God’s Divine Institutions

SAM_0230

http://www.spokanebiblechurch.com

  1. There are two sides of history, God’s side and Satan’s side, and therefore there is a constant spiritual battle through out history (Exodus 4-7; 1 Timothy 2.1-3; 2 Timothy 3.8; 1 Peter 2.11).
  2. There are two parts of Satan’s world system: 1) World System Pride emphasizes self and self-importance. Pride emphasizes what you think about yourself. Satan’s pride was the original sin. He thought that he was as good as God with the result that Satan governs his world system through an appeal to pride. 2) World System Rebellion emphasizes antagonism toward or rebellion against God and legitimate authority. Rebellion emphasizes what you do. Satan promotes antagonism and rebellion against anything related to God, especially God’s grace (Genesis 3.1-6; Matthew 4.1-10; 1 Peter 5.8; Rev 12.3-9).

“As the family offers us the first step beyond self-love, so this [patriotism] offers us the first step beyond family selfishness.”— C.S. Lewis

“Let’s never forget what made us great as a nation. It’s not diversity, it’s liberty.”—Joseph Farah

“Communism is what happens when, in the name of Mind, men free themselves from God. But its view of God, its knowledge of God, its experience of God, is what alone gives character to a society or a nation, and meaning to its destiny.”—Whittaker Chambers, Witness.

II. The Divine Institutions

Divine institutions are the most basic practices or customs (institutions) that God (divine) set up for the human race (believer and unbeliever) in order to protect them, preserve them, and allow them to enjoy blessings on earth. The four divine institutions are volition or liberty (Genesis 2.16-17; John 7.17); marriage (Genesis 2.18-25; Col 3.18-19); family—the basic social group (Genesis 4.1-2; Ephesians 6.1-4); and nationalism—the larger unit with a cohesive and distinct culture (Genesis 10.32-11.9; Acts 17.26-27).

  1. Volition: God gave mankind volition, the right and ability to make choices, good and bad (Genesis 2.16-17; Deuteronomy 30:14-21; Job; Isaiah 1.16-20; Luke 6.27; John 17.17; Acts 17.27, 30).
  • Marriage: God had planned that one man and one woman would join in a union; marriage provides the authority and stability for morality and the family (Genesis 2.20-25; Col 3.18-19).

  • Family: The family is the first and most important classroom and training ground for society. The family provides the security, the heritage, the perpetuation of morality without which no society can survive (Genesis 4.1-2; Ephesians 6.1-4).

  • Nationalism: God planned that people would live in groups called nations. These nations would have similar culture including language, geography, and heritage. Each of these national distinctions provides for a balance of power among nations and protects against a monolithic power over many groups. We can look at Genesis 10 and 11 for the beginnings of human government in the post-flood civilization (Genesis 10.32-11.9; Acts 17.26-27).

  • III. Divine Establishment for Civilization

    Divine establishment for civilization is God’s (divine) set of rules (establishment) that apply within each divine institution and to all the areas of society and to all people in order to make and keep a society and civilization free, strong, productive, and enduring. These include 1) authority; 2) liberty which includes privacy and personal responsibility; 3) morality and justice; 4) internal and external security; 5) free economy which includes the ownership of private property, the right to accumulate wealth, the right to pass on your wealth to your heirs, and proper taxation; and 6) helpfulness to your neighbor. Divine establishment for civilizations is the subject of many Scriptures (Matthew 22.21; Romans 13.1-10; 1 Timothy 2.1-3; 1 Peter 2.13-17; Proverbs 3.27-35; Proverbs 13.22; Proverbs 20.18; and Proverbs 24.21-22 are a few examples).

    1. Authority is the right to rule and make decisions. God’s authority establishes freedom; freedom requires responsibility; responsibility protects freedom and restrains authority. God has instituted authority in order to 1) protect free will, 2) protect the human race from self destruction, 3) give order to life, 4) maintain peace, 5) allow the gospel and doctrine to spread and influence people, and 6) to support the believers’ witness by their authority orientation in a rebellious world. God is the absolute authority. He has expressed his authority in His written Word, The Bible, and in the Living Word, Jesus Christ (John 1.1-18; Hebrews 4.12; Psalm 90; Psalm 135.5-6; Proverbs 3.27-35; Proverbs 13.22; Proverbs 20.18; Proverbs 24.21-22; Matthew 22.21; Romans 13.1-10; 1 Timothy 2.1-3; 1 Peter 2.13-17). “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.”—Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

    2. Liberty or freedom, which includes privacy and personal responsibility, is the direct application of God’s sovereignty and human volition. The Bible teaches both spiritual freedom and human freedom (John 8.31-36). God created man in His image and man therefore received moral freedom and volition, with the result that he was created to live in freedom—to live with free choice or freedom (Genesis 1.26-31). The exercise of freedom requires free people to grant freedom and privacy to others. Personal responsibility, therefore, goes hand in hand with freedom. Tyranny and slavery often occurred due to the sin nature of man, but God willed for human freedom to predominate. For example, when an Israelite was enslaved, “Every Israelite (man or woman) who had become a slave might not only be redeemed at any time by his relatives but, if this did not take place, was bound to receive his freedom without payment in the seventh year, with a present of cattle and fruits (Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12–15). Indeed all slaves of Hebrews descent, with their children, obtained freedom without ransom in the Jubilee year (Leviticus 25:39–41).” (The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, 1988. 444) The very fact of volition and authority argue for human freedom. The Law of Moses outlines human freedom for Israel, God’s priest nation. (Exodus 20.1-17; Psalm 146.7; 119.45; Isaiah 61.1; 1 Peter 2.16) “Freedom is a need of the soul, and nothing else. It is in striving toward God that the soul strives continually after a condition of freedom.”—Whittaker Chambers, Witness

    3. Morality and Justice: morality is the quality of having right standards for conduct and following those standards and knowing the wrong conduct and avoiding that wrong conduct. Justice is the quality of treating others based on the moral or right standards. God is the standard for morality and justice. There are at least three kinds of morality and justice: human morality and justice is world system good under Satan; biblical morality and justice is the right thought, word, and action based on divine institutions and civilizations; and God’s divine good morality and justice is God, which is the morality and justice—divine good—that God produces in and through the life of the believer living by the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine Proverbs 10.6; Proverbs 11.1; Proverbs 14.34; Proverbs 21.21; Proverbs 22.22; Proverbs 24.23-24; Proverbs 31.4-5; Ecclesiastes 9.13-18; Ecclesiastes 10.16-17; Ecclesiastes 12.13-14; John 15.1-6; Romans 13.3-10; Galatians 5.16-21; Ephesians 2.10). “[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend of the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue.”—Samuel Adams

    4. Security, both internal and external: because man has a sinful nature, Satan is the temporary ruler of this world, and Satan has is own world system which he promotes this world will have criminal activity and wars and rumors of wars until Christ returns (James 4.1-2; John 14.30; Ephesians 2.2; Matthew 24.4-7; Luke 3.14). Internal Security operates within a nation and is enforced by members of that nation. Its purpose is to protect freedom, praise honor, punish the criminal, and deter others (Genesis 9.5-6; Leviticus 24.17; Romans 13.4; Isaiah 11.4; 1 Peter 2.14-15). External Security directs its force around the nations boundaries in order to protect national freedom, protect the right for evangelism and Bible teaching, punish the criminal nations in order stop aggression and to deter other nations from the same action. War that pursues the Biblical objective is moral (Numbers 31.3-5; Proverbs 20.18; Proverbs 21.31; Proverbs 24.5-6; Ecclesiastes 3.8; Nehemiah 4.14; Jeremiah 6.4; Psalm 110; Matthew 24.6; Hebrews 11.32; 2 Timothy 2.4). “None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important, but especially so at a moment when rights the most essential to our welfare have been violated.”—Thomas Jefferson

    5. Economics: biblical economics is a free enterprise system with the ownership of private property, the right to accumulate wealth, and proper taxation (Leviticus 27.30-33; Proverbs 3.9; Proverbs 6.6-11; Proverbs 10.5; Proverbs 10.11, 26; Proverbs 13.22; Proverbs 22.22; Proverbs 24.30-34; Ecclesiastes 5.18-20; Matthew 22.17-22;. “Government does not cause affluence. Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else.”—P. J. O’Rourke

    6. Helpfulness means that citizens treat other citizens as they want to be treated; citizens aid those with legitimate needs; helpfulness is a citizen function, not a government function (Proverbs 3.22-23, 27-29; Proverbs 13.22; Luke 10.30-37; Galatians 6.10 Ephesians 4.28; 2 Thessalonians 3.18; 1 Timothy 2.1-3). “At the heart of any democracy lies the challenge of performing good deeds without stripping people of their money and freedom.”—Tony Snow

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