Good men or good laws? Back in the forming days of our country, there was a debate between William Penn (founder of Pennsylvania) and John Locke, son of a Puritan who fought with Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War over the liberty of conscience. Everyone agreed that in order to be a free people some sort of restraint was necessary to promote the common good.

Do we need good laws or do we need good men??


Ha!!! Yes, we need both.

What I have come to see as I peruse the socio-political climate of today, is that we can have good laws, but evil men will find ways to circumvent those laws. And good men will do what is right even if there are bad laws!!

When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt He gave them good laws. Laws that focused on external behavior encouraging justice, kindness, and the common good. But these laws could never make men righteous. Laws cannot change the heart!!!

This was to come later.

God has a plan for this broken world!! As the Creator-God who is able to see the consequence of every thought and action played out through eternity, He has the right to call the shots. To say what is right and wrong. What may seem good now, may hurt us in the long run. What hurts us now, may be good in the long run. Only an eternal good and loving God would know!!!

So, it appears that He has done at least two things to help us in the interim while we wait for the day of redemption when God makes all thing new.

First, He has given us good laws. Laws, that encourage us “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God.” In other words, laws that help us get along with one another and keep us from self-destruction.

Secondly, He has given us His Spirit. The same Spirit that enabled Jesus to face the Devil and to conquer him (oh, yeah!!!). The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the heavenlies and put all enemies under His feet!!! The same Spirit who broke the power of the flesh over us (spiritual circumcision…meditate on that for a bit), and cancelled out our certificate of debt that we owe to a holy God and tossed it in the trash!!!! And if that weren’t enough, Colossians tells us that we triumph over Satan and his minions through Christ. Wahoo!!

While good laws are to encourage good behavior, it is the mystery of God revealed in Christ that He has given us His Spirit to make us good from within. This is wonderful news!!!
“Christ in you, the hope of glory!!” Colossians 1:27

Go ahead and read Colossians 1-2 and note the preeminence of Christ and the completeness of the salvation He provides!! It is mind-boggling and life changing.

Yes, we need good laws, and we need good men.

In our fight for good policies, we need to remember that good laws alone will not solve the social problems we see around us. We need to be a virtuous people!! We, the people of God need to know how to practice virtue, share the gospel, and concentrate on finding ways to encourage virtuous behavior…then the evil we see around us will begin to fall.


Can God give us another Great Awakening?!! I believe He can. May the Spirit of God move mightily in our midst; beginning with the church, and beginning with me.