If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.
A publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry
Copyright © February 11, 2018
Civil government does not meet the qualifications needed to rule over a church and those matters assigned the church by God. Civil government does not have the authority given it from God to oversee or rule a church. Since civil government is usually led by the unregenerate, it does not have the nature or wisdom to handle spiritual matters. Nor, according to Bible church doctrine, should a church rule over or “with” the state. As we have seen, when church and state combine, church, state, individuals, and families are corrupted.
Christians have spiritual nature and wisdom, as proclaimed by Paul: “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath proposed in himself” (Ep. 1.9).
Paul was a very well-educated man. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees. Before his conversion, he studied in Tarsus under Gamaliel (Ac. 22.3).[i]
Despite his worldly education, which he obtained before his conversion, Paul declared:
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Co. 2.1-16). [Bold emphasis mine].
Thus, Paul first made clear that, as a spiritual man, he discarded his worldly education gained as a lost carnal man. After he got saved he relied only upon his knowledge of God; and he made clear that only the born-again believer, led by the Spirit, was qualified to handle spiritual matters. Paul also asserted that rulers, “the princes of this world,” do not possess spiritual wisdom, indicating that most leaders are not Christians (undoubtedly, almost all leaders, and almost all leaders of civil government when he wrote the above words, are not and were not Christians) and are blind to spiritual matters.
- “In Scripture theology, wisdom is true religion; godliness; piety; the knowledge and fear of God, and sincere and uniform obedience to his commands. This is the wisdom which is from above. Ps. xc. Job xxviii”….
- “The wisdom of this world, mere human erudition; or the carnal policy of men, their craft and artifices in promoting their temporal interests; called also fleshly wisdom. 1 Cor. ii., 2 Cor. i.”[ii]
Few believers and churches have any understanding of these matters. Thus, religious forces descended from the false Catholic and Protestant theologies of the past are working, with some degree of success in the United States, desperately trying to reunite church and state, to politicize God’s churches. Church incorporation, 501(c)(3) or 508 status, or legal entity status of any kind combines church and state and places God’s churches, for many matters, under the authority of civil government.
[i] “Tarsus was actually the center of Greek learning to that day. The finest Greek university in Paul’s day was in Tarsus, not in Athens or Corinth which had passed their zenith. Tarsus was a thriving Greek city and an educational center. Undoubtedly Paul had been brought up in that university in Tarsus and had a Greek background, but he had also been in Jerusalem where he had studied under Gamaliel. He had worked on his doctorate in Jerusalem under the outstanding scholar of that day, Gamaliel.” J. Vernon McGee, Acts, Volume II (Pasadena, California: Thru the Bible Books, 1984), p. 258.
[ii] AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828), definition of “WISDOM.”