Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Scripture

Short Thoughts on Biblical Discernment

It troubles me that we have “pastors” and “Bible teachers” doing interviews today and they debate the problems of our society or the social ills of our time by appealing to their feelings or their own thoughts.  Rather than standing on the Word of God for their thoughts, they often give their opinions and want other Christians to stand with them behind their feelings.  These mega-church leaders often work from a pragmatic perspective on social ills and will do whatever and say whatever in order to keep the masses (and the money I would add) flowing to them.  They talk about “demonstrating Jesus” and “being like Jesus toward those whom we disagree” but they never quote anything from the Word of God to back this up.  They simply assume that because they are a mega-church leader, we should just accept what they say.

What we need is to be biblically discerning.  We need to think biblically.  We need to question all things (and I do mean all things) by the Word of God.  Whether it be theological, social, historical, fiction, non-fiction, etc. we need to question everything by the authority of the Word of God.  The Bible alone inerrantly and powerfully speaks for God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The Bible alone is the authority by which we can speak for God (Ephesians 6:17).  The Bible sanctifies us by separating us from the false thinking of this world (John 17:17) and it keeps us from sin by showing us what God loves and what God hates.  The Bible faithfully reveals the mind of God to us (Psalm 119:15).  We are called to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2) and this comes from meditating on the Word of God that cleanses us from sin (Ephesians 5:26).  The Word of God alone cuts deep into us (both saved and unsaved) according to Hebrews 4:12-13.  The Bible is our source of spiritual food (Matthew 4:4) and we are to hunger and thirst for it (1 Peter 2:1-3).  The Scriptures are Christ-centered and Christ-focused (John 20:31).

The Puritans prayed,

I thank Thee for the holy Scriptures,
their precepts, promises, directions, light.

In them may I learn more of Christ,
be enabled to retain His truth
and have grace to follow it.

Help me to lift up the gates of my soul
that He may come in
and show me Himself when I search
the Scriptures,
for I have no lines to fathom its depths,
no wings to soar to its heights.

By His aid may I be enabled to explore
all its truths,
love them with all my heart,
embrace them with all my power,
engraft them into my life.

Bless to my soul all grains of truth garnered
from Thy Word;
may they take deep root,
be refreshed by heavenly dew,
be ripened by heavenly rays,
be harvested to my joy and Thy praise.

Help me gain profit by what I read,
as treasure beyond all treasure,
a fountain which can replenish my dry heart,
its waters flowing through me as a perennial river
on-drawn by Thy Holy Spirit.

Enable me to distill from its pages faithful prayer
that grasps the arm of Thy omnipotence,
achieves wonders, obtains blessings,
and draws down streams of mercy.

From it show me how my words have often been
unfaithful to Thee,
injurious to my fellow-men,
empty of grace, full of folly,
dishonoring to my calling.

Then write Thy own words upon my heart
and inscribe them on my lips;
So shall all glory be to Thee
in my reading of Thy Word!

I pray that I too would have a heart that longs for the Word of God and that the Word of God would be my guide, my sword, my hammer, my operating tool to cut out my own sins.  I pray that the Church of Christ Jesus would love the Word of God, proclaim the Word of God, evangelize by the Word of God, and allow the Word of God to dominate our very lives in all areas.  We must be biblically trained, biblically discerning, and biblical in all ways to stand firm for the gospel.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/28/2014 at 9:55 AM

Adam Clarke on the Necessity of Divine Revelation

THE NECESSITY OF REVELATION. — The absolute necessity of a divine revelation is sufficiently established. If God be the sole Fountain of light and truth, all knowledge must be derived from him. “The spirit of a man may know the things of a man; but the Spirit of God can alone know and teach the things of God.” That is, the human intellect, in its ordinary power and operation, is sufficient to comprehend the various earthly things that concern man’s sustenance and welfare in social life; but this intellect cannot fathom the things of God; it cannot find out the mind of the Most High; it knows not his will; it has no just idea of the end for which man was made; of that in which his best interests lie; of its own nature; of the nature of moral good and evil; how to avoid the latter, and how to attain the former, in which true happiness, or the supreme good, consists: and these things it is the province of divine revelation to teach, for they have never been taught or conceived by man.

How unspeakably we are indebted to God for giving us a revelation of his WILL and of his WORKS! Is it possible to know the mind of God but from himself? It is impossible. Can those things and services which are worthy of, and pleasing to, an infinitely pure, perfect, and holy Spirit, be ever found out by reasoning and conjecture? Never; for the Spirit of God alone can know the mind of God; and by this Spirit he has revealed himself to man, and in this revelation has taught him, not only to know the glories and perfections of the Creator, but also his own origin, duty, and interest. Thus far it was essentially necessary that God should reveal his WILL; but if he had not given a revelation of his WORKS, the origin, constitution, and nature of the universe could never have been adequately known. The world by wisdom knew not God. This is demonstrated by the writings of the most learned and intelligent heathens. They had no just, no rational notion of the origin and design of the universe. Moses alone, of all ancient writers, gives a consistent and rational account of the creation; an account which has been confirmed by the investigations of the most accurate philosophers.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/19/2013 at 10:01 AM

Christ’s View of Scripture

It is important as disciples of Jesus to know what Jesus believed about Scripture.  How He felt about Scripture should be our belief as well.  It is amazing to me that some people claim to follow Jesus but do not adhere to what He held to be truthful such as the Scriptures.  They hold that they love and worship Jesus but reject the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God.  Some hold that God speaks outside of the Bible and even contradicts the written Scriptures but since Scripture is not inerrant nor infallible, we need to hear the voice of God apart from the Bible.  Others hold that while some truths are found in the Bible, not all of the Bible is to be believed or even trusted.  Some hold that only the salvation of sinners is without error and full of authority but reject that the whole of Scripture is inerrant.  Some hold that we can only use the Bible for salvation and not for history, science, etc. since these may or may not be truthful.

Is this the view of Jesus?  When we come to Jesus in the Gospels, what were His views regarding the Scriptures?  Overwhelmingly we can know what Jesus believed about the Scriptures and would carry these views over to the New Testament writers who were likewise inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Let us then take heed to what Jesus had to say about the Scriptures and what can we learn from His views?

1.  Jesus Acknowledged The Bible’s Divine Origin

Jesus mentioned the names of people who wrote the Bible such as Moses (John 5:46), Isaiah (Matthew 15:7), and David (Luke 20:42).  Yet He said in Mark 12:36 that David wrote Psalm 110 by the Holy Spirit.  Moses gave us the Law (John 7:19) but Jesus attributed its words to God Himself (Matthew 15:3,4 quoting Exodus 20:12; 21:17).  Moses’ words in Genesis 2:24 are said to be the Creator speaking (Matthew 19:4-5).

Jesus called the Old Testament the “word of God” (Mark 7:13).  He also acknowledged the stories of the Old Testament such as Jonah and the fish (Matthew 12:40-41).

I would note also that Jesus promised the coming Holy Spirit in John 14:16-17 and one of the works of the Spirit would be to lead the Apostles into all truth which in context would mean that He would lead them in writing the New Testament Scriptures (John 15:26-27; 16:14).  Paul mentions the work of the Spirit in inspiration in 1 Corinthians 2:9-16.

2.  Jesus Held To The Bible’s Perfect Reliability

Jesus uttered the words in John 17:17, that God’s Word is truth.  Would He then question the historical reliability of the Bible?  Would Jesus call into question the events of the Old Testament such as the exodus of the Israelites or many of the Old Testament stories and events?  He did not.  When we read the Gospels we find that Jesus held to the perfect reliability of the Old Testament Scriptures.

In debating the Jews in John 10 Jesus quotes from Psalm 82:6 and then says in John 10:35 that the Scriptures cannot be broken.  In other words, they are perfect and infallible.  What Psalm 82:6 says is final.

Jesus mentions several events in the Old Testament as actual historical and truthful events such as the creation of Mankind (Matthew 19:4-5), the murder of Abel (Matthew 23:35), Noah’s ark and the flood (Matthew 24:37-39), Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are all mentioned (Matthew 8:11), Lot and the destruction of Sodom as well as Lot’s wife (Luke 17:28-32).  Jesus mentions the brass serpent (John 3:14) and the gift of manna (John 6:49).  He mentions David eating the shewbread (Matthew 12:3-4), the queen of Sheba visiting Solomon (Matthew 12:42), the healing of Naaman (Luke 4:27), and Jonah (Matthew 12:40).  Jesus used many of these such as David in Matthew 12:1-4 not just in passing but using David’s eating of the shewbread to justify His own actions and those of His disciples.  Jesus didn’t merely read the stories of the Old Testament but He found basis for much of His own work in their historical actions.

Jesus also held that the Prophets and prophecies they gave were infallible and from God.  In Luke 18:31 He tells His disciples that all prophecies about the Christ must be fulfilled.  Why?  Because what God says is absolute truth.  God makes no mistakes in the words that He gives.  In Luke 24:25 He says that we are foolish not to believe all that the prophets have spoken.  In John 5:45-47 He tells us that all that Moses wrote was about Him.  Could any of the works of Moses then be in question?  And yet many liberal churches not only question Moses’ writings in the Torah but some reject it completely.  If we reject Moses’ words, we would then be rejecting Jesus.

3.  Jesus Upheld The Absolute Authority of the Scriptures

When Jesus was confronted by the Jews of His day, He very often would appeal to Scripture as the final authority.  The words “it is written” sealed the deal for Jesus.  In Matthew 21:16 and 21:42 Jesus points to the final authority of the Scriptures as pointing toward Himself.  Only God could do that.  In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus answer Satan and his temptations each time with the authority of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).

In Luke 20:37 Jesus quotes from Exodus 3:6 when answering questions about the resurrection of the dead.  In Luke 20:41-44 Jesus turns the questions on the Jews by asking them about Psalm 110.  He viewed what David said in Psalm 110 as absolute truth and binding.

Jesus had such a view of Scripture that He viewed it as truthful and binding unit all is accomplished (Matthew 5:17-19).

Conclusion

Surely from this simple reading of the Gospels concerning Jesus’ view about the Scriptures we learn that He upheld the authority and infallibility and truthfulness of the Scriptures.  Since God Himself wrote the Scriptures, Jesus held that they were truth (John 17:17).  So should we.  We should not reject what Jesus didn’t.  It bothers me that some Arminians want to question the authority and inerrancy of the Bible.  Could not an all-powerful, sovereign, and truthful God not only inspire His Word but preserve the Word of God as well?  I believe not only that He did but that He has.  I uphold the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible because I believe that such a view is the same view that Jesus had when He was on the earth.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/27/2012 at 2:41 PM

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