Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Grand Governing Maxim

I had the privilege to read William Wilberforce's biography once again this weekend.  What a great man of God. 

When considering the nature of sin, Wilberforce said, the vast bulk of Christians in England estimated the guilt of an action "not by the proportion in which, according to Scripture, actions are offensive to God, but by that in which they are injurious to society." Now, on the face of it that sounds noble, loving and practical. Sin hurts people, so don't sin.


Wouldn't that definition of sin be good for society?

Wilberforce's reponse:

"Their slight notions of the guilt and evil of sin reveal an utter lack of all suitable reverence for the Divine Majesty. This principle [reverence for the Divine Majesty] is justly termed in Scripture, 'The beginning of wisdom' (Ps. 111:10)." And without this wisdom, there will be no deep and lasting good done for man, spiritually or politically. Therefore, the supremacy of God's glory in all things is what Wilberforce call 'the grand governing maxim' in all of life. The good of society may never be put ahead of this. That would dishonor God and, paradoxically, defeat the good of society. For the good of society, the good of society must not be the primary good."

Here is a link to Piper's book for free: Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce. Go get the book.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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