Scriptures to Vote by: Voting Christian in a Secular World

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Compiled by Paul A. Hughes, M.Div

Note: This collection of scriptures was first published during the 1992 presidential election.  A few additions have been made.  If only these warnings from Scripture had been more heeded back then, and since, by Christians of all types who decided to vote their own preference instead of God’s!  Think, in particular, what better appointments would have been made to the Supreme Court, had truly Christian presidents and other leaders been elected.

As another crucial election approaches, it is important to emphasize the need for Christians to vote according to their Christian convictions.

Some Christians think it is somehow “unspiritual” to participate in molding and influencing our nation through politics.  Others have bought the secular line that Christians should keep their religion separate from their politics.

However, it is not only the right but the solemn responsibility of all Christians to exploit every means to influence the world, including electing men of truth, justice, and character to their government, calling all their leaders to accountability, and punishing those who violate the public trust.

Now I cannot tell anyone else for whom to vote [though perhaps I ought to have done so, in retrospect], but I would like to offer a selection of scriptures we should all ponder before we vote.  These scriptures speak for themselves [or so I had hoped].

Seek the Nation’s Welfare

“Seek the peace of the city to which I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in its peace shall ye have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7).

“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Samuel 12:23).

“I exhort, therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Seek Freedom of Worship

“Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD. . . but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD” (Exodus 8:29).

“For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem” (Ezra 9:9).

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds” (Colossians 4:3).

The World is Ignorant of God’s Truth

“The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

“Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Choose God, Not Self-Interest

“No man can serve two masters . . . . Ye cannot serve God and mammon (i.e., money)” (Matthew 6:24).

“If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served . . . or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

“See I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. . . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19).

“Seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:29-31).

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).

Declare a Public Testimony

“Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles” (Matthew 10:18).

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

“For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:28).

“For a long time, then, they abode there, speaking boldly in the Lord, who gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3).

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).

“And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word . . . And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:29, 31).

“And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region” (Acts 13:49).

Do Not Aid Sinners in Their Cause

“Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them who hate the Lord? Therefore, there is wrath upon thee from before the Lord” (2 Chronicles 19:2).

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 1:10-11).

“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:23).

Stand Against Evil

“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3).

“Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20).

“This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13).

“These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15).

Beware of Deceivers

“Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6, see also 4:14).

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22).

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

Distrust Human Counsel

“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you” (2 Corinthians 1:12).

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (1 Corinthians 3:19).

“My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the lord, who take counsel, but not of me; and who cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Isaiah 30:1).

“We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold, trouble!” (Jeremiah 8:15).

“They say still unto those who despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you” (Jeremiah 23:17, see also Ezekiel 13:10, 16).

Seek God for Guidance

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16).

“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

©2015 Paul A. Hughes

 


Paul the Apostle, Law, and Sin, Part 1

The Pauline Concept of Law and Sin

The Pauline Concept of Law and Sin

by Rev. Paul A. Hughes, M.Div

Introduction to the Series

The nature of law and commandments in the Bible has been a source of considerable confusion for Christians, well, since the first Christians — when Judaizers were telling Gentile converts they had to be circumcised to be saved.  While we are told that we are free from Moses’ Law, what moral laws remain in force?  Which laws are cultural, and which eternal?  Are we, as some say, still required to eat Kosher and keep the Sabbath?

The principal teacher on doctrine and Christian living in the New Testament was the Apostle Paul of Tarsus.  In this comprehensive review and diagram of Paul’s instructions and theology, the author hopes to clear up much of the confusion.

Overview

The conceptual diagram represents the Apostle Paul’s view of law and sin as a trinity of three spheres of influence:  (1) Moral/Natural Law, (2) Moses’ Law, and (3) Cultural Mores and Customs.  Note that these spheres overlap, sharing certain elements, aspects, and concerns.  Also note that sphere size, as depicted, is not intended to indicate relative importance.

Moral/Natural Law

The Apostle Paul believed in a set of absolute truths which form the original fabric and intent of God’s Creation (see Rom. 1:18-25, cf. Ps. 19:1-2, 97:1-6).  Creation itself is an expression of God’s eternal nature, benevolence, and order.  All that God created was perfectly good and moral, reflecting God’s own attributes, and therefore holy.  This principle applies also to the human body, which is made in the image of God (1 Cor. 11:7, Col. 3:10), and is “not for fornication, but for the Lord” (1 Cor. 6:13).  From the things created, we can all see undeniable proof of God and surmise his intent for humanity.

God’s will for man, and all that is moral and permissible, lies within the sphere of God’s Moral/Natural Law.  In contrast, all that lies outside the sphere of God’s intent is contrary to God’s nature and sovereign will, having its origin in the flesh, human imagination, or satanic deception.  Whatever is contrary to God’s nature is consequently sin.  Humanity, corrupted by the Fall of Adam, as a class, has pursued carnal pleasure to the point of moral blindness; thus they continue until enlightened to the truth by the Holy Spirit through revelation of the Gospel and spiritual regeneration (2 Th. 2:10 ff.).  Those regenerated by the Spirit are freed from bondage to fallen carnal-mindedness and enabled not only to perceive but to fulfill God’s moral law, entering once again into the sphere of God’s approval.

Paul provides various lists of behaviors and lifestyles which, being contrary to God, lie outside of the sphere of God’s will, and therefore threaten to condemn those who have chosen to participate in them (Rom. 1:24-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, Col. 3:5-9, Titus 3:3).

Creation itself is an expression of God’s eternal nature, benevolence, and order

  • Paul and Barnabas at Lystra, Acts 14:15-17
  • Paul in Athens on Mars Hill, Acts 17:24-29

God Allowed Men to Stray from Natural Law

  • Paul and Barnabas at Lystra, Acts 14:15-17
  • Paul in Athens on Mars Hill, Acts 17:29-31
  • God abandoned mankind to their reprobate minds, Romans 1:24-28
  • God concludes all in unbelief, Romans 11:30-32
  • The past of those once lost in sin, now made alive, Ephesians 2:1-3, 11-12
  • The darkened understanding of the Old Man, Ephesians 4:17-22
  • Christ has delivered believers from darkness, Colossians 1:13-17
  • The unrighteousness under strong delusion, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

Fallen man is natural but corrupt

  • God destroyed mankind for their corruption and violence, Genesis 6:11-13
  • The natural body of flesh is corruptible, 1 Corinthians 15:42-50
  • The darkened understanding of the Old Man, Ephesians 4:17-22
  • Mankind is alienated from God until salvation, Colossians 1:21-22
  • Sinners are deluded to believe lies, not the truth, and receive due condemnation, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

God’s wisdom seems foolish to the World

  • God has chosen a way of salvation that seems foolish to the fallen world, 1 Corinthians 1:18-29
  • The natural man cannot understand God’s wisdom, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16
  • Human wisdom is foolishness to God, 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
  • Mankind is alienated from God until salvation, Colossians 1:21-22

God’s reality is not necessarily what is seen in the natural

  • The visible world is temporal, spiritual things are eternal, 2 Corinthians 4:18

Things contrary to nature are sins against God

  • Laws concerning marriage and divorce, Romans 7:1-4, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40
  • Taking your father’s wife, Leviticus 18:8; Deuteronomy 22:30; 27:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
  • Due to man’s lustful rebellion, God abandoned them to sin and its consequences, Romans 1:24-32
  • Sinners against God, nature, and humankind will not enter God’s kingdom, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  • Those committing ungodly human deeds will not enter God’s kingdom, Galatians 5:19-21
  • Believers were once sinners, too, Titus 3:3
  • Believers must kill the lusts which cause sin, Colossians 3:5-9
  • God calls mankind to repent to escape judgment, Acts 17:29-31
  • Those who still sin but judge others will be judged, Romans 2:1-10
  • Believers were the same as the lost, until made alive by Christ, Ephesians 2:1-3, 11-12

Works of the flesh

  • Works of the flesh and fruit of the Spirit, contrasted, Galatians 5:19-26
  • Believers must kill the lusts which cause sin, Colossians 3:5-9

Idolatry

  • Paul declares the Unknown God, and an end to the ignorance of idolatry, Acts 17:16, 23-31
  • Man’s lust led to idolatry and sinfulness, worthy of condemnation, Romans 1:18-32
  • Repent of idolatry, to escape condemnation, 1 Corinthians 10:5-14
  • Idols have no power over believers, but Christians ought not to profane God’s temple or offend the weak, 1 Corinthians 10:19-33
  • Do not associate closely with sinners, for sin is idolatry, Ephesians 5:5-8
  • Do not forsake grace for the bondage of idolatrous practices, Galatians 4:8-10

Eating meat offered to idols a matter of conscience

  • Do not violate your conscience, nor that of others, Romans 14:1-23
  • Do not tempt others to violate conscience, nor scandalize them, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
  • Idols have no power over believers, but Christians ought not to profane God’s temple or offend the weak, 1 Corinthians 10:19-33

Matrimony is holy before God, divorce is a sin against nature

  • One is bound in marriage till released by death, Romans 7:1-4
  • Marital bonds, cares, and obligations, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40

Fornication, incest contrary to God’s natural law

  • Open sin must be purged from the church and unrepentant sinners disfellowshipped, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
  • Sinners will not enter God’s kingdom, and fornicators violate God’s temple, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20
  • Fornicators and idolaters reap condemnation, 1 Corinthians 10:5

Homosexuality

  • Homosexuality forbidden, Leviticus 18:22
  • Homosexuality a capital crime, Leviticus 20:13
  • Homosexuality is unnatural, Romans 1:26
  • Male prostitutes and homosexuals among those who will not enter the Kingdom, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  • The Law is made to judge sinners, including those who “defile themselves,” 1 Timothy 1:9

Those who oppose God’s law and intent are aligned with the Devil

  • Judgment of Elymas the Sorcerer, Acts 13:8-10
  • Those once alienated from God served the prince of this world, Ephesians 2:1-3
  • Idol worship is sacrifice to demons, 1 Corinthians 10:20
  • In the Last Days, people will heed lying spirits and demons, 1 Timothy 4:1

Those Blinded by Satan Need Deliverance

  • Paul was called to turn people from satan to God, Acts 26:17-18
  • Israel is blind to the truth, Romans 7:7-9
  • The god of this world has blinded the lost, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
  • Christians wage a spiritual war, not in the flesh, 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5
  • Our adversaries are spiritual, not physical, Ephesians 6:12
  • Sinners are deluded to believe lies, not the truth, and receive due condemnation, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

God will fulfill his Plan by redeeming the world through Christ

  • The Father has done a great work though Christ, who delivers the Church, Ephesians 1:3-6, 9-23
  • Christ has delivered the Church from the flesh, to bring us to God, Ephesians 2:1-17
  • Christ has delivered believers from darkness, Colossians 1:13-17

© 2013 Paul A. Hughes

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