Reason is a word with multiple definitions. The Noah Plan®, defines reason as “To identify the cause or ground of conclusion: that which supports or justifies.” The Webster’s II New College Dictionary lists seven definitions tor the various uses of the word. For R-2 purposes, the Webster’s definitions that are helpful include:
- “The basis or motive for an action, decision, or belief.”
- “An underlying fact or motive that provides logical sense for a premise or occurrence.”
Per Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible the English word “reason” has several definitions in both Hebrew and Greek. In 42 entries for “reason” a total of 22 Hebrew and Greek words are used. For R-2 purposes, the Young’s entries that are helpful include:
- “And this is the reason of the levy which King Solomon raised…” (I Kings 1:15). A reason answers the question “why”?
- “I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason for things…” (Ecclesiastes 7:25). A student must apply the heart diligently and diligently seek answers to the question “why”?
- “It is not reason that we should leave the word….” (Acts 6:20). A reason given is based on evaluation of a situation.
- “… a reason for the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15). Christians are instructed to be able to explain their faith in a logical way.
- “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD ….” (Isaiah 1:18). God invites His people to seek Him and to reason with Him.
For of this series, reason will be defined as:
Reason explains the logical root cause of a situation, premise, action, or belief. Christian should begin the reasoning process by seeking the LORD and seeking a Biblical explanation for all things.
The Reasoning Process
The reasoning process is different for non-Christians and for Christians. Tools for reasoning for both non-Christians and Christians include observation, research (R-1) and logic. Reasoning for non-Christians is limited by their fallen nature. Christians have all the reasoning resources of the non-Christian. In addition, they have a relationship with God, a new nature, the Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The Lord uses the Bible in the lives of the non-Christian to convict of sin, righteousness and judgement. However, to the unsaved the Bible is not considered the word of God – it is just another book. In contrast, the Lord uses the Bible in the lives of Christians for doctrine, reproof, correction and training in righteousness that the person of God may be complete and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17). The Bible is a quick and powerful the sword of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:12) in the lives of believers.
The Holy Spirit works in the lives of non-Christians. However, the Holy Spirit does not indwell the non-Christians and they do not benefit from the many ministries of Holy Spirit. In contrast, the Holy Spirit indwells each believer from the least to the greatest. The Holy Spirit has many ministries in the lives of believers. Here are some:
- “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things. And shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit comforts the believer; teaches the believer; and brings Scripture to the memory of the believer.
- “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith” (Galatians 3:2). The believer receives the Holy Spirit at the time that they are saved.
- “Know ye not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (I Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit indwells the believer.
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and love and sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The Holy Spirit gives the believer a sound mind.
Meditation and Reasoning
Christians take in God’s word by hearing, reading, studying, memorizing and meditation. Meditation is the process of thinking over God’s word and how to apply it. The Bible lists the word meditation in about 10 places. Promises concerning meditation include:
- “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt, meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe be all that is written therein; careful to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). Meditation is the process of seeking to understand and obey God’s word. Obedience to the God’s word results in success.
- “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:2 & 3). Meditating on Scripture results in establishment, prosperity and success.
Meditation often involves seeking God, prayer and pouring out one’s heart before the Lord. Examples include Job, who asked “why” and was finally answered in the last chapters of the book of Job. David often asks “why” in the book of Psalms. David’s prayerful meditation is often answered in the same Psalm. A Psalm may start with a question posed by one who is shaken and end with a proclamation of assurance. God invites us to reason with Him; this is the gracious invitation of Isaiah 1:18.
The question of creation is a difficult one for many Christians. Preparation by researching and Biblical reasoning help the student deal with these questions. Some very basic questions will be addressed in the next segment of this series.
To be continued ….