Our Judeo-Christian Heritage - Principles 5, 6, and 7
July 16, 2018
We have been identifying the seven key principles of our Judeo-Christian heritage in this series. This week we will discuss Principles 5, 6, and 7.
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)
The Book of Genesis records the story of God making a covenant with Abraham. The basis of that covenant was that if Abraham would believe God, God would bless him with many descendents, a nation of people now known as Israel. Throughout the Bible, when ancient Israel had a king who reverenced God and held God’s Word in high esteem, the nation prospered. When they had a bad king, life within the nation was full of misery.
Genesis 15:5-6 (NKJV)
The application for us today is that during this dispensation (at this point in history), God is relating to the human race in light of the new covenant and according to who we are in Christ. This is the Gospel, which was preached to Abraham and is confirmed in the New Testament book of Galatians.
Galatians 3:7-9 (NKJV)
The Abrahamic Covenant connects the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament with the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament, resulting in the new covenant God made with Jesus Himself. This is important because it clarifies the way God is relating to the human race today – in light of the new covenant and according to who we are in Christ.
Principle 6: Common Decency
The sixth principle is based on Matthew 7:12, which Jesus declared in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
Many know this saying as the Golden Rule, but here’s the challenge: No amount of legislation can enforce the Golden Rule – it has to come from the hearts of people. In other words, our form of government was never intended to change society because government is incapable of producing morality. Government can attempt to restrain immorality, but only the power of the Gospel can change people’s hearts. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has more power to change the hearts of people than all the military might and legislative powers of any government.
William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, said, “Government seems to me to be a part of religion itself…let men be good, and the government cannot be bad.”
Ilias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress in 1783, said, “If the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.”
Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President, said, “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator.”
These quotes reveal that the founders were not looking to government to change their society, but to safeguard the values that already existed. The way to save the political character of a nation is to change the moral character of its people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The reason our society seems to be morally decaying is not because of the government; it is because the church has not instilled faith in the teachings of the Bible into the hearts of people. When we cease to win the hearts of people, it is inevitable that these ungodly people will make their way into leadership roles and take the direction of the country with them. However, if we change people’s hearts with the Gospel, the people will change the government with their votes.
Principle 7: Personal Accountability to God
The seventh principle is based on Hebrews 9:27.
Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)
Perhaps the greatest restraint against acts of evil toward others is the knowledge that every person will one day give an account for their attitudes and actions to Almighty God. Unbelievers will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment (in Revelation 20). They will be judged based on whether their works measured up to God’s standard of righteousness.
Believers (who are already righteous because of the new covenant) will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ (in 2 Corinthians 5). Every believer will stand before Christ to receive rewards based on their faithfulness during their lifetimes here on the earth. This will include what they did with their time, talent, and treasure to further the Kingdom of God and to encourage the Body of Christ.
Jim Collins is a Pastor, Motivational Speaker, Businessman and Author. Two of his books have been adopted as textbooks by Bible colleges. Jim is the founder of Beyond Positive Thinking Ministries and the Senior Pastor of Victory in Christ International in Jupiter, Florida. Jim received his Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Education from Evangelical Bible College and Seminary. He is a professor there, and is also a Dean and Professor at Covenant Bible College and Seminary,
Visit Dr. Jim Collins's website at www.BeyondPositiveThinking.org
See more from Dr. Jim Collins at www.VictoryInChrist.us