Vol.VIII No.V Pg.1
July 1971

Relatively Absolute?

Robert F. Turner

We strive or press toward perfection, and die without ever having reached our ideal. (Phil. 3:12-16) In an absolute sense, sinlessness is so above man that John said, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 Jn. 1:8) Context of the same passage shows that we achieve an acceptable relationship with God through forgiveness. (1 Jn. 2:1)

So, many commands to a Christian are obeyed so far as one is able — there being varying degrees to which different saints may measure. Christ may forgive one man more than He does another, that they may both stand before Him justified. This does not say truth is relative, but that we may reach differing levels of knowledge and response.

But someone, reasoning along these lines, asked the question, May one have the mind of Christ as far as he is able? May ones attitude be less perfect than anothers, and both be acceptable before God? It seems that ones attitude, ones heart, is either right or wrong before God — that there can be no relativity in such matters. An illiterate can give his heart to God as com- pletely as can the scholar, and is probably more likely to do so. And the babe in Christ, who stumbles and falls often, may be as intent on overcoming his weaknesses and serving the Lord, as the mature Christian of long standing. One may need more forgiveness — but this very thing may contribute to his love for Christ, and determination. (Lu. 7:47)

Does not Christ teach that we must love God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind? (Matt. 22:37) Phillip would only baptize one who believed with all his heart. (Acts 8:37) It may not take much of a man to be a Christian, but it does take all there is of him.

And the man who gives himself completely, wholeheartedly to Christ, will be satisfied with nothing less than a lifetime of striving to do all the Lord asks of him. (Lu. 17:10) That kind of servant will not make distinctions in Gods laws (Jas 2:10) or discount some just so the heart is right. He knows that heart is wrong!