As I’ve been seeking to educate myself in the ways of theonomy, sitting at the feet of some of the greatest Reformed heroes of the faith in the last century, I’ve had my mind blown over and over again by truth grenades that leveled my previous worldview and have ignited my deepest passions for Christ and the spread of the gospel of grace.
Here lately I’ve been digging into Liberating Planet Earth by Gary North, the first volume in his series Biblical Blueprints, and while I’m not that far into it, what I’ve read so far has been explosive, like getting socked in the jaw by Tyson before he had that weird face tattoo and lost his mind.
One particular point North made in the book that nearly sent me into a fit of William Wallace battle-cries — an activity my wife would surely frown upon at darn near midnight — was that of Christ dying to reclaim our birthright — dominion over the earth — enabling us to go out into the world preaching the gospel with absolute confidence in the victory purchased by our Savior.
Confused? No clue what I’m talking about? Here’s North himself to clear things up:
Adam was a man. This means that he was made in God’s im-age (Genesis 1:26). So was Eve. This means that Adam was God’s first-born earthly son, the lawful heir to the whole world. God made it for man, and then He placed man over it (Genesis 1:28). All of it. It was man’s lawful possession, so long as man remained faithful to God.
But Adam sold his birthright to Satan-not for a mess of pottage (a bowl of stew), the way that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob (Genesis 25:29-34). No, Adam sold it for a lie, or at least a half-truth: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Eve was deceived in this transaction, though disobedient; Adam knew exactly what he was doing (l Timothy 2:14).
What was God’s response? To disinherit Adam. He threw Adam and Eve out of the garden. But in grace, He clothed them in animal skins (meaning that some animal was first slain by God). He also gave them extra years of temporal life. But from that day forth, they were legally disinherited children. So is every human being at physical birth. Made in God’s image, we are born as disinherited children.
Okay, so basically, God made a covenant with Adam and made him His representative over all of the earth, delegating authority to him in the garden.
Of course, this all depended on Adam’s obedience and whether or not he would pass the test soon to be presented to him by Satan aka the serpent. He didn’t. In fact, his failure was of epic proportions, plunging all of mankind into darkness, sin, and judgment.
As a result, God basically total Adam, his first-born earthly son, that he was “dead to Him,” or “out of the will” so to speak. That’s what it means to be disinherited. He was cut off covenantally.
So what’s been the result of this horrific tragedy in the early pages of human history? Satan has been running amok, carrying out his acts of wickedness through his human followers who have entered into a twisted covenant of mockery through their rebellion against God.
Praise be to the Lord, He made provision for us to get our birthright back, and it’s through the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross.
There is only one way: by submitting to the One who has
reclaimed man’s birthright, the perfect man Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who came to earth for a task: to liberate the earth. And how did He accomplish this awesome task? By living a life as a man in perfect conformity to God’s law.
All right, that explains how Jesus Christ reclaimed His inheritance as the second-born earthly son. But how does this work itself out in history? Why did this make any difference in history?
Simple: because the inheriting Son died, and rose again. He gained His inheritance by a perfect life, and then He gave it away to His people. He established a new covenant with them. Or, as we also say, He established a new testament with them. A testament is a document transferring an inheritance to the lawful heirs. Christians now inherit through Him. The rightful heir, Jesus Christ, laid down His life for His friends, demonstrating perfect love. There is no greater love than this (John 15:13).
Satan in principle lost his Adam-given authority the day Christ died. Christians re-inherited it in principle the day Christ rose from the dead.
BOOM BABY!! WHOOO!!!
Man, why are you still sitting down? Did you not just read the paragraphs above?
We have our inheritance back! We have been rescued, redeemed, filled by the Holy Spirit, and commanded with authority to take the gospel of grace into all of the world and take dominion, bringing all areas of life and society under submission to the King of Kings!
The war has been won! Now, dear Christians, we can run head long into battle with full confidence and assurance that we will be victorious!
Too many Christians live defeated lives, constantly lamenting — in sackcloth and ashes if they could get away with it — going “woe as me” and feeling like it’s pointless to try redeeming the culture since —they wrongly believe — things are only going to get worse.
To that I say, “Excuse Me. Your dispensationalism is showing.”
This truth, that the victorious risen Christ, the reigning Lord of Lords who has dominion over all of creation has bought back your inheritance and has called you to engage all of the world with the gospel to make disciples should set your soul ablaze!
We should be engaging politics, pop culture, comic books, Hollywood, local government, journalism, and on it goes, infecting them all with God’s truth from bottom to top.
You see, folks. The earth doesn’t belong to the “world system.” Satan no longer has ownership over any part of it, nor do his followers, the atheists, or godless humanists.
It’s our world. It belongs to us.
We shouldn’t be cowering in fear saying “woe is me.” We should be riding hard into the thick of the fray, claiming the victory that already belongs to us.
Now, this doesn’t mean we take the world by force with the sword. No, we do it through covenantal faithfulness, obedience to God’s law, and the preaching of the gospel, persuading the hearts and minds of men that Jesus is the only way to escape the wrath of God.
It’s time for us as believers to stop sulking in our bedrooms like a bunch of moody, sullen teenagers pouting about how much our lives on earth suck, and get active building the Kingdom of God!