Dilemma, Finally solved; The Whole Reveal
All of us encountered a situation where whatever we do may either be right or wrong depending on its effect on us, vis-a-vis others. There is a very strong self-interest and self-protection/preservation innately woven in our DNA that make us like a “deer freeze in headlights because they can’t see”. The hurdle that faces us may prove insurmountable and it leaves us with a dilemma in making a choice.
“Ethical dilemmas, also known as a moral dilemmas, are situations in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in an ethically acceptable fashion. In such cases, societal and personal ethical guidelines can provide no satisfactory outcome for the chooser.” (1).
Examples of dilemma for all humans are on line to see(2). The dilemma in the movie “Sophie’s choice” is heartbreaking (3), an awful experience of Sophie Zawistowska in Nazi concentration camp choosing between which child she would give up to face death under the hands of evil. The movie Les Miserables (4) is a primer on diverse human dilemma. Jean Valjean’s decision to steal a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s children vs 19 years of horrible prison term; stealing silverware from Bishop of Digne who took him in for food and shelter; breaking parole and leaving his identity as prisoner #42601 to be free and have a new life; to expose his true past to save an innocent person mistaken for him vs abandoning his comfort as factory owner and Mayor of Montreuil, Pas-de-Calais; giving himself up vs hiding in a convent, etc. The cast, viz., Javert, Fantine, Cosette, Éponine, Marius, the Thenandiers, Enjoiras, Gavroche, also have their own unique competing challenges.
As in the secular world, the same is true in the religious society. Stephen, the first martyr after Pentecost post-resurrection of Jesus narrated in Acts 2, was faced with either to preach the truth about Christ or be stoned to death which he eventually opted for (Acts 7:54-60). The rest of the early Christians also chose death over abandoning their faith. Revelations 6:10 heard their cries to God to avenge their blood.
Personally, we all have experienced dilemma. Even if one makes a choice and opts for what is best morally or ethically, the aftermath may still have physical consequence, including death. What then is the solution?
The apostle Paul encapsulates this experience and was referred to, in Romans 7 where he found the truth about our composition(Genesis 2:7), mind and flesh, and the choices to be made as to which to follow. Contextually, here was Paul with the gift of “in-dwelling of the power of the Holy Spirit”, guiding his “mind”(breath-of-life/spirit-of-man) to do good, while he struggled with the pull of his “flesh” to sin. As written in:
“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin”.
Galatians 5:17 (English Standard Version):
“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
In the preceding verses, Paul discovered “the inward man”(5), aka “mind/breath-of-life”, where the gift of the Holy Spirit is in-dwelling, to bear the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” . Yet, still wrestling with the “flesh” to do the “works of the flesh”(Galatians 5:19-26) and his admonition to “walk in the Spirit” instead, as in:
Galatians 5:16-17“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want”.
As wretched a man he is, Paul asked “Who will deliver me from this body of death? “. His answer: “I thank God(the Father)—through Jesus Christ our Lord! “.
Paul knew that were it not for the gift of the Holy Spirit’s in-dwelling, he would have been lost. He chose to depend on God’s will instead of his own, remembering as a scholar taught by Gamaliel that “my thoughts are not your thoughts “(Isaiah 55:8-9). He learned from Jesus how to respond to dilemma and how his body has to change as in: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
As he stated in Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Garden of Gethsemane dilemma for Man-Jesus
The narrative in Matthew 26:36-46 takes us to Jesus who was confronted with a dilemma that took him 3 times convincing himself to finally accept the “will of the Father”. His solution was to succumb his personal will to that of the Father’s, whose plan it is for Jesus to sacrifice himself voluntarily as a Passover Lamb(1 Corinthians 5:7). He is our “trailblazer”, “captain”, “pioneer” (Hebrews 2:10-11) towards the way to eternal life. As his “sheep”, let us heed the example of our “shepherd” (John 10:11; Isaiah 40:11) and follow the “will of the Father”, by the power of the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in us.
Why God does not consistently intervene?
We know of instances where God, in his omniscience, can see the person facing sure death, be violated or suffer major injuries, and yet he does not intervene. Some may wrongly argue that God’s failure is tantamount to being an accomplice of evil, albeit passive that may be. We know he can in many instances, like in the book of Daniel, where Daniel was facing fierce lion and fiery furnace and was saved. As narrated in Exodus 12, the Israelites, fleeing the bondage from Egypt were saved from Pharaoh. Indeed, the Holy Bible is replete with many examples like these of God’s intervention. Altogether though it may either be, God exercises wisdom in everything he does even when we are blinded as to reasons. Remember, Ecclesiastes 9:11,”…time and chance happen to all”.
Solution for human dilemma
Notice that in all of these examples, the predicate is always because of our mortal bodies, our mortality because “all have sinned” and merits “death”(6,7). See, also Romans 3:23 and 6:23. And because of risks embedded in our physical composition, we factor this in, consciously or subconsciously, in our decision-making, leading to dilemma.
And God who created human beings, knew this all along and planned for the solution, from the foundation of the world. The long and short of it all, is that our mortal bodies have to change. Humanity has to go through a regeneration process and be “born again”(8), not of mortal bodies that decay in “hades”(grave), but of “immortal, spirit-composed bodies”, the necessary composition to “eternal life” without dilemma.
God instituted this process even before the world began. As humans, through Adam, were counted as all sinners (Romans 5:19) so that with one man Jesus, our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) all will, at time appointed (Ecclesiastes 9:11), be on track towards reconciliation with the Father (2Corinthians 5:18) and subsequent in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit to bear “fruits” (Galatians 5:22-23) toward eternal life.
Dilemma is nothing new to humans, whether in secular or religious society. This is a fact of our life, being composed of “flesh+spirit” that wrestle with one another. While our “spirit is willing” to do good, the physiologic mechanism to act is hindered by the “pull of the flesh” and tempts it to go the opposite direction. As such, the flesh is truly “weak” and to “finally solve dilemma” our body has to change to another body. This is the solution to our dilemma that is predicated on our “flesh-composed body”.
The gift of the Holy Spirit was then given by the Father to the resurrected Jesus to usward, to dwell in us, as a “Helper”(John 14:26,NASB). This will then develop in us a new body, spirit-composed, immortal and will manifest in a “twinkling of an eye” at the “last trump”(1 Corinthians 15:52), on the day of our “delivery” from a long “pregnancy “ (Revelations 12:1-2). As prophesied in Jeremiah 18:4, our current “spirit-of-man“, (the real you, Ref. #5) has to be reworked into another vessel, as in;
“And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”
Much like the physical body develops from a single cell zygote, so with a “spiritual zygote” that forms through the binding of the “spirit-of-man” and the “in-dwelling Holy Spirit”, the process of spiritual development into a “spiritual body” will follow.
But, this will complete itself by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a life of “overcoming”(Revelations 3:21). Follow the Holy Spirit to bear spiritual fruits, for its rejection will tantamount to “uterine rejection” of a developing “spiritual fetus” in the “church womb” (Revelations 12:1-2) towards “spiritual abortion”(9).
God bless 🙏😇
Original post: September 13, 2018
1. Ethical dilemmas examples. Retrieved 9/2/18 from http://examples.yourdictionary.com/ethical-dilemma-examples.html
3. Sophie’s Choice. Retrieved 9/8/18 from https://g.co/kgs/EcpVEu
4. Les Miserables. Retrieved 9/8/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Misérables_(2012_film)
5. Who and where is the “real you”? Retrieved 9/10/18 from
6.Salvation Series 1. Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/
7. Death, What is? Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is
8. Born again. Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/03/12/born-again/
9. Roe vs Wade. Retrieved 9/13/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/07/19/roe-v-wade-why-the-controversy/