As we examine human life, we discover that every culture, every country, all people, and nations, have laws which order and direct human activity. Laws are necessary because the basic nature of the human species is towards evil. We are inherently selfish and often seek to look out for our own interests first. Without laws, evil would run rampant over peaceful people who are doing their best to live good and productive lives.
What is the origin of human laws? Where did the framers of the Constitution of the United States find the laws that allow the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans?
The Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans, as well as, many other great an powerful nations of the ancient world, worshipped many different gods. Not one before, ever possessed the laws that were given to the nation that originated from Abraham. When God gave Moses His law on Mount Sinai, these basic ten commandments changed, forever, the course of all human activity. No other nation in the history of the world had the code of moral laws, like those which governed the people of Israel. Every great nation since that time, has fashioned their own laws, from these basic ten laws that Moses received from God.
A person may scoff at the thought that God exists. They may discount all religions as fabrications of men. They may refuse to believe the Christian Gospel. No intelligent person would seriously state that the laws of the ten commandments are irrelevant or ineffective instruments of human government.
The first four of the ten commandments, deal with a person’s relationship with God, the final six, direct the behavior of one person towards another.
The first commandment is to make our Creator the preeminent part of our life. If we believe that God exists and that He is the source of the universe, then it is only right that He is the most important part of our existence. To know God and have a relationship with Him, is mans greatest achievement.
The second commandment prevents the artificial creation of images to illustrate God. Imagine coming into the home of a friend and there before you is a statue of your person, standing in the corner. You might say to your friend: “Why do you need a statue when I am standing right here before you? Do you so easily lose your consciousness of me that you need a statue to remind you of who I am?
God is not an image, He is a person. As such, we do not make images of Him because people tend to worship the image and forget the God whom the image represents.
The third commandment instructs us to not live our lives with empty and meaningless references to God. Since we are like Him, we understand that what we say about Him and do in His name, carries significance. If we speak His name or act in certain ways during our life, we should act as any son or daughter should act who is the child of a great king. We represent Him, we should act like Him and treat other people as He would treat them.
The fourth commandment is fair, reasonable, and wise. Take one day to rest in seven. Relax, unwind, sleep, spend time with the Lord and refresh yourself. Man left to himself, will work until he becomes sick.
The fifth commandment directs us to remember the love and sacrifice that our parents have made for us. Even if our mother and father were imperfect, we should still honor and care for them during their time of need.
The sixth commandment forbids the taking of human life. This commandment is applicable to all phases of human existence; from conception to death. From the moment we begin in our mother’s womb God is described as knowing us and fashioning us in our mother, for a purpose that He has intended (Psalm 139).
The seventh commandment prohibits unfaithfulness in marriage. No person who is of sound mind, wants their spouse to become intimate with another person. We want and demand exclusivity from the one person whom we have chosen to spend our life. Today, laws that prohibit adultery are quickly fading from the record of human government. We have become a world of people who are tolerant of the bad behavior of other people and refuse to be outspoken against improper moral behavior.
The eight commandment is one that no person excuses as simply bad behavior. Even amongst the liberal of today who want laws governing moral behavior to be done away with, very few would allow a person to take something that belongs to another. While this is true, a large number of persons thing nothing of taking items from work, school, or a local store, simply because they thing they deserve these items.
The ninth commandment instructs people of all societies to tell the truth. No half truths, partial truths, or outright lies. We should always speak what is true. Every person appreciates honesty and truthfulness. No one wants to be lied to or misled by false statements.
The tenth commandment reminds us to be grateful for what we have and not to admire and desire what other people have. It is a fact of life that no person can be truly satisfied with more until they are satisfied with what they have. Human nature demands that we constantly seek out and acquire more and more. In doing this, we are never fully satisfied. Learning to be content with what we have and rejoicing over the prosperity of others, is a valuable lesson for all of us.
From these basic ten, originated all human laws today. The framers of the Constitution of the United States, took their direction for liberty for all Americans, from the basic principles of Liberty that God had determined for all persons. How that liberty is protected and insured, is the subject of all laws.
Notice the opening text from the Declaration of Independence, which gives us the reason that the Founding Fathers felt compelled to try and do the impossible :
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
In this one sentence, the founding fathers forcefully declared why they must separate themselves from Great Britain.
“The Laws of Nature, and Natures God”.
These 8 words expressed a complete manner of Law and of life.
This statement in our founding document declares an agenda, a wide spread movement, and has specific beliefs. The source for this statement was “Blackstone’s Commentary on the Law” Blackstone’s Commentary on the Law was the law book used for years before the American Revolution ever happened. Blackstone’s was the primary text book in law schools until 1920. Bar exams were taken from this book. The Supreme court quoted from this book several times in its opinions. It was considered to be the final authority on most legal issues.
Blackstone’s gives us the meaning of these 8 words found in the Declaration of Independence:
“Man considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely and dependent being.
And consequently, as a man depends absolutely upon his maker for everything, it is necessary that in all points conform to his makers will , this will of his maker is called the Law of Nature.
This law of nature being co-equal with mankind and dictated by God Himself, is of course superior to any other. It is binding to all the globe, all countries and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this. This then is the Law of Nature, it is the law of God expressed through His creation.
“If our reason were always clear and perfect, the task would be pleasant and easy. We would need no other guide but the law of nature. Every man now finds the contrary in his own experience, we find that our reason is corrupt and our understanding is full of ignorance and error. This has given manifold occasion for the benign interposition of divine providence which has been pleased at sundry times and diverse manners to discover and enforce His laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The Doctrines thus delivered, we call the revealed or the divine law and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures.”
The Scriptures are the laws of the God who created Nature.
Upon these two foundations The law of nature and the law of revelation, of natures God, depend all human laws. That is to say, no human laws can be allowed to contradict these”
This means that those that framed the Constitution and signed the Declaration of Independence believed that all of our laws in the United States of America came from God and from His Word as found in the Bible. The Founders of the United States of America believed That man does not have the right, nor the capacity to institute any other laws outside of God’s law.
This legal phrase in Blackstone’s commentary on the law, explains the entire thought process behind why the United States of America was founded from the beginning.
America was founded by Christian men who believed the Bible is the Word of God and that all of our rights and laws come only from the Word of God.
Not For the Righteous
It is important to note that laws are only necessary for the unrighteous.
Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 1Timothy 1:10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers... —1 Timothy 1:9-10
Jesus said that all laws could be summarized into one law: Love God first and love your neighbor as you love yourself. If human beings were truly righteous in all their moral behavior, then no laws would be necessary.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 22:36-40
The term: “Christian,” means one who is like Christ
After a person has come into a new spiritual relationship with God, by Jesus death and resurrection for their sins, their spirit comes alive that was once dead. A new law now takes effect that governs the behavior of the person by Love. Those who claimed to be followers of Jesus in former times, who did not act in accordance with the ways that Jesus acted, were imposters. We cannot claim that all Christians are hypocrites and frauds, simply because some have acted badly in times past.
The true test for whether or not a person is genuinely a follower of Jesus, is to examine their behavior. If they are attempting to live in a manner that pleases God, then they will also please those who they come in contact with. If a person simply takes the name of Christian, but there is no example of behavior that is like Christ, their confession is false.
When we examine the teaching of Jesus, He had never commanded any person to commit the atrocities that have been committed by the crusaders, or other religious organizations who claimed to kill or harm in the name of the Christian God.
Jesus made it clear that to love a person truly, is to lay down your life for that person. That if we truly love God and believe in Him, our words and actions should be those of Jesus when He walked this earth, 2,000 years ago. Jesus came to show us, vividly, what God is like, what He has to say, and how He expects those who believe in Him, to act.
When men create religions and attach the name “Christian” to that organization or church, without adhering to the manner in which Jesus conducted Himself, these religions, churches, and organizations are in opposition to everything that Jesus taught. The atheist, the scoffer, and the skeptic, all have great cause to doubt the validity of the Bible, the Christian faith, and those who claim to follow Jesus—due to the bad behavior of those who falsely claim to be Christians.
You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written —Romans 2:21-24
Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, for this specific purpose. Their bad example of what a true follower of Jesus should be was cause for many people to blaspheme the name of God. We should be aware that our incorrect manner of living send a very powerful message to those who are always observing us. They are watching to see if what we say we believe, is lived out in the actions of our life. Many people will not read the Bible, but they will read your life’s story every day. Are we living in a way that clearly shows the humble and graceful way that Jesus lived His life for us? Are we avoiding sin and showing mercy to those who are struggling with sin, in the same way that Jesus conducted Himself?
When each person who has lived upon this earth, finishes their final day, we will all stand before God and give an account for the way in which we have lived. This is a certainty that is supported by the entire text of the Bible. If we think that we have some kind of immunity and can live in a manner that is contrary to what God has said; if we think that God has changed or softened His stance on what constitutes sin because times have changed, then we are sorely wrong.
Jesus Speaking: But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” —Matthew 12:36-37
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment —Hebrews 9:27
Those who have received Jesus as their Savior, face no future judgement for their sins. They will however, face judgement for how they have lived their life, since they professed faith in Jesus sacrifice for their sins. Jesus will reward those who took seriously, the manner in which they lived their life. If they sought to bring honor and glory to Jesus name, by living as He lived, their rewards will be great.
Those who foolishly reject Jesus sacrifice for their sins, are left with no other method—by which—God can save them. The unsaved will wait in hell for their final judgment, as described by the Book of Revelation, chapter 2. Theses unredeemed will be judged for their life, their sins, and pay the ultimate penalty; eternal death. Having rejected the only method by which God could save them, they will be case into the lake of fire.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. —Revelation 20:11-15
Knowing these things, as God has told them to us, we should heed God’s warning and obey. No person can blame God, who has waited for 6,000 years to bring final judgment. He has warned us for a very long time. We have each had an entire life to make our decision for, or against Jesus. God has placed our salvation in our own hands. If we are lost, we have no one to blame but ourselves. To gamble that these things are not true, is irrational. Instinctively, our conscience tells us that we are guilty and the anxiety that we feel in our life, is due to our present unwillingness to come to God and confess our sins to Him and receive His forgiveness. Today is the day, now is the time, this is the place. We can be set free from all fear of death and every dread of future judgment, if we will but come to Jesus and receive Him. I sincerely hope that you are amongst the saved. If not, won’t you come to Jesus right now?
“Dear Lord Jesus. Thank you for dying for my sins. I want to accept you as my Lord and Savior. I would like all of my sins to be placed under the sacrifice you made for me on the cross. I am asking you to give me eternal life, according to your promise. I surrender my life to you at this moment. Please help me to live for Jesus and remain faithful to Him, all the days of my life. Please guide me and help me in my new life with Jesus. I ask this in Jesus name, amen.”
1. You shall have no other gods before Me. 2. You shall not make idols. 3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. 4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 5. Honor your father and your mother. 6. You shall not murder. 7. You shall not commit adultery. 8. You shall not steal. 9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 10.You shall not covet.