Civil Government: Chapter 1 – God-Given Rights (Excerpt)

Civil Government - coverThe Declaration of Independence speaks of certain “unalienable rights.” These rights were the basis for the colonists’ complaint against England, the justification for their Declaration of Independence, and later, the reason why the Constitution would so constrain the power of the federal government.

The founders of this country carefully crafted these documents. What they produced continues to be a standard for our leaders to follow and for governments around the world to emulate. While the framers of these documents are worthy of regard for their efforts and wisdom, their ideas about man’s natural rights were not original with them. They borrowed ideas from others, combined them with their own wisdom and experience, and produced the documents that laid the foundation of this country.

Ultimately, everything that is good and true, when traced back to its original source, is from God. The founders recognized this about our natural rights. The Declaration of Independence states: “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.” These men believed that our natural rights — which included life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — were granted to us by God. As we will see in this study, the Scriptures confirm this.

The rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can be summed up in one word — freedom. In the beginning, God made man and made him free by virtue of the fact that he was made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). As long as man is made in God’s image (which will be true until the end of time), he has the inherent right to freedom. Unfortunately, history has repeatedly shown that this freedom is often denied or restricted by those who are stronger, more powerful, more numerous, or, as is often the case, in positions of civil authority.

You can read more about our God-given rights in Civil Government: What the Bible Says About Its Origin, History, Nature, and Role. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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