What is Biblical Law

What is Biblical Law

There are two important factors in understanding law: (1) man’s moral worth; and (2) man’s rebellious nature.

Man has worth. Man was created by God in the image and likeness of God. Thus, there is an inherent value in a person. That worth is not earned but is given in man’s creation. It is often called “moral worth” or “the dignity of man.” Thus, to harm or murder a man is to deny him the value and dignity bestowed upon him by God.

Also, man has a rebellious nature. Man disobeyed God and the result was a change in man’s nature. His nature became self-centered. As such, man will devise ways to achieve his own self-interests, often harming others. Law attempts to control this rebellion in man.

Because of these two factors, moral worth and rebelliousness, God has given two types of law: (1) natural law (which we addressed in last week’s post) and (2) Biblical law (which we address in this post).

Through his word, the Bible, God has provided a framework for living in relationship with Him, with our families and with all other humans. That law is first laid down in the first five books of the Bible know as the Mosaic Law or the Torah. That law is detailed across many pages, but the essence is contained in what has become known as the Ten Commandments.

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

“You shall not murder.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

Exodus 20:1-17

The intent of Biblical Law is not only to protect man, but keep him on a right path that provides a healthy, blessed and happy life. 

. . . happy is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 29:18

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

Biblical Law and Natural Law are beautifully summed up by Jesus when he was asked by one of the great Bible scholars of his day, “What is the greatest commandment?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40

In addition to God’s law that is burned onto the hearts and minds of men (Natural Law) and made evident through

God’s word (Biblical Law), man creates civil law. Man realizes that laws are required to temper the natural instincts of men and women. These laws are usually designed to protect individuals from harmful actions of others and to make individuals accountable for their actions. However, civil laws may not conform to God’s Biblical Law, and in fact, may contradict both Natural and Biblical Law. Such contradictory laws are often established based on the selfish desires of man.

Law that follows Biblical principles protects each of us and the ones we love. God’s law is true. It is designed to increase the happiness of everyone, ensuring a fair and just society when it is obeyed.

Since all men and women are incapable of keeping the law–natural or Biblical–they are forever separated from their creator God. That’s why God, sent his son, Jesus, to provide a way to restore the relationship between God and man. If you’d like to learn more, check out our post, How does one become a Christian?

 

 

 

What is Natural Law?

What is Natural Law?

There are two important factors in understanding law: (1) man’s moral worth; and (2) man’s rebellious nature.

Man has worth. Man was created by God in the image and likeness of God. Thus, there is an inherent value in a person. That worth is not earned but is given in man’s creation. It is often called “moral worth” or “the dignity of man.” Thus, to harm or murder a man is to deny him the value and dignity bestowed upon him by God.

Also, man has a rebellious nature. Man disobeyed God and the result was a change in man’s nature. His nature became self-centered. As such, man will devise ways to achieve his own self-interests, often harming others. Law attempts to control this rebellion in man.

Because of these two factors, moral worth and rebelliousness, God has given two types of law: (1) natural law (which we address in this post) and (2) Biblical law (which we will address next week).

Natural Law. Man, whether Christian or not, has a conscience. The conscience includes a memory bank of rules of right and wrong. Man is born with these rules. As man acts, his conscience views this memory bank, and signals to the man whether he should or should not carry out the action. It is an inherent sense of right and wrong. It is called natural law. Thus, all individuals are held accountable to God for their actions in abiding by or disobeying the built-in understanding of right or wrong known as conscience.

Many cultures, including Judaism and Christianity, summarize this law as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

The signers of America’s Declaration of Independence referred to the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God and proclaimed that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. They concluded by appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world firmly relying on the protection of divine Providence.

All of the men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1776, identified themselves as Christians and were well acquainted with the Bible, They “believed in and based the nation’s independence on Natural Law; that is, that God in creating the universe, implanted in the nature of man a body of Law to which all human beings are subject, which is superior to all manmade law and which is knowable by human reason.”*

The nation’s founders tied their understanding of Natural Law to a set of God-given rights later codified in the Constitution and, in particular, the first 10 amendments. Those rights come under the broad headings of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Since all men and women are incapable of keeping the law–natural or Biblical–they are forever separated from their creator God. That’s why God, sent his son, Jesus, to provide a way to restore the relationship between God and man. If you’d like to learn more, check out our post, How does one become a Christian? 

* BARKER, ROBERT S. “NATURAL LAW AND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.” The Review of Metaphysics (Nov. 2012)

What is Christian Apologetics?

What is Christian Apologetics?

The dictionary defines apologetics as “reasoned arguments in justification of something, someone or a cause. Persuading with reason and evidence and truth.”

 

Therefore, Christian apologetics are the reasoned arguments that justify what Christians believe about God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, Creation, Sin, Salvation, Nature, the Origins of Man, Heaven, Hell, End Times, Judgement and Eternity. These apologetics undergird Christianity, allowing Christians to understand the solid foundation on which their belief rests.

Through apologetics, Christians are able to coherently explain God’s existence, the truth of the Bible, and the reliability of the Biblical and Secular evidence for the life, teachings, miracles, death on a cross, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. What Christians believe and why they believe it matters because those who have placed their faith and trust in God and Jesus find real meaning and purpose in life. They overcome the fear of death and find peace with God, joy for living and the assurance of eternal life in Heaven.

Christian Apologetics demonstrates that the truth of God’s Word best matches the reality of the human condition and life itself. That’s why hundreds of millions of people have become followers of Jesus. They recognize that He is who He said He is: The Son of God, The Prophesied Messiah, The Anointed One… the only way to peace with God and eternal life. Jesus is the only one who can forgive sin. He is the only real hope for world peace. He is the only intercessor between man and God. He has promised that he will return to earth to Judge all who have or will have lived in this world, making all things new including Earth and Heaven.

That judgment will be final. Those who have not placed their trust and faith in Jesus as their Savior will be eternally separated from God and his perfect love. If you would like to know how you can become one of God’s children and begin to walk into the best possible future, check out our post, How does one become a Christian?  How you respond will be the most important decision of your life.

Image by Antonio López from Pixabay
When do children become accountable for their sin nature?

When do children become accountable for their sin nature?

The Bible is does not address this question directly, but it does talk about the innocence of children. The age of awareness is when we have the ability to distinguish good from evil. In Deuteronomy 1:39 we read that the children were allowed to enter the Promised Land. The adults that had not trusted God did not get to enter. Young children have not rejected God’s revelation as they aren’t aware of it. Hence, one who has not rejected the Word of God will be saved. God who is merciful and loving can be trusted to do what is right, just and fair.

Jesus blessed ‘little children’. He even said, “Such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” He certainly would never bless someone going to hell. The root question is, does God treat willful knowledgeable disobedient sin differently from our inherited sin nature from Adam? We don’t know.

Jesus said, ”I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through ME.” (John 14:6) All [which would include children ] have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

When a child reaches the age of accountability (i.e. the age of innocence is over, which varies for each one), then they are aware of their need for a savior. Children as young as 4 or 5 have been known to pray to invite Jesus into their lives and receive the assurance that they have heaven as their eternal destination.

While we don’t know when a child becomes accountable for their sin nature, we do know that sooner or later each has to come to terms with his or her sin. That’s why we encourage all to trust a loving and merciful God to judge fairly the ‘little children’. And, we can all point young ones to God and show them what it means to become a true child of God. Check out our post: How does one become a Christian?