The King – The Biblical Husband (XIII)

For if by the transgression of one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous… So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Ro.5:17-21).

Christians must understand what the new birth (Jn. 3:3) is all about. Yes, it means that we are able to go to heaven when we die, but to limit it to this, is to truncate and limit the gospel. To be regenerated through the power of the Holy Spirit, means that as the disciples of Christ, He has promised us, that “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn.8:31-32). God Himself has embarked on a restorative purpose in us, which means that we now have the capacity to “rule and have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28). This was the very thing Adam and Eve were created for.

Man was called to dominion; he was called to establish his reign over the world under God. By his fall, man introduced the reign of death into the world; sin in him reigns unto death, both in time and eternity if he remains in the fall. Christ, however, by His grace and the gift of righteousness enables man to reign in life, i.e., in this life or world, and “to reign through righteousness unto eternal life,” i.e., in the life to come. The fall means the reign of sin and death over man. Christ’s redemption means man’s reign in time and in eternity. Very plainly, salvation means reigning. The rebellious slave is established in kingship. We are “more than conquerors” (Ro.8:37) in Christ, because we are also kings.[1]

I have noted elsewhere that the patriarchs were all godly, capitalistic, entreprenurial and wealthy. The Bible says that Job was “the greatest of all the men of the East” (Job 1:3), and Abraham was described by a local acquaintance as a “mighty prince” (Gen.23:6). Of Isaac, the Bible says that “the Lord blessed him, and he became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him” (Gen.26:13-14).

As Jacob and his household travelled towards Bethel, “there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob” (Gen.35:5). Pharoah said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharoah, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt” (Gen.41:44). Later, the Bible describes Boaz as “a man of great wealth” (Ruth 2:1).

These texts should indicate to us, the logical outcome of the restorative and exalting power of God in the life of the believer. Am I suggesting that all believers will be rich? No. Jesus said that “you always have the poor with you…” (Jn.12:8). But Paul could write to the Corinthians, that “You are already filled, you have become rich, you have become kings without us, and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you” (I Cor.4:8).

The Reformation of the sixteenth century rightly emphasised the priesthood of all believers, but did not emphasise the believer’s kingly role. But the Bible teaches this. It says that Jesus Christ “hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father…” (Rev.1:6 KJV), and later states that He “hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev.5:10 KJV). Thus believers are to have authority and power in the world God has placed us in. Of course, this authority and power is to be used in a way that is pleasing to Him.

A godly man will wish to use what he has, wisely. The book of Job, in chapters 29 and 31, illustrates Job’s great care for the poor and needy in his local community. In this context, Job claimed that he “dwelt as a king amongst the troops” (Job 29:25). Sidney Myer, an entreprenurial Christian, was one who realised he had the capacity to do good with the wealth God had given him, in early twentieth century Australia.

Among the array of gifts which Sidney Myer made over these years one, in particular, commanded particular public attention, and did much to consolidate the community’s view of Myer as a compassionate man who understood and cared for ordinary people, and was willing to meet and help them on their own terms. On Christmas Day, 1930, with the full impact of the depression starting to be felt, Sidney Myer invited 10,000 destitute citizens to join him for Christmas dinner in Melbourne’s Exhibition Building. At the event with free public transport provided, 11,500 attended. The meal commenced at ten o’clock in the morning, and with several relays, lasted until late in the afternoon. Sidney Myer received all the guests, and, with other staff from the store, waited on them. Each child received a box of toys.

However, in making this acknowledgment of the plight of so many citizens, Sidney Myer appears to have been sensitive to the pitfalls of offering short-term gestures, in a situation of continuing long term social distress. Indeed, he explained to those who attended his Christmas dinner that he was not offering charity, but that they were his honoured guests. [2]

Myer understood something of the capacity of a godly man, to use social influence and power constructively. Rushdoony has noted that

Power is inescapable in any social order: it can either be concentrated in the state, or it can be allowed to flourish wherever ability makes it possible among the people. This decentralized wealth means also decentralised and independent power. Instead of a concentration of power in the state, there is instead a decentralization of power which moves in terms of varying and independent goals.… in a free economy, property is freed from the restrictions of the state because it is under the restrictions of the family and of a religiously oriented community…The security of a man in his property, and in his inheritance, means a stability in the social order which is productive of progress.[3]

The restoration of the Christian person from sin and the fall, is to have profound implications for the individual, his family, his church and the community he is a part of. He has been restored to purpose, dignity and meaning- to ruling and reigning with Christ, with the capacity to be a significant person in the community. May your future as a king in Christ’s service, be significant with Him!

[1] Rushdoony, R. J., “Salvation and Godly Rule,” 1983, p.487.

[2] Source: Wikepedia

[3] Rushdoony, R. J., “The Politics of Guilt and Pity,” 1995, p.237.

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