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God and government

September 15, 2014

Government and God

Grace to you! It’s been said if one desires to keep friends they should never talk religion or politics! Beginning today, we are going to defy conventional wisdom and do both together! Our first issue to consider is “Why does government even exist?” It seems to be one of the things in life we take for granted that is just ‘there’ but is there a biblical basis for the origin of government?

A.W. Tozer said, “If I must begin, I must begin with God.” Many would probably know that God has ordained government. But even this is not the ultimate basis for government. God’s decree for government comes only in light of the fact that government exists in the nature of God Himself! The orthodox view of God is that He is triune. We use the word “trinity” when talking about God. Trinity is a combination of two words: tri meaning three (like the word tricycle) and unity meaning oneness. God is three-in-oneness. One God in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Among the three Persons of the Trinity there is a functional order. Always has been, always will be. The Father is the head of the divine nature. It’s why Jesus said, “The Father is greater than me.” Jesus was speaking of the Father’s authority, not that the Father was of greater essence than Him. Elsewhere Jesus even claims to be God: “Before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus is stating that He is the self-existing God. So what does this have to do with government? Even though Christ shares equally in the divine nature, He is subject to His Father in all things. Jesus submits to the government of His Father, but this does not mean He is inferior in His nature to the Father. It is a functional or governing role if you will.

What this shows us is that the very idea of government is contained in the nature of God Himself! Only in a Trinitarian God can one account for the idea of government as eternal and intrinsically good. In other worldviews, there may be a belief in a single deity but that deity has forever been alone and has had no governing role in eternity past. So how does this deity account for government when it is an aberration to its nature?

The biblical God is one God but triune. He has always had government within His own nature. Other religions can say their god made government because their god is the Supreme Being and made government to rule over others. But this makes government a necessary evil rather than an intrinsic good as it is in biblical Christianity.

Because government is not an eternal function of their god’s nature, a government derived from their religious worldview will only be something used to exercise power over others. But in the biblical worldview, the idea of government is good because God is good. And because there is joy among the members of the Trinity, the same principles of biblical government can be used to bless rather than burden mankind like other views of government will.

Looking for a church home? Come visit South Whitwell Baptist, 133 South Oak Street, Whitwell. Sunday Service: 10:45 AM. Visit our web page: www.southwhitwellbaptist.webs.com

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