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It is such an amazing story! Patrick, a young, former slave in Ireland, was called by God in the 400’s to go share the Gospel of Christ with those same Irish people who had enslaved him just a few years before! Yet, without fear, he boldly entered again into that realm and became the agent of liberty to those who had once been his agents of slavery.
He developed this boldness because Christ had revealed Himself to him in such a living way. Patrick’s faith in Jesus was no cold orthodoxy; his was a living relationship with the living, resurrected Son of God! In Patrick’s life, Jesus was Lord! We get a glimpse of the intimacy between him and his Lord when he writes of hearing His voice. With great humility he simply states that God said to him:
“He who gave His life for you, He it is who speaks within you.”
(Great Christian Classics, Kevin Swanson ed.; Generations With Vision, pub. 2010; p. 140)
His knowledge of Christ was deeper than most of us today. He understood that Jesus dwelt inside him. He knew Christ, not only as the Lord of heaven—which He certainly is—but as the present, resident, Lord inside Patrick. One time he actually saw the Holy Spirit praying within him. He wrote,
“…I saw Him praying within me, and I was, as it were, inside my own body, and I heard Him above me—that is, above my inner self, He was praying powerfully with sighs…it was revealed to me that it was the Spirit. And so I awoke and remembered the Apostle’s words, ‘Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we know not how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for utterance.”
It was this powerful relationship Patrick had with God which enabled Him to move Ireland toward God. God’s method is not programs or resources—it is MEN! Men filled with God Himself! Indeed, Patrick would lead thousands to Christ in Ireland during his lifetime.
One of the kings there, King Loeghaire, was brought to Christ. Once converted, the King wanted to know how to govern his people according to the Bible. This desire would change the face of Western culture. Indeed, your liberty and mine would grow out of it. To help the King govern his people Biblically, Patrick did a very simple thing. He lifted out of the writings of Moses the civil laws which God had given the Jews. He called this book of civil laws: The Book of the Law of Moses. It emphasized local control instead of national control as being the most important part of civil government. It also taught the rule of law; that is, all men, including the king, are subject to the law, since all true law comes from God. That the king must submit to the law was a completely new concept for the nations. But it would become a cornerstone of English Liberty. Basing civil law in the unchanging Person and Word of God brought stability to law which was simply unknown to the heathen nations of the world.
As the Scotch-Irish families, and many times whole churches, came to America, they brought this concept with them. The Declaration of Independence reflected this idea when it stated, concerning a government which had left God’s order:
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
Patrick changed the course of western civilization with these truths! What will you do with them?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.