Easter Remembrance

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” I Corinthians 15:3-4.

May this Easter season be a time of remembering the blessed gift God gave of His Son that we might have eternal life. When an individual receives this blessed gift of the Gospel, Christ dwells in his heart. This indwelling Christ is ready to direct and control each thought and action of our life. However, we must consent to this direction and control. This is Christian self government, the spirit of the law.

As we rejoice this Easter season in this wonderful gift, may we be reminded that this gift of self government is ours throughout our life. We simply must consent to God’s government in our lives. As we pass on to our children and grandchildren the good news of salvation, may we also share the good news that we can be governed by God on a daily basis.

Let us never forget that Christ and Christianity are the basis for self government and self government is the foundation upon which this nation was built and by which it must be restored.

Christ Changed History

Christ Changed History

Christ Changed Hearts

“When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, He came as a baby. He grew up in the simple home of His earthly father, the carpenter Joseph. We know little about Jesus as a boy. We do know that he was perfect.

“His work on earth began when he was about thirty years of age. Jesus walked the roads of Israel.  He traveled fro city to city. He taught the people and performed many miracles. Jesus taught that He was the Son of God. He taught that He had come to bring life.

“Many people followed Jesus from place to place to hear Him teach. But Jesus did not come to earth just to teach the people. God sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to earth to die for our sins.

“As people believed in Jesus as their Saviour, their hearts were changed. They loved a living God rather than idols. They began to love the things of God, rather than the things of the world.

“As people believed that Jesus was the Son of God, their lives were changed. They began to love their neighbors. Others could not understand them.

“During the early years after Jesus’ ministry, His followers began to be called Christians.  There were some who said that the Christians ‘turned the world upside down.’

“And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;” Acts 17:6

“Christians knew that they could be governed in their hearts. They could be controlled and directed by God.  This is Christian self government.”1

“All of history reflects Christ and Christianity. History reveals that liberty for
the individual is the result of Christ’s work upon this earth: His death, burial,
resurrection and ascention into heaven as the Son of God.  Liberty first comes to
the individual internally. The internal change of the heart brings forth external
changes in the life and work of the individual.” 2

1.The Mighty Works of God, Liberty and Justice for All, Student Text, pgs. 35-37,
Bradford Press, 2003
2. The Mighty Works of God, Liberty and Justice for All, Teacher Guide, pgs. 51-52,
Bradford Press, 2003

 

 

Remembering the Price He Paid

Remembering the Price He Paid

CalvaryLast night I had the privilege of enjoying the Passion Play presented by Northside Baptist Church in Elkhart, Indiana. My heart was stirred with the beautiful music and retelling of the great sacrifice Christ made for each of us in His death on the cross, but then the glorious resurrection which completed the payment for our sins.

This wonderful presentation reminded me again of why Christ must be the focal point of all of our teaching. During His life on this earth, Christ’s followers thought he had come to set up an earthly kingdom, but He had come for something much greater.

Christ came to change the hearts of men and gave to each of us the means of His government in our lives and actions. This “internal” government brought changes which literally “turned the world upside down.” With Christ and Christianity, man could govern his own actions and have less need for external government.

This change took centuries to bring forth a nation which was built upon the idea that man could govern himself.

My prayer is that Christians will remember Christ’s great sacrifice and the wonderful liberty He gives to us first internally and then, as American Christians, the nation which was designed to protect that liberty. While bombarded on every side with “man’s ideas”, let’s remember Christ and not forget our heritage. Though men may deny Him, we must protect and preserve the Biblical principles of our land.

May God give each of you a blessed Easter season.

Christianity Turned the World Upside Down – Part 2

Christianity Turned the World Upside Down – Part 2
by Ruth Smith

Acts 17:6 refers to These that have turned the world upside down . . .

In Part 1, the effect of Christianity to, first, change the hearts of the individual and then change the individual’s life. With Christ internally in the individual’s heart, he learned that he could govern his own actions. This self-governing individual had internal liberty.

As the Bible was in the hands of the people, they soon recognized that this liberty could be extended from the individual into the sphere of the church. William Bradford wrote in his history:

As they saw “further into things by the light of the word of God . . . they shook off this yoke of antichristian bondage, and as the Lords free people, joined themselves (By a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in the fellowship of the gospel . . .”[1]

These Christians separated from the state church, the yoke of antichristian bondage, and established self-governing churches. They realized that the same Biblical principles which governed their individual actions could be extended into the church.

But these ideas were not limited. Upon the arrival of a smChristchangedHistoryall band of individuals on the shores of Cape Cod, realizing that they were outside the bounds of the patent given them for a settlement, applied these same Biblical principles of self government to the civil sphere – they established their own civil government and voluntarily agreed to this government, for the first time in all of history.

Christ and Christianity were the cause for this change. Christ’s coming brought to the world the ability to govern oneself according to the Scriptures. He fulfilled the law, thereby “turning the world upside down” governmentally. Man no longer needed to be governed externally, but could, through Christ, have internal self government. This changed the world.

Civil government could be limited in relation to the practice of self government in the lives of its people. If the individual governed his own actions, he would require less and less civil government. However if the individual did not govern his own actions, he became more and more dependent upon external, civil government. a

All history points to Christ’s coming and the change He brought to the world governmentally. Christ is truly the focal point of history.

 


[1] William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation, in The Christian of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1966), page 185.

Christianity turned the World Upside Down- Part 1

Christianity Turned the World Upside Down – Part I

thesearetheypost

by Ruth Smith

Acts 17:6 refers to These that have turned the world upside down . . .

As we contemplate the blessings of this Easter season which reminds us of the great price that was paid for our sin through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we should be reminded of the effect that Christ and Christianity had upon the world.

“As people believed in Jesus as their Saviour, their hearts were changed. They loved a living God rather than idols. They began to love the things of God, rather than the things of the world.”1

As their lives changed, they began to love their neighbors. Others could not understand them.

Augustus Neander writes in his Memorials of a Christian Life of the astonishment of the world as they looked at these Christians. “But the Roman statesmen desired only a blind obedience; they knew not how to understand the enthusiasm with which the Christians would rather surrender their earthly life than do anything against their conscience. . . In this firmness of the Christians they saw nothing but blind fanaticism, criminal disobedience, men who met death and excruciating tortures with composure.”2

As Christians’ hearts were changed, they realized they could be controlled (governed) by God in their hearts. They could choose to follow the laws of God internally, rather than being controlled by man’s laws externally. This is self government.

Consider these thoughts by James Rose: “Reflect upon this: When Christ Jesus came, He gave individual, internal, spiritual liberty to every one who accepted Christ by grace through faith. The gift of individual salvation is the gift of spiritual liberty. (Eph. 2:8-9) When one is redeemed from bondage to internal sin and spiritual death, he is given spiritual liberty. The same principle of liberty is identified in the Scriptures ‘. . . the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ Romans 8:2 ‘And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ John 8:32, 36. Also consider Romans 6:22, II Corinthians 3:17, Galatians 5:1, James 1:25

“Christ’s free man, throughout all ages, has desired, striven for, and often died for religious freedom. Christianity purposes to work positively to effect laws for the lawless and liberty for the righteous under the Law.

“. . . After the English Bible was printed and promulgated, did the individual enjoy more or less liberty? Surely, thoughtful men discern there was more, not less liberty for the individual. And, when the Bible was brought to America by the Pilgrims in 1620, and, then, the Puritans in 1630, did individuals enjoy more or less liberty? Indeed, liberty abounded even more than before! And, when the constitution of the United States of America was finally ratified in 1789, the local church enjoyed the greatest expression of individual liberty the world had ever witnessed!”3

1.Ruth J Smith, Liberty and Justice for All (South Bend: Bradford Press, Inc. 2003), page 36.

2. Dr. Augustus Neander, Memorials of a Christian Life in Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1966), page 250.

3. James B. Rose, Spiritual Liberty is Causative to Religious and Civil Liberty, A Tract on America’s Christian History and Government. (Granger: Pilgrim Institute and American Christian History Institute).

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