HOW CAN WE KNOW WHAT “GOOD” IS? (3 JOHN 11)

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We judge what’s good by establishing a benchmark, which has been the task of moral philosophers since the invention of language. Several benchmarks currently compete: personal pleasure, social stability accepted norms (“do not inflict needles pain” is one example). following religious teaching. or obeying God.

The latter two are especially difficult. Religious teaching is so diverse, so frequently unpleasant, so prone to support the people in power that following one teaching nearly always entails disobeying or fighting another. Obeying God, however, offers these advantages. The Bible is God’s Word, written for our benefit. Jesus, the divine Son of God, is our living Lord who has sent us the Holy Spirit, our ever-present helper. We acquire moral discernment as we mature in relationship with God. We come to love the good as we grow to love God, for God is good.

Granted, Christians will disagree about how God’s principles for right conduct should be applied to particular problems. Solving disagreements involves continued study, prayer for insight and courage, and active discussion with people of mature faith. Christian also understand doing good as a response to God’s love, not as a prerequisite for God’s attention or approval. Doing good is evidence that faith is growing, never a substitute for faith itself.

3 JOHN 11- Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 

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