Providence Today: We the People

Speaker 1:
Welcome to Providence today. We’re standing in front of the National Constitution Center. And if you take a look at the wall, you’ll see the opening of the Constitution, the Preamble. These words are remarkable because they begin with the three words, “We, the People,” and this reminds us that America’s government is something that is all of our responsibility as citizens. But we often don’t remember that the words “We, the People” actually comes from a Latin phrase, Res publica, a thing of the people. And that phrase comes right into English. With the word Republic. A Republic is something that the people create by way of a constitution. A form of government where the governed and those who govern agree together in a covenant as to how the country or the place they are living will work. And what’s amazing about the American Republic is that it builds on classic values that come right out of the scriptures.

Speaker 1:
Take a look at that Preamble for just a moment. It says “We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union.” The idea is that there’s no perfection in a fallen world, but our unity can become better. Doesn’t the Bible say how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity? Take a look again. It says that to establish justice, he has shown you, oh man, what the Lord requires of you. But to do good ,to love justice, and walk humbly with your God. Justice is a great classic value of people living under the transcendent Creator and Lord of the universe. We find also then to “Ensure domestic tranquility.” That’s peace. It says as much as lies within you, live at peace with all men, that’s Paul and Romans 12:18.

Speaker 1:
Take a look at another phrase, “Provide for the common defense.” That mean that we must protect the orphan and the widow and the stranger and our Homeland from the enemy. We are to only follow justice, but sometimes justice requires us to protect ourselves against the invader, the one who would do harm. And so defense is the ability to stand in preserving safety. For those whom we love. Further, we see “Promote the general welfare.” Promote general welfare is a wonderful statement that reminds us of the golden rule. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. We want to be well in our life. We want to flourish. And so we want to promote the welfare of others. That comes right out of Jesus’ teaching in the sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter seven in verse 12. The golden rule pursuing general welfare.

Speaker 1:
Further as we look again, it tells us that we must “Ensure the blessings of Liberty.” I always love to stop at that moment and say, “Have you ever heard an atheist talk about blessings?” Blessings are not something that come from an impersonal empty causal universe of only time and chance and chaos. No, it comes from the hand of almighty God. God brings blessings. He honors and cares for those that love Him.

Speaker 1:
And notice that Liberty has blessings. And you’ll remember that the words on our Great Liberty Bell says, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land, onto all the inhabitants thereof,” Leviticus 25, verse 10. They actually quote the Bible as they talk of about liberty on the Liberty bell. That was the bell that was ringing as they were coming every day here in Philadelphia to write the constitution. And then finally it says “To ourselves and to our posterity.” Do you remember how Abraham said, as he talked to his family, he said, “I have a God who will be the God for me and the generations after me.” The Lord had promised Abraham, “I will be your God and the God of your children after you.” The scriptures say that God will bless us to a thousand generations.

Speaker 1:
Those who love Him and keep His commandments. So we see covenantal faithfulness as part of this. And then finally “Establish by ordaining the constitution.” We all know the word ordained. You have an ordained deacon, an ordained elder, an ordained pastor, an ordained evangelist. That’s a biblical word. And so when we put it all together, it says, “This is what the constitution of the United States of America is all about.” It’s designed to preserve values that come right out of the Bible, Judeo Christian values. It’s a Res Publica, a thing of the people. And that’s why our founder said this constitution is made for only a moral and religious people. It’s completely inadequate for the governance of any other. And their logic was simple. If you want to be free, you need a constitution. If you want to have a constitution, you need to have moral people because they won’t follow words on a paper unless they’re moral.

Speaker 1:
And where do you get moral people? You need religion. The gospel, the teachings of the scriptures, the 10 commandments. That was the logic of liberty. The American Republic is made upon this principle that people who know God will do the right thing because they’ve learned from God what liberty is according to the boundaries that He knows to be best. That’s why Jesus said, “You’ll know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Well download our free faith and freedom app. It’s available for you to take you through the city of Philadelphia, and further you can come to our website, providenceforum.org, and you’ll learn a great deal more about how faith has shaped our country. So friends, that’s Providence today.

 

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