Christians and Christian Families Must Think and Build Biblically in Our Time of Intellectual Insanity
he sovereign spigot of God’s providence continues to give us glass after glass of opportunities to think and live biblically, while living among the lawless. The past two years and our present challenges show not only how our nation’s leaders think, but how our nation thinks. While many question the legitimacy of the past election, we cannot look at the behavior of our fellow citizens and think that America would not willingly elect leaders like we have. But we, Christians, do not simply object to error, sin and folly. Rather, Christians glorify God, obey Christ, discern life with divine wisdom, and teach the truth to our children and fellow Christians. Bereans, we are Christians, and we must consider how to think and live in our current day. We will consider one imperative at a time for the next few weeks
Christians glorify God by obeying God in all of life according to His whole Word.
This time in our nation is God’s appointed theater for His glory. We, therefore, must think about glorifying God. God’s glory is the end for which all things were made and for which all things exist. God’s glory is what we seek in what we do and how we do it. First, we glorify God by what we do, namely, obeying Him. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3, LSB). We continuously learn what God commands us to think and do. This is the goal of our liberty in Christ; “For you were called to freedom, brothers; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in this; “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14, LSB) God’s commands in His Word is a means to glorify Him. We obey God’s commands because we love Him (1 John 5.3). The secular life and the pseudo-Christian views of life held by state leaders and neighborly locals do not glorify God because they do not obey God’s commands. True, God’s law has many layers to application to individuals and society, and obedience does not always feel easy. But foundationally, it is simple. “What has God commanded? Do that.” Whether it is in our marriages, our parenting, our job performance, our national policies, our understanding of the world economy and politics: “What has God commanded? Do that.” There is no part of life – private or public – that God does not have authority over. So we ask, “What has God commanded?” to the ethical questions in all realms of life. “What has God commanded about killing His image bearer? About marriage? About sexual relationships? About authority and submission in the marriage and family? About nations? About business and trading? Anxiety?” And on it goes. God’s commandments address our hearts in our conduct (Matt 5:21-48). God’s commandments demand submission from the leaders of nations (Psalm 2:10-12). God’s commandments address our private finances and the morality of the Federal Reserve (Lev. 19:35; Prov. 20:10). And if we know them, we can teach them to our children (Deut. 6:1-25; Eph. 6:1-4).
Obedience to God that glorifies God comes from faith in Christ. This obedience does not only externally keep the commandments of God, but it delights in the One who gave both the command and the righteousness of His commandment (1 John 5.3). This is true obedience; thus obedience requires faith. Christian faith obeys God’s commandments from a new heart. Paul wrote, “For we through the Spirit, by faith, are eagerly waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7-7, LSB). Notice, that “faith works through love,” and when churches and Christians are hindered, they are being “hindered from obeying the truth.” We do not obey God’s commands in fear like a slave obey the commands of his master. We obey God because we love Him and His law (Psalm 119). As Christians, God’s love has renewed our “operating system.” Our former rebellious disobedience to God’s commands has been replaced with desiring what God commands, believing that obedience to Him is good, beautiful, and desired. This is the obedience that saving faith brings. This obedience is cheerful, delightful, joyful; not burdensome (1 John 5.3). This life of obedience is winsome, attractive, beautiful and even fun. It is not selective and insincere. It is wholistic and whole-hearted. Therefore, how we do what we do marks us out. We cheerfully obey God’s commandments.
Bereans, many of us are not happy with our leaders and their decisions. We understand that our president’s decisions have present and future consequences upon our families, our finances, and our plans for the future. But we must also understand that God has ordained us and our children for this time. We must think and act biblically. Keep asking, “What has God commanded about this?” Find the answer in His Word. Then exhort yourself, “Do that.” Teach your children from this framework. Give them a God-framed lens of the world so that they live for His glory.
Teach your children what Scripture teaches; not only about their hearts and their sins, but also about the world, the nation, economies, wars, and treaties. Read the Bible with them and encourage them to read the Bible. Ask them good questions and teach them answers that Scripture gives for all of life (Catechisms provide many of these questions). Discuss what is going in the world and what God says about it. Glorify God by obedience in all of life according to His whole Word.
Sola Deo Gloria.