Life Principles

roseTo ensure correct application of the Scriptures, it is important to differentiate between God’s Commandments and God’s Guidance or God’s Life Principles.

Believers are often told to obey governing authority, for example:

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.  Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.  Romans 13:1 & 2 NASB

Yet we have examples of believers correctly disobeying governing authority, such as:

You, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image.  But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.  There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”  Daniel 3:10 to 12 NASB

It’s a life principle to obey authority.  It is a commandment not to worship idols.  Disobeying authority should never be taken lightly, whether the authority is our parents, our bosses, law enforcement or our government.  However, when such authority requires that we sin, disobedience is required.

If we continue to read Daniel we will see that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did not rebel against the King’s decree to be thrown into the fire.  They only refused to sin.  They only refused to worship the idol.

Today sin is disobeying Christ’s Commandments.  In Daniel’s day sin was disobeying the Law of Moses.  Discerning between Christ’s Commandments and the Life Principles taught in Scripture will help us maintain stability in our Christian Life.  Christ’s Commandments are absolutes.  Life Principles are strong guidance that should be followed unless application causes us to sin.

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