Should the Church or State be Supreme on Earth? (Part II)

In the previous post, I gave two examples from history, to illustrate the medieval controversy of whether the State should be subject to the church (the organization or “local church”) or the church subject to the State. 

It was a legitimate question in the middle ages when Romans 13:1 was interpreted as vouchsafing the heads of state the divine right of kings and the organizational church was strong enough to contend with the State for leadership. At the end of that post though, I suggested those in the middle ages were asking the wrong question, that the question is not whether the church should be subject to State or the Sate subject to the church, but whether the Church (the true body of believers) should be subject to King Jesus. 

In other words, rather than trying to put one organization under the other, which is the human impulse, we should recognize that both are under, and must answer to, King Jesus. The heads of States must answer to God (Romans 13:6), and Christians in government and in the church must answer directly to God as well. If both the State and church obey God, there will be no conflict between the two. The more the kingdom of God advances on the earth and the more people submit to God, the less conflict there will be between church and State, so long as those in the Church do in fact submit to King Jesus.

Continue reading “Should the Church or State be Supreme on Earth? (Part II)”

Jehoshaphat’s Advice For Your Job

Judah was a mess. The people had gone after pagan gods. Judah’s national security was at risk. Then came Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat was a reformer, and one of the main means of reform he brought was his appointment of judges.

But it wasn’t  just the appointment of judges that brought reform but the implementation of the instructions Jehoshaphat gave to them. See 2 Chron. 19:6-9. What is important to note is the job of a judge is essentially “secular,” and Jehoshaphat’s instructions are generally applicable to any non-ministry position.

The first thing Jehoshaphat told the judges, and what initially grabbed my attention from this passage was the instruction, “Consider what you are doing. . . .” (2 Chron. 19:6).

How many people go through the motions at their job, punching a time clock, collecting their pay, never considering the significance of what they are doing and how it fits into King Jesus’ plan for the earth? Don’t do that. Consider what it is you are doing. Jehoshaphat then follows with instructions that can be summarized as follows. Continue reading “Jehoshaphat’s Advice For Your Job”

Why Your Sanctification Matters

Salvation in theological terms consists of justification, sanctification, and glorification.

Justification is what happens when we first give our lives to the Lord and are reconciled to the Lord. It is being born-again. It is what happened at Billy Graham Crusades when people walked forward to repent and pray the sinners prayer.

Sanctification is the process by which, after being reconciled to God, Christians are progressively conformed to the image of Jesus. We all start at different places on the continuum toward Christlikeness, but all Christians should be moving in that direction.

Glorification occurs upon the Christian’s death and spiritual resurrection whereby the Christian is given a glorified body and enters into eternal life.

This is why Paul speaks in different places in the Bible of of us having been saved (Ephesians 2:8), being saved (I Corinthians 1:18), and states that we will be saved (Romans 5:10).

Unfortunately, evangelical Christianity has for too long been focused almost entirely on justification and, to a lesser extent, glorification. We have been quick to count how many people raise their hands or get baptized and less concerned about seeing them discipled and developed into Christlike human beings. Continue reading “Why Your Sanctification Matters”

What God Expects From You At Work—Part 3

Back to Work SignWhen the groom ran out of wine at a wedding feast, Jesus stepped in to help meet the need. See John 2:1-12.

To the meet the needs Jesus turned a lot of water into a lot of wine.

One would think turning water into wine would be significant enough, but the apostle John  makes a point to describe the excellence of the wine. See John 2:10.

John says it was customary to serve the bad wine later after people were sufficiently liquored up not to notice, but Jesus served  excellent wine when He could have served any wine.

In short, when Jesus assumed a vocational role He made sure His work was excellent.  It was the same in his ministry. After healing one man, those in attendance remarked, “Behold he does all things well.” Mark 7:37. Continue reading “What God Expects From You At Work—Part 3”

Seine River Cruise Travel Journal—Day 6

Chateau Gaillard
Chateau Gaillard

I have been looking forward to today because this was our Richard the Lionheart day.

After breakfast, The Wife and I went up on the deck to read and take in the scenery as we traveled up the Seine toward Les Andelys.

One of the unique joys of a river cruise is sitting on the deck of the ship with a glass of wine watching the towns, castles, fields and people move by at a gentle pace.

Les Andelys is a area along the northern bank of the Seine about 25 miles from Rouen. Richard the Lionheart built the castle there—Chateau Gaillard—in 1198, and at the same time constructed the town (Petit Andely) and church.

Interestingly, this is one of the few churches we’ve seen in France not named after Mary. This one is named the Church of our Savior—well done, Richard.

Richard is a fascinating character. He was a descendent of William the Conqueror. He was a crusader and great military strategist, who struck fear in one of Islam’s greatest leaders, Saladin, and restored the hopes of Christendom following the devastating defeat at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. He was also a great leader, who inspired confidence in the men under his charge. He is a great study in leadership. Continue reading “Seine River Cruise Travel Journal—Day 6”