Our study ends with the final chapter, which is a biblical response to those who say we should always practice pacifism and we, especially as Christians should disarm.
Pacifism- belief in a peaceful resolution of conflicts. For some it means a refusal to participate in war.
We should, of course, work for peaceful resolution to conflicts and we should work for peaceful resolution to war. We should seek peace.
What we are going to study today is to seek a biblical view of the times when these preferred responses to conflict are not possible. Can we, as Christians biblically and with God’s endorsement and blessing engage in self-defense even when that means violence on our part?
Truth Taught- God declares John the Baptist to be the greatest human who has ever lived
What makes someone great? Where the world is concerned it’s riches, fame or success. A famous singer or athlete may be called great. Some billionaire may be called great, their pictures on TV, the Internet, and magazines. Everyone knows who he or she is and most want to be like them.Read More
We have discussed the role of the lesser magistrates regarding unjust and unmoral laws. We have learned based on God’s Word that they have the duty to stand up and opening defy the unjust laws. We looked at multiple examples from the Bible of lesser magistrates doing this. We saw for example the three Hebrews standing firm against Nebuchadnezzar as court officials. We studied the account of Daniel also serving in the Kings court standing up to his unjust law. We also clearly saw together how God commends all who defy tyranny.
What is the mark of an unjust law? It goes against God’s Word. We must obey God rather than men.
So, the county, city, and state officials are given the responsibility under God to stand up against evil unjust laws. We looked at the great advantages the lesser magistrates have in standing up to evil. But, what happens when they refuse to?
Truth Taught- Jesus is the Messiah proven by His Words and Deeds.
Our Gospel now turns from Jesus’ instructing the twelve and sending them off back to His ministry. Jesus picks up where He left off preaching, teaching and doing all the amazing deeds He did before.
As He travels through the cities fulfilling His mission He encounters some of John the Baptist’s disciples being sent by John with a very important question.
Now, John is in prison in Herod’s Temple.
Romans 13:1–7 (ESV)
13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.Read More
Truth Taught- Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Today as we finish the section where Jesus is telling His disciples what to expect when they go out in His name speaking the Gospel He shares with us a quote from the OT. Jesus quotes from the Prophet Micah 7.
In Micah 7, the Prophet is sharing his experience as he too was out among the people sharing God’s Word with them. He too lived in a society that was very corrupt and very idolatrous. He has preached and preached and it seems no one listens or cares, they are all out for other things. He feels like he’s the only one who loves God. His strength is dried up. Then in an amazing turn God reminds Micah that no matter what happens in this life, no matter who hates you even if they come from your own family, Micah is reminded to trust God who is his Savior and wait. It will all come to the light in the end. Micah waits and loves God while he does so. That’s Jesus’ encouragement for His followers and for us. When division comes even within families look to Christ even more.
Duty is that which a person owes to another or by which a person is bound to another, by natural, moral, or lawful obligation to perform. Duty then is an action required by one’s position or by moral or lawful considerations.
The primary duty of the Lesser Magistrate is really three-fold…
1. They are to oppose and resist any laws or edicts from the higher authority that go against the Constitution or the Word/Law of God.
2. They are to protect the person, liberty, and property of those who reside within their jurisdiction from any unjust or immoral laws or actions by a higher authority.
3. They are not to implement any laws or decrees made by higher authorities that violate the Law of God/Constitution, and if necessary, resist them.
Truth Taught- Jesus teaches us that fearing God leads to eternal life
Last time we looked somewhat in depth at the verse…
Matthew 10:22 (ESV)
22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The main thrust of this entire section, last week and today, is that we would stand strong when faced with persecution for the name of Jesus. Our Lord is concerned with our endurance through trying times of hardship resulting from our faithfulness to Jesus. He knows that as we follow Him in obedience the lost world will hate us and persecute us as a result of our commitment to Jesus and because we are not committed to the things they are. When you don’t worship the same idols they do you will be hated.Read More