SCRIPTURE

THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE

“…the word of the Lord remains forever….’” (1 Pet 1:25 ESV).

FATHER, Your Bible does not and cannot have errors: the sinless CHRIST cannot error.  He says the Bible is Your Word; therefore the Bible cannot error. Norman Geisler (ref#95)

CHRIST, GOD INCARNATE, in Your earthly ministry You advocated what had been written of the FATHER previous to Your coming.  Time after time You preface Your subject with the words, “it is written” (Matt 4:4,7,10).  You did not come to abolish what had been written, but to fulfill what had been written (Matt 5:17-18).

You say Yourself that the Scriptures cannot be set aside or annulled (John 10:35).  Even the hard-to-believe Scriptures You confessed as true.  Jonah was indeed three days in the belly of a great fish (Matt 12:40).  Your FATHER’s word is truth and without error (John 17:17).

“My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right” (Ps 119:172 ESV).

The Bible does not and cannot have errors: OMNIPOTENT, HOLY, PERFECT, FATHER, You cannot error.  You say the Bible is Your Word, therefore the Bible cannot error (ref#95).

The sum of Your Word is truth and every one of Your righteous rules endures forever (Ps 119:160).  You never lie (Titus 1:2); it is impossible for You to lie (Heb 6:18).

You are true even if we are all liars (Rom 3:4)—even if we are faithless, You remain faithful for You cannot deny Yourself (2 Tim 2:13).  Your Word is Truth (John 17:17).  The audacity of Your creatures to accuse You of allowing an errant book to represent You!!

You revealed Yourself in words and resided over them as they were written in an earthly Book for all generations to read.  The Bible is the prime testimony of Your compassion and caring.

SCRIPTURE

INERRANCY

“…Scripture is divine in its origin, character, and authority, it must bear the marks or evidences of that divinity.  If ‘the heavens declare the glory of God’ (Psa 19:1) and therefore bear witness to their divine Creator, the Scriptures as God’s handiwork must also bear the imprints of His authorship” John Murray (ref#250, p41, “Witness of the Spirit”).

“…the omniscient God, is the One who announces events beforehand.  That is the proof of His deity” Alfred Martin (ref#260, p77).  “Prediction of the future is the prerogative of God alone…prophecy is the seal which God has put on His Word to show its genuineness.  It authenticates the Scripture” Alfred Martin (ref#260, p70).

“The Old Testament, written over a 1,000-year period, contains several hundred references to the coming Messiah.  All of these were fulfilled in Jesus Christ…” Josh McDowell (ref#275, p141).

“Reformed theologians uphold the Bible as the inspired, infallible, inerrant, authoritative, and fully sufficient communication of truth from God to us.  When they say the Bible is ‘inspired,’ they mean that the Bible was actually written by God through the agency of human authorship in a miraculous way that preserved the thoughts of God from any taint of human sinfulness (2 Peter 1:20-21) Carole J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p145-146).

“When they say the Bible is infallible, they mean it is incapable of error, and when they say it is inerrant, they mean the Bible, in actual fact, contains no errors.  The Bible is authoritative because it comes from God whose authority over His creation is absolute (Isaiah 46:9-10).  And it is completely sufficient because it contains everything necessary for us to know and live according to God’s requirements (2 Peter 1:3-4)” Carole J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p146).

“…the Bible is (in its original manuscripts) inerrant and infallible…” Arthur W. Pink (ref#245, p1, “The Impregnable Rock”).

SCRIPTURE

WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

“The Bible isn’t a series of stories.  It isn’t a catalog of interesting characters.  It isn’t a manual of theology.  It isn’t a book of interesting wisdom principles.  One story, with one hero, forms the cord that holds the whole Bible together.  The Bible is essentially the story of redemption. This grand redemptive story, with God’s essential explanatory notes, is the main content of the Word of God” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec 9th).

“The message of the Bible is not to urge us to try to find truth; it is to ask us to listen to the truth, to God’s truth.  For its whole point is to say that God, knowing Himself, knowing man, knowing everything, has devised and schemed a plan whereby men and women can be delivered out of their failure and sin and can be made citizens and worthy citizens of God’s kingdom.  This is God’s plan” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, July 2nd)!

“…God’s faithfulness to his people convinces us that there is nothing missing from Scripture that God thinks we need to know for obeying him and trusting him fully….Scripture today is exactly what God wanted it to be, and it will stay that way until Christ returns” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p68-69).  “…He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words” (Heb 1:1-3 MSG)!

“O Word of God Incarnate”

 

O Word of God incarnate, O wisdom from on high,

O truth unchanged, unchanging, O light of our dark sky;

We praise thee for the radiance that from the hallowed page,

A lantern to our footsteps, shines on from age to age.

 

The church from her dear Master received the gift divine,

And still that light she lifteth o’er all the earth to shine.

It is the golden casket, where gems of truth are stored;

It is the heave’n-drawn picture of Christ, the Living Word.

 

It floateth like a banner before God’s host unfurled;

It shineth like a beacon above the darkling world.

It is the chart and compass that o’er life’s surging sea,

‘Mid mists and rocks and quicksands, still guides, O Christ to thee.

 

O make thy church, dear Savior, a lamp of purest gold,

To bear before the nations thy true light, as of old.

O teach thy wand’ring pilgrims by this their path to trace,

Till, clouds and darkness ended, they see thee face to face.

 

Author: William Walsham How, 1867 Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p72)

HOLY SPIRIT

VICTORY OVER THE WORLD

“Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth.  It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon….It preforms great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work…it deceives those who dwell on earth…”  (Rev 13:11,13-14 ESV).

“The Dragon-Lamb (Rev 13:11-14) is capable of great signs.  In the realms of wisdom and knowledge, faith and healing, miracles of power, prophecies and discernment of the occult, tongues and their interpretation, the wisdom of this world outlives the works of modern religion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p147).

FATHER, for the most part our modern religion succumbs easily to this “Dragon-Lamb” because prideful flesh has taken over the Church, ignoring Your SPIRIT.  We have so silenced Your SPIRIT that most pew sitters today don’t even know enough to seek Him.

“There are no reasons why the gifts of the Spirit should be operative in one dispensation and not in another.  They did not cease at the close of the Apostolic Age.  They have been manifest in all ages of the Church, and there are abundant proofs that they are still available…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p146-147).

And with joy the SPIRIT still pours out His desires!  It may seem that the SPIRIT has stepped back presently and stopped giving His spiritual gifts.  But that is a lie from the “father of lies.”

“A revival of spiritual gifts in the Church would bring to naught the mocking pretensions of the world….in the Spirit of God there is victory over the world” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p147).

But, it takes two to tango.  Is the Church ready to give the SPIRIT freedom in our lives?  We need to abide with Him in order to understand Him and His desires.  Are we ready to take time in our days to get to know Him?

“What unspeakable joy to be secluded with Him in the secret closet, and for hours drink of that fountain of everlasting life and eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life.  You can come out of that prayer chamber already in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” David Wilkerson (ref#138, p165).

SPIRIT, thank You for putting into words this blog study of Your attributes and works.  I desire to keep this knowledge of You in my thoughts as I begin the next blog study of “Terms of Theology.”

HOLY SPIRIT

BUILDING UP THE CHURCH

“…if a man is regenerate, he is saved….If he should die he would go to heaven.  But though he is saved he is not yet fitted for God’s service” R.A. Torrey (ref#223, p114).

“Spiritual gifts may be given at the moment of regeneration, but they may lie undiscovered and dormant for a long period of time….Spiritual gifts can be abused and neglected, but if they are received at regeneration, it would appear that they cannot be lost.  The Corinthian church illustrates the fact that believers can be highly gifted but spiritually immature” Kenneth Boa, (The Gifts of the Spirit, http://bible.org/article/gifts-spirit).

“The Corinthians were rich in gifts and poor in fruit.  Our Lord told of some who wrought wonders in His name, but they were none of His. (Matt 7:21-23)” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p138).  “So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church” (1 Cor 14:12 ESV).

Multi-gifted Christians often discover their combination of gifts through a gradual process…Each multi-gifted Christian has received a combination of spiritual abilities that is perfectly suited to his or her God-given ministry” Kenneth Boa, (The Gifts of the Spirit, http://bible.org/article/gifts-spirit).

“The gifts of the Spirit are for service…Some are permanent.  Others are given for special vocations and exceptional occasions…” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p146).

 “God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit….God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

wise counsel

clear understanding

simple trust

healing the sick

miraculous acts

proclamation

distinguishing between spirits

tongues

interpretation of tongues.

All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when” (1 Cor 12:4-11 MSG).

FATHER, thank Your for spiritual gifts.  They are correctly called “gifts” for as I learn more and more to abide with You I realize I contribute nothing to their success.

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THE CHURCH

“It is for the church to explore the resources of the Spirit; the resources of the world are futile” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p19).

“…the Church of God has two Paracletes, or Advocates – one in heaven with the Father, Christ, and the other on earth, in the heart of the believer, even the Holy Spirit” Charles Ross (ref#241, p90).

“The Father gave Him [CHRIST] the gift, and He passes it on to us;…The gift of the Holy Ghost to the Church is also, then, the absolute proof of the sufficiency of the work of Christ and of its acceptance with God….’I accept your work, it is sufficient; You have died for the redeemed, they are Your people.  So I will give you My Spirit to give to them, and then they will know that they are Your people and My people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p138).

“ He [the SPIRIT] has come to reign over each and all.  Jesus Christ had defined His mission and outlined His program.  He was to unify them into one Body, guide them into all truth, and strengthen them for all service.  In the Church He is the supreme executive, but He has His seat in the soul.  He directs all things from the spiritual center of the inner life” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p44).  “His objective is to produce holiness…But His ultimate work is to make us a holy people…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 2nd).

FATHER, I know that the HOLY SPIRIT will create in all of us who CHRIST claims as His bride, holiness and purity.  Your perfect will is to bring us a life of prayer and brokenness before Your throne.  I hunger to be secluded with You in the secret closet waiting for You to bring Your remnant church into one mind—living only for You. David Wilkerson (ref#138, p165).

HOLY SPIRIT

BF’s COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 16:15-19

 “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’  And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you…For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.    And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it….    (Matt 16:15-18 ESV).

 This passage comprises CHRIST announcing His FATHER’s church building program.  The FATHER, through the HOLY SPIRIT gave Peter his revelation.

The close identity to the words, “Peter” and “rock” in the original language means nothing.  The only connection “this rock” has to do with Peter is that he demonstrated how “the Father in heaven” conveys His will to His chosen.  The HOLY SPIRIT is the One through whom GOD will “build His church.”  The HOLY SPIRIT is the “rock.”

And he who is led by the SPIRIT—who is learning first hand by the “Father who is in heaven,” will possess the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” and will “bind and loose” as the SPIRIT leads him because he is not doing as he wishes but as the FATHER wishes.

CHRIST was the first to demonstrate the indwelling operation of the HOLY SPIRIT.  While on earth he exhibited how the FATHER directed and implemented His will.  The prophet Isaiah speaks of it.  He “…shall not judge by what his eyes see…” (Isa 11:3 ESV).  He will not follow his human understanding, for “…the Spirit ofthe LORD shall rest upon him…” (Isa 11:2 ESV).

The HOLY SPIRIT led CHRIST through His tenure on earth and now CHRIST is announcing in this passage that the FATHER will lead His children to build His church through the HOLY SPIRIT. This “rock,” is the foundation—delivering all that is the predetermined will of GOD.  “…For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor 2:10 ESV).  The FATHER’s reveals His will through the HOLY SPIRIT.

The FATHER, GOD was called a “rock” in the Old Testament (Ps 62:7), and JESUS was also called the ”rock” in the New (1 Cor 10:4).  And here the third Person of the Trinity is called “rock.”  The SPIRIT gave Peter the words, “You are Christ, the Son of the living God.”  The SPIRIT will also give GOD’s chosen the way to build His church.

“…let us humbly suffer ourselves to be inwardly taught by the…Spirit alone…” John Calvin (Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, “Commentary on Matthew 16:17”).

HOLY SPIRIT

WALKING WITH THE SPIRIT

The HOLY SPIRIT enabled the very spirit of You, FATHER to be right with JESUS when He lived here on earth. By the time JESUS faced death, He and the HOLY SPIRIT knew each other well.  And toward the end of the Gospel of John, JESUS briefs His disciples on how to expect the HOLY SPIRIT to manifest Himself after His ascension:

“…the Holy Spirit,…lives with you now and later will be in you” (John 14:17 NLT).

“In just a little while you won’t see me anymore.  But a little while after that, you will see me again” (John 16:16 NLT).

“I will not leave you orphans…” (John 14:18 ESV).

“…I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you” (John 14:16 MSG).

“…the Father sends the Advocate as my representative…that is, the Holy Spirit…” (John 14:26 NLT).

“…the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place…” (John 14:26 CEV).

“When the Spirit…comes,…He will not speak on his own…He will bring me glory by telling to you whatever he receives from me” (John 16:13-14 NLT).

“…he will take what I have to say and tell it to you” (John 16:14 GNT).

“…the Spirit…will testify all about me” (John 15:26 NLT).

“…the…Spirit…will help you and always be with you” (John 14:16 CEV).

“The Spirit will show you what is true…” (John 14:17 CEV).

“…The Spirit will teach you everything…” (John 14:26 CEV).

“…it is…to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the…Advocate …will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (The Holy Spirit) to you  [to be in close fellowship with you]” (John 16:7 AMP).

FATHER, through the HOLY SPIRIT, CHRIST was able to know exactly Your will for His life on earth. If I desire to know exactly CHRIST’s will for my life, then I must embrace the SPIRIT the same way CHRIST did.

HOLY SPIRIT

GRIEVING THE SPIRIT

“Don’t grieve God.  Don’t break his heart.  His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself.  Don’t take such a gift for granted” (Eph 4:30 MSG).

“All that we know of ourselves spiritually, all that we know of God, of Jesus, and of His Word, we owe to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.  All the real light, sanctification, strength, and comfort we ever possess on our way to glory, we must ascribe to Him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 19th).

“…the Spirit that God caused to live in us jealously yearns for us” (James 4:5 International Standard Version).

“Think of the grief of the Spirit of Love!  Who can measure the anguish of His rebuffs, reproaches, and rejection.  Love is sensitive.  It shrinks from distrust, indifference and reproach.  It yearns for love” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p 122-123).

“The Spirit though always the blessed occupant of the Church of Christ and of the individual believer, may not always be manifestly present.  The prayerless, unholy, and trifling walk of a believer will cause Him to withdraw His sensible presence.  The coldness, formality, worldliness, and divisions of a church will compel Him to withhold the plentiful rain or the gentle dew of His precious influence.  He may be so disowned, dishonored, wounded, and grieved, as to retire behind the curtains of His secret glory for a while, leaving the scene of worldliness and strife to the curse and the reproach of barrenness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 19th).

Oh FATHER, You have graced me with the HOLY SPIRIT. And I plead for more of His influences, not less.   I remind myself it is my work to not interrupt His work.