Authority

Biblical Responses to Secular Beliefs (7) Expressive Individualism

Our happiness and greatest wellbeing come from living for God rather than living for ourselves. We were not designed to find our deepest happiness by focusing on ourselves. We are designed to find our deepest happiness in God. The Bible is actually very concerned with man’s happiness, but as a result of living for God rather than living for ourselves. The picture that the Bible paints of a life in the service of God is a wonderful picture of fulfillment and wellbeing and profound happiness. The Bible makes it clear that the deepest joy that we can know is joy in the Lord and in his service. Psalm 32:11 says “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Fifth Commandment (4) The Abuse of Authority in Marriage

The key from a biblical perspective is that the abuse of authority is sin and it must be dealt with as sin. A related perspective is that God cares greatly about people who are suffering abuse at the hands of other people. Psalm 146:7 says that God “executes justice for the oppressed.” The oppressed are those who are mistreated by others particularly the weak who are suffering at the hands of those who are stronger than they. A wife who is suffering because a husband is misusing his authority is in an intolerable situation from a biblical perspective and such a situation should not be allowed to continue.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Fifth Commandment (3) Authority in Marriage

In connection with male headship in marriage, it is important to underscore the emphasis in the opening chapters of the Bible on the basic equality of man and woman. Both are equally made in the image of God. We also see that when Adam receives his wife from the Lord, he is so thrilled that he sings a love-song. It is the first love song in the history of the world and so it does not sound very romantic to 21st century ears, but it is poetry and so we can legitimately consider it a love-song when Adam said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23). Adam is the head, but he also treasures his wife and cherishes her. And that love is the necessary context in which leadership is to function.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Fifth Commandment (1) The Basic Thrust of the Command

Now I want to remind you of the biblical context. God did not give his people the Ten Commandments as the way of salvation. He gave them to his people after he had already delivered them from Egypt. In our context, we must understand that keeping the commands is not the way of salvation; it is the way that saved people are called to live for the glory of God and for their true well-being. We should never think of God’s laws as the way to be saved.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Our Responsibility to Government and General Exhortations

Read: Romans 13

The transformation that is the result of salvation in Christ, is from a life that is empty and self-centered to a life that is full and other-centered. The way of life that is concerned only with self is the way of death and being truly alive and joyful according to the Bible is to learn to sacrifice for God and others. Remember the opening line of this section. We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. That is not a bad thing. That is not a punishment. It is rather what it means to be truly alive. It is life as it was meant to be lived. It is the way of joy and satisfaction. It is a huge part of what salvation means.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Wisdom Is Not Provoking the King

The great thing that Ecclesiastes is showing us that if you only look at life from the perspective of under the sun, life can be very dark and hopeless. There is a lot of pain. There is a lot of suffering. There is a lot of frustration. And there is always death on the horizon, our own death and the death of our loved ones. If that is all there is, life can have its short-term pleasures, but there is a lot of suffering and then there is death.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (2) Scripture Alone

The Reformers taught that Scripture was the highest authority on whatever it addressed. That meant that everything that the church taught must be shown to be taught in the Scriptures. It meant that church teaching always had to pass the test of faithfulness to the Word of God. It meant that if anyone could show where church teaching was not in harmony with the Bible that teaching must be rejected. And it meant that church leaders could not bind the consciences of church members in areas where the Bible was silent.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra