“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19 (all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Sir Isaac Newton was a great scientist who was able to discover the laws of God in nature which is the mark of a true scientist. All of his scientific discoveries could be proven by the physical and natural laws that our Lord established in His Creation. This would differentiate Newton’s true nature of science from those who go about today starting brush fires over mere theoretical science which they claim as fact. Sir Isaac is best described by the prophet Daniel: “ . . . well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace . . .”(Daniel 1:4) Newton was a firm believer of the Bible, and drew much inspiration for his work there from. He denounced even the possibility of a godless world: “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system. I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.” He also pronounced the Bible as a central source of faith: “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”
Sir Isaac was also somewhat of a ‘shade tree’ theologian having written a study of the Book of Daniel and the Revelations entitled, “Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John.” He is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, scientist to ever live; however, his theology may need a bit more work.
Newton had an atheist friend with whom he often quarreled about God being the Creator of the world and the Laws of Nature. One day, Newton brought a model of the Solar system which he had designed. The model had the sun at center, and all of the planets arrayed about it and fixed in such a manner that they would rotate about the sun when a crank was turned. His atheist friend came in and was astounded at the wonder of the contraption. He declared, “Sir Isaac, this is amazing. How did you get such an excellent exhibit of the Solar system?” Sir Isaac responded, “I don’t know! I just piled a bunch of junk metal on the table last evening and when I came in this morning, they had joined themselves together by some process and the result was the Solar system.” “What? Do you take me for a fool? There is no way random pieces of metal could have just come together by accident to form this amazing piece of equipment.” Sir Isaac said, “I’ve got you now! You are right! And neither could this marvelous Universe we live in have been formed by random accident – it was created by a Master Mind.”
There is a growing reliance today on pseudo-science over the true science of God: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
In the field of physics, and even aerodynamics, there are three laws referred to as Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. I do not believe Newton referred to them in that way, but science does today for the sake of simplicity; however, Newton would have insisted that these were laws already put into operation by God when He created the world. Newton simply discovered what had existed from the beginning.
There are Christians today who believe that the law of God has been done away and we now live under a vague understanding of the law of Grace. Just like the physical laws of nature, God’s spiritual; laws never change. They are as operable today as they were when breathed by the breath of God. Believe it or not, we were even redeemed under the terms of the law. The wages of sin is death, and the penalty MUST have been paid if we were to be justified under those same terms of the Law. Our Lord did that at Calvary by satisfying the Law that Grace might prevail. He changed no law of God, but rather fulfilled it. The civil law requires that every person repay a loan let out by a bank on their behalf. When the full balance is paid, that banking law is not annulled but fulfilled, or satisfied. That is what Christ did for us. He did not do away with the Commandments of God, but satisfied their penalty for us.
I am amazed at the complete compliance to God’s Natural Law to which Creation complies. There may even be illustrative parallels to be drawn to the spiritual laws and their operation.
As an illustration, let’s consider one area of Newton’s discovery in the Laws of Motion – there are three cardinal laws that govern motion in nature:
- The first law states that a body remains at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.
- The second law states that a body’s rate of change of momentum is proportional to the force causing it.
- The third law states that when a outside force acts on a body due to another body, there is an equal and opposite reaction (force).
Let us see if these three laws of nature can find some likeness in the spiritual realm.
As to the first law (a body remains at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force), let us consider the person who does not know the Lord as Savior and Redeemer. He is as good as dead – in fact, he is half dead since his body lives in a temporary home, but his soul is dead. (see Ephesians 2) He is dead in trespasses and sin, and will remain so unless acted upon by an outside force – the Holy Spirit! If he is living a life of excessive sin and debauchery, he will continue on that course unless acted upon by an outside force – again, the Holy Spirit.
Now let’s examine the second law (a body’s rate of change of momentum is proportional to the force causing it.) The downward path that leads to destruction is easy to travel, and there is a momentum in its gravity to pull the victim beneath the waters to perish. Sinful desire is a great force, but not so great as the Anchor of God once set in the heart of His chosen. That Anchor of faith and hope will arrest the downward plunge and set the object of its affection on an altogether opposite course upward. The response of faith will determine the speed with which the change of direction occurs. “ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and TURN from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) We are not saved by good works, but UNTO good works. God’s power is greater than that of the world, and He will turn His chosen vessel to the right way.
Last to consider is the third law – “when a outside force acts on a body due to another body, there is an equal and opposite reaction (force).” Simply put, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the one law that has no comparative example in God. There is no equal and opposite reaction to the power of God. But we will always see the powers of sin and evil arise boldly at the conversion of a sinner to the new life in Christ. Satan will at least attempt to create an equal and opposite reaction to that call, but he lacks the resources to overcome that power unless the victim has made a false profession and surrenders to his demons at the least provocation.
God’s Law is firm and immutable. None can withstand its force. Those who live in willful sin may perceive that they are escaping the consequences, but the interest on their debt is simply accruing at a compound rate. Another great scientist and clergyman, Blaise Pascal (arguably the greatest mathematician ever to live), wrote in his notes, Pensees (1658), an argument for belief in God. It was the first example of probability theory and revealed the greatest logic for faith. It reads, “If we believe in God, then there are two possible outcomes: 1) if he exists, we will receive an infinite reward in heaven, and 2) if he does not, then we have lost little or nothing. Conversely, if we do not believe in God, then the possibilities are: 1) if he exists, we will receive an infinite punishment in hell, and 2) if he does not, then we will have gained little or nothing. Pascal argued that “either receiving an infinite reward in heaven or losing little or nothing” is clearly preferable to “either receiving an infinite punishment in hell or gaining little or nothing”, so it is therefore rational to believe in God, even if there is absolutely no evidence that he does in fact exist.
In recent years an antinomian heresy has arisen that posits that God’s Law was nailed to the Cross at Calvary and was disannulled – it, in fact, was not – only the penalty was nailed to the cross for those who are the Chosen of God. Were we not once dead? “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” (Colossians 2:13-14) Those ordinances of Moses and of the Jewish rulers that exacted fines and penalties were abolished, but not the Law of God. Only the penalty was abrogated for the believer. The force of the Law was attested by outward show of action; but the Elect of God obey God’s Law from an inward and spiritual obedience to the Will of God.
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone
† Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”