As we saw in our last post, in order to thrive and flourish you must understand that God is your supreme authority and that He works through His order of governance. To act against His authority, or even to misunderstand this order, is to miss out on His plan for redemption, relationship, and flourishing. God’s Framework for Governance is presented in two parts: The Big Picture and, in my next post, Human Government.
God Made Us…So We Exist for Him
While there are many facets to God’s plan, the main thread is for God to be glorified through relationship with His creation. All authority derives from God because, as Creator, He owns all that exists and establishes/delegates all authority (Job 41:11; Rom 13:1-2).
God Vicariously Loves His Creatures
We must also make an aside here and mention that God does not need creation. He does not need us in order to be complete in Himself. We learn from the Scriptures that He is one God, eternal and self-existing in three persons (Dt 6:4; Isa 61:1; Lk 3:21-22; Jn 5:19, 26; Jn 14:26). He has loving fellowship within his own being (Jn 3:35). The life He has given to us is a precious gift and, within the order which He created, we properly exist in obedient submission to Him so that we might glorify Him and serve Him (Psa 50:22-23; 73:24-28; 1 Cor 10:31)).
God Rules from Heaven
Rebellion did not remove God from His place on His throne in Heaven. He still rules and His will to share His fellowship did not change (Ezek 33:11). However, rebellion did change His creatures (Psa 14:1-2). They were no longer capable of fellowship with God because God’s unchanging Holiness made their now-sinful condition unacceptable to Him (Isa 6:3-5). Their rebellion also accrued for them the righteous judgment and wrath of God (Dt 9:7; Rom 2:5). Adam and Eve had no way to cleanse themselves from their sin. Their rebellion put in motion God’s plan to redeem humanity for Himself from their fallen state. As the Apostle John stated, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
God Offers Restoration of Fellowship
In the Old Testament, God speaks clearly that when humans rebelled against His authority this led to their spiritual death and loss of fellowship with God. God’s standard for redemption from sin and rebellion is that sin must be atoned for. Atonement must come through the death of a substitute (a sacrifice; Lev 17:11). God made the first animal sacrifice and provided the resultant skins to clothe Adam and Eve to cover their shame and nakedness. God later established a sacrificial system within the Jewish nation. He revealed, however, that He prefers obedience to His word and authority over sacrifice (1Sam 15:22; Hos 6:6). OT sacrifices all look forward to the one true substitutionary atoning sacrifice which came through the Son of God, the third person of the Trinity (Hebrews 9; God the Son). The self-sacrificial work of Jesus, the Son of God and Messiah, upon the cross both expiates (blots out; Num 35:33; Psa 103:12) and propitiates (satisfies the wrath of God; Heb 2:17; Rom 1:18; 3:21-27) for the sins of all who confess Him as Lord, believe in His resurrection, and love Him (Rom 10:9-10; John 14:15). Those who love Jesus submit to His authority and keep His commandments (John 14:21). These become heirs to the promise of Abraham (Gal 3:29), become heirs of God (Rom 8:17) and enter the Kingdom of God.
God Will Restore Mankind’s Dominion
While not explicitly named, the OT describes, with increasing detail, an expected Anointed One. This One will have all of God the Father’s authority and will be anointed to rule (ie. the Messiah; Isa 7-9; Daniel 9:25-26). This One will defeat humanity’s deceiver and accuser, Satan (fulfilling Gen 3:15). This One will bring deliverance from sin and restore individuals to fellowship with God. He will atone for, redeem, and deliver all who believe in Him through His death on the cross and His resurrection (Isa 42; 53; Ezek 36:22ff). This One, finally revealed as truly God and truly man, will reestablish the dominion/rule of humanity over creation which God had originally delegated to them (Gen 1:28;2:19-20; Sam 7; Psa 8:6; Jer 23:5). The future rule of Jesus Christ, the son of David, as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords is (as David put it) the law (charter) for mankind (see Rev 19:11ff; and 2 Sam 7). While humanity had been made a “little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8), those who follow Christ will one day be raised to His heavenly council and will reign with Him (2 Tim 2:12; Phil 3:20-21; Rev 3:21; 5:10; 20:4-6).
Watch for my upcoming posts on God’s Creation-Governance Framework: Human Government and God’s Creation-Governance Framework: The Kingdom of God.
Eric Mitchell, Ph.D.