It Starts With Our Creator’s Rights
Study Guide July 29, 2018
Pastor Clay Olsen
Perhaps some of the most well known words to many people are contained in this statement: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Truly, they are some of the most profound and encouraging words ever penned by men. And at the time that they were stated most people also understood what was not stated, but was clearly implied. And what was implied is what we are going to explore in our study today.
We could also put it this way: Without an understanding of our complete dependence upon our Creator we can never understand our limited independence as the created ones. And we can take that even further. Let’s restate this ‘Declaration’ and we’ll get a clearer picture of the real issue: ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created by the Creator who is Himself endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the right to reign in each person’s life, the right to define the liberties and the boundaries of each person’s life, and the right to determine the purposes by which each created life will live, in which the pursuit of these will result in eternal life, true liberty, and genuine happiness.’
This ‘declaration’ starts with the Creator’s rights, which is right where any discussion of ‘rights’ needs to start. For unless you start with our Creator’s rights, it is impossible to determine or define any of the rights of those who have been created. The rights of the created are always conditional upon the rights of the Creator and constrained by the rights of the Creator! Now that seems as clear and as obvious as can be. However, and ironically enough, very little thought or consideration among most the created people of this world ever starts with the consideration of the Creator’s rights over them and His created world. But mark it down: Unless you start with the Creator’s rights, people will default to their own imagined rights, which are often so very wrong!
When is the last time you heard an open discussion about ‘rights’ either in the media or university settings, where they were giving equal time to the Creator’s rights over all of us who have been created? Right, not only does our Creator not get equal time in our society’s discussion about ‘rights’ – our Creator rarely gets any time or any consideration at all as to His unalienable rights. And so, as a result of that, what many people the world over perceive as actual ‘right’s are actually complete ‘wrongs’! In fact, without living in complete dependence upon your Creator and in complete deference to your Creator’s rights, not only are you apt to insist on doing ‘wrong’ and calling it ‘right’, but you will even believe you are choosing to be independent, when what you are really choosing is just more continued ‘slavery’!
One clear example of that is what the Apostle Paul revealed about the actual condition of any who have not turned their life over to God in repentance and received Christ into their life by faith as their Savior. Note this: 2 Tim 2:24-26- “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” NASU
How about that for a reality check? Every day and all day long unsaved people can make a declaration of their personal independence as masters over their own lives, along with their right to choose however they wish to live. But the fact remains that they are actually living each day as a captive of the devil. The Scriptures reveal that they are even enslaved by him. Plus, along with imagining that they are their own masters, choosing to do their own will, they are in fact, simply choosing those things which are already the devil’s will for their life. That is how utterly deceived each person is who has not, as the Apostle Paul put it, ‘come to their senses and repented toward God and then escaped the snare of the devil.’
Again, true independence is living in complete dependence upon your Creator and living with complete deference to your Creator. And any perceived personal rights are only right if they honor our Creator’s rights over us all. As was stated in our restated ‘Declaration of Dependence upon God’, our Creator has the unalienable right to reign over us, or to rule over us. Which again, we can reinforce that statement by turning it around, as in: No created being has the right to rule over their own life, since their Creator alone owns their life.
Deceived people often make statements about owning their own life or their owning their own body. But that is a complete falsehood since no one owns their life or their body. You would have to be your own ‘creator’ in order to ‘own’ your life. All created beings are owned by the Creator. At the most, we are ‘stewards’ of the life and the body that is owned by the Creator of all life and the Master over all life.
This is a verse that we say a lot and use a lot, and it should be one of our ‘go to’ memory verses since it clarifies this truth of God’s sole ownership so very well. Ps 24:1- “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.” NASU God alone, as sole Owner of all life, has the right to rule over each of our lives. That is where any discussion about ‘rights’ needs to start. ‘Rights’ are not something that are first ‘declared’, as in, if enough people ‘declare’ them and then demand them that they will then somehow become theirs. No, ‘rights’ are not things that are declared; ‘rights’ are things that are imparted from Someone who has the right to impart these ‘rights’ to others. And, of course, that ‘Someone’ is the only One who created the earth and owns the earth and all it contains and all who dwell in it. God alone has the right to reign and rule over my life, and your life, and every created life on planet Earth. Or once again, turn it around: No one has the right to rule over their life, except for the One who created their life and owns their life; and that One Person is: God!
Next, our Creator also has the unalienable right to define the liberties and the boundaries for each created person’s life. And the remarkable thing is, both are given by God, not to burden us, but to bless us. Remember who mankind’s God really is and what He is really like? As Moses asked to better understand this newly found God of his, God introduced Himself this way: Ex 34:5-7- “Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and He called out His own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,“Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.” NLT
What do you think Moses learned about our Creator from this introduction by God about Himself? He learned that with God there is such great compassion and such great forgiveness and such great faithfulness, along with such great liberties. And yet, he also learned that with God there are such great responsibilities, and that if these responsibilities are disregarded or if pushed beyond the boundaries as set by God, then God will not excuse the guilty, as in; they will be judged for mocking God’s authority.
As we pointed out last time, ‘God is not mocked. What a man sows, so shall he reap.’ Or, as Moses also learned, what a man chooses he will receive. God put it like this: Deut 30:19-20- “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life.” NLT
Wouldn’t it be great for people to know what the key to life is and to living it well? Well, God has told us. He has given us the key to what life is about and how to live it well: “Love the Lord your God, obey Him, and commit yourself firmly to Him!” It’s a choice. And what is the choice again? Our Creator says to us: ‘I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make.’
Now back to the issue of ‘rights’ a moment. So many people, especially in our country, are obsessed with the issue of ‘rights’. But way before the issue of ‘rights’ is this issue of ‘choices’. Now remember, ‘rights’ start with God. What comes next for us is ‘choices’; choices we make about God’s rights; choices we make about God’s right to rule over our lives, choices we make about the liberties God has given us and the boundaries He has set before us; and choices we make about living according to the purposes for which He has made us, of which good choices result in life, liberty, and happiness.
Let’s put it another way: No one has the right to not love the Lord. No one has the right to disobey His commandments. No one has the right to disregard His authority and His purposes for which He created them. No, no one has the right to deny God His right to reign over their life. What they do have…is a choice. What every person on Earth has is an unalienable right to choose the blessing or the curse. And whatever choice or choices they make then becomes a constant source of blessings upon them or a constant source of curses upon them.
Again, how ironic that what so many people call their rights are simply curses that they have chosen to be theirs, and theirs for eternity, unless they come to repentance. But why would anyone choose a curse anyway? The answer is; they choose the curse because not only does the sinful heart of people love darkness rather than light, but the sinful heart of man is also deceived above all else. Here’s another ‘go to’ memory verse we should have down: Jer 17:9- “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” NIV That’s why you don’t trust your heart…you trust God’s Word, which is God’s heart! When you have a deceitful heart in the hand of the Deceiver, the devil, then you can become so deceived that you can no longer tell the difference between a blessing and a curse. In fact, you begin to look at evil and call it good and you look at good and you call it evil. When people come to the place where they choose curses over blessings that is a clear indication that are being held captive by the devil to do his will. When beliefs and deeds, that the Bible define as clear ‘wrongs’, are then pronounced by people as personal rights, that is a clear sign that they are completely deceived and are being held captive by the devil to do his will, which is; to steal, kill, and destroy their life and keep them from choosing God’s will.
When people completely ignore the Creator’s rights over their life then that is a clear sign that they are no longer living by the unalienable rights given to them by their Creator, rather they are living by the choices that are being driven by their sin nature and the influence of the devil to do his will; while they are continuing to be held captive by him. They are choosing ‘the curse’, and yet calling it ‘their rights’. But Friends, the curse is always the wrong choice. And a ‘wrong’ can never be a ‘right’, no matter how many times you say it or how much people want it to be.
Plus, God created us for so much more. He created each of us for godly purposes to live godly lives and to live out God’s plan for our lives. Listen to His plan: Eph 2:10- “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” NLT Of all of the created wonders the universe, the people of Earth are the masterpieces of God’s creation. Next time you feel a little low, think about that fact, that you are a masterpiece of God’s creation, and that ought to pick you up a little bit. But along with God creating each person as a masterpiece, He also created the purposes for each created person to live by and work out and enjoy.
And once again, God has the right as our Creator to determine the purposes by which each created life will live. And His purposes are basically summarized as – God’s will. And because our Creator is also the God of compassion and lovingkindness, when we align our lives with God’s purposes for our lives we also discover that this is the pursuit that truly does result in eternal life, true liberty, and genuine happiness. We find that obedience to the will of God is the key to the happiness that our souls crave.
Remember what Jesus said to the one who remarked how happy must be the woman who bore Him; the Messiah? Luke 11:28- “But Jesus answered, “Rather, how happy are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”” TEV Here Jesus reveals the key to genuine happiness: Learning God’s Word and obeying it! There’s the blessing again…choosing the blessing day by day. Remember? ‘There’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.’
The best thing anyone can do for themselves is to learn God’s Word and obey it. That is the key to human happiness. And, of course, God, as our Creator, has the right to command His creatures to obey. Which again, turn that around and catch the full weight of it: This means that no one on earth has the right to disobey God’s Word or to disregard God’s purposes by which He intended them to live their lives.
It all comes back to our Creator’s rights. It all comes down to our Creator’s rights. And as God has told us, everyone’s life will conclude with what they did about their Creator’s rights over their lives. Did they choose the blessing or the curse?
Basically, each person has only one right: the right to choose God to be their Lord and Savior. Any other decision is simply an ‘eternal wrong!’