“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
From the time of Moses receiving the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai in about 1500 B.C., until 4 B.C. when Jesus came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem, the Law of God was objective. It was arm’s-length, intellectually knowable—Israel’s perfect standard of truth to follow in all matters of faith and conduct. It was like a beautiful, sturdy chair that all God’s people knew about and admired, and they told each other constantly that it would hold them up, no matter what.
However, as the above verse tells us, at Bethlehem that all changed. The law of God went from oida (Greek for “knowable by observation”), to ginosko, (“knowable by experience”). The law of God, written on tablets of stone, became a living, personally knowable person, Jesus Christ! After His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascent to Heaven, on the Day of Pentecost, this Jesus took up His residence in human hearts by His Holy Spirit.
God’s people, then, for the first time, could actually sit in that sturdy chair! God, also for the first time, came to dwell permanently in human hearts, not just temporarily to accomplish a certain task. We are learning to become more and more like “little children” and trust Him in all things. He, and NOT the written, objective, holy, perfect, law of God, becomes THE TRUTH for us! “For the law was given through Moses, but GRACE AND TRUTH CAME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST” (John 1:16). If this verse is true, then “the Truth” must be more than simply the written-down law of God!
Yes, It is this experiential knowledge, ginosko, that is mentioned as the “Truth” 29 times in the gospels and Acts, 21 times in the book of John alone. It is this Truth, applied by little children who walk by simply trusting in it, that will set us free to engage and defeat, rather than succumb to, the seemingly insurmountable culture wars that engulf us. ”And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). How will that happen?
First, the church is called to “equip the saints;” its member-families, to function biblically themselves as families, and then to minister the Truth to the world over which they are called to rule (Ephesians 4:11, 12). Sadly, the church has not realized that teaching families to “function biblically” is one of its primary responsibilities.
The church must teach husbands to love their wives and children unconditionally, while simultaneously leading them with strong, firm leadership, impossible without the Truth. This means that they make final decisions and determine all policies in all matters, including child discipline for rebellion (spanking). Husbands are ultimately fully responsible for the state of their families. This is the Truth from the Bible, and families cannot effectively do battle in the world until they are functioning this way. It is the church’s job to train them.
For the past 100+ years (since Woodrow Wilson), our civil government has gradually and stealthily encroached on biblical Truth in the public square, without opposition from the church, which compliantly and submissively retreated. We are finally, as Christians, beginning to wake up and recognize what is happening, but sadly, much of the evangelical church continues to wait for Jesus to return to rescue them.
Along with training the family, the church is called to speak prophetically to the civil government when it grows outside its biblically-ordained boundaries of only protecting law-keepers and punishing law-breakers (1 Peter 2:13, 14; Romans 13:3, 4). All other activities, i,e., education, the economy, welfare, health care, roads and highways, etc., are all created to be exercised in the private sector, according to the Bible..
How will the church accomplish these biblically-mandated tasks as it relates to the family and the civil government, its two biblically-ordained, institutional partners in extending God’s kingdom? I want to summarize this in two points: 1. The church will always stand for TRUTH. 2. At every opportunity, the church will proclaim that TRUTH. That is next week’s blog posting.