A Study of "Because"


      Man is by nature inquisitive. Not infrequently man's obsession to know why is a hindrance in his service to God (cp. 2 Kgs. 5: 10-14). However, God does sometimes supply the reason or why a particular matter is thus and so (Calvinistic Predestination maintains God arbitrarily prefixed events and circumstances to where there is no contingency).  One word translated "because" (a key word) is the Greek conjunction oti. Thayer lists one meaning and function of oti as being, "Introduces the reason, because" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, pg. 459).

     We love him because he first loved us. John succinctly stated, "We love him, because he first loved us" (I Jn. 4: 19). The Father sent his sinless Son to die for man (Jn. 3: 16). Paul wrote, "But God commendeth his love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5: 8). How can man, upon learning of God's great love and provisions for man, help but love God?

     Some do not hear God's word because they are not of God. Have you ever wondered why so many will not hear and receive God's word? I certainly have. "He that is of God heareth God's words," Jesus exclaimed, "ye therefore heareth them not, because ye are not of God" (Jn. 8: 47). Beloved the chief reason for all the chaos in the religious world as is reflected in all the different beliefs is explained by Jesus' "because." If we love God, we will keep his word or his commandments, it is just that simple (Jn. 14: 23, 24, I Jn. 5: 3).

     John was baptizing near Aenon because there was much water there. A segment of the religious world is confused (they say) over the action of water baptism. Water baptism is important, but is it sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Notice why John was baptizing near Aenon: "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salem, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized" (Jn. 3: 23). Beloved, water baptism is a burial; hence, immersion (Col. 2: 12).

     The reason some do not endure as a Christian. There are few who become Christians and out of this minority, there are only some of them who endure. This is seen in the teaching of the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13, cp. 7: 13, 14). Jesus teaches some seed fell on stony places (Matt. 13: 6). They became scorched and withered away, Jesus explained. Hence, they did not last. Why? Notice the reason ("because"): "And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away" (ibid.). Just as soon as one has some interest in learning and receiving the saving word of God, the devil is there to "snatch away the seed" (Matt. 13: 19). To avoid falling away and being lost, the Christian must grow (2 Pet. 1: 5-11).

     The hireling fleeth. So many preachers and religious leaders today are not really seeking the welfare of others, but are self-serving. Of course, this is not a new problem (cp. Matt. 23). Jesus explained why this is the case: "The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep" (Jn. 10: 13). Blind teachers are leading the blind and both shall fall into the ditch, Jesus said (Matt. 15: 14). Being a teacher is a tremendous responsibility that demands much preparation and dedication (Jas. 3: 1 ff.).

     The matter of unanswered prayer. In order for prayer to be answered by God, certain requirements must be met (Jn. 9: 31, I Jn. 3: 22). One reason for failure in prayer is taught in James chapter four. "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts," James explained (Jas. 4: 3). Thus, selfishness prevents many prayers from being answered by God.

     In conclusion, there are many times when God explains why. Some sought Jesus "because" of the loaves, man is to be holy "because" God is holy, and Jesus will spue out some professing Christians "because" they are lukewarm (Jn. 6: 26, 27; I Pet. 1: 15, 16; Rev. 3: 16). However, there are occasions when God has not supplied the explanation. In such cases, we must do what God says. In the absence of explanation, we "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5: 7).

     Addendum:   As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, Calvinism presents a form of Predestination that denies and precludes events and circumstances resulting from the exercise of free moral agency and causative choices man has.  To read more about Predestination, click here.