After my father died in 1975, I discovered these books on doctrine by C. D. Cole in his library. The following year I read them. I had been going to church all my life and had never heard of these doctrines. At first I thought they were false. I studied my Bible to see if these things were so. They were. It is to C. D. Cole I owe my debt understanding of the deeper things of God’s Word. I can wholeheartly endorse these three books to you. Some things are hard to understand. I took a year or so to grasp some of these doctrines. May God bless you as you read and study your Bible. I hope the writing of this great man will be as much use to you as they were to me.
Pastor C. D. Cole has a doctrinal mind. He thinks doctrine, preaches doctrine, and loves doctrine. He is logica1 and methodical in all he does. But most of all he is a diligent student of the Scriptures, and knows how to correlate and systematize its teachings. There are few men who are so able along this line. His writings are easily grasped and readily understood. The teachings in this book are popular and most profitable. We had many testimonies of approval when his articles on doctrine were run in the Florida Baptist Witness. They created a wide interest among the readers. There were many requests for these articles to be put in book form. Brother Cole is a clear thinker, a ready writer, a strong preacher, and a man of positive convictions. We most heartily commend this book.
E. D. Solomon, Editor
Florida Baptist Witness.
It requires the space of only one generation for a people to drift from their doctrinal moorings. One generation which knew not Joseph loosed its persecution on the children of Israel, reversed the national policy and started Egypt to her doom, hence the vital necessity of reiterating and confirming the doctrines of our faith in every generation. Truth crushed to earth will rise again, but only as it is known and believed by men who have the conviction and courage to proclaim it. That is why the apostle Paul said to his student Timothy: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (#2Ti 2:2). As every generation must be evangelized, so must every generation be indoctrinated.
Pastor C. D. Cole renders a timely and an invaluable service to the people of God in the message of this marvelous book. He calls us back to a Scriptural study of the person, nature, and glorious attributes of our great God. The author wisely says, “The foundation of true religion is to have proper thoughts about God. The man who thinks right about God will not be far wrong in his thinking about other things. A thousand evils grow out of wrong conceptions about God.” The present tendency is to emphasize the doctrines which deal with man. Psychology and Sociology are more popular than Theology. Such popular expressions as, “Competency of the human soul,” “Creative thinking,” “The dignity of man,” “The value of human personality,” “Social implications of the Gospel,” “Enlisting our man power,” and “Building a new world” indicate the tendency to magnify man and minimize God in religious thought and activity.
The small conception which some have of God makes them mere apologists for God. They speak of God’s wanting to do this and trying to do that, of giving God a chance, of letting God have His way, as if God were the suppliant and man the sovereign. I heard a preacher say in pathetic tone, “I am sorry for God” as he pleaded with his congregation to give God a better deal. My dear brethren, study this book, read it’s Scriptural references and absorb its message and you will never be sorry for God. He is revealed as One who is amply able to take care of Himself. You will pity those who discount His power, resist His will, and belittle His universal sovereignty.
Deep things of God as set forth here are not seen by the natural mind and are seldom discerned by the Christian who is superficial in study. The ponderous mass of the doctrines of our faith, like the submerged two thirds of an iceberg, is below the surface of popular thought and appreciation. Worldly statesmen praise the work of missionaries because they have built a reservoir of good will for America among the nations while they are blind to God’s eternal purpose to visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. Five thousand ate loaves and fishes and wanted to make Jesus king, but only a dozen remained to hear Him preach on election, effectual calling, and the sovereignty of God. For lazy minds looking for ready material for popular sermons and pep talks this book will have little appeal, but for those whose hearts yearn for a deeper acquaintance with their God, it will be worth its weight in gold. My heart has thrilled, my soul has rejoiced, all that is within me has blessed the Lord, as I have read the manuscript. What a wonderful God is our God!
Such conception of God, as revealed in this book, will promote humility and reverence in our worship as no soft music, art, glass windows, mellow lights, or psychological schemes ever will. It will melt pride and banish formalism and ritualism from the churches. It will establish the preacher on solid ground of assurance and save him from despair in the presence of seeming failure by bringing him to rest the results of his ministry on the unfailing purpose of God. It will safeguard our evangelism against spurious methods and high pressure salesmanship. It will relax the spiritual tension in our religious activity. It will put triumph in the soul and cause us to shout with Paul, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us who can be against us?” (#Ro 8:31).
To the saints everywhere and especially to my Baptist brethren, I commend this book; May God speed it on its way to bless and strengthen our people in “The Once Delivered Faith.”
Yours by Sovereign Grace,
D. F. Sebastian,
Plant City, Florida.
THE AUTHOR’S FOREWORD
The author of this book claims one qualification for offering a work on theology, his love for the subject. Any man who decries doctrine as impractical and uninteresting can’t be qualified to deal with the teachings of the Bible. The person who speaks of solemn doctrine with a solemn sneer is at once disqualified as a teacher of the Scriptures. He who puts the Bible in the crucible of human reason and twists it to say what his reason thinks it ought to say has no place in a Christian pulpit.
More than twenty years ago the writer delivered addresses on the Divine Attributes in his own pulpit and at Bible Institutes in various churches. Some years later he taught theology to a group of ministers and included lectures on the attributes. And still later he wrote for the Florida Baptist Witness under the general caption “Definitions of Doctrine”; and this is the name given to the work on theology, which he expects to publish in three or four volumes. His first volume treats of THE DOCTRINE OF GOD, than which there is no greater or grander theme for study and meditation.
Bacon says that some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. He who merely tastes this book is apt to disrelish it; it might not be safe to swallow it; but if it is chewed and digested, the writer believes it will strengthen the faith of the reader by revealing to him how great and wonderful is our God.
CLAUDE DUVAL COLE
December 19, 1944.
C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1
THE PEACE OF GOD.
OUR God, we stand not afar off as Israel did in Sinai, nor does a veil hang dark between Thy face and ours; but the veil is rent by the death of our Divine Lord and Mediator, Jesus Christ, and in His name we come up to the mercy seat all blood besprinkled, and here we present our prayers and our praises accepted in Him. We do confess that we are guilty; we bow our heads and confess that we have broken Thy law and the covenant of which it is a part. Didst Thou deal with us under the covenant of works none of us could stand. We must confess that we deserve Thy wrath and to be banished for ever from Thy presence. But Thou hast made a new covenant, and we come under its divine shadow; we come in the name of Jesus. He is our High Priest; He is our righteousness; He is the well-beloved in whom Thou art well pleased.
Holy Spirit teach us how to pray. Let us know what we should pray for as we ought. Our first prayer is: Be Thou adored; reign Thou over the whole earth; hallowed be Thy name. We desire to see all men submit themselves to Thy gracious government. We wish especially that in the hearts of Thine own there may be an intense love for Thee and a perfect obedience to Thee. Grant this to each one of us. We would each one pray, “Lord, sanctify me; make me obedient; write Thy law upon my heart and upon my mind.” Make our nature so clean that temptation cannot defile it.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.” May our course be very clean, our path be very straight; may we keep our garments unspotted from the world; and in thought and desire and imagination, in will and in purpose, may we be holy as God is holy.
O God, we pray again fulfill that covenant promise, “I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” May we be very tender towards Thee; may we feel Thy faintest monition; may even the gentlest breath of Thy Spirit suffice to move us; may we not be “as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto us,” but may we be as children obedient to a father; may we yield our members cheerfully to the instruments of righteousness; may we have a natural desire wrought in the new nature towards everything that is pure and honest, unselfish and Christly.
O, Spirit of God dwell in us. Is not this also a covenant promise, “I will put My Spirit within thee, and I will make thee to walk in My ways.” Dwell with us Holy Spirit; rule over us Holy Spirit; transform us to Thy own likeness, O Holy Spirit! Then shall we be clean; then shall we keep the law. We would offer a prayer to Thee for those who are quite strange to the work of the Spirit of God, who have never owned their God, who have lived as if there were no God. Open their eyes that they may see God even though that sight should make them tremble and wish to die. O! let none of us live without our God and Father. Take away the heart of stone, take away the frivolities, the levity, the giddiness of our youth, and give us in downright earnest to seek true happiness where alone it can be found, in reconciliation to God, and in conformity to His will.
Lord save the careless, save the sinful, the drunkard, take away from him his cups. The unholy and unjust men, deliver these from their filthiness; the dishonest and false, renew them in their lives; and any that are lovers of pleasure, dead while they live, and any that are lovers of self, whose life is bounded by the narrowness of their own being, the Lord renew them, regenerate them, make them new creatures in Christ Jesus. For this we do fervently pray.
Lord God the Holy Ghost, may faith grow in men; may they believe in Christ to the saving of their souls. May their little faith brighten into strong faith, and may their strong faith ripen into the full assurance of faith. May we all have this last blessing; may we believe God fully; may we never waver. Resting in the Great Surety and High Priest of the New Covenant may we feel “the peace of God which passeth all understanding,” and may we enter into rest.
Bless Thy people that are at rest, and deepen that rest. May the rest that Thou givest be further enhanced by the rest which they find when they take Thy yoke upon them and learn of Thee. May Thy Word be very sweet to them. May there come over our spirits a deep calm, as when Christ hushed both winds and waves. May we feel not only resignation to Thy will, but delight in it, feeling pleased with all the Lord provides. May we rest in our God and be quite happy in the thought that our sins and our iniquities He will remember no more. He has brought us into covenant with Him by a covenant which can never fail, so like David we may say this morning: “Although my house be not so with God, yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.”
Lord, bless Thy Word throughout the world. Prosper all missions amongst the heathen, all work among the Mohammedans; and, oh! send Thy grace to the churches at home. Turn the current of thought which sets so strong in the wrong direction, and bring men to love the simplicities of the Gospel. Remember our country in great mercy, and in all ranks and conditions of men do Thou give the blessing. May there be multitudes come to Christ from among the poorest of the poor, and let the wealthy be led away from their sin, and brought to Jesus’ feet. Be gracious to the Sovereign and Royal Family, and to all that are in authority over us. May peace and order be maintained, and let not the peace of the world be broken.
But what of all this? Our heart goes far beyond all this: “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; for Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.” “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” All things are in Thy hand, come quickly; the cries of Thy people persuade Thee, “the Spirit and the bride say, come,” make no tarrying, O, our Redeemer, and unto the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, the God of Abraham, and God of our Lord Jesus Christ be glory for ever and ever. Amen
C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers
The Divinity of the Spirit proved.
I. He is the Creator and Preserver of the world.
II. He sent the Prophets.
III. He quickeneth all things.
IV. He is everywhere present.
V. He renews the saints, and fits them for eternal life.
VI. All the offices of Deity belong to him.
14. In asserting the divinity of the Spirit, the proof must be derived from the same sources. And it is by no means an obscure testimony which Moses bears in the history of the creation, when he says that the Spirit of God was expanded over the abyss or shapeless matter; for it shows not only that the beauty which the world displays is maintained by the invigorating power of the Spirit, but that even before this beauty existed the Spirit was at work cherishing the confused mass. 96 Again, no cavils can explain away the force of what Isaiah says, “And now the Lord God, and his Spirit, has sent me,” (Isaiah 48:16,) thus ascribing a share in the sovereign power of sending the prophets to the Holy Spirit. (Calvin in Acts 20:28.) In this his divine majesty is clear.
But, as I observed, the best proof to us is our familiar experience. For nothing can be more alien from a creature, than the office which the Scriptures ascribe to him, and which the pious actually feel him discharging, — his being diffused over all space, sustaining, invigorating, and quickening all things, both in heaven and on the earth. The mere fact of his not being circumscribed by any limits raises him above the rank of creatures, while his transfusing vigor into all things, breathing into them being, life, and motion, is plainly divine. Again, if regeneration to incorruptible life is higher, and much more excellent than any present quickening, what must be thought of him by whose energy it is produced? Now, many passages of Scripture show that he is the author of regeneration, not by a borrowed, but by an intrinsic energy; and not only so, but that he is also the author of future immortality. In short, all the peculiar attributes of the Godhead are ascribed to him in the same way as to the Son. He searches the deep things of Gods and has no counselor among the creatures; he bestows wisdom and the faculty of speech, though God declares to Moses (Exodus 4:11) that this is his own peculiar province. In like manner, by means of him we become partakers of the divine nature, so as in a manner to feel his quickening energy within us. Our justification is his work; from him is power, sanctification, truth, grace, and every good thought, since it is from the Spirit alone that all good gifts proceed. Particular attention is due to Paul’s expression, that though there are diversities of gifts, “all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:11,) he being not only the beginning or origin, but also the author; as is even more clearly expressed immediately after in these words “dividing to every man severally as he will.” For were he not something subsisting in God, will and arbitrary disposal would never be ascribed to him. Most clearly, therefore does Paul ascribe divine power to the Spirit, and demonstrate that he dwells hypostatically in God.
John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 13-Henry Beveridge Translation
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It is important to realize that there are many ways teach the Scriptures expositorily. One can take long passages at a time, or one can take very short passages and bring the expository microscope to bear on a single word as I did in last two blog posts. In this post I will place the expository microscope over four words in 2 Peter 1:5, The Bible’s Most Systematic and Detailed Exhortation to Growth in Grace.
In my last two posts I dealt with faith, and as you can see, the second grace mentioned by Peter is moral excellence. But it is crucial to put the discussion of growth in this grace in the context of the gift of faith that we discussed last week. It is also crucial that we not proceed until we have put the issue of growth in grace in the context of the matter of effort emphasized by Peter in verse 5. Four crucial words in 2 Peter 1:5 quadruplely emphasize this matter of effort: “applying … all … diligence … supply.”
Read the entire article here.
Particularly does the minister need to attend unto this injunction “take heed unto thyself” in his study of the Scriptures, reading them devotionally ere he does so professionally; that is, seeking their application and blessing to his own soul before searching for sermonic materials. As the saintly Hervey expressed it, “Thus may we always be affected when we study the oracles of Truth. Study them, not as cold critics, who are only to judge of their meaning, but as persons deeply interested in all they contain. Who are particularly addressed in every exhortation, and directed in every precept. Whose are the promises, and to whom belong the precious privileges. When we are enabled thus to realize and appropriate the contents of that invaluable Book, then shall we taste the sweetness and feel the power of the Scriptures. Then shall we know by happy experience that our Divine Master’s words are not barely sounds and syllables, but that they are spirit and they are life.” No man can be constantly giving out — that which is fresh and savory—unless he be continually taking in. That which he is to declare unto others is what his own ears have first heard, his own eyes have seen, his own hands have handled (1 John 1:1, 2).
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures