There has been much discussion lately about whether the concept of binary is true anymore. Can you have two, six, thirty-seven, fifty-two, eighty, or even eighty-one genders? These are the answers you get if you search the Internet. This study is not about gender identity. It is about the structure of our world as God created it. Scriptures have a pattern of defining God’s Truth through binary choices.
(Genesis 1:3-5)1NIV New International Version Translations – “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Here we get to see God’s pattern begin to evolve. There is light, there is dark. There is evening, there is morning. Much can be said about the merits of binary. Think of true/false tests, yes/no answers, and black-and-white comparisons. Binary systems were used in China, Egypt, and India thousands of years ago in the fields of mathematics, philosophy, and literature. Binary thinking made the invention of the computer possible. The binary code is the simplest mathematical language: a tiny realm based utterly on ones and zeroes, the concept of on or off! One might argue that God is the inventor and chief proponent of a binary reality. God organizes primordial chaos into neat divisions, water and land, birds and fish, and man and woman. There is a wondrous design held in a simple order for us to see and understand. Throughout the mind of God, we find this order, evil/good, death/life, curses/blessings, lies/truth, unbelief/faith, flesh/spirit, sin/righteousness, and captivity/freedom just to name a few. It is the binary law that leads us to the ultimate choice in our world, the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of Hell!
(Genesis 2:9) – “The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
What we can see from these trees noted in Genesis, is that they represent a choice. God implies eating from the good tree because if you eat from the evil tree, you will die. These are simple, binary concepts yet they have far-reaching consequences. God never forces you to solve a complex riddle to be saved. God simply says here is my Son Jesus Christ sacrificed for your sins. Make Him your Lord and believe I raised Him from the dead and, you too can live with us both. Don’t believe Me and you will die and be eternally separated from Me. These are the basics of simple binary choices. The consequences of making the wrong choice are eternal. A binary number can only be 0 or 1, off or on. Binary choices are always directly opposed or opposites.
(Deuteronomy 30:19) – “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”
You cannot be in both binary categories simultaneously. Many people find it efficient to base their morals on a binary system. Such perspectives divide right from wrong, truth from lies, and sinners from saints. It distinguishes the saved from the lost or heaven and hell. Our binary system works until our worldly choices break down because binary becomes something else, making our choices overwhelming. An octal numbering system’s base is 8 instead of 2 for binary. The base 8 means the system uses eight digits from 0 to 7. All the eight digits from 0 to 8 have the same physical meaning as that of decimal numbers. The next digit in the octal number is represented by 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 which represents the decimal digits 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
It is OK not to understand octal. It was chosen as an example because it is confusing, complex, and used primarily for mathematics. If our God had not chosen a binary form to use within His Word, most people would have a big problem. Suddenly our footpath to redemption would come to round-a-bouts with dozens of exit ramps, rather than just simple forks in the road. What then? Overcomplicating God’s Word is a classic strategy used by Satan, like defining 81 genders! You no longer have two choices, but you have eighty-one to pick from.
When the word “world” is used in the New Testament, it’s a translation of the Greek word “cosmos.” “Cosmos” can be defined as the planet earth and includes its human inhabitants who mostly live their lives with their backs turned toward God. Satan is the Prince of this “cosmos.” He defines our language to state that the cosmos is an “orderly harmonious systematic universe.” Yes, our universe is orderly. However, our world is NOT! Chaos is probably a better word for describing our world. Chaos means “a state where chance is supreme, it is a confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of any distinct forms.” In other words, our world is a constantly changing mess!
(John 12:31) – “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.”
The systems of the world are ruled by Satan. Until he is eliminated from our chaotic world, it becomes difficult to see and sort out what should be simple binary choices in life. The great news is that those who believe in Jesus are no longer part of this world, no longer part of the cosmos. When both sides of a binary world are broken, then, choose not of this world! When we are not in this world, not in the cosmos or chaos, sin has no power over us. We do not have to be trapped by the choices we must make. When principles no longer define God’s binary world, we have Christ!
(John 17:14-16) – “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
The good news is that we can still make our own decisions. But because we are in Christ, we don’t have to be a slave to any bad choices. Because we are in Christ, we have the power to choose NOT to do the sinful stuff the world loves. Think of yourself as an ambassador for Christ. You are visiting here, representing His Kingdom. The world’s choices are not the things Jesus would choose. Step out of this world, step into His light. When both sides of a binary world are broken, choose not of this world!
Our true home is not in this sinful world, it is in eternity with Christ. There is a glorious simple Kingdom that awaits us, a place greater than we can imagine. The good news is that all the choices have been made correctly. We don’t have to guess which is the 0 and which is the 1. We can stop trying to fit in there. Our call is not to act like people of this world, but instead, to become an imitator of Christ, spreading the good news of the gospel so others can one day abandon this world too.
- To test your Biblical knowledge, can you find one or more places in Scripture where God says, you have three choices, sin, don’t sin, or do your best to get away with sin by covering it up?
- Ideas to Explore: We are always looking for the “fence” to stand on. Walking in the middle of the road still can get you killed. Even repentance means changing direction, not just branching off somewhere less traveled where you will not be seen.
- What is the most bizarre untruth you are being asked to believe?
- Ideas to Explore: Why do you notice this specific untruth? What are the untruths that you do not notice?
- Do you think that the steps to salvation are complex?
- Ideas to Explore: Where does your fear come from? It is binary, why are you afraid? If you choose Jesus and you are wrong, please think about where the risks are. Eternal risks, everyday risks?
- Why do people fear Jesus?
- Ideas to Explore: Who did Jesus ever hurt? Whom did Jesus die to help?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations