The Bible and Common Sense

Logic and common sense alone will not convey the full truth of God’s word and leave us trying to apply human concepts to the Bible. While many examples could be given to show this to be true, human logic would tell us that Jacob would serve Esau, but that was not to be. “It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger.” (Romans 9:12)

When the scriptures make things plain to us by showing us great truths, and they are viewed in a way that we deal daily with things in our every-day lives in a common-sense way, then in common sense we can understand the teaching. A clear example is the way Christ taught Nicodemus about the new birth: “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews…” (John 3:1) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. (John 3:3)

Here Christ used a great teaching method to convey a great spiritual lesson and further taught a great “master in Israel” a lesson that we all benefit from today. Now, I want to consider some great truths that even common sense will teach us wonderful things. When death comes and claims an individual, robbing him of all life, there is absolutely no more activity or actions of life left, therefore, even common sense confirms in our minds that the dead can no more act or respond; they are dead. There was another death pronounced upon our father Adam. “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Gen. 2:15) And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17)

No person can reasonably or successfully deny that God gave Adam, who had newly come from His almighty hand, direct and clear authority to eat of all the trees of the garden with the exception of one, and that was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In that one prohibitive commandment God promised Adam ‘in the day thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die”. Isn’t that clear? But, Adam did eat of the forbidden fruit.

Now, as a consequence of his disobedience he not only brought death upon himself, but on all the yet unborn human race as well. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”. (Romans 5:19) “But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming”. (1 Cor. 15:23) Here are scriptures that tell us that every one Adam represented in Eden died, and every one Christ represented will be made alive in the resurrection. This is plain, clear; one would have to deny the Bible to deny the teaching of this great truth.

It is often affirmed that man didn’t really die the death that God, Who cannot lie, promised him. By common sense we know that in order for man to hold up and hold to his imagined and revered “free will”, he denies that man died a death of “trespasses and in sin”.

Consider this illustration that many preachers use to try to show the great love of God, that salvation is indeed a free gift, but that you have to “accept the gift”, and while Christ loved you, died for you, and offered you eternal life -- a common example used to amplify the simplicity of all this -- there is the “man in the well” example: the dead and unregenerate sinner is like a man in a well, with no way out, helplessly doomed without a rope, but the preacher lets down the gospel rope and all the man has to do is take hold of the rope that is offered him, just accept the rope, take hold of the rope. This is where a little common sense comes in. Since the man is dead in trespasses and in sins, wouldn’t common sense tell us even for the man patiently holding the rope and pleading with the “dead man”, he can’t take hold of the rope because he is dead. God said, “ye shall surely die”; he can no more take hold of the rope than Adam could pass by the flaming sword that kept the garden gate and return to the Garden. He is dead until he is quickened by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:1)

Let us consider these illustrations and see if they could possibly be misconstrued by just applying common sense:

Number One: Man does not have a spark of life rendering him capable of exercising faith and accepting eternal life that is being offered him, and all he has to do is to accept the gift by faith. The simple truth is he doesn’t have faith, not even a little faith. “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:“ (2 Thess 3:1) “And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith” (verse 2) Faith is the fruit of the Spirit, so the only correct common-sense conclusion we arrive at is that God said “Ye shall surely die” (Bible). Ye shall not surely die (serpent). You have enough faith and life left showing you didn’t surely die (some preachers). The preacher who purports that the man in the well can take hold of the rope in order to have life is agreeing with the serpent.

Number Two: A common sense law, the law of Biogenesis, that is inviolable is a law that no man can violate; he can attempt to circumvent it by atheistic evolution, which theory is taught in our educational system every day.

The law of Biogenesis simply stated is that “life always descends from life”. Life must come from existing life. A bird lays a fertile egg; in a few days a bird is hatched, and it came from existing life. A gardener plants beans and a new crop of beans develops from the seed that had the germ of life. Every thing is still “bringing forth after his kind” (Gen. l:11). So, we cannot say that man has a degree of spiritual life after God said he shall surely die, and he died that day to the joys of the Lord. Before he is quickened by the Holy Spirit, if a dead sinner suddenly showed evidences of life, it would violate the law of Biogenesis, and that is impossible to do. “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” (Acts 26:8) Many people around Paul thought it incredible that God should raise the dead; it was not believable that there should be a resurrection. The Scriptures clearly declare that God, by His Holy Spirit alone, without the aid of gospel preachers, or any other aids or help, speaks and gives us spiritual life, but many say this is incredible without the aid of the gospel call. That theory is what is incredible.

It is my prayer that these thoughts may stir our minds to further studies in God’s word.

Elder Bill Walden