in it for me. Often this is driven by our personal feelings. I call this Frank Sinatra Theology. “FEELINGS” and “I DID IT MY WAY” are the theme songs of this decision making process; or being motivated by pragmatism which emphasizes that the right thing to do is that which works. Doesn’t matter whether it is right or not; what matters is whether it allows me to be a success. Forget living based upon principle- boy what a novel concept.
Seems to me that this is a pretty important issue. What does guide my life? Do I simply act or react? Am I driven by success, fame or fortune? Do my feelings guide me? That’s really scary when you think about how fickle we can be. As a Christian- one who has been born-again- what does guide me? Wow- this really is important! Am I to be like everybody else? Am I to follow the philosophy of the day? Do that which is cool, or popular, or makes my day (that’s Clint’s philosophy)?
What am I to do? Where am I to go? Who am I? Where am I? What am I doing here? Oops sorry. Got carried away. What are we to do? Well, Virginia, if Christ is Lord of all of creation, then He is Lord of the mind also. Right! Well- grasshopper- how does Christ, the Lord of all creation speak to us. Now remember we said that the Bible is God’s Word. This is how He communicates with us. This is how He reveals His will to us. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Thus it is to the Scripture that we must go!
Open your Bible to Romans 12:1-2. Paul in the first eleven chapters talked about the person of God and His hatred of sin; man’s dilemma- sin; and God’s solution- Jesus Christ! The question is “how could a just God, justify the unjust?” The answer is Jesus Christ!! He died for our sins! He paid the debt we couldn’t pay! Our response is to receive Him as Lord and Savior by faith and faith alone. It is a matter of trusting in Him, not of working our way to heaven, or of purchasing the riches of heaven through our works or riches.
Jesus and Jesus alone is the answer. If you don’t believe me, read the first eleven chapters of Romans.
The theme is stated in 1:16-17. Man’s problem- sinfulness is discussed beginning in 1:18- through 3:20. The justification of sinful man through Jesus is 3:21 through 5:21. In chapters 6-8, Paul discusses the beauty and the power of Grace (a good way to remember Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense). God’s demonstration of His righteousness is discussed in chapters 9-11.
This brings us to the second half of this book in which Paul establishes principles by which an individual who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is to live His life. This begins with Romans 12:1-2. These verses form a connection between the two sections: the first- Paul’s discussion of God’s grace; and the second- now that I have experienced God’s grace, what am I to do? Don’t believe me- check it out!
This week Pastor Jim Misner’s column is a repeat of an earlier article he had written back in April 2011.