Yesterday we discussed Part 3 of “God’s Authority Over Every Area of Our Lives” from The Kingdom Agenda by Dr. Tony Evans, and the chapter entitled “The Authority of the Kingdom Agenda“. We are continuing that study today. What follows are excerpts from his book in the chapter The Authority of the Kingdom Agenda.
The Church’s Commitment to Biblical Authority:
The third entity in God’s kingdom is the church, which follows naturally from the individual and the family. God’s kingdom is expanded through the influence of the church. Deuteronomy 4 gives us a picture of what I’m talking about: “I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” (vv. 5–6)
Moses told the people to apply God’s truth to their lives in such a way that other nations would see it and want to imitate them. The job of the church, as God’s New Testament covenant people, is to model the principles of His kingdom in such a way that even the ungodly will say, “That makes sense. That’s the best way to live.” When the church is not the church, then society has nowhere to look for answers since the church is uniquely the preserver and depository of divine truth. “I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.“ (1 Timothy 3:14–15).
Our church in Dallas received a real honor not too long ago when the governor of Texas contacted us to say that, with our permission, he wanted to talk about the ministry of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in his “State of the State” address. The governor wanted to talk about how the church should influence society; how, when the church is right, the government doesn’t have to do all these things and tax people to do them, because the churches are centers of hope in every community. His office was looking for an example of that, and they chose our church.
That’s what being a kingdom alternative is all about. It is about the church being the secondary tier of caring for the needs of people. Caring for these needs starts in the family, but then it goes to the church because it has to be localized where the people live. Jesus said His people are to be the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13–14).
The job of the church is to illuminate the truth, not just to pontificate about it. Our job is not just to talk about what the world should do, but also to illustrate before the world what the world should do.
Second Timothy 3:16–17 says the Bible was given so that God’s people would be “equipped for every good work.” If the Bible is not good enough for God’s people to live by, how can it be good enough for the world? If the Bible can’t straighten us out, how can it straighten out the mayor or the president? It’s got to work in the family of God if it’s going to work in society.