Welcome to this week’s blog post. In our home churches last weekend, we begun a new series called The Laws of Grace. This is a powerful series for understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God has established laws in His creation, eternal truths that He’s used to frame all of creation. We are made in the image and likeness of God and so it’s not surprising then that the laws we’ve establish for ourselves have parallels with those that God has established for all creation.
The five laws we are going to look at in this series are:
1. The Law of Ownership
2. The Law of Agency
3. The Law of Adoption
4. The Law of Justice
5. The Law of Witnesses
What is ownership? It’s the right to the exclusive use and enjoyment of something. If you own something, you can do what you want with it, exclusively. It underlies the entire gospel.
Matthew 20 contains a parable where Jesus talks of a man who owns a vineyard. He goes to the marketplace to hire workers in his vineyard. He pays those who started work at the beginning of the day the same as the ones who started late in the day. The ones who began the day and worked longest complain, but the man who owned the vineyard had the right to pay whatever he thought was fair and the workers couldn’t argue with it.
Romans 9:21 says Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
This idea of ownership is the basis of all legal authority. If you own a property and someone is trespassing, you have the ‘right’ to tell them to get off your property.
There are two types of authority. Original authority, like that of your ownership of your body or your property. But there is also delegated authority. A store manager has delegated authority. The same as a police officer. He has delegated authority from the government. A teacher gets his or her authority over the class from the school. This is delegated authority.
Original authority comes from something that you’ve created. Art, music, intellectual property, the fruit of your labour, even a child, these things are things you’ve created. Acquired ownership is something that you’ve purchased or worked for legally.
It says in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal with certain rights. That document wasn’t the first time that concept had been heard of. The founding fathers of America recognised that these rights are unalienable. It’s given to you by God and is part of who you are as a human being.
God has placed into nature certain principles, rights and ideas that can’t be changed. Many people throughout history have tried to act like the law of ownership doesn’t exist. God is the One who put it in place and it cannot be removed. The idea of sharing the wealth amongst the people, communal ownership has been tried, but it’s never worked. Communism does not work because it’s contrary to the laws of nature, the law of ownership. God designed us for dominion. Genesis 1:26-28 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
God granted ownership over the earth to mankind. With that ownership came authority and dominion. Property and ownership were created before governments! Able gave of the first fruits of HIS flock. Cain made an offering of the fruit of the ground that HE owned. Job had seven sons, three daughters and he owned a lot of animals and servants. He owned them. Job 1:2-3 says And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
Even in the animal kingdom we see this. Animals will defend their territory fiercely. We call it “a bird’s nest” or a “beaver’s lodge”. It’s their property, that’s a natural thing that maybe you’ve taken for granted before.
The Bible supports the idea of private property and ownership. If it didn’t, it would tell us not to covet our neighbour’s house or not to steal. Many of the parables of Jesus involve the idea of ownership.
So this is a fundamental principle to understanding the gospel. We will continue next week with this series The Laws of Grace.
Have a blessed week!
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