Gods Law Requires Restitution - RR190C5

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Gods Law Requires Restitution
Course: Course - Biblical Law and Society
Subject: Subject:Sociology
Lesson#: 5
Length: 0:34:10
TapeCode: RR190C5
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Biblical Law and Society.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

Newton was himself an example of God's amazing grace. He was a young scoundrel, who himself wound up as a slave in Africa. The slave of an African woman. He underwent a great deal of suffering. And to him indeed his salvation out of his evil past was an example of amazing grace. One of the most evil ideas ever to infect the Christian church in coming from the heretic Marcion is the notion that the era before Christ was the age of law and works, and the times since then the age of faith and grace. What this implies is that men at some time in history were able to work for or earn their salvation. Now if I work for someone, and do what he requires, he is in my debt and must pay me.

To apply this notion to God is monstrous. God can never be in our debt, God can never owe us anything. God who made all things in heaven and earth, needs nothing. He does not need our works, our obedience, our faith or anything from us. Our Lord very bluntly rebuked this doctrine. Telling his disciples that: “Which of you having a servant plowing or feeding your cattle will say unto him by and by when he has come from the field, go and sit down to meat, and will not rather say unto him, make ready where with we may sup and gird thyself and serve me till I have eaten and drunken. And afterward thou shalt eat and drink. Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded to him? I think not. So likewise ye. When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you say we are unprofitable servants. We have done that which was our duty to do.” [00:03:16]

The word translated in this passage, Luke ...[edit]

The word translated in this passage, Luke 17:7-10, as servant is the Greek dolos which in this context apparently means slave, it means slave or servant. Even then the full force of our Lords meaning fails because there is nothing in our world which provides a full analogy to what he tells us. The Lord that made us, we are totally his creation. We are completely in his debt and he owes us nothing. If we do everything he commands us we are still unprofitable servants. The world and all the people thereof exist only by his sovereign grace. There can be no covenant of works with God. Covenants as I said earlier today are treaties of law and there are two kinds. First a treaty or covenant between equals is a treaty of an agreed upon law which both observe. Second a treaty or covenant between total unequal’s such as God and man is an act of grace by God, and the law he give us is then an act of grace also. [00:05:00]

Thus there can be no separation in our covenant between...[edit]

Thus there can be no separation in our covenant between law and grace. They come from God in his mercy, his covenant mercy. But we have broken that covenant law in Adam, we all sin, we are all partakers of Adams nature. We all desire apart from Christ, to be as God, to be our own law giver and Lord. We are told by Saint Paul that now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off all are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in the ordinances, for to make in himself both twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross having slain the enmity thereby the enmity of the law. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off and to them which were nigh. For through him we both have access by one spirit unto the father.

If you are a criminal the law is an enemy to you. If you are a law abiding citizen the law is your ally and your friend. The policeman is not an enemy, he’s your protector. Jesus Christ has made peace with God for both Jews and Gentiles and has abolished by his atoning God the enmity of the law. As long as we are fallen men the law is our enemy. A sentence of death against us. Rather than our covenantal way of life. There is one spirit working now in both Jews and Gentiles who are redeemed in Christ and they are on the same terms before God and the Holy Spirit. All this is true Paul says, because Jesus Christ is our peace. The key word in this text is peace. The word has been much abused then sentimentalized in our time. The Biblical word peace has no relation to the word to indicate the end of war, nor to the pacifistic use of the Hebrew Shalom by Hippies in the 1960s and 70s. [00:08:31]

Quoting again Girdlestones classic work, ...[edit]

Quoting again Girdlestones classic work, Synonyms of the Old Testament Their Bearing on Christian Doctrine. He says “We come now to one of the most notable words used to represent the idea of perfection. Namely shalam or shalom. It is used of the perfect heart in 14 passages; its usual signification is peace. The name Salem or Shalem being derived from it. Thus we read in Isaiah 26: 3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace” perfect, shalom, peace shalom, shalom shalom. The root may have originally signified oneness or wholeness and so completeness. Not only does it represent the idea of peace and perfection but also of compensation at or recompense. The following renderings have been also given to the verb in the authorized version to be ended, to be finished, to prosper, to make amends, to pay, to perform, and to recompense, to repay, to requite, to make restitution, to restore, to reward.” [00:10:18]

So when scripture tells us Christ is our peace...[edit]

So when scripture tells us Christ is our peace. It says Christ is our restitution. His blood is our restitution to God, for our sins. Now we can understand what Paul says. And what all of scripture means when it speaks of peace. It commonly means and very plainly means in Ephesians 2:13 through 18 where Paul speaks of our reconciliation to God by means of Christ atonement, restitution. Jesus Christ makes restitution to the Father for our sins. He is our peace, he is our restitution.

Now God's law is about righteousness or justice, and at the heart of the law is the fact of restitution. The sacrificial system cannot be dismissed as merely ceremonial laws, I said earlier. It tells us that God requires the restitution to be made to him by an unblemished substitute. In no other way then the vicarious sacrifice of restitution by a substitute, an unblemished animal, a type of Christ, can we establish peace. Again God's law requires restitution in the offenses of men against men. And this penalty culminates in the sense of death as the form of restitution. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood by man shall his blood will be shed. This is what after the flood God tells Noah. And surely your blood or your lives will I require at the hand of every beast will I require it and at the hand at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed. For in the image of God made he man. Now this is what the law is about, restitution. The whole of the law, whether it’s sacrificial, or criminal, or whatever you want to call it. In Exodus 22 we read that depending on the nature of the offense against another the restitution can be double or fourfold or fivefold depending on the type of crime. It is necessary to see the meaning of peace in the bible as restoration, recompense, perfection, restitution, in order to understand also our Lords words in John 15:27 when he prepares them for what is to come, his atonement, his death on the cross. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.” These are his words at the last supper shortly before his atoning death. Our modern sense of the word peace is: no problems. Nobody is bothering me. But this would make our Lords word senseless. They were soon going to see the arrest and horrifying crucifixion of the messiah. They would face persecution and death after his accession. They would face everything except modern man’s idea of peace. Their peace would be the forgiveness and remission of sins by the blood of Christ. His atonement or restitution for us, to the Father. The law makes clear that peace with God comes through our Lords atoning restitution for us. It makes also clear that peace between men comes men comes by way of restitution. [00:15:35]

Paul tells us in Colossians ...[edit]

Paul tells us in Colossians 2 verses 13 through 15 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh hath he quickened together with him haven forgiven you all trespasses. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers he made a show of them openly. Triumphing over them in it.”

When we were dead, that is legally sentenced to death by the law we had broken. The hand writing of ordinances the indictment was against us. And Jesus Christ nailed that death penalty to the cross in his own person as our substitute to triumph over sin and death for us. The essence of the law, is the necessity of restitution and restoration. For peace with God so that there might be peace among men. The goal of the law is peace, and Christ is our peace. Therefore we are no longer under condemnation but under grace. We pass from the enmity and from continual warfare against God to peace and grace. In Paul’s words: ”Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid, yea we establish the law.” Any war against the law of God becomes therefore a war against his atonement, his restitution, his grace, his peace. It is an abandonment of Biblical faith for humanism because the emphasis then because a humanistic pietism. Meaningless spiritual exercises, pious gush, and a retreat into the church as a refuge from the world replace Christian power. Herald J. Berman formally of the Harvard law school, in describing the western legal tradition, sees its origin in a number of Christian doctrines. Most notably, the last judgment and the classical doctrine of the atonement as given in scripture and formulated by Saint Anselm. Atonement has the satisfaction of God's law or justice. Restitution made for us by Christ. God cannot forgive man’s sins freely as a matter of lawless grace because this would leave the fallen condition of the universe undisturbed and uncorrected. There would then be no justice and no peace. Mercy, said Anselm, is the daughter of justice. It is derived from justice and cannot work against justice. [00:19:50]

This is why, in his book, ...[edit]

This is why, in his book, Law and Revolution, the Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Berman says that as we’ve moved away from the doctrine of the atonement, we’ve moved away in our societies from justice. We have moved away from God's law, we have moved away from restitution, and we’ve substituted psychological and psychiatric clap trap. In fact, he says, if in the next 10 or 15 years we do not return to a Biblical basis beginning with the atonement which is centered on the seriousness of God's law and the need for restitution as peace, he feels that it will be the end of our civilization.

Christendom rested on the foundations of Biblical law. As Berman said, at one time the preamble to the city law of (Slushwig?) began: “By law shall the land be built.” And they meant God's law. Because they saw it as the only true source of justice. But since the enlightenment and especially the French Revolution, Christendom has been replaced by western civilization, humanism. And God's law by statist law. We are now in the last days of western civilization. Its humanistic law is more productive of lawlessness than order. We have a dying world around us and what it urgently needs is Jesus Christ and a revived Christendom. It needs the foundations of God's law and God's peace, Christ’s atonement. Alexander Solzhenitsyn in A World Split Apart, his commencement address at Harvard University June 8th 1978, called attention to the decline of courage in all of modern society. While courageous individuals still existed, political and social life he said was no longer determined by them. In fact one of my staff members told me recently that some of his studies are indicating that one of the sins condemned in Revelation as marking those who are outside the kingdom, can be rendered cowardice4. Solzhenitsyn cited George Keenan’s statement. Keenan, one of the most influential American diplomats of this century who said, we cannot apply moral criteria to politics. And Solzhenitsyn observed that this made space for the absolute triumph of absolute evil in the world. Our humanism he said is destroying the world, and our problem is not a superficial one. Its source is in the roots of our modern culture beginning with the Renaissance and finding greater expression with the enlightenment. The doctrine of autonomous man, man in independence from God now prevails. Man is worshiped and there is no recognition of his evil. The evil is in the environment. [00:24:33]

Man's material needs and their satisfaction are given priority, and all our politics now is geared to satisfying man, not pleasing God. Solzhenitsyn cited Karl Marx’s 1844 statement “Communism is naturalized humanism.” Without a return to Biblical law we can say that all humanistic states will go the way of Karl Marx as indeed they have been doing. To be in God's grace and law leads to one thing and to live in sin leads to another. In Paul’s words in Romans 6:20-23

20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

 21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Paul is here speaking of two ways and of two ends. This is a subject common to all of scripture. We see it very clearly in Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28, Psalm 1, the Sermon on the Mount, and elsewhere. In fact in the early church one of the most common subjects of preaching was the two ways. The way of life, Christ’s atonement, the Law of God. Or the way of death, no peace with God, self-will, self-atonement, self-law. Autonomy is made up of two words auto, self; nomos, law. Theonomy means God's law, and as Dr. Van Til said, there are only two ways of life, Theonomy and autonomy. To live in terms of every word of God or to live in terms of our word, our law. The way of life then is the way of Grace and Law. And the way of death is reprobation and lawlessness. We are saved by grace and we are sanctified by our growth in obedience to the law. [00:28:05]

Wherever we find a contempt for God...[edit]

Wherever we find a contempt for God's law we find a society under God's curse. Before the French Revolution the world of the Marque De Sade was the world of the wealthy and nobility, all kinds of perversions prevailed. Homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, child molestation, and much, much more as I said earlier today. Sade's problem was not what he said and did, as much as the fact that he gave public voice to these things so the whole world would know what the nobility and the Aristocracy were doing. The world of Louie the 15th was a world of systematic debauchery and profanation. In every way possible God was mocked. It was a world given to pleasure and it equated pleasure with sin.

The French revolution overthrew that regime, not to replace it with a better one, but to democratize every kind of evil as the right of all men. It in the effect said: “We all have the right to be depraved.” To a limited extent Christendom still lingered on in the levels of society on a common level. But now the war against God became a policy of state and all of society, and statist education was instituted to further the destruction of Christianity. The de-Christianization of the common man. [00:30:14]

The theater with the enlightenment became the province...[edit]

The theater with the enlightenment became the province of the elite now became another instrument to destroy the remains of Christendom. And now the theater has been enlarged to films and television. The thinking of the Marque De Sade and of the nobility of his era, including prominent church men, was a will to death. That will to death lead to the destruction of the old order. It became democratized however through romanticism which moved rapidly in the train of the Marque De Sade. In April 1791 according to Doctor Ivan Block, just before the end of the old order in France and I quote: “There existed in the pallet royale a public theater where a so called savage and his mate both nude before the eyes of a crowded audience of both sexes, went through the act of coition.” Two centuries later in the late decades of our century similar acts have marked films and other aspects of the modern media including television. Every evil of the old regime of the enlightenment philosophy has become now an aspect of popular entertainment. [00:32:00]

Sex education in state schools and the distribution...[edit]

Sex education in state schools and the distribution of condoms has placed the depravity of the old order of France on the level of all people in our society. The will to death is well advanced. In 1791 the old order could not believe it could ever be overthrown. It was so deeply entrenched and powerful. But in a short time it was dead. And today the present Ancien Regime the present old order all around us of humanistic statism is in its death rows. It hates you because you represent something totally at odds with them. And your success means their death, therefore their hatred for any and all who truly stand for Christ. Thus a return to Christ as Lord and Savior, to Christendom and God's order of peace of restitution and grace and law, is in order, and by the grace of God it has become. Every one of you is a living witness to that fact. God bless you, amen.