Atheist questions a Christian’s desire to put God first in all things…
Atheist, Mark Dempsey, comments: “A Christian woman said to her friends: “You can’t do anything without God.” Why would she think that when there is not a scrap of evidence to support her claim? Another Christian woman said: “I always put God first in my life.” I wonder what she meant by that? It is impossible to put God first in anyone’s life. You may think that people mean what they say, but oft-times when you ask them what they mean, they are hard-pressed to offer a convincing explanation. They are more parrot than human, because they repeat what they have heard many times, instead of thinking about what they are saying. Thoughts?”
Christian response to Mark Dempsey…
Mark, the answer to your question lies in the Christian doctrines of “Justification” and “Sanctification”…please allow me to explain.
When a Christian says they “always put God first in their life”…they are saying that they seek God’s will in all things. Atheists, like Mark Dempsey, cannot comprehend this statement because they are spiritually dead as the Atheist is consumed by naturalism; therefore, the truth of the Spiritual seems as foolishness to them.
Concerning the Atheist and spiritual impotence, the Holy Spirit speaks in this manner…
“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB)
Atheists are blind followers of Satan; as a consequence, the Atheist cannot see the glory and honor and Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because Satan has blinded their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4). Knowledge and wisdom, the deeper truths, relevant to God’s written word only manifests via the indwelling Holy Spirit as Tutor/Teacher that is given to everyone who humbles them self and believes in their heart, confesses with their mouth that Jesus Christ is God who died to pay their sin-debt and that He was resurrected for their justification (Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 10:8-10; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10).
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 (NASB)
Justification v. Sanctification…
It is the Holy Spirit that guides the believer in sanctification subsequent to justification. At the moment a person honestly, earnestly, believes that Jesus Christ-Yeshua is God who died for them, that person becomes “justified” in the sight of God the Father who imputes the perfect, sinless, righteousness of the Son, Jesus Christ, over the life of the believer. In other words, the person who believes that Jesus is God who died to pay their sin-debt, that person so believing and confessing, is immediately deemed NOT GUILTY for sin as they are forgiven for past-present-future sin (Romans 10:8-13).
Subsequent to being Justified in the sight of God the Father by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the faithful believer receives the indwelling Holy Spirit as Guarantor/a Seal of the Covenant of Grace between God the Father/God the Son and the faithful believer (Ephesians 1:13-14). It is the Holy Spirit, subsequent to Justification, that begins the life-long process of Sanctification i.e. being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in thought, word, behavior, deed. It is the process of “Sanctification” that one is speaking of when they say “You can’t do anything without God” – or – “I always put God first in my life” (Romans 8:28-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
It is by the power and influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit that one seeks daily to put God’s will “first” in their life as the faithful believer seeks to glorify God in all things concerning obedience through love (Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 22:37)…because obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).
Rickey D. Holtsclaw