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Silencing the Critics, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2022 12:00 am

Silencing the Critics, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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March 11, 2022 12:00 am

The only apologetic that unbelievers cannot deny is the life of Christ emerging through a surrendered Christian.


Is the mission of the visuals within the church to accept their vocation their sacred calling from God were God has placed to take incidents that world their Christian conscience the Christian conviction the Christian character to bear upon their world of education and science and mathematics, and the law and government are whatever fluency will never one of the areas were Christians can make a difference is politics, what's the relationship between the believer and the government how important should politics be in the life of a Christian. What's the biblical limits on our political engagement today. Stephen Davey begins a series called above politics and parliaments. He's calling this first message silencing the critics, the apostle Peter was writing times were troubling political evil moral digression philosophical and religious emptiness and confusion government corruption arise in taxation and economic burdens and on and on and is growing threat of persecution which was coalescing Christians are now scattered all around the Empire misunderstood and maligned rejected by family members singled out by lawyers somewhere even beginning to experience imprisonment and abuse even stop experiencing death. And in addition to all that all of these are citizens of Rome were living under the reign of Emperor's was growing increasingly insane. Even more alarming. All the more brutal and hateful of Christianity. Some of the early church under the reign of Nero receives a letter like this of course read in the assembly and by the time you get to chapter 2 becomes a rather startling announcement to the Christians. In fact, so much so that I think some of them would've wondered if Peter was slipping into some form of insanity as well. Losing his own mind that you will turn to first Peter chapter 2 rereading opening lines in a series of new studies because Peter changes the subject at hand. I'm silly. I call this a series above politics and parliament now is verse 13 opens, which is where we pick up our study. I want to read it, but at the same time recognize that his audience. The audience of the first century Christian would have been absolutely stunned shot disturbed to read these words first Peter chapter 2 and verse 13, submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as said by him. Now let's just gonna stop. Therefore quite a while obviously got only a little groundwork in context here in the minds of the early Christians questions. Having heard this would be flying around the assembly. In fact, probably I would guess people together muttering, talk out loud. This subject was so controversial that both Paul and Peter will elaborate on in their letters.

Now the immediate context of verse 13 as provided in the previous verse we finish studying last words, they were the believer is to demonstrate was culture. Excellent behavior is excellent work ethic and attitude, this life of integrity that that basically forms an apologetic for the slander against them for the gospel.

He believed Peter reminds them in verse 12 that they are all being scrutinized are all being carefully watched by their culture. Evidently some other good works is given spillover into what it means to be a good citizen of a larger context that every believer grapples with in every generation including ours, is hot is believer respond the government out as a believer interact with government and doesn't believe her attempt to even influence governmental institutions that you asked that question the day you're going to get a number of different responses and perspectives. I'd like to give you all of theirs was to give the right guy as we dive in tongue-in-cheek. I will say this there are those, and their brothers that I appreciated ministry who would say that we auto effectively abandon our culture and abandon politics and the government entirely emphasizing the preaching of the gospel to the exclusion of any attempt to influence government or political institutions, and yet it's interesting to me. The older I lived and I got my own views tempered over time, those same people would with me expressed great admiration for people like William Wilberforce me what you do with him. Five. Often wonder what what I do is a pastor of William, was a member of this church giving his life and his energy and his wealth to attempt as a member of Parliament to stamp out slave trade throughout great Britain. He was a political leader. He was driven by his Christian character and his Christian conscience fact both the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter clearly emphasized the point that political leaders happen to be appointed by God. And aren't we glad when some believers are appointed are we glad when there's a Daniel of old Laura Laura Joseph with wisdom leading involved in the upper echelon of national governmental institution are we glad to find somebody who acknowledges the glory of God after they've been elected. I see men doing that before. They're all like that. I really love it when they do it afterward.

While the mission of the church is clearly spiritual in our gospel message is the primary message God happens to call men and women into spheres of influence cardio or vocation.

You sacred calling, where they carry their biblically informed conscience their character, their wisdom, their skill so that they spread their influence throughout their worlds of industry or law or medicine, or agriculture or education or labor. Whatever even into the world of politics and government. Augustine in the early church theologians of the fourth century, wrote that believers who served in governmental positions were quote blessings bestowed upon mankind and they really are.

Wayne drew his massive recent book I just just huge. You could hurt somebody with it it it's it's a big book them, waiting through it simply called politics.

Wayne is preached for me in the past and this theologian and educator summarizes the influence Christians have at our government that we all applaud today Christians he writes were primarily responsible for outlawing infanticide.

They worked hard to outlaw child abandonment and abortion in the Roman Empire by 8374, a number of reforms taking place. They outlawed by NT 4.0 for the brutal battles to the death of the gladiators which is romanticized in our American media, but it was brutal and evil. They even allied the punishment of branding the faces of criminals, especially horrific, they instituted prison reforms that included segregating male and female prisoners.

Can you imagine what would've been like prior they stop the practice of human sacrifice among depressions in the Irish that all Irish in me. I didn't know they were sacrificing each other they were passed. They argued against and eventually outlaw pedophilia.

Christians were primarily serving by the scenes abroad about the granting of property rights and other protections for women. In fact, a prohibited. If you read the biography of William Carey will find that he compounded this with the gospel message.

Ultimately, the changes are but in middle of it.

Always try to stop this as well because it was their practice that a widow was burned alive with her deceased husband.

It was considered to be the rights of the widow to die.

By 1829. They found that to be finally outlawed in India, William Wilberforce gathered weekly with a group of wealthy and influential individuals in Great Britain and they would strategically plan ahead and pray in how to use their conscience governed by Christ how to influence their world for the glory of God, and they certainly were successful in ending the slave trade. By 1840 throughout Great Britain. What's little lesser-known is what they establish. They established all the societies recall societies they organize the society for the education of the African villages love them freely, one of an educated they organize the society for bettering the conditions of the poor, the society for the relief of debtors by the way they saw the release of 14,000 prisoners in a five-year span were imprisoned because they were in debt that allowed them to get jobs so they could pay off their debt without alighting but they were behind this. They also establish hospitals for the poor and the blind exactly go back to the first century Christians would eventually establish what we would call hospitalization from only cared about the military. They were the only was it received medical. They also help war widows and veterans in need of medical and psychiatric help and listen to this interesting statement that is brought out by another author reading. He said that Wilberforce and his friends were Nick named the saints truly were and we read that they bore this name, which was a derisive term with gladness seven to be reading the biography of Hannah Moore. Always try to keep water to these going find illustrations. The binary Hannah Moore was she's an interesting woman in Great Britain and she was a close friend of Wilberforce and just found it to be coincidental. Frankly to my the reading, but she was also a friend of John Newton whose lyrics we sang earlier, the converted slave trader and author of more famous him, amazing grace, Hannah Morris, biography about halfway through and includes an anecdote unrelated to her but because of their friendship. She included that there was a time when Wilberforce struggled with being a Christian and being a politics, but unlike the struggle I though many have journaled and have a lot in that regard, but he wrote his friend and mentor John Newton asking him if he should decline political involvement and just focus on his Christian commitments and John Newton, now aged pastor answered Wilberforce by writing in him a letter and in the letter saying this, and I quote stay at your post. Do not give up your work for you have been placed there by God. That's biblical advice fact, Paul would write governmental authorities have been appointed by God was 13. By the way, this is theaccount in order to get to him or when against the status quo of her own generation, which view the education of women quite differently than we do today. In fact it was so. It was the viewpoint of Rousseau that it won the day were so liberal Hannah Morley and he didn't believe the woman to be educated but only to a certain degree and certainly not of the same classical sciences that that men were to study the effect he wrote during the same time Hannah Moore started her school for women.

He wrote this is Rousseau to hear this secular educational server. He wrote that women are only to be educated in whatever related men how to please them how to be useful to them how to raise them when young to care for them when grown. Now I appreciate all that I can warble and we all starve.) Reitman okay lunch is coming. I just want to beware now here's here's here's what he said that this this is amazing. He said women should be expected to know just enough to be entertaining for an hour so I Hannah Moore's ideas about educated women was a welcome event, one medical doctor writing during the time of her school agreed with Russo and he wrote with some kind of you know knowledge he. He wrote that was laughable but he said if women are educated in the same subjects as men. It will harm their reproductive organ. So what compelled Hannah Moore to violate the status quo and seek to influence her culture. It was nothing less than the Protestant Reformation and the doctrine of the individual priesthood of the believer fact, she was convinced that women should be able to read the Bible for themselves.

Even in the original languages of the mission of the church is not to make sure people can read Latin and Greek and Hebrew, or whatever it isn't to wrestles for government and their control. It isn't as a mission to identify or structure medicine or education or science or law or whatever.

However, this is the point that ending is missed is the mission of individuals within the church to accept their vocation for cardio their sacred calling from God, where God has placed them to take into that world. Their Christian conscience there Christian conviction Christian character to bear upon their world of education and science and mathematics and the law and government are what I have her influencing that will never come in here to hear me. Until perhaps, you win them by your testimony and influence. Frankly, I don't know anybody leverage over the world who looks down William Wilberforce or John Newton, and his advice or Hannah Moore and her passion.

In fact, the unbelieving world would now look all that they have done it say that was good. The status quo is wrong. Culture was wrong took somebody got burned in their conscience and character by the word of God. To say that, frankly, I believe we need a new generation of William Wilberforce is in Hannah Moore's and John is a fresh generation of reformers in education and finance, and law. We need a Christian conscience on the school Board of Education wake County by the one your run for making your run for the Christians in every phase of life I think is interesting that Paul will command and greet in his writing to the Philippians chapter 4 verse 22 because of you who are in Caesar's household. That means administration. There were believers tucked in there asking God. No doubt the wisdom and how to bring their Christian conscience and character to their we need men and women to love Christ first and foremost, but who like William and others. Except her post as that of God's assignment will love Christ enough to introduce him to that world of education or business that classroom where you work and do every phase of life that's exactly. I believe what Peter and Paul have in mind that with that in mind, let's dive in and take a closer look at at this exhortation. First of all I want you to notice the command. Verse 13 submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, submit yourselves literally place yourselves. Place your attitude and your pastor into that of submissiveness. Client submission and carries a sense of urgency. By the way, and I think that's because we've Artie learned in our study that there were slanderous accusations that Christians were seditious. They were treasonous. They wanted to overthrow the government. Why battle that don't plan over the don't be seditious rail against the upper, submit yourselves which means it doesn't matter if you elect to them or not. By the way, these people certainly did like Nero were ballots back the matter if you agree with them or not doesn't matter if you like them or not there was little to agree with or like about Nero. Paul clearly said in his letter to Romans 13 there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God, was a been placed in power by God, which means that you might not have wanted them. But God evidently did because there they are. So imagine that rather startling statement of God's sovereignty really wants to take you and your perspective over and above politics and parliaments. After all the duty we perform in this free system which we love, but after all the campaigning at all. The debating and all the rhetoric and all the praying all the talking all the voting God candidate is always elected to that's our higher perspective. At this point in Peter's letter. This would've been a great time funeral at the Christian strategy for unseating Nero persecutions brewing is obviously lost his grip on sanity. He has brought his horse to become a member of the Senate is married openly both men and women.

I mean he's lost. Now it's time to overthrow the Roman Senate for being so weak as to not stand up to, but isn't that the way of the world is another only hope isn't that their only solution is in the world always working on its power moves live and breathe that stuff won't be long before Nero's throat will be cuts by political opponents study that history and you'll soon learn that emperors normally did die natural deaths.

Here's how the church shows herself to be unique and different.

We have a posture of respect for the office.

We work quietly with such excellent behavior and good work so long as the Scriptures are not violated by the way, I don't know if I did say that I'll say known for our submissive posture directed to military term that refers to lining up in rank and file soldier might not like his orders a soldier might disagree with his orders soldier might lose his life because of the orders but he will obey his commanding officer. Christian happens that is higher perspective.

He knows ultimately God is in control all the God's purposes are being fulfilled and were simply called to demonstrate good works by continuing to do our best and literally helping and influencing our our world that does tend to lose its grip on sanity with our Christian conscience and conviction in wisdom and in grace, not case your wondering if there any loopholes in this command to submit Peter's unit, close them all down. Notice verse 13 he stops at the very top of the food chain weather to a king as the one in authority.

So we just starting out at the top of the heap. Okay, if you're in an African village. He would rather that in your culture, you would understand to mean sheets. If you're in a communist country, you would understand that to be the chairman you're in a democratic culture, you would understand that to be president door Prime Minister here for Peter's generation. This would mean the Emperor Peter adds in verse 14, not just to the king, but to governors as centaur appointed by him. In other words, any official representing the upper was also one to whom we submit this would not make it any easier. Certainly, especially during the days of Peter is corruption didn't start and stop with the upper it infiltrated the entire empire.

Keep in mind that one of the duties of the Christian was the voice disapproval kindly. Respectfully, doesn't mean that just because they were to submit to that authority that would violate throat conscience, but it's interesting to me.

If you just for ransacking the testimony of John the Baptist to spoke openly against Herod's immoral adulterous relationship with his sister-in-law and by the way, how is it resolved. John literally lost his head right at one Pontius Pilate also governor it was the pilot that Jesus Christ by the wake delivered that that higher perspective that Peter and Paul reinforcing on preaching today. Pilate said to Jesus, do you not realize that I have the authority to either release you are crucify you Jesus calmly graciously responded with the truth. You have no authority over me unless it is been given to you from the bottom higher parliaments. It's easy to get caught up in even read away. Politics and government politics is an area that often ends up being divisive and it can become all about winning and losing. As believers we have a different perspective or is Stephen just put it a higher perspective we have more to learn from this message, but we don't have time to get to the answer.

Here and resume this lesson. Next time.

This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. Today's lesson was part one of a sermon called silencing the critics. It comes from Stephen series entitled above politics and parliaments. If you missed a portion of this lesson. It's available on our website which you can this series as well as the archive of all Stephen's teaching is posted there and you can listen to each sermon or read Stephen's manuscript free of charge that address again is wisdom between now and our next broadcast, we'd enjoy hearing from you. It would encourage us to learn how God using this ministry to build you up in the faith. Our mailing address is wisdom international PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627 give you that.

Again, you can write to us at wisdom international PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627.

Thanks again for joining us today.

Come back next time for the conclusion to this message here I'm wisdom

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