By Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus
What is reason?
Reason is a faculty of the mind that enables us to make sense of things. In reasoning, we use knowledge and logic to come to understand and form conclusions about our lives and the world in which we live.
Sounds simple, right? But do we ever stop to think about what an amazing gift this is, and how we should use it? Do we ever thank God for the mental capacity to reason? And, what does the Bible tell us about reason?
Reasoning is a gift from God.
The best reason to reason is that reasoning is a gift from God. As with all the gifts He gives us, it is good and He desires that we use it. In addition to the cognitive ability to reason, God has also given us the gift of the Holy Spirit and promised us that He will direct our lives and renew our minds.
John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…”
John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
God wants us to reason with Him.
“Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18)
We should desire to reason.
“Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.” (Job 13:3)
The Hebrew word used in these verses is yakech (yaw-kahh’). It means to be right (i.e. correct); to argue; to decide, justify or convict; dispute, judge, maintain, plead, reason (together). It is clearly a very active verb and something that takes a dedication to researching to gather facts and a determination to understand the information. Our minds are a wonderful thing and our ability to think through information should be appreciated.
Reasoning influences our thoughts and hearts, and subsequently what we think and desire will direct our words and actions.
Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
The Greek word in this verse is dialogizomai (dee-al-og-id’-zom-ahee). It means to reckon thoroughly, i.e. to deliberate (by reflection or discussion): cast in mind, consider, dispute, muse, reason, think.
Reasoning must be exercised.
The gift of reasoning can be wisely used or it can be foolishly neglected. Wise use of reason always starts with the Word of God as our source for factual knowledge. In HIs Word, God has given us everything we need to know. With factual information from the Bible, and in faith, God will guide our reasoning and logic to understand what He has written. God does this by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we must be diligent to seek His guidance.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
King Solomon, who was given great wisdom from God, knew the importance of exercising reason:
Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.
Reasoning renews our minds.
In the fall of man, the presence of the Holy Spirit was lost. The soul died a spiritual death, but by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ man is regenerated to a spiritual life of fullness in Christ. With the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit our minds are renewed.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Last, but not least, reasoning is important in sharing the gospel.
Acts 17:2-3 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
Come now, and let us reason together. (Isa 1:18)
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