The Church and God’s Law (43)

I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you (Ex.23:31).

It is not presumption to link this passage and ones like it in the Old Testament, to the Great Commission in the New. The grand but geographically limited promises of conquest to Israel were notably expanded by our Lord. Today, we aren’t to be merely interested in a little piece of land at the eastern end of the Meditteranean, for Jesus Christ commanded us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Mat.28:19).

The Great Commission represents the Christian’s Marching Orders, given to us by our Great King, Jesus Christ.

Of course the Great Commission is ambitious. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, nothing but an ambitious plan from God to deal with what seemed to be a catastrophe, would suffice.

But Jesus commanded us to “…take courage; I have overcome the world” (Jn.16:33). That is why we want to oversee the total Christian reconstruction of society and culture: nothing else will suffice.

Adam was to create a God-honouring civilization, with worship of the true God at its heart. So was Israel. So are we. Adam was to love righteousness, and guard Eden from the invasion of evil (Gen. 2:15, “keep” is “guard”). So was Israel. So are we. Adam was to punish evil. So was Israel. So are we.

The law of God, as found in the Old Covenant books, describes the Adamic task, and prescribes how it is to be carried out. In no way has this aspect of the covenant changed. What has changed is the administration of the covenant, and its source of power. The basic standards have not changed.[1]

Yes, the Fall was all-encompassing and disastrous, but God knew about it beforehand, and from before the foundation of the world He had planned what to do. Thus the redemptive power of Christ is greater, applying to individuals firstly, but also to families, churches, communities and whole nations. God is the God of the whole earth, everything is subject to His Lordship, and He is vitally concerned to see His kingdom rule in all facets of human activity. Nothing is exempt from His power, His concern and His loving care.

It is with the knowledge of this that Christians must be prepared to act. Of course, it also means there will be times when we must go out on a limb. This is consistent with scripture, for the Bible tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Heb.11:6).

But the Church has the task of conquest, not by force of arms this time around, but by persuasion through preaching the truth. We have a task before us to clean up the whole world through the gospel, and He will certainly triumph over all His enemies.


[1] James Jordan, “The Law of the Covenant,” 1984, p.49.