TRUE CITIZENS OF HEAVEN HAVE
We have been examining the Discipline of Truth: that God is the source of truth, and that we are to know and defend His truth. So that leads us to ask: What are the Biblical Convictions—of a Citizen of Heaven while living on Earth?
If I were to apply the truths or doctrines of the Scriptures as far as they relate to the current climate in human society, I would say that God has revealed Himself in His Word as:
GOD is Pro-Life—God is opposed to Abortion and Euthanasia. He is the Creator of Life, the One who grants conception.
GOD is Pro-Marriage—God is opposed to Gay Unions, as well as divorce, adultery, fornication, pornography, and any other form of immorality.
GOD is Pro-Justice—God is opposed to murder, violence, discrimination, prejudice, and abuse of the weak, poor, and unborn; He invented capital punishment, and commands societies to have a just legal system.
GOD is Pro-Work—God is against indolence, sloth, entitlements, oppression of the poor by the rich, and every form of false hope produced by gambling and lotteries.
POINT ONE—BIBLICAL CONVICTIONS START WITH THE BIBLE
Open with me to our starting place for Biblical Convictions, Romans 13.
As Paul sat to write perhaps the clearest words to frame the Biblical convictions of a Citizen of Heaven, living on earth—he was sitting in Corinth. Looking down across the city must have grieved his soul. Paul lived around gymnasiums filled with nude men who were wrestling, boxing, and sprinting. In the distance seeing the men and women going into the bathhouses, brothels, and heading up the trail to the shrine prostitutes up on the acro-Corinthos must have even more grieved his Spirit-filled heart. Just as it grieved the Lord He served.
Just a couple of days by ship from Corinth was the center of the Earth in Paul’s day—Rome. Swarming with soldiers, citizens, slaves, and commercialism, Rome reigned over nearly all of the known world of Paul’s day. How were Christians to live in the world of the New Testament? Especially in the capital city of Rome–rife with homosexuality, abortions, gambling, infanticide, slavery, oppression of the poor, egalitarianism, and every form of the occult?
Paul sits down to write to that very city where saints had to live, work, and vote. He writes to them the seven verses that summarize their responsibilities of citizenship on earth. We often forget that the Roman World had much citizen involvement. There was a long history in Rome of elected bodies that variously guided, counseled, and at times legislated the Roman World. Although there was an Emperor who ruled, there was still much about daily life that was determined by a very advanced and regulated representative government.
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