Throughout the world, there are various standards that are used for measurement. For example, metric units such as kilometers (km) are used to determine the amount of distance that one travels. Or, the metric unit known as a kilogram (kg) which is used to determine weight. The metric system is used worldwide in order to measure distance and weight. In most school systems, the use of what is known as a ‘ruler’ is used so that students can measure the distance of an object.
A ruler generally uses centimeters, millimeters, or inches to measure distance. A ruler can also be used to draw a straight or an angled line rather than drawing a curved line. It is the ruler that allows the user to maintain a level of order when drawing and even measuring. If one were to attempt a straight line without a ruler, the chances are that the line would be flawed rather than linear. Without the metric system or even the ruler, then it would be difficult to estimate how large or small an object is.
Spiritually speaking, the creator of the universe and all things that are not man-made is the standard that supersedes all standards. God Almighty has a standard for humanity which resides within His Word. God’s standard is designed for all of us to follow, however, because of humanity’s inclination to sin based on our sinful nature, the standard that God has put into place is often ignored or rejected.
There are two scriptures that should be examined as it relates to honing in on God’s standard for humanity to follow. The first comes from the book of 1 John 2, verse 16 which says the following:
(ESV) “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
In this passage which is in verses 15-17, the Apostle John is encouraging Christians not to love the world or the things of the world. What John means is that we who are in Christ should not love the desires of the flesh or even the pride in Earthly possessions. To love temporary things and even to indulge in our sinful nature is to essentially live by the standard that satan has set for the world to follow.
A standard is a way to measure or it is a directive that we are to live by. The ways of this world are hinged upon appealing to our flesh rather than to the growth of our Spirit through the influence of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. John says that the things or the ways of this world are not from God the Father, but they are from the world. Who is it that sets the pace of a godless society? It is none other than satan who is ‘the god of this age’ as 2 Corinthians 4:4 says.
Satan has deceived many by instituting his standard which is steeped within our sinful nature. This is why many are following various trends that are inherently against God’s decrees because the standard of this world is not godly. Homosexuality, adultery, lying, murder, sexual immorality and other sins have become approved by our world system. While there may be laws that are put into place to suggest that order has been established, the truth is that many nations are operating in lawlessness. As a result of such lawlessness, disorder and misconduct become the norm within a godless culture.
So, it is important to understand that the ways of this world are the complete opposite of God’s standard. However, the question then becomes, ‘What is God’s standard for those who are willing to follow Him?’ Mark Chapter 7 is one of many scriptures that directly answers the question of what God’s standard is for all of humanity to follow.
In Mark chapter 7, Jesus addresses a group of Pharisees who challenge Him regarding tradition and ritual. One of the Pharisees had noticed that some of the disciples were not following the Jewish tradition which was to fully wash their hands before eating. So, Jesus was asked concerning this issue. In this chapter, Jesus made it clear in verses 17-19 that it isn’t the food that we eat that defiles our body but what comes out of our heart.
The Pharisees were very legalistic and followed the Mosaic law which put them in spiritual bondage. However, Jesus made it clear to them that their religiosity was an issue spiritually because they were doing things based on ritual, but their hearts had not changed. Here is what Jesus said in response to the Pharisees challenge:
(NLT) “And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
What Jesus said is that a person is defiled by what comes out of their heart. All of these sins are named to point to the fact that these are sins that result from our sinful nature. We are all born into sin which means we are prone to do any of these sins Christ names or even other sins He did not name. So what is the standard that God wants humanity to follow?
The standard that God has set in place for us is none other than Holiness and righteousness. The sins that Jesus names do not line up with Holiness or righteousness. In order for us to fully reach and institute God’s standard in our life, we must not only follow God’s Word by knowing His commands, but we must spend time with God daily. Spending time with God will increase your spiritual maturity and His presence in your life.
As a result, you will begin to live righteously and Holy as God requires because you are doing so in His power. You are also operating out of a spiritual rebirth through Christ. The reason we must be reborn spiritually is because we are born into sin by default. However, God’s standard which is Holiness and righteousness begins to be how we live when we immerse ourselves in His presence and in His word.
The standard of God is the complete opposite of satan’s standard which is what the world follows. Those who are not in Christ cannot live according to God’s standard because they are not controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that the things of the Spirit are foolishness to the person who does not have the Spirit which is the Holy Spirit.
The reason why so much sin has run rampant is because the heart of many has become hardened by their sinfulness. However, God desires that we seek Him and follow His standard for living. Just like a ruler is a measuring tool or a standard for maintaining linear lines when drawing, God’s decrees are meant to do the same for our lives. God wants to rule and have dominion in our lives, but we must relinquish control.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you are operating by a worldly and sinful standard. The standard that brings satisfaction and complete safety is the one that God has designed. Our world is growing increasingly chaotic because of humanity’s unwillingness to allow God to rule. Many are clamoring for peace and safety but only in Christ will they find it. Accept Jesus Christ and believe that He is Lord and allow God’s standard to be the basis for your life.