The Reformed Witness
APOSTASY GOD’S LAW: A UNIVERSAL STANDARD
|Without a doubt, the first impression of the Old Testament is that of a detailed and precise account of History. Since God is focusing upon the particular history of His chosen people, He accounts only those details necessary to give the reader a practical understanding of the circumstances and events surrounding ancient Israel. Yet, the perusal of Biblical history cannot, and must not, be viewed dispensationally. To infer that the events surrounding Old Testament Israel is of no application or use for the 21st century is to deny the sufficiency of the Scriptures. Such a faulty presupposition also denies the timelessness and absolute authority in which the Word of God commands.|
expounding the History of Scriptures, whether it is New Testament
exposition or Old Testament exposition, a clear pattern emerges. The
Scriptures address every area of life, without exception. An honest and
careful assessment of God’s Word will supply the reader with a
viewpoint of all life and society from a Divine vantage point. God
superbly contrives the Holy Scriptures to dramatically show that He is
the legitimate authority and the absolute sovereign establisher of all
areas of life. The Scriptures expressly, and ethically detail how
mankind is to respond to the world around them. This “Christian
world-view” is perfectly detailed by the use of doctrinal statements,
personal examples and historical case studies contained in the Holy
Scriptures. To ignore or pervert such an obvious standard is to deny the
authority of God and His Law.
FOUR FUNDAMENTAL SPHERES
|In order to
better understand the areas of life, which are addressed in the
Scriptures, we might place them into four categories, or spheres. Within
these spheres there exists specific rules and standards. We may also
consider certain offices, authorities, duties and responsibilities
associated with each sphere. Although these categories are distinct,
some may, at times overlap, depending upon the situation as detailed in
the Holy Scriptures. The four groups are as follows:
For each and every one of these areas of life, God has prescribed a very definitive, and clearly detailed, set of commandments concerning them. To deny God’s legitimate authority over each of these spheres, is to deny both His Sovereign Rule and sole proprietorship (i.e. dominion) over things in heaven and things upon the earth.
The doctrine of the Sovereign Authority and Dominion of God is perhaps the most obvious, and therefore the simplest teaching to convey through the Scriptures. Sadly, while it is intellectually heralded by many, it is often omitted pragmatically by the same “professors of Christianity” in the affairs of everyday life.
ALL AFFAIRS WITHOUT EXCEPTION
come as no surprise that the Old Testament Scriptures have strong
socio-political overtones. The affairs of government and social order is
paramount through the Scriptures. Even the New Testament contains strong
and obvious socio-political aspects. In Luke 8:18 Christ instructs us as
to our carefulness in hearing. It is not so much as to what we hear, but
rather we are instructed to be careful How we hear.
Presuppositions dictate our interpretation. If we view the Scriptures as a directive for our personal pilgrimage alone, we may unconsciously omit its directives for family life, or our affairs in business. Whenever the Scriptures are set in a vacuum, or compartmentalized to address only one aspect of life, we fail to understand the whole council of God.
The modern church has erred in precisly this manner. Instead of embracing what God’s Word declares on every issue of life, i.e. politics, government, economics, military affairs, family, church government, personal business, domestic and international affairs, the modern church has sought only to expound those doctrines that are religiously safe and non intrusive. This segregation of certain doctrines from the whole of God’s Word is in direct violation to proper Biblical interpretation and profitable application.
These passages warn against improper and destructive interpretations. Paul infers in Acts 20:26 that if he had failed to properly expound the scriptures by compartmentalizing them, he would be guilty of murder. Whenever the scriptures are expounded only to include selective spheres of life, the entire council of God is thereby omitted. If the Church is ever to be revived to its Biblical place in society, it must begin by putting to death its misguided and promiscuous interpretation of Holy Writ.
The Word of God instructs us to proper interpretation. We are to allow the Scriptures to identify Truth by carefully comparing Scripture with Scripture. We must see the Bible as a comprehensive rule book, exhaustively commenting and dictating in all areas of life. Too often, the Scriptures are seen as a “spiritual” book to be disregarded in the affairs of earthly living. This “metaphysical” approach to Bible interpretation and application is heretical.
In this commonly quoted, yet misapplied verse, the Apostle Paul establishes the framework in which the Scriptures are to be employed. What Paul is dictating is that God’s Word is the Rule for ALL doctrine and practice in ALL areas of life. Since the man of God is to be thoroughly equipped in righteousness unto all good works, the question must then be asked as to where these good works are to be executed? Although the case studies of the Old Testament clearly and decisively answer this question, teaching us that they are to be employed in every sphere of “real” life, let us look to the stated directives of the Lord Jesus.
This priestly prayer of Christ clearly and expressly states what realm the saints are to execute their commission of influence. Christ further expounds the ministry of the saints in the execution of righteous influence in Matthew 5:
THE LAW OF GOD APPLIED IN THE WORLD
Christendom places God‘s “Love” paramount over God‘s “Law”,
as if the two exist independently from one another. If this independence
were true, then Christ could not declare, “If you love me, keep my
Commandments (i.e. my Law).” Christ significantly yokes Love and Law
in a bond that none ought put asunder. The Apostle Paul makes clear in
Romans 13.8-10 that love is the fulfilling of the law. Practically, for
the child of God, it is the love of Christ that put into action the Law
of God. Only those who are of the seed and regeneration of the Saviour
respect God’s Standard of Truth and His Covenantal requirements
concerning all spheres of life. To be free from God’s Law means to be
our own law. This is at the heart of “Antinomianism” (i.e. lit.
against the law) and apostasy. In effect, it is the denial that God’s
Law is binding.
The Word of God must be the directive and binding commission for all righteous Christian living. Any independent thought and action is sin. Life must be governed by the Law of God as it is effectuated by the Grace and Love of God, in Christ, through the regeneration. To be governed by God’s Word as it engages every area of life and faith is to be governed by His Spirit.
Modern Christians confuse the notion of the Spirit when it comes to obedience. They declare that they are not under the Law because they have the Spirit’s guidance. This, effectively, is declaring that they are under a notion of spirituality that has no mooring in the Word of God. Christ doctrinally declared, “My Words are Spirit, and they are life.” He yokes His Spirit with the Word in order to clearly enforce the concept, “obedience to the Spirit is obedience to the Law” (and visa versa) . To infer that the Law of God is not to be regarded as a Standard of obedience, or that it no longer retains validity in the New Testament age, is to utterly deny the clear teaching of the Scripture. Furthermore, to deny that the Law of God interfaces with every aspect of life, as to dictate policy and obedience, is also a tremendous affront to the legitimacy and universality of God’s Law over mankind and his institutions.
ALL SPHERES ARE INTERRELATED
|It is a well
known fact that the failure to bridle individual wickedness will infect
all areas of that person’s life. If a man is a drunkard, his passion
for drink will negatively effect his family, friends, financial
situation and social position. If that man is in the place of ministry
or public civil service, his passion for alcohol will compromise his
effectiveness to the point of corruption and destruction. Likewise, with
any sinful passion, if a man is tainted in the sphere of his person, all
other spheres are susceptible to demise.
From these passages, we see that Christ has set up a parabolic example stating these simple facts. A good tree will bring forth good fruit, and an evil tree with bring forth evil fruit. There is no way around this truth. It is then a fundamental, and undeniable fact that personal conduct is based upon a relationship with Christ and His Holy Law.
POLITICS AND SOCIAL ORDER INCLUDED
has established social order by His Law, He expects His pattern of
social order to be maintained. Such a maintenance of socio-political,
and economic social order can only be obtained by a strict adherence to
God’s Standards and principles.
Contrary to Christian modernists, the Scriptures command a strict Biblical pattern to be obeyed in the realm of politics, government, economics, and social order. The Prophet Isaiah addresses, in extensive discussion, the ills of Israel’s socio-economical, political and Ecclesiastical problems. He addresses the personal root of this social and religious apostasy in no uncertain terms, and calls for a reformation in all areas of life. Such a reformation dictated a return to God’s Law and mercy. Jeremiah also, concerned himself with national concerns, as well as military and international affairs. These concerns were yoked with his reproving of church leaders and citizens of Israel, and were not restricted to the personal pilgrimage of the soul. As with the Old Testament, so is the New. If we observe the assault which the disciples had upon Rome, we must honestly conclude that it was not a religious assault but a political assault. Rome was in the practice of allowing any and all types of religions, provided they were licensed and controlled by the state. The Christians would have none of this, because they were under the social and political reign of Christ, the Sovereign King of kings.
It must be understood that if the Christian community is ever to fulfil their God-given commission upon the earth, they must understand the concept of Righteous Engagement and Dominion. In order to plunder the humanistic status quo, one must first challenge it.
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