[Papercut Press Publishing] 1998-09-07 - So You Think You Exist?

Ephesians 4:22-24 … in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus (525-475 BC), thought that a new sun appeared every day and that it was only a foot in diameter. He had some other interesting ideas such as asserting that it was impossible for anyone to step twice into the same river. Because the river flows and is always changing, the river is never the same. By the time you attempted a second step new waters would have flowed.

The banks would also be different. And if the river is the water and the banks and the bed of earth under the water, and it is always changing, there is no river. By the time we named the river, it would have changed and not be the same river we had named, and thus there is no river. The river has changed while it was being called a river. So it is not a river.

People are like rivers. They are always changing. William James said that people are like a 'stream of consciousness'. And good old Heraclitus also noticed that people change. Therefore, he reached the absurd conclusion that people do not exist.

So do you? Do you exist? Of course you do. However, it is true that Heraclitus did reach one true conclusion. We are in constant change, or at least we should be. In Romans 12:2 we are strongly admonished to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Christian life is to be a life of constant change. Laying aside the old self and putting on the new self is our chief bu more and more in a manner worthy of our holy calling is what we are about today, this week, and for the rest of our lives. May God grant us the ability to strive more and more faithfully toward this end.

"We do not strive to be holy in order to be saved; that is legalism. We do not strive to be holy in order to prove we are saved; that is bondage. We seek to be holy because that is God's purpose in saving us and because we have come to be thankful to him." John Benton

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tim