January 05, 2000

What do you mean Sovereign? by Eric Wilson

Although the word sovereign is not found in the Bible, its inferences and substance in imbedded in every text. In the most simplest terms sovereignty means God is God. Only He, unto Himself, can be exalted above all and is God of very God (Psa 97:9). Arthur W. Pink wrote, “Few could comprehend the solitariness of God”. Image “in the beginning”, to mediate on the fullness of that statement, to truly understand that before any He was. He is the Living God, infinite in His being (Isa 44:6). At the same time, as we define it, God is with us always watching over us to do as He wills (Mat 18:20, 28:20). A sovereign God is without any limitations. He is Lord of Heaven and earth, creator of ALL, subject to none, influenced by none, and absolutely the Almighty (I Cor 29:11). Not only is there nothing He cannot do, within His nature, but also there is nothing left to chance. For all things, that are made by Him are within His dominion (Prov 16:4). Anything less than that takes glory away from God. Anything that gives any control to any of His creations most limits God, which takes away any and all sovereignty.

heart of doctrine

January 04, 2000

Are God and Jesus the same person?

(Eph 4:6) “One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Jhn 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” The trinity of God is confessable not without mystery. It would be error though in light of all other scripture to come away believing Jesus was part man and part God. Jesus was all man susceptible to their will and limitations of man and at the same time all God omnipotent, knowing all that God knows, and in control of His providence.

In the revelation of one true God there exist three divine persons. It is of the Father, who is of neither begotten nor proceeding (I Cor 8:6). Through the Son, which is eternally begotten of the Father (Jhn 3:17). And by the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Son and unto the Father (Eph 2:18, 3:5). Each process His own personal characteristics and is clearly distinguishable from the other. Yet the three persons are equal in power, righteousness, and glory. Each process divine attributes (I Cor 13:4), perform divine works (Jhn 5:21), and receive divine honors (II Thes 2:16). Each being called “God”. Therefore being but one God they are not divided in nature. Even though they are three essences no one of the three may act independently of the other and cannot be seen or worshiped without exalting all (Jhn 10:30, 12:45).

heart of doctrine

January 03, 2000

How can I better understand what I read? by Eric Wilson

(Pro 15:33) “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” Does man come to God bringing the works they have done for salvation, God forbid. Man comes naked and dependent entirely on His mercy and grace. When you come to His word do you bring your ignorance and wisdom for understanding, God forbid. Come to His word humbled and childlike. Come thirsty and hungry for His substance. Come obedient and in faith and seek for understanding.

- Come submissively, embrace that understanding, no matter what the result, is by revelation of the Spirit.
- Read first for the literal meaning. Many times passages of scripture mean exactly what they say. Do not over analyze.
- Read in its context. It is dangerous to use pieces of scriptures to prove a position. Be cautious and look what the text surrounding a passage may expound.
- Read and examine words. Words have meanings and I believe uses of words in the scriptures have very special ones. Do not ignore the text but look closely when necessary at specific words and tenses. This to, may amplify the meaning of the entire passage.
- Read considering analogies, symbols, and what the text may be an example of. Be careful not to make it say sometime it doesn’t but examine it for what it may represent. Many times, especially in the Old Testament, there are wonderful pictures of Christ.
- Read with an unanswered questions in mind. This is not really to say ‘be open minded’, which is important, this is to come seeking understanding. Ask questions about what you read and look for the answer. Many times answers are easier to find than meaning and the result is similar.
- Compare scripture with scripture. The very best commentary on any passage is other passages.
- Read for substance. There is a message that applies to you. These messages may nourish, comfort, challenge, or rebuke.
- Read with Christ constantly in view. If you ever read and fail to see Him glorified proceed to the next point and then go back to step one.
- PRAY. Pray constantly over the scripture for understanding and any revelation of the Spirit. Prayer is the best means of understanding and study.

Even with that there may be a lot we never comprehend. But I can ensure you we will understand exactly what God wants and needs us to understand. I am thankful that it pleases God to hide some things to the wise and still a babe, by the grace of God, can swim in the scriptures and suckle all they have to reveal (Mat 11:25).

heart of doctrine

What should I study to know more?

We know, or hopefully should believe, that the scripture are the only infallible, sufficient rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, and should be looked toward and studied as it is so (II Tim 3:15-17). It sounds simple but to formally state it anyway, one should study His Word. Anything you hear or read from any other source should be suspect. I am not rejecting all references and other books written, for God has used many of them to illuminate His word more clearly. I myself would struggle without a good concordance and Vine’s Dictionary or even many of the other excellent commentaries and articles grounded in the doctrines of Grace. That said they are not replacements for His word and do only to focus us on His message. Always look back to the scriptures and be careful of rantings of men that do not support what they say in the Word of God. You should never believe based on what a man said but seek for yourself and believe because the Bible says (Isa 8:20). Take nothing on the faith of the flesh but continue to search the scriptures for yourself to see what the Spirit teaches (I Cor 2:12-13). For in them is all truth and wisdom and if it pleases God He shall open up our understanding so that His truths might be revealed (Luk 24:45).

heart of doctrine

January 02, 2000

Does it matter what you believe?

I cringe when I hear someone say, “it doesn’t matter what you believe, we are all going to the same place”. The fact is there can be no unity or fellowship outside of a foundation of sound doctrine (Rom 16:17). To say that it doesn’t matter what you believe is to say it doesn’t matter what the Bible says and that His word is insignificant (I Tim 4:13). To say that it is ok to wonder in false doctrine and knowing continue to sin and blasphemy God’s word is heresy (I Tim 4:1-2).

What you believe is the foundation for saving faith (I Tim 4:16). What you believe is the essence of comfort to a believer (Rom 15:4). A sound doctrine causes one not to waver and may convince nay-Sayers (Tit 1:9). And sound doctrine exhorts God and glorifies His finished work (Jhn 7:16-18; Tit 2:10).

Everyone believes something; it is important what you hold on to for your security and steadfast believe. Search the scriptures, mediate on His word, and pray for revelation. Desire to understand Christ doctrine for there is great profit in them. Finally take inventory of yourself and what you believe. Examine what you think is truth and sincerely ask yourself this.
- Is it based on scriptures alone or is it what someone else told you it should be.
- Is it based on grace alone or is there merit in anything you do or add.
- Does it exhorts God and is focused on Christ alone or is wrapped in what you should do.
False doctrine is anything that is contrary to these revelations and must be avoided (I Tim 1:3-4; II Jhn :10).

heart of doctrine