Someone painted a sign in my town that states “Right and Wrong are concepts, not absolutes.” According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a concept is
1. A general idea or understanding of something: synonym: idea.
a. "the concept of inertia; the concept of free will."
b. Similar: idea
2. A plan or original idea.
a. "The original concept was for a building with 12 floors."
3. A unifying idea or theme, especially for a product or service.
a. "a new restaurant concept."
If you are the owner of that building, since you made a public statement, I’m going to make a public refutation. Right and Wrong are not “general ideas,” not an “original schematic” that can be changed over time, or a “theme” as in a restaurant (I miss when McDonald’s unifying theme was fun…). According to the logic presented by this statement, right and wrong can cease being right or wrong depending on the society or circumstance. Based on this assertion, Hitler wasn’t wrong, Stalin and Mao (who were worse, but History doesn’t tell you that), and, based on your general concept of right and wrong, you can do whatever feels right.
The issue with this statement, which isn’t new, is that one not only rejects the Law, but is in open rebellion against the Lawgiver. When we make statements like this, we are openly and utterly rejecting the One who established the Law, what is right and wrong, and who will, some day, judge. Your moral relativism may gain a day, week, month, year, or even a millennia or two, but in the end the Righteous Judge will, indeed, judge. He established the world, set up its laws (and yes, the universe is governed by specific laws that make it work), and, while he tolerates rebellion for a time, He will not do so forever. It’s His world, He made it, and whether or not you and I accept His rule, He still rules, reigns and judges. And if you make such claims, He will point you to the law you rejected, and, in spite of your definitions and assertions, you will be judged by it.
Why do I say such things? Because I want to implore you (if you painted the sign, read the sign, believe the sign, or anything similar), time is short! We have only a few short years on this world, and some day we shall all stand before the Lawgiver. You will be judged according to His Law, whether you rejected it or not, or according to His righteousness. So get yourself the only advocate who can save you from yourself! Christ Jesus died because we are rebels. We have sinned (disobeyed) the ONE who established the world, and gone against His word, and Jesus Christ, our Advocate did not! He died in our place (those who rebel against God earn their deaths…and I have been pardoned, though I earned mine!), with His own offering of His own death, put sin on notice, and with His rising from the grave removed the sting from death for those who believe in His name. Follow Jesus, Be born again. There is an absolute law, and each person will be held accountable to it. But thank God He has provided a way out through Christ Jesus our Advocate!
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,
“That you may be justified in your words,and prevail when you are judged.”
But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;no one understands;no one seeks for God.All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;no one does good,not even one.”“Their throat is an open grave;they use their tongues to deceive.”“The venom of asps is under their lips.”“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”“Their feet are swift to shed blood;in their paths are ruin and misery,and the way of peace they have not known.”“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.