God’s Word was amazing long before iPhones. It is so complete and practical that one could say “there’s a verse for that” for any circumstance we face. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). “All things that pertain unto life” are covered within it; it shows us how to be godly in every situation (2 Peter 1:3).
The Bible completely furnishes us for good works. It tells what is right (“doctrine”), what is not right (“reproof”), how to get right (“correction”), and how to stay right (“instruction in righteousness”) (2 Timothy 3:16–17). This shows two positive uses of Scripture—teaching/training—and two negative uses—reproof/ correction. The former means that there is nothing in Scripture that would mislead us into factual or moral error; the latter shows that Scripture enables readers to reject ideas and practices that conflict with it.¹ Scripture is able to make a man “wise unto salvation” and completely ready for “every good work”
God has a standard for every area of our lives.
GOD HAS A STANDARD FOR GOVERNMENT.
Government was God’s invention and exists only with God’s approval (Romans 13:1–2). Thus what happens in governmental offices is a matter of His concern. The basis upon which God governs nations is: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34; cf. Psalm 9:17). A righteous nation is exalted, but a sinful nation is eventually disgraced (Jeremiah 18:7–10). The best things a Christian can do for the welfare of his country is:
- Spread the gospel, for it has the power to save men (Romans 1:16) and to make them righteous (Romans 1:17; cf. Proverbs 14:24).
- Pray fervently (1 Timothy 2:1–3; cf. Luke 18:7–8). Every time you pray, you are given a private audience with the King. Sincere prayer to God will have more influence than a trip to the ballot box (although Christians should exercise their right to vote). Our true strength is not in weapons (Isaiah 30:15–16; 31:1–3) but in the Lord’s will, righteousness, wisdom, and knowledge (cf. Isaiah 33:5–6).
GOD HAS A STANDARD FOR THE CHURCH.
People speak of “our church” or “my church,” which suggests that the church belongs to people. If the leaders or majority do not like a denomination as it is, they change it. There are different terms of admission to the various denominations, and different teachings about how to be saved. Groups worship in different styles and teach different lifestyles. People are urged to “join a church,” which implies that all churches are equal—it is just a matter of personal preference.
Who has the right to decide such things? Because of man’s sins, Jesus shed His blood on the cross. The church He built was “purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). That settles ownership: the church belongs to Christ. Jesus is “the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18). He said, “All authority hath been given unto me, both in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).
GOD HAS A STANDARD FOR LOVE.
Love means many things. People speak of loving their dogs—and hotdogs; their cats—and catfish; of loving their phones and their spouses; of loving a movie and the Messiah. Young people fall “in love.” People talk of “making love.”
God is the perfect standard of love (1 John 4:9–11; John 3:16). How He acts is the personification of love. The example His Son gave the world is how a loving person acts in any given situation. God requires that kind of love from us (Matthew 22:37–40).
- God wants husbands and wives to love by this standard (Ephesians 5:22–33; Titus 2:4).
- God desires that Christians love one another with this type of love (John 13:34–35; 1 Peter 1:22).
- God even commands us to love our enemies with this love (Matthew 5:44–46).
GOD HAS A STANDARD FOR MARRIAGE.
Many marry whomever, whenever, wherever, for whatever reason, but God takes marriage more seriously. Matthew 19:4–9 and Hebrews 13:4 are still God’s standard. God made one woman for one man and said couples are to leave parents, cleave to each other, and weave two lives into one (Genesis 2:22–24).
GOD HAS A STANDARD FOR PARENTING.
GOD HAS A STANDARD FOR WORSHIP.
- To the right object—God;
- In the right way—truth (Ephesians 5:19; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1–2).
- In the right attitude—spirit (Hebrews 12:28).
GOD HAS A STANDARD FOR WISDOM.
The world has a brand of wisdom that emphasizes academic attainment, scientific knowledge, and wealthy success. Those with degrees and wealth are not necessarily wise before God (1 Corinthians 1:25–31). Those obedient to God’s will are the ones God views as wise. Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24–25; cf. John 17:3; 2 Timothy 3:15; Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 8:9).