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Securing Obedience: The Creative Intent of the Gospel

No matter what political system may be in place, it only works to the degree that the people are self-governed.

Chalcedon Editorial
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Every man in Christ must be a walking law and an evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. God’s government of the world begins with the self-government of the Christian man.[1] ~ R. J. Rushdoony

Just mention the word government to most people and what do you think pops into their minds? What pops into your mind? Do you first think of politicians or Washington D.C.? If so, you can begin to understand our problem as it relates to advancing the Kingdom of God.

No matter what political system may be in place, it only works to the degree that the people are self-governed—even if that self-government is only a strict adherence to the most extreme dictatorial society, e.g., North Korea.

If the people cannot govern themselves, no government can function or last.


Therefore, when you mention the word government, you should think first of self-government—not civil government or church government—because self-government is the means to sustaining all other forms of government.

Consider this fact then in relation to theocracy (God’s+rule). Is the government of God in history only communicated through mediators—such as family, church, and state—or is it primarily the direct rule of God to His people?

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. (Heb. 8:10)

The New Covenant is established upon one simple reality: God’s law is written by the Spirit upon the hearts and minds of His people. Therefore, self-government in terms of God’s law is the foundation to theocracy.

Growing Stronger in Self-Government

Consider this in light of children. Who are their immediate mediators in terms of God’s covenant? It is mother and father. A child’s parents are the covenant representatives, but family government only works when the child is beholden first to God’s law as a self-governing agent:

Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise). (Eph. 6:1-2)

Does this model change as the child grows and encounters other forms of government? By no means. The law is written upon the heart and mind, and the Spirit is given that we might obey with power. Therefore, we transform other forms of government as we grow stronger in self-government.

What Matters Is What We do

If we as Christians better understood this, we would hear far more messages on this topic than we do the evils of our time, the influence of conspiracies, or which candidate is holding office. What matters is what we as God’s people believe and do, not what fallen men and institutions do.

The apostle Paul wrote that the Corinthians were living epistles “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3). This teaches us that the Spirit and the law are the creative intent of the Gospel as the obedience of God’s people is better secured under the New Covenant when God’s laws are written upon the heart and mind. If we are passionate about God’s government in the world, we will place a greater emphasis here, and if we desire God’s glory, we shall approach every area of life in these terms.

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, Sovereignty (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2007), p. 11.

Chalcedon Editorial
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