In the past three posts on this topic I pointed out various observations from the early chapters of the Holy Bible which have import to the subject of human law. The principles found there provide an important basis for human law.
I have grazed through a number of observations, en route to a picture of our modern legal system and the process of human law. I can’t guarantee we’ll get there, but the journey has been valuable so far.
Before pressing on with more things to observe, it is fitting to take some time to review what we have observed so far. To help harvest some of the insights and their significance for future application I am not only revisiting the content, but grouping it into several sub-headings.
All of these points come from a source that is identified as divine revelation. That is, they were not worked out by human thinking or made up by human inventiveness, but were revealed to mankind by God, Himself. God inspired holy men to write what was impressed to them. At the same time historical records were kept of the events of people’s lives. As centuries passed the collection of holy writings became increasingly potent, because things that seemed of little note when recorded in antiquity became powerfully relevant and significant in later times. Thus a book which was actually written by God was passed to us, and, despite the many contributors over many centuries, we have a book that conveys a unified message from one creative author, God.
So here are the points we have covered so far, from the Biblical text.
The essence of life is our very existence. But we humans are not the only identities which have significant existence.
God is our pre-existent, sovereign creator. All existence springs from God’s existence from eternity.
Natural law is a product of what has been created by God. It is thus a by-product of God’s existence. To appeal to natural law as the foundational legal reality, without regard for God, is a nonsensical idea. Nature is not the place from which we spring, but a product of God’s creativity, just as we are. It was not made in God’s image, but we are.
Man is a created being, morally accountable to the holy Almighty God.
Man’s existence is a consequence of God’s existence. God exists because He is God. Man exists by the will of God.
Life is impacted by three types of being: God; Man; and the Devil. The devil actively influences people to rebel against God, especially by getting them to reject God’s Words.
Note that the devil is a created being. He was at first an angel created to serve God, but he rebelled against God’s authority and thus awaits his eternal doom. Meanwhile, God allows him to tempt mankind as a means of testing he hearts of men, to find those who will truly submit to God.
Supremacy and Jurisdiction
Law requires courts, judges, rulers and the like. These people have some level of authority over others and some realm of jurisdiction in which their word holds sway.
God is the supreme being and has jurisdiction over the entire universe and all that is known and unknown.
Jurisdiction allows a being to speak over a certain realm with authority. God’s jurisdiction is eternal and unbounded. Everywhere that light can go is within the bounds of God’s jurisdiction.
Because man is under God’s jurisdiction, man is a moral being. Therefore there are moral consequences to man’s moral choices and actions. Man is accountable, not a law unto himself.
Natural Law is not the highest and final realm of law. Divine Law, based on the pre-existence of God, as revealed to us in the Holy Bible, has much greater authority and conveys much more powerful truth than natural law could ever imagine.
God gives assigned roles to people, just as He did in the creation, giving man dominion over the rest of creation.
Man is under direct command from God and must obey God’s instructions.
Man is under moral law, so man is accountable for moral actions, not just natural consequences of his actions.
Superiors have authority over their subordinates, and can command them.
Authority and Accountability
Rules are unavoidable. All of life is governed by limitations. There is no such thing as being a law to ourselves or being outside law.
Those with authority have the right to summons and interrogate those accountable to them.
Those with authority have the right to pass sentence on those accountable to them.
Divine law speaks morality into the world, causing everyone to be accountable, not based on natural endowment, but on moral principle.
Mankind has been created with equality before God and has been given equality of purpose on the earth.
Because ‘jurisdiction’ is the right to speak over a realm, words are very important legal elements. Words control the realm over which they have right to apply. Word usage, definitions and the terms of agreements are very important.
Words are elements for which we are accountable.
Actions lead to consequences, both natural and moral. We cannot control the consequences or stop them from happening.
Sin has moral power, causing moral consequences which can be profound and far reaching.
Moral consequences can be experienced at a completely internal level, yet be more real and devastating than actions upon our external body.
Human delusion does not create reality. Man cannot become free from divine morality, no matter what man chooses to believe.
It All Starts with Law
From what we have seen so far, the universe is a law based environment. It is logical that people operate under law, since the very shape of life as it was created is a legal context. A superior Being created people who are accountable to Him.
That Being, God Almighty, determines the roles of man, the standards by which man must live and the consequences for his actions. Thus we have the formula for all legal contexts, where people with authority and position enforce standards that others are to live by, even determining the punishment to be meted out when requirements are not met.
I’d like to suggest that you study law, since we live under law in every aspect of our lives. But that might send you off studying some law course or other that is designed to bring you to a wrong place under man’s impositions. Just because something is called law doesn’t make it true law, as we may see in future posts.
Rather, we need to study the Biblical basis for human law, as I am splashing through it with you, so we see the right responsibilities and accountabilities that God has place upon us.