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Biblical Philosophy of History
…And His name is called The Word of God… And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Hebrews 11:4, 5, 7)
The natural man allows his morality to dictate his theology, but the believer’s theology should dictate his morality. Every Christian should be governed by a biblical philosophy of history. This philosophy is a set of values that govern life. A true biblical philosophy of history should include ten foundational beliefs.
1. Creation – an explanation of the dawning of life Gen 1:1; Neh 9:6; Heb 11:3; Acts 14:15; Rom 1:20 Key Concept: Unique view of God as Triune Creator and Man created in His image God is a Creator God Who is All-knowing, All-powerful, Ever-present, and Totally good (or the theological terms: Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omni-present, and Omni-righteous); The Godhead consists of a tri-unity (or Trinity) of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Man was created in the image of God and he too is a tri-unity of body, soul, and spirit.
2. Corruption – an explanation of the depravity of sin Rom 5:12; Rom 3:23; Rom 6:23; Is 53:6 Key Concept: Unique view of Man’s problem being spiritual and moral in nature Man has rebelled along with God’s enemy, Lucifer (Satan). Through rejection of God’s design for him, Man has been birthed with an Adamic nature (called sin), has willfully broken God’s moral law (called transgression), and has believed Satan’s lies that have shaped his life (called iniquity). The consequences of this rebellion are separation, suffering, and death.
3. Catastrophe – an explanation of the deliverance of a remnant Gen 6:3-8 Key Concept: Unique view of God allowing a space of time for Man to repent and His justice requiring judgment Through God’s grace, He provides a faithful remnant to execute His will. God must respond to limit Man’s rebellion and pride. With devastating judgments, God satisfies His just demands while at the same time preserving a faithful remnant. This truth is pictured for us in the worldwide flood story and the preservation of a remnant comprised of Noah and his family.
4. Confusion – an explanation of the diversity of Man Gen 11:1, 4, 6-8; Acts 17:26 Key Concept: Unique view of the origins of Man’s diversity Once again, God acted swiftly to bring judgment upon Man’s rebellion and to place a limitation upon his imagination as pictured in the Tower of Babel account. God confounded Man’s languages resulting in a scattering into differing people’s groups and cultures. Over a process of time, various groupings resulted in differing genetic tendencies such as eye shape and skin color.
5. Covenant – an explanation of the division of mankind Gen 12:1-3; Rom 11:2 Key Concept: Unique view of God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendents God established an eternal agreement with Abraham and his descendents to provide redemption for all mankind through them as they preserve His Word. This covenant was embraced by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then later refined with the Davidic covenant. The Abrahamic Covenant has not been revoked and divides mankind into Jew and Gentile.
6. Christ – an explanation of the demonstration of God Jn 1:1-4, 11; Col 1:19; Col 2:9 Key Concept: Unique view Christ as the Second Person of the Trinity Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity Who became incarnated through the miracle of the virgin birth and lived a sinless life. Through the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus has provided redemption to all who would believe. Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man – fully God and fully Man.
7. Cross – an explanation of the dynamic of grace Rom 5:6, 8; Rom 5:19; Eph 2:8-9 Key Concept: Unique view of grace, instead of works, as God’s means of salvation God has provided through the death of Jesus upon the cross the full atonement for Man’s sin. Salvation and forgiveness is through God’s grace without any merit of Man. In response to God’s work of redemption, Man may receive or reject this work of grace. The crucifixion of Christ was followed three days later by His resurrection and the later His ascension to the right had of God the Father.
8. Church – an explanation of the distinction of Christianity Mtt 16:18; Acts 1:8 Key Concept: Unique view of the Church as God’s steward of truth The Church was birthed on the day of Pentecost following the crucifixion and resurrection. The Holy Spirit (the Third Person of the Trinity) descended upon the followers of Jesus and initiated the Church. The Church does not replace Israel but provides a third division of Man: Jew, Gentile, and the Church. Jesus is the Head of the Church, not the king of the Church. He has commissioned the Church with the spread of the Gospel and the discipling of believers. To accomplish this goal the Holy Spirit has given the Church apostles (missionaries), prophets (reformers/revivalists), evangelists, and pastor-teachers and has gifted each individual member for service.
9. Coming – an explanation of the declaration of the prophets Acts 1:11; Heb 9:28; 2 Pet 3:10 Key Concept: Unique view of Christ’s Second Coming toward the end of history The Bible clearly presents two comings of Jesus. The First Coming occurred when Jesus came as a Suffering Servant and was incarnated as a Man. This is the Christmas story of the virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus. He lived a sinless life and gave his life as a ransom for sin upon Calvary’s cross. Then He arose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God the Father. Jesus is presented in His Second Coming as a Supernatural Sovereign Who will rapture up His Church. An additional part of His Second Coming is His return to defeat the enemies of Israel and to establish a millennial (thousand year) reign.
10. Consummation – an explanation of the destiny of life Phil 2:10-11; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14; Deut 10:17; Josh 22:22; Rev 19:16 Key Concept: Unique view that all of life is progressing toward Judgment All history is moving toward a culmination in one of two directions: Heaven or Hell. God’s justice demands an accounting. With the judgment of sin completed at Calvary, history now awaits four future judgments:
- The judgment concerning the saints (Judgment Seat of Christ). This judgment concerns the works of the believers (1 Cor 3:11-15; 4:5; 5:9-10; 9:24-27; Rom 14:9-12).
- The judgment concerning the states/nations (in the Valley of Jehoshaphat). This judgment concerns the nation’s treatment of Israel (Matt 25:31-46; Rev 12:13-17; Dan 7:22; Jude 14-15).
- The judgment concerning sinners (Great White Throne Judgment). This judgment will be concerned with sinners who have rejected Jesus (Rev 20:11-15; Jude 6; 2 Pet 3:7).
- The judgment concerning Israel’s submission (at the time of the Great Tribulation). This judgment will focus upon Israel’s rejection of Jesus as their true Messiah and a faithful remnant that have trusted in Jesus as their Messiah (Jer 30:4-7; Ezk 20:34-38; Dan 12:1).