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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section One – Authority, Revelation, and Scripture (Q.4)

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment

William F. Leonhart III

Q.4: What is the Word of God?

A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, and the only certain rule of faith and obedience.1

12 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 2:20

In ages past, God revealed Himself in many ways. He spoke through visions, dreams, a burning bush, and even a donkey. At one point, He spoke through a stuttering, stammering prophet. At other points, He spoke directly to people. This same God “in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world,” (Heb. 1:2; NASB). These words of Christ, by the work of His Spirit, were brought to His apostles’ remembrance and written down in His holy word.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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There are many expressions used in the Scriptures indefinitely rather than specifically, and which are not to be understood without qualification

Arthur PinkThere are many expressions used in the Scriptures indefinitely rather than specifically, and which are not to be understood without qualification. Some of them are more or less apparent, others can only be discovered by a comparison and study of other passages treating of the same subject. Thus, “the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it” (Acts 28:28, and cf. 11:18) did not signify that every one of them would do so. Similarly,

“The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5)

and “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17) were simply announcements that the grace of God was to overflow the narrow bounds of Israel after the flesh. So too “the world” has a variety of meanings and is very rarely synonymous with all mankind. In such passages as John 7:4, and 12:19, only a very small part of its inhabitants were included. In Luke 2:1, the profane world is in view; in John 15:18, 19, the professing world, for it was the religious sections of Israel which hated Christ. In John 14:17, and 17:9, it is the non-elect who are referred to—compare “the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5), whereas in John 1:29, and 6:33, it is the world of God’s elect, who are all actually saved by Christ.

Another word which is used in the Bible with considerable latitude is “all,” and very rarely is it found without limitation.

“All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22)

obviously means whatsoever we ask that is according to God’s will (1 John 5:14). When the apostles said to Christ, “All seek for Thee” (Mark 1:37), that “all did marvel” at His miracles (Mark 5:20), and that “all the people came unto Him” in the temple (John 8:2), those expressions were far from signifying the sum total of the inhabitants of Palestine. When Luke tells his readers that he “had perfect understanding of all things from the very first” (1:3), and when we are informed that Christ foretold all things (Mark 13:23) unto His apostles, such language is not to be taken absolutely. In like manner such statements as “all glorified God for that which was done” (Acts 4:21), “this is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law” (Acts 21:28), “thou shalt be His witness unto all men” (Acts 22:15), are to be regarded relatively. Consequently, in the light of those examples, when he deals with “He died for all” (2 Corinthians 5:15) and “gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6), the expositor must ascertain from other Scriptures (such as Isaiah 53:8; Matthew 1:21; Ephesians 5:25) whether they mean all mankind or all who believe.

The same is true of the expression “every man” (see for instance, Mark 8:25; Luke 16:16; Romans 12:3; and compare 2 Thessalonians 3:2; 1 Corinthians 4:5). So too the words “all things.” Neither “all things are clean unto you” (Luke 11:41) nor “all things are lawful unto me” (1 Corinthians 6:12) can be taken at face value, or many Scriptures would be contradicted. “I am made all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22), must be explained by what immediately precedes. The “all things” of Romans 8:28, has reference to “the sufferings of this present time,” and the “all things” of 8:32, means the “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). The “times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) is at once modified by the words immediately following: “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began,” and most certainly none of them predicted the restoration of the Devil, and his angels to their pristine glory. “To reconcile all things unto Himself” (Colossians 1:20) must not be understood to teach undiluted Universalism, or every passage affirming the eternal damnation of the Christless would be contradicted.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

General statements are frequently to be limited, both in themselves and their application

Arthur PinkThe limitation of general statements. General statements are frequently to be limited, both in themselves and their application. Many examples of this principle occur in the book of Proverbs, and obviously so, for a proverb or maxim is a broad principle expressed in a brief form, a moral truth set forth in condensed and universal language. Thus, “He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it; and he that hateth suretiship is sure” (11:15) enunciates the general rule, yet there are exceptions thereto.

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (17:6), though that is far from being the case in every instance.

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord” (18:22), as many a man the writer included—has discovered; yet the experience of not a few has been quite to the contrary.

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it from him” (22:15), yet God reserves to Himself the sovereign right to make that good to whom He pleases—where He blesses not this means, the child is hardened in his perversity.

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings” (22:29),

though sometimes the most industrious meet with little material success.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The Lord Jesus repeatedly laid stress on the fact that Holy Writ is of Divine origin and verbally inspired

Arthur PinkThe Lord Jesus repeatedly laid stress on this aspect of the Truth. When making known to His disciples the fundamental requirements of their receiving answers to prayer, He said,

“If ye abide in Me [maintain a spirit of constant dependence upon and remain in communion with Him], and My words abide in you [forming your thoughts and regulating your desires], ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7)

—for in such cases they would request only that which would be for God’s glory and their own real good. Again, He declared,

“the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus Wonderful Enough?

From the cross, the young Prince of Glory declared, “It is finished.” From His majestic throne, He pronounces, “It is done.” It is no marvel then that the apostle would have us to look unto Jesus to find the daily patience and endurance we need (Hebrews 12:2-3).

Looking unto Jesus … what a wonderful practice. But, what do we see when we look? Do we, by faith see the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of our salvation? Do we see in Christ our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30)?

Somebody once told me that the Christian life was easy. I disagree. I’ve found the easy parts to be easy, but the hard parts are hard, very hard. Life throws everything at us, but we can endure all as we learn, by faith, to see the Invisible One. He is our refuge and shield (2 Samuel 22:3). The same one who authored our faith will finish it! His power and faithfulness are enough to complete the work He started!

As we grow in grace and the knowledge of God, we discover that He is enough. So, we have to ask ourselves again, are we enjoying being His followers? We will enjoy Him if He is enough! But, if our hearts are still yearning for the World then we will remain in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. We will be caught in a ‘no man’s land.’ It’s like this, if we belong to the Lord, and we live outside of him, we’ll be foreigners in a strange land. Until Jesus becomes enough, we will be in a perpetual state of instability and confusion.

As William Mason said,

“My dear friends, be not content to live without a constant revelation of Christ to your souls: this makes the conscience peaceful, the heart happy, and the soul joyful: this inspires love, subdues lust, captivates the affections, makes the whole man happy in God, and creates heaven in the soul.”

Jesus is enough! He is indeed heaven in the soul. He is our King and as King He exercises a three-fold reign. He reigns over us, He reigns for us, and reigns in us. It is not, therefore, without reason that Jesus is called, “Wonderful” (Isaiah 9:6). His birth was wonderful; His person is wonderful; His offices of Prophet, Priest and King are wonderful; His work for us was wonderful; He was the teacher and the subject of His lesson. That’s wonderful! He was the Lamb and at the same time the shepherd; that again is wonderful! His sinless life was wonderful; His death was wonderful; He was both the sacrifice and the Priest who offered the sacrifice… that’s wonderful! His resurrection was wonderful; His ascension into Heaven was wonderful; His salvation is wonderful; His power is wonderful and His faithfulness is wonderful. Is He wonderful enough for you and for me?

Speaking of the Lord’s wonderful ministry, the old time Welsh preacher, Christmas Evans, said;

“With a mighty hand, He laid hold of the works of Satan, unlocked the prison gates, and broke the bands asunder. He opened His mouth and the deaf heard, the blind saw, the dumb spoke, the lame walked, and the lepers were cleansed. —-He took our yoke and bore it away upon His own shoulders and cast it broken into the bottomless pit.”

Jesus is wonderful.

He is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.miles mckee.com

While the faculty of reason is vastly superior to our bodily senses nevertheless, it is greatly inferior to faith

Arthur PinkWhile the faculty of reason is vastly superior to our bodily senses (distinguishing man from and elevating him above the animals), it is greatly inferior to faith (the gift of God to His people), and that, in turn, to the Holy Spirit —upon whom we are dependent for the directing of the one and the strengthening of the other. There is much confusion of mind and not a little wrong thinking on the part of the saints concerning the place and extent which reason may and should have in connection with the Scriptures. Assuredly God has not subordinated His word to our reason for us to accept only what commends itself to our judgment. Nevertheless, He has furnished His people with this faculty, and though insufficient of itself it is a valuable aid in the understanding of Truth. While reason is not to be made the measurer of our belief, yet it is to be used as the handmaid of faith, by comparing passage with passage, deducing inferences and drawing consequences according to the legitimate laws of logic. Never is the faculty of reason so worthily employed as in endeavoring to understand Holy Writ. If on the one hand we are forbidden to lean unto our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), on the other we are exhorted to apply our hearts to understanding (Proverbs 2:2).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Faith is the ticket which we use to get our souls out of pawn

Spurgeon 6I must tell you a singular story, which was related at our church meeting, because there may be some very poor people here who may understand the way of salvation by it. One of the friends had been to see a person who was about to join the church; and he said to him, “Can you tell me what you would say to a poor sinner who came to ask you the way of salvation?” “Well,” said he, “I do not know — I think I can hardly tell you; but it so happened that a case of this sort did occur yesterday. A poor woman came into my shop, and I told her the way; but it was in such a homely manner that I don’t like to tell you.” “Oh, yes, tell me; I should like to hear it.” Well, she is a poor woman, who is always pawning her things, and by-and bye she redeems them again. I did not know how to tell her better than this. I said to her: — ’Look here; your soul is in pawn to the devil: Christ has paid the redemption money; you take faith for your ticket and so you will get your soul out of pawn.’” Now, that was the most simple, but the most excellent way of imparting a knowledge of salvation to this woman. It is true our souls were pawned to Almighty vengeance; we were poor, and could not pay the redemption money; but Christ came and paid it all, and faith is the ticket which we use to get our souls out of pawn. We need not take a single penny with us; we have only to say, “Here, Lord, I believe in Jesus Christ. I have brought no money to pay for my soul, for there is the ticket, the money has been paid long ago. This is written in thy word: ‘The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.’” If thou takest that ticket, thou wilt get thy soul out of pawn; and thou wilt say, “I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven, I’m a miracle of grace.” May God bless you, my friends, for Christ’s sake.

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856