Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.

One of the greatest lies of this age is something that goes by the name of "human rights". It is a lie whose roots go back to the Declaration of Independence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." I do not believe Jefferson intended a lie, for he states that these things are a gift of God, the problem is that we forget the grace of God, and treat these as a natural law, which they are not. But let us begin at the beginning.

What is a right? A right is a privilege or power to which one is justly entitled. In other words, there are no rights, which are not earned. There are no "rights" to which we are entitled, simply because we are. There is no "God given" right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Why? Because we have done nothing to earn such things from God. God requires all people to keep his commands perfectly, by this you avoid Godís wrath, but to earn something, you must do more than the minimum requirement, "keep the whole law perfectly". And that is the problem, because we, by ourselves cannot even do the minimum necessary to avoid the wrath of God.

Why do we have such a problem? Simply, because we have put ourselves, and not the Lord God at the center of life and the universe. Pride is the thing that talks about rights, for it is a show of what we have "supposedly" earned. Original sin leads us to believe that we have a "right" to speed, if we choose, or to break any other law - even though it is impossible to earn the "right" to be lawless.

If we insist on receiving the things we have earned, we must remember that we are all sinners, and the wages of sin is death - that is what we have earned - both physical, and eternal death. Life is not a right, rather it is the free gift of God in Jesus Christ - life, is grace - something we have neither earned nor deserve. For the grace God shows us daily and richly, we owe thanks and praise. Indeed, this is what we are taught in the Lordís Prayer, that our daily bread, and all other blessings are a gift of God, and that we must teach all to recognize the giver, and to give thanks for all the necessary things which we receive, not by right, but by grace.

God can give life for 2 reasons, as the creator, he is able to create life; and as the Son, he has paid the ransom to free us from the debt we owed to sin, to death, and to the devil. God has earned the right, not just for himself, but in an absolute sense, but it is grace, when God gives to us what He has earned. God has a right to our whole life, for he created it, and he redeemed it. By rights, considering the gift given, we should spend the rest of our life in His service. So it is by grace, and not by right, that we receive, not only life, but forgiveness of sins. It is by grace that we are justified. It is by grace that we are able to do good works in the sight of God.

If we cannot even pay our just debts, how is it that one could imagine that we could earn life, or forgiveness, or salvation, or peace with God, or any of the other countless blessings which are showed upon us daily?

I prefer never to hear the word "right" again, at least not in the sense of, this is what I, by my labors have earned, and am justly entitled. There are no "fundamental human rights" nor are there such things as "Childrenís rights" - such things that exist, are protections, by grace, of the weak and helpless - for nothing has been done so that one may be entitled, or so that one should have earned them. You see, rights do not come without responsibilities. Grace, however is a free gift.

And that is why it is so important to understand the nature of God, and of our relationship with Him, for if we would choose of a relationship under the law -- and claim what is ours by right, God would be obliged to punish each and every sin, and give us our just wages -- his wrath, and damnation in Hell. But our relation with God is not by law, but by grace, and grace is under love. Grace does not demand repayment, for it is given, not earned. And as grace comes from love, the love which overflows in grace, moves us to respond to the gift and the giver, in love -- with our thanks, praise and adoration; and our willing service in Jesus name.