“Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not know sin except through the law.” – Romans 7:7
You often hear people refer to America as a democracy, but our nation is not a democracy. A democracy operates by majority rule, based on the interests of the many. A democracy is mob rule. Any individual, and any minority group, would have zero protection against the unlimited power of the mob. That’s not America.
This is why Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stated that “I am looking for a fair process, a process where I can defend my integrity and clear my name. And all I’m asking for is fairness and that I’d be heard in this process.” As an individual being accused by a mob of sexual assault, he wants to face his accuser, who must present evidence for the accusation. Because in America, we are innocent until proven guilty.
In a democracy, this would not be available to Judge Kavanaugh. But he can do this in a Constitutional Republic. This is because in America the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land. We are not a nation where majority opinion rules. We are a nation of laws, not a nation of men. The Constitution and all laws made in compliance with it control the governing process and not mob opinion.
The purpose of a republican form of government is to control the majority and to prevent it from oppressing individuals and minorities. It was designed by our Founders to protect every individual’s God-given, unalienable rights. Diane Rufino, in her article “Our Founding Principles – The Beginning of the American Experiment”, explains the genius behind the Founders ‘Rule of Law’:
“Consider the possibility of having no rules. Rather than the Rule of Law we would have the Rule of Force. Everyone would be free to do whatever he wanted as long as he possessed the power to force his will on others. In this setting, people would be forced to compete by using unrestrained brute strength or financial advantage and there would be no freedom… one person could force others to work for him without compensation, to be his slave. But, without laws that protect man equally, the master today could be someone else’s slave tomorrow.”
Our Founders chose a Republic because they knew a truth about all of us, which Americans today forget. We are inherently corrupt. In Federalist Paper 55, James Madison (our 4th President) wrote this:
“There is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a degree of circumspection and distrust… a Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.”
Our Founding Fathers understood this by studying two key sources of truth: human history and the Bible.
In our verse this week, the apostle Paul, the author of most of the Bible’s New Testament letters to the early churches, explains to the young church in Rome why it is essential to live under the authority of God’s Rule of Law in order to be truly free. Only a system of laws can expose and then hold people accountable for their sinful hearts and behaviors. Paul is literally saying that he would have no idea what sin is unless a system of transcendent moral laws, from a transcendent moral Law Giver, existed to reveal his sin to him.
Paul goes into greater detail about his own sinfulness, to drive the point home that we need laws to expose our sin:
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good, I do not find. For the good thing that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. If I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Romans 7:14-23).”
Our Constitutional Rule of Law, founded on biblical truth, is what is under attack with the public slander of Judge Kavanaugh. A mob is accusing him of sexual assault without any evidence – a violation of the Rule of Law. But in attacking an innocent person, they expose their own evil hearts. As Paul closes chapter 7 of Romans, he explained the only cure for such depravity in any person: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25).” Only the Person of Jesus Christ, who willingly paid the penalty for each of our sins, can save us from ourselves. This is the hidden message behind everything we will witness during the Kavanaugh hearings.
“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance”, Article #314 – September 29, 2018