Summary: When we know God’s Word, we can rely on God’s wisdom for the decisions we make regarding matters of faith.
For the past three months I had the privilege of participating in jury duty, and throughout
my service it became apparent that my least favorite days of the term were the jury selection days. Once a month, all of the people who had been summoned for jury duty gathered in one of the courtrooms so that juries could be selected for trials which had been scheduled over the course of the following weeks. The procedure began with the bailiff randomly selecting the names of twelve potential jurors, who were then seated in a designated area of the courtroom. The prosecuting attorney, who represented the interests of the State, had the first opportunity to speak to the jurors about the circumstances surrounding the case. The prosecuting attorney always declared that the State would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one or more crimes had been committed by the defendant, and while listening to the arguments made by the prosecuting attorney I was convinced that the State had its case, and that the defendant would indeed be found guilty of the State’s charges. After the prosecuting attorney concluded his or her remarks it was the defense attorney’s turn to address the jurors, but the defense attorney always presented a side of the story that was different from the prosecuting attorney’s version: The defense attorney always claimed that the State’s charges against the defendant were unfounded, and that evidence presented during the trial would convince the jury to rule in favor of the defendant by rendering a verdict of not guilty.
After listening to the arguments made by both attorneys, I often left the courtroom feeling inadequate and confused about the truth: How could the prosecuting attorney claim in a convincing manner that the defendant was guilty, while the defense attorney claimed in an equally convincing manner that the defendant was not guilty of the State’s charges? I sincerely wanted to make the right decision about the case, but I lacked the knowledge and the wisdom necessary to make the right decision. It wasn’t until the day of the trial, when the other jurors and I could hear the facts of the case for ourselves, were we able to accurately determine the correct verdict. From the time of the jury selection to the end of the trial I went from feeling inadequate and confused about the truth to having no doubt in my mind about the guilt or the innocence of the defendant.
Like jurors in a courtroom, each one of us may be required to make decisions when we are presented with conflicting points of view, and often times the decisions we are called to make have to do with matters of faith. For example, at Grace Chapel we believe that salvation comes only through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that the only way to have a right relationship with God is through faith in His Son. However, other people claim that there is more than one road that will take you to salvation, that it doesn’t matter what you believe, just as long as you believe in something, because faith in Jesus Christ is only one of many ways that will bring you to a right relationship with God. After all, how can we possibly exclude anyone’s belief about how to become righteous with God if no one really knows for sure which way is the right way?
And after hearing the arguments presented by those on either side of the issue, you may be left feeling inadequate and confused about what you are to believe about how to a right relationship with God: “At Grace Chapel, I’m told that salvation and a right relationship with God comes only through faith in Jesus Christ, but some guy down the street told me that faith in Jesus Christ isn’t enough. I need to be baptized in order to be saved, and I need to do good works to prove that I’m worthy of God’s grace if I am going to have a right relationship with God. And this lady at work told me that faith in Jesus Christ is wonderful, but Jesus Christ was just a prophet. She told me, what I really need is to know the Book of Mormon. Relying on the Bible isn’t enough because God has given us new revelations, and if I’m going to have a right relationship with God I need to know what is in the Book of Mormon.”
Who are you going to believe in the courtroom of faith? What evidence can you rely upon so that you can make Godly decisions regarding matters of faith? Chapter 30 of the Book of Proverbs gives you the evidence that will allow you to know, beyond a doubt, what God wants you to believe when you are faced with decisions pertaining to matters of faith.