Doctrine #34: Principle

The Law gave the children of Israel an opportunity to experience a benefit if they remained clean and Holy. They were declared by God to be a Holy nation, and all that that allowed them to do was to stay clean.

Clearly, you are different from those around you. While under the Law, people had to adjust themselves to it because the Law treated everyone the same. What does it look like to not need the Law?

A principle consists of a goal (WHAT) and a Right WHY with the promise of a benefit/blessing. A principle treats everyone uniquely by not establishing a specific Right HOW.

Question: Do you believe you can see a benefit for doing uncomfortable things?

Next Doctrine: Doctrine #35

Table of Contents

If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...

"1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,
6 and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work;
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's." (Exodus 20:1-17)

(We saw the above passage in the previous Doctrine: Law. Did you notice that among these Ten Commandments there were nine laws and one principle? Paul noticed it...)

"1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise),
3 that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-3)

(It was the only commandment with a benefit out of these ten. Notice, the principle didn't say HOW to honor your father and mother. If it did, it may not be something that they feel honored by. The principle stated a WHAT (honor your father and mother) and gave a WHY which was the benefit: that you may have a long life. The HOW was left up to you. This principle was something that could continue to create. In order to honor your father and your mother, you had to discover what they valued, and what they would feel honored that you did. Honoring your father and mother took understanding and wisdom. This principle creates because it has a HOW/WHY.)

"3 And the scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman taken in adultery; and having set her in the midst,
4 they say unto him, Teacher, this woman hath been taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her?
6 And this they said, trying him, that they might have whereof to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.
7 But when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.
9 And they, when they heard it, went out one by one, beginning from the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst." (John 8:3-9)

(The Law said she and the man ought to be stoned. They only brought the woman (where was the man?) and asked Jesus what they ought to do knowing what the Law said. Jesus' response was a principle, and Jesus actually found a way TO stone her. Jesus didn't say what NOT to do which would have been a law. Notice that Jesus didn't stone her, HE could have, but He didn't execute justice, yet He remained Just. Jesus did not excuse her sin either.)

"17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil." (Matthew 5:17)

(Jesus said He came to fulfill the Law. Jesus did fulfill the Law, however, this did not mean Jesus did all the effects (WHAT) of the Law. Jesus did not stone a witch (Exodus 22:18). Fulfilling the Law meant Jesus did the causes (HOW/WHY) of the Law. What are the causes of the Law?)

"35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, trying him:
36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
40 On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets." (Matthew 22:35-40)

(The lawyer was looking for a single commandment, but Jesus actually gave him two. That's because the First and Second Command are cause and effect. It would be a contradiction to love God and not love your neighbor. If you SAY you love God what you DO will follow. Loving God and loving your neighbor are the causes, and all of the Law detailed the specific effects. Notice, these two causes are principles.)

"8 Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfilment of the law." (Romans 13:8-10)

(Love is a complicated Doctrine that we will address later. For now, love is a principle that is the right and just way to grow. If you are loving, you will cover all of those not's.)

"17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart: thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
18 Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people; but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am Jehovah." (Leviticus 19:17-18)

(Notice, love was mentioned in the Law, but it was presented in conjunction with don'ts. Don't hate your brother; rebuke him so that you don't bear sin. Don't take vengeance or bear any grudge, but love your neighbor. Love was hidden. If you don't think the people of Jesus' time thought it was hidden, look at this passage from the chapter in Matthew where Jesus said He came to fulfill the Law...)

"38 Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy:
44 but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;
45 that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." (Matthew 5:38-45)

(Jesus quoted a passage from the Law that we saw in the previous Doctrine. Then He told people TO DO something different: turn the other cheek, go another mile, lend, pray, love. The result is that you are called "sons of God" which is a benefit: salvation. Notice, Jesus was saying things were going to be uneven and unjust, we ought to initiate a profitable action or response, and have mercy.)

"14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; it is not therefore not of the body.
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; it is not therefore not of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members each one of them in the body, even as it pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now they are many members, but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." (1 Corinthians 12:14-21)

(We saw in the previous Doctrine that under the Law there wasn't uniqueness/individuality. Now, according to Paul, we are all different members of the same body and we need each other. We can all get a benefit. We are all given the benefit and the ability to have the same causes as Jesus, to have His mind in us. This passage was also looking at other parts as different, which was being contrastive. The parts of the body cannot say they do not have need of other parts. We have covered the ultimate benefit in Paul's meaning of life verse...)

"11 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:
13 till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;
15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;
16 from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:11-16)

(Notice, the growth of the body occurs because of our uniqueness and speaking the truth in love to each other. We offer a huge benefit for all of eternity by SPEAKING words to each other with the Right HOW/WHY.)

"33 Sell that which ye have, and give alms; make for yourselves purses which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief draweth near, neither moth destroyeth.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:33-34)

(Jesus spoke a principle about eternity. We ought to store up treasure in heaven. So, we have salvation and treasure; two benefits to look forward to. If we store up our treasure in heaven it is a long term principle.)

"27 If one of them that believe not biddeth you to a feast, and ye are disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience' sake.
28 But if any man say unto you, This hath been offered in sacrifice, eat not, for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake:
29 conscience, I say, not thine own, but the other's; for why is my liberty judged by another conscience?
30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
32 Give no occasions of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the church of God:
33 even as I also please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved." (1 Corinthians 10:27-33)

(We covered this passage in Doctrine #14: HOW/WHY vs. WHAT. Now we can see, Paul dealt with the WHAT of the Law by focusing on the principle supporting the Law: helping people get saved: salvation. The law focused on the effects (WHAT): things outside ourselves. The New Testament focused on the causes (HOW/WHY) within the individual that led to growth. The mystery has been revealed to us, and now we can be led by all Principles if we choose to think as God Thinks. Next, we will see the greatest effect of principles...)

We now have a benefit through understanding, which is a principle. Knowing the definitions to your words is like that as well. You can have a wrong definition to a word and try to live with contradictions, be short term comfortable, or you can understand what you words mean, choose to be uncomfortable short term, change your beliefs and experience a benefit in the long term.

It was Just for God to give the children of Israel a Law to follow, there was guidance in the Law, but it occurred from the outside. Now that we are no longer under the Law, what ought to be the effect of the principles we live by? In the next Doctrine we will see...