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This article originally appeared in the July 12, 1964, Pentecostal Evangel

The revival we need (May 27, 2001)

Revivals 65 years ago (March 18, 2001).

A 1908 Valentine's story (February 11, 2001)

We must tell them (August 11, 1997)

Christian = bigot? (January 21, 1990)

Touch Him where you can (August 28, 1983)

Paranoid Christians (June 7, 1970)

A code to live by (July 12, 1964)

The story of two sons (January 17, 1948)

Little talks with the office editor (January 1, 1916)


A code to live by

By Helen Jarvis

Not long ago a panel of outstanding young people conducted an interesting discussion on a network broadcast. They were searching for a basis of morality and social conduct — a code to live by.

Floundering along in a mass of words, they failed to arrive at a criterion of right and wrong, or to set positive guidelines. Not once did they appeal to the final authority of the Word of God.

Expressing nothing in absolute terms, their conclusions rested upon the relative idea: Rightness of actions must be weighed by the consequences — whether it would injure or disturb another.

Such thinking is common today. Perhaps you too have sought for a code to live by in human concepts and philosophies, and have been disappointed. Or you have looked for the answer in psychological theories and mores of culture. But such standards are only adequate to the extent that they are based on a righteous law.

Maybe you, like thousands of others, have relied on a church creed for rules of conduct. Often you may have found these formulas of faith helpful, but their influences extend only as far as their authority is accepted and their claims appropriated.

Or possibly you have tried to let your conscience be your guide, only to observe that this inner monitor varied according to the individual and his training.

It is not God's will that His crowning creation drift with the tides of human ideas and opinion. He has given reliable directives for all of us in His holy Word. Read its pages with an open heart and mind and you will know God's highest plan for man.

The Bible leaves no question as to the basic concepts of morality and of social behavior. It plainly says, "Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" (Romans 12:9), and defines both evil and good in clear language.

Because it does not give them license to follow their own selfish wills and fleshly desires, many people prefer to overlook the claims of the Word of God, neglect its precepts, and refuse its guidance. But the Book has stood the test of time and human experience for centuries, and it will live on. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

Civilization's highest goals have been achieved on steppingstones of truth. And the roots of successful, enduring society are firmly embedded in its teaching.

Its principles satisfy the seeking heart as nothing else has ever done. It offers a basis for strong convictions and character. Its prophecies are fulfilled to the minutest detail, and its promises are reliable. Best of all, it recommends a living, loving Savior to fallen man — One who is mighty to save!

Dear confused friend, in these days of uncertain standards and quicksand morality, God's Word is still the only reliable code to live by. Begin by accepting Christ who is the Word "made flesh," and base your life upon the written Word.

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