In 2014, we added this “Question Section” to remind the truth seekers to ponder on the important questions in our lives. With the explosion of information and data in this post-modernism world, use of the format of questions would tend to crystallize key essence of an issue under consideration and avoid frustration of the“win-a-battle-but-lose-the-war" pitfall. You may also notice that we do not designate the section as “Question and Answer ” because the best answer to each question would have to come from you after you get the pointers from the Bible. You may ask why ? This is because only you can reach the answer which will suit your situation the best.
Question 1- What is Life?
Question 2-- How precious is your life?
Question 3-- What are your perspectives on your life?
Question 4-- What is your value system?
Question 5-- Know God's Will?
Here we do not seek the medical definition of life and death. Rather, we are trying to lay the foundation of future questions which are related to life. We are asking what are the contents of life. We are not asking the meaning or purpose of life yet because it is tied with Question 2.
The following are a few pointers for your consideration of Question 1:
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Since a life, per Question 1, has many contents, Question 2 asks you ” how precious to your life is each of those contents ?" Indeed, the same question is “what is the value system of your life?” Is a gambling activity worth more than say, a football game; or a football game more than a time with your wife; or a quiet time with your God. Here are some pointers;
By the way, since mankind spends billions of dollars in health care, life extension must means a great value. If so, we need to place a great value to things of eternal life nature.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Question 1 addresses the contents of our life. We should not just record the contents of our life but need to improve the contents because of our value system. How we fill our lives with various contents depending on our perspectives of life. Just to remind ourselves a content of life can be an event, a relationship, and an activity etc. How do we fill with our days depend upon how we plan our lives with various high valued contents that is the essence of Question 2.
Obviously, if we enjoy the prospects of gambling, then we are going to fill our days with the visits to gambling casinos. We contend that our contents of life depend upon our perspectives of life. And our perspectives of life depend upon our perception of the truth. The truth includes the reality of life. For example, if you think that life consists of only material aspects, then your contents of life will not have any spiritual contents at all. Thus, in answering to Question 1, hopefully we include spiritual contents as well in our lists because we assert that man has both flesh and spirit.
Atheists do not believe in God. They may deny the existence of God and the existence of the spiritual realm. Their perspectives of life may include only materialistic aspect and do not believe in an afterlife. This would means that life consists of purposeless evolution and ends at physical death.
For Christians, we believe the truth includes both physical and spiritual aspects. We believe there is an infinite God who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. We also believe the world was created and is being sustained by God. As revealed by Him in the Bible, this God loves the world and provides us a most precious salvation through His Son Jesus Christ our precious Lord to an eternal life without tears, pains, and decays; and with unspeakable joy to enjoy God’s beauty, love, truth, and glory.
This salvation is available to all free, independent of your race, national origin, and social/economical status. Indeed, it is a gracious gift to all who would receive Jesus Christ, who died to save His own to the end.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
For your information on the contents of life, the Holy Scripture provides the following instructions:
"as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.( Galatians 5:22-23)
13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.( 1 Corinthians 13:13)
The God’s Word is eternal
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.( John 6:63)
27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” 28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”( John 6:27-29)
11 他到自己的地方來，自己的人倒不接待他。 12 凡接待他的，就是信他名的人，他就賜他們權柄做神的兒女。
A value system is personal and depends upon many factors including individual upbringing, culture, personal interest, and perspectives of life. It is therefore not the intent of this question to derive a unique set of criteria for values. Rather, our emphasis is to point out a few things for us to consider.
I. The basis of a value system may include the following:
Through the years, we found that there is no perfect beauty, no perfect love, no perfect justice, and no perfect wisdom, etc in the humanity sphere throughout all civilizations. This imperfection may be attributed to our own limitations as well as human depravity. As Christians, we do not share the optimistic faith of the Darwinism that advocates the continuous evolution into a better human species. Even after many thousand years of civilizations, two world wars and numerous regional conflicts as well as millions of life losses in last century alone should convince us of our human depravity. It seems proper and indeed a reasonably honest endeavor that we should at least look at what God says about us.
II. What God says about us
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
B. 1 Corinthians 1:20-25
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
III. How about the world’s value system
We may ask what about the value of money. Well, let see what the Bible says about this.
9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.( 1Timothy 6:9-12)
We may ask what about the value of pride. Well, let see what the Bible tells us about this.
3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.( 1Timothy 6:3-6)
We may also ask what about the value of lust which is like a wild fire engulfing the whole world. Let us hear what our Lord teaches us about this.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)
Since the issue of lust seems entrapping many people (i.e., wise and fool, intellectual and ignorant, rich and poor, strong and weak, old and young) and it has the support of whole porno and human trafficking industries, we should listen more carefully to what the Bible teaches on this subject.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-5
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
IV. The Bible reminds us the following pointers concerning our value system
1. Jesus Christ is the Pre-eminent One in our lives-All fullness dwells bodily in Jesus Christ our Precious Lord
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach ( Colossians 1:15-22)
2. Jesus Christ is the most precious in our lives
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, (Philippians 3:7-9)
3. Top priority of seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness
31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.(Matt: 6:31-33)
B∙ 無限與有限- 因為我們的有限∙讓我們不會太清楚無限。無限不只是指空間的。所有永恆的事情或事件∙就具有無限的本質。我們主張生命的內容中，無限的應該比那些有限的更高值。
C. 慾望與法律- 法規的由來，是因為在一個社會中、每個人慾望的衝突而形成。例如，很多人會遵守排隊等候服務的規則。法律也因大家的需要，而有維護公平與正義的作用。因此，合法的事情，是應該比無法無天、混亂的有更高的價值。
B. 哥林多前書 1:20-25
20 智慧人在哪裡？文士在哪裡？這世上的辯士在哪裡？神豈不是叫這世上的智慧變成愚拙嗎？ 21 世人憑自己的智慧既不認識神，神就樂意用人所當做愚拙的道理，拯救那些信的人，這就是神的智慧了。 22 猶太人是要神蹟，希臘人是求智慧， 23 我們卻是傳釘十字架的基督——在猶太人為絆腳石，在外邦人為愚拙，24 但在那蒙召的，無論是猶太人、希臘人，基督總為神的能力、神的智慧。 25 因神的愚拙總比人智慧，神的軟弱總比人強壯。
9 但那些想要發財的人，就陷在迷惑，落在網羅和許多無知有害的私慾裡，叫人沉在敗壞和滅亡中。 10 貪財是萬惡之根。有人貪戀錢財，就被引誘離了真道，用許多愁苦把自己刺透了。11 但你這屬神的人要逃避這些事，追求公義、敬虔、信心、愛心、忍耐、溫柔。 12 你要為真道打那美好的仗，持定永生；你為此被召，也在許多見證人面前已經作了那美好的見證。
63 叫人活著的乃是靈，肉體是無益的。我對你們所說的話就是靈，就是生命。(約翰 6:63)
31 所以，不要憂慮說吃什麼、喝什麼、穿什麼。 32 這都是外邦人所求的。你們需用的這一切東西，你們的天父是知道的。 33 你們要先求他的國和他的義，這些東西都要加給你們了。 34 所以，不要為明天憂慮，因為明天自有明天的憂慮。一天的難處一天當就夠了。(馬太 6:31-33)
Know God's Will
Many people ask this question during their lives with a view for conforming their lives to the God's plan for them. This is indeed a great question. Let us find out what the Bible says about this. Actually, human beings are supposed to know His will when God created Adam and Eve. "Since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them" (Romans 1:19). Also human being's role in creation was also clearly conveyed to Adam and Eve.
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; (Genesis :1:27-29)
However, after Adam's fall, sin entered the world and caused a great damage to men's image in such a great extent that men fall short of the glory of God and are being corrupted day in and day out by their deceitful desires. It is a great lesson for us to know clearly what happened to men and to our world when sin entered the world through Adam's fall. Indeed, it is a great lesson to learn why God's wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of men who suppressed the truth by their wickedness. So there are a few things we should learn together;
1. We need to return to the Bible for calibration
After we sin, our minds are corrupted so that our thinking abilities are greatly damaged in that we became self-centered instead of God-centered. The Bible describes this situation vividly as our minds were darkened. Everyone knows that we cannot see clearly in a darkened place. What happened to a darkened mind is that the mind can not see things clearly: namely, we cannot see reality clearly; we cannot judge things realistically; we cannot maintain peace in the world; and we do not want to recognize God, let alone want to know His will.
Romans 1:20-22 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
This explains clearly and can be tested times again in our lives that we are much better off without those who are ego-maniac world leaders such as those leaders that you care to mention yourself. Therefore, we should return to the Bible to calibrate our thinking process rather than being led by a crooked world with all its so-called wise men, gurus, pundits, news media, etc. Why? Because their minds were darkened more than ours due to their extreme and perverted desires.
2. Our minds need to be renewed
First of all, none can renew one's mind by self effort such as self enlightenment, self improvement, and group therapies. Even little kids know this. How can you lighten your darkened mind without light from God who is the creator of light. First thing that we should learn is to calibrate our thinking process per the Bible. That is, know God as revealed in the Scripture; glorify God as God; and give due thanks to God for what He has done such as giving this earth to us; giving sunlight to produce foods for us; giving air to us; giving water to us; give family and friends to us; …..and giving life and sustaining life moment by moment to us. So we should think God first in all things once and for all. This means that we should deny ourselves and follow God.
In other words, we shall live by faith in each day of our lives.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let those who have ears hear this. Let those who have eyes see this. Let those who have mind read this. May our God renew your mind through His Holy Spirit so that you know His perfect will for you. Please ponder the following verses carefully with joys. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you richly for your effort to know God's will in your life.
1 Corinthians 2:9-13 9 but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
2 Corinthians 4:4-6
4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
很多人，在他們的生命中、問這個問題；希望讓自己的生命、能符合神對他們的計劃。這確實是一個很好的問題。讓我們看看、聖經如何談論這件事。其實，當上帝創造了亞當和夏娃時，人類即應該知道、祂的旨意。 “神的事情人所能知道的，原顯明在人心裡，因為神已經給他們顯明”(羅馬書 1:19)。人類被創造時、所被付給的任務，也清楚地傳達給亞當和夏娃。
27 神就照著自己的形象造人，乃是照著他的形象，造男造女。 28 神就賜福給他們，又對他們說：「要生養眾多，遍滿地面，治理這地，也要管理海裡的魚、空中的鳥和地上各樣行動的活物。」 29 神說：「看哪，我將遍地上一切結種子的菜蔬和一切樹上所結有核的果子，全賜給你們做食物。
然而，當亞當的墮落，罪就進入了世界，造成對神所造人的形象、有巨大的損害；讓人類失去了神的榮耀，並且使人類的善良的本性因慾望的欺騙奴役、而日復一日的敗壞。這是一個很大的教訓，讓我們清楚地知道，罪經由亞當的墮落、進入這個世界後，對人類以及我們的世界、所發生的事及其影響。事實上，這是一個很大的教訓，原來神的忿怒從天上顯明在一切不虔不義的人身上 ,就是那些行 不義阻擋真理的人。因此,我們應該共同來學習一些事情;
20 自從造天地以來，神的永能和神性是明明可知的，雖是眼不能見，但藉著所造之物就可以曉得，叫人無可推諉。 21 因為他們雖然知道神，卻不當做神榮耀他，也不感謝他，他們的思念變為虛妄，無知的心就昏暗了。 22 自稱為聰明，反成了愚拙，(羅馬書 1:20-22)
12 所以弟兄們，我以神的慈悲勸你們，將身體獻上，當做活祭，是聖潔的，是神所喜悅的，你們如此侍奉乃是理所當然的。 2 不要效法這個世界，只要心意更新而變化，叫你們察驗何為神的善良、純全、可喜悅的旨意。(羅馬書 12:1-2)
9 如經上所記：「神為愛他的人所預備的，是眼睛未曾看見，耳朵未曾聽見，人心也未曾想到的。」 10 只有神藉著聖靈向我們顯明了。因為聖靈參透萬事，就是神深奧的事也參透了。 11 除了在人裡頭的靈，誰知道人的事？像這樣，除了神的靈，也沒有人知道神的事。 12 我們所領受的，並不是世上的靈，乃是從神來的靈，叫我們能知道神開恩賜給我們的事。 13 並且我們講說這些事，不是用人智慧所指教的言語，乃是用聖靈所指教的言語，將屬靈的話解釋屬靈的事。
4 此等不信之人被這世界的神弄瞎了心眼，不叫基督榮耀福音的光照著他們；基督本是神的像。 5 我們原不是傳自己，乃是傳基督耶穌為主，並且自己因耶穌做你們的僕人。 6 那吩咐光從黑暗裡照出來的神，已經照在我們心裡，叫我們得知神榮耀的光顯在耶穌基督的面上。
以色列阿，你要聽！耶和華 ─ 我們神是獨一的主。
萬物都是藉著他有的, 我們也是藉著他有的。(歌林多前書 8:6)
Supremacy of Jesus Christ our Lord - Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:15-20
主耶穌的絕對優越性—無不口稱耶穌為主 (西 1:15-20)
Inerrancy of Holy Scripture - Psalm 19:7-9, Matt 5:18
Glorious Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ which demonstrates the love of God - John 3:16-18
Obedience to God is much better than offering sacrifices - Hos 6:6
For I delight in loyalty
rather than sacrifice.
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The righteous shall live by faith alone - Habbakuk 2:4
Self-denial and be patient in enduring afflictions are the God's ways for us in following Jesus Christ our Lord - Matthew 16:24