Summary: This is the second of two messages about the legal principle of stares decisis, which means stand by that which is decided. This message is primarily scripture that the show how stares decisis the Bible really is.
A few weeks ago, I delivered a message that talked about a principle in the legal system that often governs the outcome of many courtroom cases. It’s called stares decisis.
I gave the example of an attorney standing before the court, or judge, arguing her case. When an In the course of doing so, she refers to a past case as setting the precedent for her current argument. The precedent, or case law, that she is using is based on an earlier ruling in a similar case. The earlier ruling would have been the first such case that required a legal remedy.
When a court's ruling agrees with case law, the court has followed the principle of starts decisis.
Stares decisis is Latin for "stand by that which is decided".
The kingdom of heaven, based on what I see in scripture, functions by stares decisis. God says the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, "stands as decided" and He makes this clear in passages like Psalm 119:89, Isaiah 40:8, 2 Peter 1:20, 21, Psalm 138:2 and 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
As I continue to think about the legal principle of stares decisis, it is clear – at least to me – that many in the body of Christ do not understand that the Bible is eternal case law that cannot be repealed. Many treat the Bible as open for interpretation based on their needs and emotions, and what they believe personally. For many, the Bible is a useful guide but it is not the standard by which they live.
Therein lies the problem. For God, the Bible is not a book of guidelines. The Bible contains non-negotiable spiritual truth that must be adhered to by those who live in the kingdom of heaven.
Today we’re going to look at some additional passages that show the stares decisis nature of the Bible. The Lord has impressed upon me to share these passages with little to no commentary in.
First of all, let me say that it is absolutely critical that we agree that the Bible is stares decisis and live our lives accordingly. When we do, it will – without a doubt – increase our faith.
After all, isn’t this the whole point of living by faith? Faith is nothing more – but oh it’s so crucial to understand this – faith is nothing more than simply taking God at His Word.
The scriptures we are going to read are stares decisis in the kingdom of heaven. We must believe and affirm these truths and then stand by them without compromise.
From time to time throughout the message, I’m going to remind you that stares decisis means to stand by that which is decided.
"For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:9, 10)
The word "complete" means nothing more can be added. Everything we need to live in this world as God's sons we receive the moment we are born again.
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (I Timothy 2:1-4)
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Romans 16:17, 18)
The only way to know whether or not someone’s doctrine, or teaching, is causing division is to follow stares decisis in the following verse.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman (a person who labors to understand God’s heart and meaning in what He says) that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (I Peter 1:14-16)
"And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (I Samuel 15:22)
Obedience is the thread that runs throughout scripture and it was God’s issue with Adam in Genesis 3:17. Adam’s disobedience cost him dearly. Now I ask you: can we afford to make the same mistake?