Logic - The Engineer of Our Lives

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 13, 2012 0 comments

Have you ever heard the statement, "Common sense just isn't common enough anymore"? I have personally used this statement and heard it used many times. Typically, it is said when people are drawing attention to what they perceive as stupidity on the part of the majority of people. But what does the phrase "common sense" even mean? The words themselves imply that it is something universal, or at least exceedingly popular. This leads to a universal pursuit of something that is not universal! What I mean by this is that we are all driven by logic, but it's not the same kind of logic. When I face a difficult decision in my life, I could very easily be seeking the most "logical" conclusion and still not have it make sense to anyone but myself. Logic is our engineer, in the sense that it guides the entire train of our lives. But logic is not a universal concept. I believe that simply because of all the factors in our lives by which we develop OUR logic. If you want the things you do to make sense to everyone else, you're searching for something you will never find. Scripture will show us that logic can be both common and personal.

As Katie already described in Monday's blog, the Bible is a very logical and ordered book. I want to show you the same thing on a small scale. In Paul's letter to the Romans, it appears that he organized it with a purpose. The first 11 chapters have to do with the wickedness of all mankind and the grace that has been shown to us by God through Jesus Christ. They reveal to us how far we are from being able to live in complete righteousness and earn salvation for ourselves, but also teach us about God's love for us even when we were still caught up in sin and how that love has given us an opportunity to be in relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus. Then, starting in Chapter 12, Paul begins to explain the "so what" of everything he has explained to that point. The remaining chapters deal very specifically with how we are to treat others, including persecutors, governing authorities, weaker and stronger brothers, and other believers in general, because of the grace that we have received. So the entire Book of Romans really hinges on the beginning verses in Chapter 12, which we will look at in a minute. The "logic" in the composition and order of Romans is something that is very common. It would be hard for anyone to deny the logical progression of Paul's writing in this letter.

As I wrote earlier, logic is not only common, but also personal. Take a look at Romans 12:1. "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship" (NIV). Now, I quoted the NIV there because that is what we most often use. But in the original Greek writing of the New Testament, we see something a little different than what we see in the English. This is due mostly to the fact that most Greek words are broader than their English counterparts. In this verse, the word for "spiritual" is actually the Greek logikos, which can be translated as "rational, reasonable, logical, or spiritual". In other words, the response to the grace of God that Paul is talking about here is the only response that makes any sense! It's not something we do to be more spiritual, but rather to be more logical. I mean, you can see that our word "logic" is directly derived from this Greek word. Paul spends all this time in his letter making sure his audience understands the grace of God not just emotionally but logically as well, and then nails them with what it should mean for their lives. I see Paul writing these words with sort of a "no duh" look on his face. Many Christians back then were likely wondering how they could possibly repay God for what he had done, and their view of the law and what was required of them would have centered on sacrifices. But Paul is trying to get them to see that it's not about giving up dead animals. The only sensible thing to do in response to what God has done is surrender every area of our lives to him. But here's the question: Does that look the same for everyone?

And the answer to that question is "no". That's when logic is personal. Listen to the same verse in a different translation. "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him" (Romans 12:1 [The Message]). You see, we all have different ordinary lives depending on our jobs, schedules, families, and passions. Because of this, God isn't looking for some kind of common, logical gift back to him. What he's looking for in all of us is a life fully-surrendered to him. That means that the driving force behind everything we do, including our routine daily activities, is the logical mindset that we are living for him because of what he has already done for us! It is up to individual persons to decide the specific applications of that mindset in their lives.

Clearly, we don't all use the same logic. Paul makes a distinction between the logic of the world and that of believers in the very next verse. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will" (Romans 12:2 [NIV]). Friends, the world has logic and "common sense" that drives them. As believers, we use a different kind of logic that has been transformed by Christ, and honestly, we might as well expect the world to look at us like we're crazy and illogical. The only thing we need to focus on as individuals is whether or not we are living in obedience to God. I challenge you to survey your life and ask God to reveal to you the areas where you have illogically put yourself on the throne and not surrendered to him. Let your renewed logic be your engineer!