Author: Matt Sherro

The New Hampshire Baptist Confession

The New Hampshire Baptist Confession

I. OF THE SCRIPTURES.

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; [2062] that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, [2063] and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; [2064] that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; [2065] and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true centre of Christian union, [2066] and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. [2067]

II. OF THE TRUE GOD.

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; [2068] inexpressibly glorious in holiness, [2069] and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; [2070] that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; [2071] equal in every divine perfection, [2072] and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. [2073]

III. OF THE FALL OF MAN.

We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; [2074] but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; [2075] in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, [2076] not by constraint, but choice; [2077] being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, [2078] without defense or excuse. [2079]

IV. OF THE WAY OF SALVATION.

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, [2080] through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; [2081] who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; [2082] honored the divine law by his personal obedience, [2083] and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; [2084] that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; [2085] and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour. [2086]

V. OF JUSTIFICATION.

We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ [2087] secures to such as believe in him is Justification; [2088] that Justification includes the pardon of sin, [2089] and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; [2090] that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; [2091] by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; [2092] that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. [2093]

VI. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION.

We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; [2094] that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; [2095] and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; [2096] which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. [2097]

VII. OF GRACE IN REGENERATION.

We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; [2098] that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; [2099] that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, [2100] so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; [2101] and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life. [2102]

VIII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH.

We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; [2103] whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, [2104] we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; [2105] at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour. [2106]

IX. OF GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE.

We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; [2107] that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; [2108] that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable; [2109] that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; [2110] that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; [2111] that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel; [2112] that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; [2113] and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence. [2114]

X. OF SANCTIFICATION.

We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; [2115] that it is a progressive work; [2116] that it is begun in regeneration; [2117] and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means — especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. [2118]

XI. OF THE PERSEl’ERANCE OF SAINTS.

We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; [2119] that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; [2120] that a special Providence watches over their welfare; [2121] and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. [2122]

XII. OF THE HARMONY OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.

We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; [2123] that it is holy, just, and good; [2124] and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; [2125] to deliver them from winch, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church. [2126]

XIII. OF A GOSPEL CHURCH.

We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, [2127] associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; [2128] observing the ordinances of Christ; [2129] governed by his laws, [2130] and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word; [2131] that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons, [2132] whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

XIV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER.

We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, [2133] into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; [2134] to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; [2135] that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, [2136] in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; [2137] proceeded always by solemn self-examination. [2138]

XV. OF THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; [2139] and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, [2140] by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations; [2141] by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private [2142] and public; [2143] and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God. [2144]

XVI. OF CIVIL GOl’ERNMENT.

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; [2145] and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; [2146] except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, [2147] who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. [2148]

XVII. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED.

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; [2149] that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; [2150] while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; [2151] and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. [2152]

XVIII. OF THE WORLD TO COME.

We believe that the end of the world is approaching; [2153] that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, [2154] and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; [2155] that a solemn separation will then take place; [2156] that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; [2157] and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness. [2158]


Footnotes:

[2062] 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Samuel 23:2; Acts 1:16; iii. 21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psalm 119. Romans 3:1, 2.

[2063] 2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Pet. i. 10-12; Acts 11:14; Romans 1:16; Mark 16:16; John 5:38, 39.

[2064] Proverbs 30:5, 6; John 17:17; Revelation 22:18, 19; Romans 3:4.

[2065] Romans 2:12; John 12:47, 48; 1 Corinthians 4:3, 4; Luke 10:10-16; xii. 47, 48.

[2066] Philippians 3:16; Ephesians 4:3-6; Philippians 2:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Pet. iv. 11.

[2067] 1 John 4:1; Isaiah 8:20; 1 Thess. v. 21; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:6; Jude 3. 5; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 119:59, 60; Philippians 1:9-11.

[2068] John 4:24; Psalm 147:5; lxxxiii. 18; Hebrews 3:4; Romans 1:20; Jeremiah 10:10.

[2069] Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Pet. i. 15, 16; Revelation 4:6-8.

[2070] Mark 12:30; Revelation 4:11; Matthew 10:37; Jeremiah 2:12, 13.

[2071] Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7.

[2072] John 10:30; v. 17; xiv. 23; xvii. 5, 10; Acts 5:3, 4; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; Philippians 2:5, 6.

[2073] Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4, 5; comp. ii., vii.

[2074] Genesis 1:27; i. 31; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Acts 16:26; Genesis 2:16.

[2075] Genesis 3:6-24; Romans 5:12.

[2076] Romans 5:19; John 3:6; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:15-19; viii. 7.

[2077] Isaiah 53:6; Genesis 6:12; Romans 3:9-18.

[2078] Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 1:18; i. 32; ii. 1-16; Galatians 3:10; Matthew 20:15.

[2079] Ezekiel 18:19, 20; Romans 1:20; iii. 19; Galatians 3:22.

[2080] Ephesians 2:5; Matthew 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; Acts 15:11.

[2081] John 3:16; i. 1-14; Hebrews 4:14; xii. 24.

[2082] Philippians 2:6, 7; Hebrews 2:9; ii. 14; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

[2083] Isaiah 42:21; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 4:4, 5; Romans 3:21.

[2084] Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 20:28; Romans 4:25; iii. 21-26; 1 John 4:10; ii. 2; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Hebrews 9:13-15.

[2085] Hebrews 1:8; i. 3; viii. 1; Colossians 3:1-4.

[2086] Hebrews 7:25; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 2:18; vii. 26; Psalm 89:19; xiv.

[2087] John 1:16; Ephesians 3:8.

[2088] Acts 13:39; Isaiah 3:11, 12; Romans 8:1.

[2089] Romans 5:9; Zechariah 13:1; Matthew 9:6; Acts 10:43.

[2090] Romans 5:17; Titus 3:5, 6; 1 Pet. iii. 7; 1 John 2:25; Romans 5:21.

[2091] Romans 4:4, 5; v. 21; vi. 23; Philippians 3:7-9.

[2092] Romans 5:19; iii. 24-26; iv. 23-25; 1 John 2:12.

[2093] Romans 5:1, 2; v. 3; v. 11; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31; Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8.

[2094] Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Luke 14:17.

[2095] Romans 16:26; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:15-17.

[2096] John 5:40; Matthew 23:37; Romans 9:32; Proverbs 1:24; Acts 13:46.

[2097] John 3:19; Matthew 11:20; Luke 19:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

[2098] John 3:3; iii. 6, 7; 1 Corinthians 1:14; Revelation 8:7-9; xxi. 27.

[2099] 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Romans 2:28, 29; v. 5; 1 John 4:7.

[2100] John 3:8; i. 13; James 1:16-18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 2:13.

[2101] 1 Pet. i. 22-25; 1 John 5:1; Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9-11.

[2102] Ephesians 5:9; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 3:14-21; Matthew 3:8-10; vii. 20; 1 John 5:4, 18.

[2103] Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:1.

[2104] John 16:8; Acts 2:37, 38; xvi. 30, 31.

[2105] Luke 18:13; xv. 18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Romans 10:12, 13; Psalm 51.p>[2106] Romans 10:9-11; Acts 3:22, 23; Hebrews 4:14; Psalm 2:6; Hebrews 1:8; viii. 25; 2 Timothy 1:12.

[2107] 2 Timothy 1:8, 9; Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Pet. i. 1, 2; Romans 11:5, 6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hosea 12:9.

[2108] 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matthew 20:16; Acts 15:14.

[2109] Exodus 33:18, 19; Matthew 20:15; Ephesians 1.ll; Romans 9:23, 24; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 11:28, 29; James 1:17, 18; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 11:32-36.

[2110] l 1 Corinthians 4:7; i. 26-31; Romans 3:27; iv. l6; Colossians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; xv. 10; 1 Pet. v. 10; Acts 1:24: 1 Thess. ii. 13; 1 Pet. ii. 9; Luke 18:7; John 15:10; Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thess. ii. 12.

[2111] 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Corinthians 9:22; Romans 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Peter 1:10.

[2112] 1 Thess. i. 4-10.

[2113] Romans 8:28-30; Isaiah 42:16; Romans 11:29.

[2114] 2 Peter 1:10, 11; Philippians 3:12; Hebrews 6:11.

[2115] 1 Thess. iv. 3; 1 Thess. v. 23; 2 Corinthians 7:1; xiii. 9; Ephesians 1:4.

[2116] Proverbs 4:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 6:1; 2 Peter 1:5-8; Philippians 3:12-16.

[2117] John 2:29; Romans 8:5; John 3:6; Philippians 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:13, 14.

[2118] Philippians 2:12, 13; Ephesians 4:11, 12; 1 Pet. ii. 2; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Luke 11:35; ix. 23; Matthew 26:41; Ephesians 6:18; iv. 30.

[2119] John 8:31; 1 John 2:27, 28; iii. 9; v. 18.

[2120] 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matthew 13:20, 21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9.

[2121] Romans 8:28; Matthew 6:30-33; Jeremiah 32:40; Psalm 121:3; xci. 11, 12.

[2122] Philippians 1:6; ii. 12, 13; Jude 24, 25; Hebrews 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Hebrews 13:5; 1 John 4:4.

[2123] Romans 3:31; Matthew 5:17; Luke 16:17; Romans 3:20; iv. 15.

[2124] Romans 7:12; vii. 7, 14, 22; Galatians 3:21; Psalm 119.p>[2125] Romans 8:7, 8; Joshua 24:19; Jeremiah 13:23; John 6:44; v. 44.

[2126] Romans 8:2, 4; x. 4; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 8:10; Jude 20, 21; Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 16:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 12:28.

[2127] 1 Corinthians 1:1-13; Matthew 18:17; Acts 5:11; viii. 1; xi. 31; 1 Corinthians 4:17; xiv. 23; 3 John 1 Timothy 3:5.

[2128] Acts 2:41, 42; 2 Corinthians 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 5:12, 13.

[2129] 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Romans 16:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23; Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 4:17.

[2130] Matthew 28:20; John 14:15; xv. 12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thess. iv. 2; 2 John Galatians 6:2; all the Epistles.

[2131] Ephesians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Philippians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:14.

[2132] Philippians 1:1; Acts 14:23; xv. 22; 1 Timothy 3. Titus 1.p>[2133] Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 3:5, 6; John 3:22, 23; iv. 1, 2; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; viii. 12; xvi. 32-34; xviii. 8.

[2134] Matthew 28:10; Acts 10:47, 48; Galatians 3:27, 28.

[2135] Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21; Acts 22:16.

[2136] Acts 2:41, 42; Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts and Epistles.

[2137] 1 Corinthians 11:20; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20.

[2138] 1 Corinthians 11:28; v. 1, 8; x. 3-32; xi. 17-32; John 6:26-71.

[2139] Acts 20:7; Genesis 2:3; Colossians 2:16, 17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2.

[2140] Exodus 20:8; Revelation 1:10; Psalm 118:24.

[2141] Isaiah 58:13, 14; lvi. 2-8.

[2142] Psalm 113:15.

[2143] Hebrews 10:24, 25; Acts 11:26; xiii. 44; Leviticus 19:30; Exod. 46. 3; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2, 3; Psalm 26:8; lxxxvii. 3.

[2144] Hebrews 4:3-11.

[2145] Romans 13:1-7; Deuteronomy 16:18; 1 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:23; Jeremiah 30:21.

[2146] Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. ii. 13; 1 Timothy 2:1-8.

[2147] Acts 5:29; Matthew 10:28; Daniel 3:15-18; vi. 7-10; Acts 4:18-20.

[2148] Matthew 23:10; Romans 14:4; Revelation 19:16; Psa.lxxii. 1l; ii.; Romans 14:9-13.

[2149] Malachi 3:18; Proverbs 12:26; Isaiah 5:20; Genesis 18:23; Jeremiah 15:19; Acts 10:34, 35; Romans 6:16.

[2150] Romans 1:17; vii. 6; 1 John 2:29; iii. 7; Romans 6:18, 22; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Proverbs 11:31; 1 Pet. iv. 17, 18.

[2151] 1 John 5:19; Galatians 3:10; John 3:36; Isaiah 57:21; Psalm 10:4; Isaiah 55:6, 7.

[2152] Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Proverbs 10:24; Luke 12:4, 5; ix. 23-26; John 12:25, 26; Ecclesiastes 3:17; Matthew 7:13, 14.

[2153] 1 Pet. iv. 7; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Hebrews 1:10-12; Matthew 24:35; 1 John 2:17; Matthew 28:20; xiii. 39, 40; 2 Peter 3:3-13.

[2154] Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7; Hebrews 9:28; Acts 3:21; 1 Thess. iv. 13-18; v. 1-11.

[2155] Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:12-59; Luke 14:14; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28, 29; vi. 40; xi. 25, 26; 2 Timothy 1:10; Acts 10:42.

[2156] Matthew 13:49; xiii. 37-43; xxiv. 30, 31; xxv. 31-33.

[2157] Matthew 25:35-41; Revelation 22:11; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Peter 2:9; Jude 7; Philippians 3:19; Romans 6:32; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11; John 4:36; 2 Corinthians 4:18.

[2158] Romans 3:5, 6; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12; Hebrews 6:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:2-16; Revelation 20:11, 12; 1 John 2:28; iv. 17.

The Bible Train (Family Worship) 6.18-6.24

The Bible Train (Family Worship) 6.18-6.24

This week, the Bible Train visits three of the prophets, Hosea, Amos, and Jonah. We will see God’s concern for Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire and we will see His concern for the faithfulness of Israel, His Covenant People.

 

Monday Jonah 1:1-2:10
Tuesday Jonah 3:1-4:11
Wednesday Hosea 1:1-3:5
Thursday Hosea 11:1-12
Friday Amos 1:1-2, 2:4-16
Saturday Amos 4:1-13
Sunday Amos 7:1-8:3

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do we learn about God’s character when He refers to the people of Nineveh as not knowing their left hand from their right?
  2. Why does God refer Israel’s unfaithfulness as adultery?
  3. Why is God compelled to judge the idolatry of Israel and Judah?
El Shaddai: God the Father Almighty

El Shaddai: God the Father Almighty

El Shaddai: God Almighty/The All Sufficient God/The Breasted God

In our current series, “Who is the LORD?” we are looking and names of God and our current portion is dealing with the Trinity. This week we are looking at El Shaddai: God the Father Almighty

The 3 Creeds that we affirm, at Abounding Grace Baptist Church, all declare a belief in the Holy Trinity and 2 directly begin with an affirmation of belief in God the Father Almighty.

Apostle’s Creed- I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Nicene Creed- We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

The Athanasian Creed goes more into depth than the other two and will be provided at the end of the lesson.

In all 3 instances, God the Father Almighty refers to El Shaddai, the name of God that we are studying this week. (It refers to all His other Names, too, but for our purposes, we are looking at El Shaddai)

The first occurrence of the name is in Genesis 17:1, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am El Shaddai; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” Similarly, in Genesis 35:11 God says to Jacob, “I am El Shaddai: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins”. According to Exodus 6:2–3, Shaddai was the name by which God was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Shaddai thus being associated in tradition with Abraham, the inclusion of the Abraham stories into the Hebrew Bible may have brought the northern name with them, according to the Documentary hypothesis of the origins of the Hebrew Bible.

 

Potential Meanings:

El is a common Semitic name for God, in General. It appears that it could be a shortened form of Elohim.

From the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies:

“El ShaDai (אֵל שָׁדַּי) is just one of the many names of God in Hebrew. El means “God.” The rest, however, is slightly more complicated.

In our Bibles, אֵל שָׁדַּי “El Shadai” is most often (mistakenly) translated as “God Almighty”. The main reason for this stems from an opinion that Hebrew word שָׂדַּי ShaDai is connected with the verb לְשְׁדוד liShDoD, which means “to destroy” or “overpower”.

For example, Hebrew word for “bandit” has the same root –שׁודֵד ShoDeD.

El Shadai אֵל שָׁדַּי does have another meaning though. The word שָׁד ShaD has a much closer grammatical connection to ShaDai and it means – “breast.” Moreover, when a word ends with an “i”or “ai” it is almost always means “my”. So, literally, “El Shadai” could very well mean “God (is) my Breast/s”.

If we consider this intriguing imagery as interpretive possibility we may see that the breast is one of the key symbols of sustenance and parental love passed on from God, the parent, to humanity, God’s child. So instead of “God Almighty”, El Shadai could also be translated as “God All-sufficient” instead.”

Ultimately, we will look at the name, El Shaddai, as God Almighty.

 

Question: “What does it mean that God is Almighty?” (Got Questions Ministry)

In Hebrew, the title “God Almighty” is written as El Shaddai and probably means “God, the All-powerful One” or “The Mighty One of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5), although there is a question among most Bible scholars as to its precise meaning. The title speaks to God’s ultimate power over all. He has all might and power. We are first introduced to this name in Genesis 17:1, when God appeared to Abram and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.”

God has many names and attributes. He is the Almighty (Genesis 49:25), the Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 14:19), Builder of everything (Hebrews 3:4), the King of heaven (Daniel 4:37), God of all mankind (Jeremiah 32:27), and the Eternal King. (Jeremiah 10:10). He is the only God (Jude 1:25), the Eternal God (Genesis 21:33), the Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28), and Maker of all things (Ecclesiastes 11:5). He is able to do more things than we can ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed and miracles that cannot be counted (Job 9:10). God’s power is unlimited. He can do anything He wants, whenever He wants (Psalm 115:3). He spoke the Universe into existence (Genesis 1:3). Furthermore, He answers to no one as to His plans and purposes: “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35).

When we see God as the Almighty, we are struck by His power and by the fact that He is indeed a great, mighty, and awesome God (Deuteronomy 10:17). The identity of God as Almighty serves to establish the sense of awe and wonder we have toward Him and the realization that He is God above all things without limitation. This is important in view of how He is described next in the Bible. In Exodus 6:2-3, God said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” How is this significant? It is significant because God, whom we previously knew only as God Almighty, has now given a new, more personal and intimate name to Moses (and Israel). This desire on God’s part for a more personal relationship with mankind would culminate later when God Almighty sent His only Son to earth–God in flesh–to die on the cross so that a way for forgiveness of our sins could be provided. The fact that God Almighty would humble Himself in this way for us makes His name all the more remarkable.

Almighty is synonymous with omnipotence.

 

Question: “What does it mean that God is omnipotent?”

The word omnipotent comes from omni- meaning “all” and potent meaning “power.” As with the attributes of omniscience and omnipresence, it follows that, if God is infinite, and if He is sovereign, which we know He is, then He must also be omnipotent. He has all power over all things at all times and in all ways.

Job spoke of God’s power in Job 42:2: “I know that you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job was acknowledging God’s omnipotence in carrying out His plans. Moses, too, was reminded by God that He had all power to complete His purposes regarding the Israelites: “The LORD answered Moses, ‘Is the LORD’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.’”

Nowhere is God’s omnipotence seen more clearly than in creation. God said, “Let there be…” and it was so (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, etc.). Man needs tools and materials to create; God simply spoke, and by the power of His word, everything was created from nothing. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6).

God’s power is also seen in the preservation of His creation. All life on earth would perish were it not for God’s continual provision of everything we need for food, clothing and shelter, all from renewable resources sustained by His power as the preserver of man and beast (Psalm 36:6). The seas which cover most of the earth, and over which we are powerless, would overwhelm us if God did not proscribe their limits (Job 38:8-11).

God’s omnipotence extends to governments and leaders (Daniel 2:21), as He restrains them or lets them go their way according to His plans and purposes. His power is unlimited in regard to Satan and his demons. Satan’s attack on Job was limited to only certain actions. He was restrained by God’s unlimited power (Job 1:12; 2:6). Jesus reminded Pilate that he had no power over Him unless it had been granted to him by the God of all power (John 19:11).

As God incarnate, Jesus Christ is omnipotent. His power is seen in the miracles He performed—His numerous healings, the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:30-44), calming the storm (Mark 4:37-41), and the ultimate display of power, raising Lazarus and Jairus’s daughter from the dead (John 11:38-44; Mark 5:35-43), an example of His control over life and death. Death is the ultimate reason that Jesus came—to destroy it (1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 2:14) and to bring sinners into a right relationship with God. The Lord Jesus stated clearly that He had power to lay down His life and power to take it up again, a fact that He allegorized when speaking about the temple (John 2:19). He had power to call upon twelve legions of angels to rescue Him during His trial, if needed (Matthew 26:53), yet He offered Himself in humility in place of others (Philippians 2:1-11).

The great mystery is that this power can be shared by believers who are united to God in Jesus Christ. Paul says, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9b). God’s power is exalted in us most when our weaknesses are greatest because He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). It is God’s power that continues to hold us in a state of grace despite our sin (2 Timothy 1:12), and by His power we are kept from falling (Jude 24). His power will be proclaimed by all the host of heaven for all eternity (Revelation 19:1). May that be our endless prayer!

Almighty implies Infinite

 

Question: “What does it mean that God is infinite?”

Answer: The infinite nature of God simply means that God exists outside of and is not limited by time or space. Infinite simply means “without limits.” When we refer to God as “infinite,” we generally refer to Him with terms like omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence.

Omniscience means that God is all-knowing or that He has unlimited knowledge. His infinite knowledge is what qualifies Him as sovereign ruler and judge over all things. Not only does God know everything that will happen, but He also knows all things that could have possibly happened. Nothing takes God by surprise, and no one can hide sin from Him. There are many verses in the Bible where God reveals this aspect of His nature. One such verse is 1 John 3:20: “…God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”

Omnipotence means that God is all-powerful or that He has unlimited power. Having all power is significant because it establishes God’s ability to carry out His sovereign will. Because God is omnipotent and has infinite power, nothing can stop His decreed will from happening, and nothing can thwart or stop His divine purposes from being fulfilled. There are many verses in the Bible where God reveals this aspect of His nature. One such verse is Psalm 115:3: “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” Or when answering His disciples’ question “Then who can be saved?” (Matthew 19:25), Jesus says, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Omnipresence means that God is always present. There is no place that you could go to escape God’s presence. God is not limited by time or space. He is present at every point of time and space. God’s infinite presence is significant because it establishes that God is eternal. God has always existed and will always exist. Before time began, God was. Before the world or even matter itself was created, God was. He has no beginning or end, and there was never a time He did not exist, nor will there ever be a time when He ceases to exist. Again, many verses in the Bible reveal this aspect of God’s nature to us, and one of them is Psalm 139:7-10: “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me.”

Because God is infinite, He is also said to be transcendent, which simply means that God is exceedingly far above creation and is both greater than creation and independent of it. What this means is that God is so infinitely above and beyond us and our ability to fully comprehend that, had He not revealed Himself, we would not know or understand what He is like. But, thankfully, God has not left us ignorant about Himself. Instead, He has revealed Himself to us through both general revelation (creation and our conscience) and special revelation (the written Word of God, the Bible, and the living Word of God, Jesus Christ). Therefore, we can know God, and we can know how to be reconciled to Him and how to live according to His will. Despite the fact that we are finite and God is infinite, we can know and understand God as He has revealed Himself to us.

God’s power and His sovereignty are linked

Question: “What does it mean that God is sovereign?”

God’s sovereignty is one of the most important principles in Christian theology, as well as one of its most hotly debated. Whether or not God is actually sovereign is usually not a topic of debate; all mainstream Christian sects agree that God is preeminent in power and authority. God’s sovereignty is a natural consequence of His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. What’s subject to disagreement is to what extent God applies His sovereignty—specifically, how much control He exerts over the wills of men. When we speak of the sovereignty of God, we mean He rules the universe, but then the debate begins over when and where His control is direct and when it is indirect.

God is described in the Bible as all-powerful and all-knowing (Psalm 147:5), outside of time (Exodus 3:14; Psalm 90:2), and responsible for the creation of everything (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1). These divine traits set the minimum boundary for God’s sovereign control in the universe, which is to say that nothing in the universe occurs without God’s permission. God has the power and knowledge to prevent anything He chooses to prevent, so anything that does happen must, at the very least, be “allowed” by God.

At the same time, the Bible describes God as offering humanity choices (Deuteronomy 30:15–19), holding them personally responsible for their sins (Exodus 20:5), and being unhappy with some of their actions (Numbers 25:3). The fact that sin exists at all proves that not all things that occur are the direct actions of God, who is holy. The reality of human volition (and human accountability) sets the maximum boundary for God’s sovereign control over the universe, which is to say there is a point at which God chooses to allow things that He does not directly cause.

The fact that God is sovereign essentially means that He has the power, wisdom, and authority to do anything He chooses within His creation. Whether or not He actually exerts that level of control in any given circumstance is actually a completely different question. Often, the concept of divine sovereignty is oversimplified. We tend to assume that, if God is not directly, overtly, purposefully driving some event, then He is somehow not sovereign. The cartoon version of sovereignty depicts a God who must do anything that He can do, or else He is not truly sovereign.

Of course, such a cartoonish view of God’s sovereignty is logically false. If a man were to put an ant in a bowl, the “sovereignty” of the man over the ant is not in doubt. The ant may try to crawl out, and the man may not want this to happen. But the man is not forced to crush the ant, drown it, or pick it up. The man, for reasons of his own, may choose to let the ant crawl away, but the man is still in control. There is a difference between allowing the ant to leave the bowl and helplessly watching as it escapes. The cartoon version of God’s sovereignty implies that, if the man is not actively holding the ant inside the bowl, then he must be unable to keep it in there at all.

The illustration of the man and the ant is at least a vague parallel to God’s sovereignty over mankind. God has the ability to do anything, to take action and intervene in any situation, but He often chooses to act indirectly or to allow certain things for reasons of His own. His will is furthered in any case. God’s “sovereignty” means that He is absolute in authority and unrestricted in His supremacy. Everything that happens is, at the very least, the result of God’s permissive will. This holds true even if certain specific things are not what He would prefer. The right of God to allow mankind’s free choices is just as necessary for true sovereignty as His ability to enact His will, wherever and however He chooses.

Is there anything that God Almighty cannot do?

The only thing that God cannot do is act contrary to His own character and nature; He cannot, by definition, be inconsistent in any way with His divine nature. For example, Titus 1:2 states that He cannot lie. Because He is holy (Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:16), He cannot sin. Because He is just, He cannot merely overlook sin. This would normally pose a conundrum but because Christ paid the penalty for sin, He is now able to forgive those who will turn to Christ (Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 3:26).

A common question that I hear, and I view it as a slanderous question, is the question of whether or not God could create a rock so large that He could not lift it? The answer is no. God cannot do anything logically implausible and/or inconsistent with His nature. Questions like this are not only irrelevant, they are absurd.

Implications of God being Almighty

  1. He Cannot Be Stopped from Accomplishing His Purposes

First, the omnipotence of God implies that he cannot be stopped from doing what he purposes to do. Daniel 4:35 says, “The Most High does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand.” If God purposes with all his heart to do a thing, it simply cannot be stopped by any power in the universe.

This is directly tied to the Sovereignty of God Almighty. Since no one can prevent God’s purpose (will) from coming to pass, it is certain that all of His Decrees will be carried out. What that looks like in any given situation is unclear because we are not privy to all of the details of all of God’s decrees. This, in turn, begs the question of evil. We know God is neither the author of sin or evil but both exist in the world. To what end or purpose do sin and evil exist? They are part of God’s purpose to redeem a people unto Himself. We won’t go any further than that because not all of God’s decrees are clearly spelled out in the Scripture and I do not want to speculate where the Bible has not spoken.

  1. He Does Whatever He Pleases

Second, the omnipotence of God implies that he does whatever he pleases. Psalm 115:3, says “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.” In Isaiah 46:9–10 God says, “I am God and there is none like me . . . saying ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’.”  He can do whatever he pleases. Ultimately the only thing that determines what God will accomplish and what he won’t is his own will. This is what it means to be almighty or omnipotent.

Numbers 23:19 (KJV)

19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

  1. His Power Is Superior to All other Powers

Daniel 4:35, speaking of God, says “No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”

Essentially, there is none who can challenge God and prevail. In the accounts of the fall of Lucifer in Isaiah 7 and Ezekiel 23, we see the end result of even an angel, who would be infinitely stronger than a human, challenging God’s authority; it does not come to pass. In short, though it may sound cliché, we can confidently state that God is on His throne and we need not fear because He cannot be overcome.

  1. Reverence

The most important response is reverence. In Job 40:2 the Lord said to Job, “Shall a faultfinder contend with the ALMIGHTY?” The fact that God is almighty means that we may not contend with him. He may perplex us and we may question him in lowliness for understanding, but not for indictment. We may not accuse our Maker. We must always remember that we do not sit in judgment of God Almighty, it is the other way around. Writing to the brethren in Rome the Apostle Paul says, “Shall what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me thus?’ Has the potter no right over the clay to do with it as he pleases?” (Romans 9:20–21). He further asks “Who has known the mind of the Lord or who has become His counsellor? (Romans 11:34)

But reverence is foreign to us. Most people do not have any experience of reverence. Wherever God is considered a pal or a sidekick or a grandfather or the religious drug of the uneducated, he cannot be revered. There are many affections you can feel for a little God, but reverence is not one of them. Reverence goes beyond awe or fear; it is a mixture of both. We are in awe and holy fear of God’s limitless holiness and power (Isaiah 6)

Isaiah says, “The lord of hosts . . . let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” (8:13). Reverence is the combination of admiration and fear, awe and dread, wonder and terror. It’s an emotion that we were made to experience. And in its absence we create activities that attempt to fill the void.

Frequently you will hear someone blurt out God’s title as some form of expressive or expletive. I have been guilty of this before as have some of you. Because of grace, we can now approach the Throne but sometimes we confuse that grace with license to be casual. We need to be careful of that. We may be considered to be friends of God because of grace but we must never fall into the error of assuming that God is not to be reverenced. He will vindicate His holiness and if you do not believe me, read Revelation again.

  1. Recompense

Next, the omnipotence of God means recompense—a recompense of wrath upon those who do not believe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8). John describes a scene in the book of Revelation of a white horse with a rider who is called Faithful and True. His eyes are like a flame of fire, he is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is the Word of God. The armies of heaven are in his train. “From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the ALMIGHTY” (Revelation 19:15).

If God is almighty, one thing is for sure—no one who resists him can succeed. The arrogant and the unbelieving may seem for a while to prosper. But, as Psalm 73 discovers, there comes a speedy end: “Truly thou dost set them in slippery places; thou dost make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors.” It is utter folly and madness to disobey the Almighty. He cannot be tricked, thwarted, or defeated. And he has appointed a day when his Son will tread the wine press of the fury of his wrath, because he is GOD ALMIGHTY.

  1. Refuge

Lastly, the omnipotence of God means refuge. The opposite of recompense for those who have refused the terms of God’s treaty is refuge for those who have accepted. Psalm 91:1–2, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the ALMIGHTY, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust’.”

Has it ever hit home to you what it means to say, “My God, who loves me and gave himself for me, is almighty”? It means that if you take your place under the shadow of the ALMIGHTY, you are protected by omnipotence. There is infinite and unending security in the almightiness of God. This security portends also to the Security of the Believer in terms of our salvation. Because there is nothing stronger than God, there is also nothing that can remove us from our position as the redeemed.

Further, when thinking about this security, I am reminded of the words of the old hymn:

“The Lord’s our rock, in Him we hide; a shelter in the time of storm.”

The trials and tribulations in our life do not come as a surprise to God. Indeed, while we cannot always see His guidance in the here and now, we can always, when looking back, see the hand of God Almighty superintending our situation in order to prepare us for His purposes and because He is infinitely good, we need not fear the storm.

Athanasian Creed

 Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this:

That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; and shall give account of their own works.

And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

 

 

Bible Train (Family Worship) 6.11 to 6.17

Bible Train (Family Worship) 6.11 to 6.17

This week, the Bible Train’s stops are full of political action and intrigue. Additionally, we will see the changing of the prophetic guard from Elijah to Elisha

Monday 1 Kings 19:1-21
Tuesday 2 Kings 2:1-25
Wednesday 2 Kings 4:1-44
Thursday 2 Kings 5:1-27
Friday 2 Kings 9:1-13, 30-37, 10:1-27, 18-31
Saturday 2 Kings 13:1-25
Sunday 2 Kings 14:23-29

 

Discussion Questions

  1. How does the catching away of Elijah foreshadow the Rapture?
  2. What does the healing of Naaman teach us about faith?
  3. How did God use Jehu as an instrument of judgment

 

Elohim Part 2: God in Three Persons

Elohim Part 2: God in Three Persons

Isaiah 6:1-5

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

 

 

This week, we are talking about what is perhaps the most difficult concept in all of the Christian Faith, the Trinity, and it is so difficult to understand because it remains shrouded in mystery. Theologians have been expounding upon this doctrine for nearly 2000 years and we are no closer to understanding it than we have ever been.

To tell you the truth, I don’t think God allows a complete understanding of His triune nature; it is part of His Infiniteness. The material we are going to cover this week will, in all candor, light the room so to speak so that we can see the veil that stands between us and the unmitigated glory of God.

 

 

Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

 

* the global church of Jesus Christ in all generations

Let me say, and I will say this several times and in different ways: There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5). We do believe a trinity but we deny the idea that a trinity implies 3 gods.

 

Our main text is Matthew 3:13-17

 

The doctrine of the Trinity has been a divisive issue throughout the entire history of the Christian church. While the core aspects of the Trinity are clearly presented in God’s Word, some of the side issues are not as explicitly clear. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God—but there is only one God. That is the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Beyond that, the issues are, to a certain extent, debatable and non-essential. Rather than attempting to fully define the Trinity with our finite human minds, we would be better served by focusing on the fact of God’s greatness and His infinitely higher nature.

 

The Doctrine of the Trinity with Scriptures (from the Baptist Faith & Message 1925)

There is one and only one living and true God, an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe, infinite in holiness and all other perfections, to whom we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. He is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

Genesis 1:1; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Deuteronomy 6:4; Jeremiah 10:10; Isaiah 48:12; Deuteronomy 5:7; Exodus 3:14; Hebrews 11:6; John 5:26; 1 Timothy 1:17; John 1:14-18; John 15:26; Galatians 4:6; Matthew 28:19.

 

Defining our Terms
The terms “Trinity” and “persons” as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God, as distinguished from “gods many and lords many.” We therefore may speak with propriety of the Lord our God who is One Lord, as a trinity or as one Being of three persons, and still be absolutely scriptural

Matthew 28:19 2 Corinthians 13:14 John 14:16-17

The “Oneness Problem”

In Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema, we see an interesting word for one, the word echad.  “Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one [Echad]!” There are a few words in Hebrew that the Holy Spirit could have used a word the has one exclusive meaning: the numeric, solitary oneness of God (“yachid”) Instead the Holy Spirit chose to use the Hebrew word, “echad” which is used most often as a unified or compund one, and sometimes as numeric oneness. For example, when God said in Genesis 2:24 “the two shall become one [echad] flesh (a compound unity)” it is the same word for “one” that was used in Deuteronomy 6:4. This is most troubling for Jews and Anti-Trinitarians since the word yachid, the main Hebrew word for solitary oneness, is never used in reference to God.

Yachid vs Echad First, we need to realize that yachid and echad are very closely related; they are from the same root family. Typically, in Hebrew usage, yachid would be rendered “only” and this is appropriate to apply to God since He is the one and only true God.

Echad, on the other hand is a compound oneness. In our earlier example, we used the man and his wife. The husband is always a unique individual having his own personality, will, and emotions. Likewise, the wife is always a unique individual with her own personality, will, and emotions. Together, though, they become echad, one, a single unit.

Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead
Christ taught a distinction of Persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible, because unexplained.

Luke 1:35 1 Corinthians 1:24 Matthew 11:25-27 Matthew 28:19 2 Corinthians 13:14 1 John 1:3-4

The Trinity consists of three Persons (Genesis 1:1, 26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8, 48:16, 61:1; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew plural noun “Elohim” is used. In Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7 and Isaiah 6:8, the plural pronoun for “us” is used. The word “Elohim” and the pronoun “us” are plural forms, definitely referring in the Hebrew language to more than two. While this is not an explicit argument for the Trinity, it does denote the aspect of plurality in God. The Hebrew word for “God,” “Elohim,” definitely allows for the Trinity.

In Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1, the Son is speaking while making reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Compare Isaiah 61:1 to Luke 4:14-19 to see that it is the Son speaking. Matthew 3:16-17 describes the event of Jesus’ baptism. Seen in this passage is God the Holy Spirit descending on God the Son while God the Father proclaims His pleasure in the Son. Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 are examples of three distinct Persons in the Trinity.

 

God the Father

God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:12:7Exodus 3:146:2-315:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2Deuteronomy 6:432:61 Chronicles 29:10Psalm 19:1-3Isaiah 43:3,1564:8Jeremiah 10:1017:13Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:1123:928:19Mark 1:9-11John 4:245:2614:6-1317:1-8Acts 1:7Romans 8:14-151 Corinthians 8:6Galatians 4:6Ephesians 4:6Colossians 1:151 Timothy 1:17Hebrews 11:612:91 Peter 1:171 John 5:7

God the Son

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14Isaiah 53:1-12Matthew 1:18-233:178:2911:2714:3316:16,2717:52728:1-6,19Mark 1:13:11Luke 1:354:4122:7024:46John 1:1-18,2910:30,3811:25-2712:44-5014:7-1116:15-16,2817:1-521-2220:1-20,28Acts 1:92:22-247:55-569:4-5,20Romans 1:3-43:23-265:6-218:1-3,3410:41 Corinthians 1:302:28:615:1-8,24-282 Corinthians 5:19-218:9Galatians 4:4-5Ephesians 1:203:114:7-10Philippians 2:5-11Colossians 1:13-222:91 Thessalonians 4:14-181 Timothy 2:5-63:16Titus 2:13-14Hebrews 1:1-34:14-157:14-289:12-15,24-2812:213:81 Peter 2:21-253:221 John 1:7-93:24:14-155:92 John 7-9Revelation 1:13-165:9-1412:10-1113:819:16.

 

John 1:1

Word Study: the Word

(Gk. ho logos) (1:1; 1 John 1:1; Rev. 19:13) Strong’s #3056: This Greek word was used to speak of the principle of the universe, even the creative energy that generated the universe. The term logos may also have some connection with the OT presentation of Wisdom as a personification or attribute of God (see Prov. 8). In both the Jewish conception and the Greek, the Logos was associated with the idea of beginnings—the world began through the origination and instrumentality of the Word (Gen. 1:3). John may have had these ideas in mind, but more likely he used this word in a new way to identify the Son of God as divine. He is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), the express image of God’s substance (Heb. 1:3). In the Godhead, the Son functions as the Revealer of God and is God in reality.

the Word was with God.This suggests a face-to-face relationship. In the ancient world, it was important that persons of equal station be on the same level when seated across from one another.

The WordNot simply a spoken word (like God’s words of creation in Gen 1), but the Logos, in Greek thought, was the divine principle of reason that gives order to the universe and links the human mind to the mind of God. Jewish traditions about divine Wisdom (Prov 8.22) lie behind this image. The first-century Jewish philosopher Philo identified divine Wisdom and Word, evoking both biblical and Greek traditions. With God . . . was God succinctly expresses the sense of unity and distinction of divine Persons that undergirds classical expressions of Christian theism.

  1. F. Bruce notes, “The term logos was familiar in some Greek philosophical schools,” and “constituted a bridge-word by which people brought up in Greek philosophy…found their way into Johannine Christianity.” At the same time, “The true background to John’s thought and language is found not in Greek philosophy but in Hebrew revelation” (Bruce, The Gospel of John 29). John’s use of logos is rooted in the creation account of Genesis and parallel Jewish discussions of personified wisdom (Pr. 8:22ff.) and of the Aramaic term memra or word. Another example is John’s frequent use of stark contrast, as between light and darkness (1:5ff.; 3:19–21; 12:35–36) or above and below (8:23). As with logos, this usage has been explained in terms of Greek philosophy, which was dualistic, but it actually reflects streams of Second Temple Jewish thought, in particular, the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 

The Word Was God

John 1:1 is probably the strongest passage in the NT for declaring the deity of Jesus Christ. Because of this, many who deny this biblical doctrine, especially cultists, have attempted to undercut it by arguing that this passage only teaches that Jesus is “a god” and so not fully Deity. This confused position falls on at least two grounds. Such a view is polytheistic, the belief in more than one god. Second, it betrays a misunderstanding of Greek grammar. Verse 1 of the first chapter of John reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The last portion of v. 1 is the major point of contention. It reads in the Greek theos en ho logos, or literally, “the Word was God.” God, or theos, occurs in this verse without the Greek article ho, so that some have contended that the lack of the article in the Greek text should cause the statement to be translated “the Word was a god.” The best understanding for the translation, however, as recognized by Greek scholars, is that since theos is a predicate and precedes the noun logos and a verb, it is natural for it to occur here without the article. Greek scholars are agreed that the verse should be translated as it regularly is in modern and ancient translations, clearly affirming that Jesus is indeed God.

 

Answering Common Objection: Jesus never claimed to be God Got Questions Ministries offers an excellent answer to this objection and I will quote them at length:

Five key observations can be made concerning this passage. First, Jesus claimed to be one with God in the sense of being equal to Him. Jesus did not claim to be merely a messenger or prophet of God, but of equal power with God.

Second, His audience understood that Jesus was claiming equality with God the Father. In verse 31, “The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.” Why? Blasphemy was a crime punishable by death according to the Jewish Law. When Jesus asked why they were planning to kill Him, they answered, “For blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:33). If Jesus had been lying or deceived, His statement would have been blasphemous. In fact, the only way His words were not blasphemy is if Jesus was telling the truth about His equality with God.

Third, Jesus referred to Himself as God’s Son and to God as His Father (John 10:36–37). He used Psalm 82:6 to show that the Messiah has the right to claim the title “Son of God.”

Fourth, Jesus claimed that that Father sent Him: “the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world” (John 10:36). In this statement, Jesus claimed preexistence in the Father’s presence. No biblical prophet had ever made such a claim before; yet Jesus claimed to exist before Abraham (John 8:58).

Fifth, Jesus only stated that the Jews did not believe Him; He never said they misunderstood His claim to be God. John 10:38 notes, “Even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Jesus was not correcting a misunderstanding. They understood what He said perfectly. He was correcting their willful rejection of Him.

Colossians 1:16–17 affirms Jesus’ same teaching: “In him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” John 1:1 explicitly notes that Jesus was both with God in the beginning and was God.

 

Neither the Person of Christ, nor His Sonship, came into being at a point in time. Rather, the Father and the Son have always been in loving fellowship with one another.

 

God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2Judges 14:6Job 26:13Psalms 51:11139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3Joel 2:28-32Matthew 1:183:164:112:28-3228:19Mark 1:10,12Luke 1:354:1,18-1911:1312:1224:49John 4:2414:16-17,2615:2616:7-14Acts 1:82:1-4,384:315:36:37:558:17,3910:4413:215:2816:619:1-6Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-271 Corinthians 2:10-143:1612:3-11,13Galatians 4:6Ephesians 1:13-144:305:181 Thessalonians 5:191 Timothy 3:164:12 Timothy 1:143:16Hebrews 9:8,142 Peter 1:211 John 4:135:6-7Revelation 1:1022:17.

There is a role that the Holy Spirit plays which is deserving of special attention, that of Allos Parakletos (Another Helper). Allos is a Greek work which means “another” and parakletos means helper. There is another Greek word that can also be translated “another.” That word is heteros. It is telling that Jesus chose allos instead of heteros in describing the Holy Spirit as a comforter.

Heteros means “another of a different kind” while allos means “another of the same kind” By calling the Holy Spirit allos Jesus was saying that the Holy Spirit was exactly like him. Indeed, that was the reason why the disciples were comforted—they knew that even though their comforter, master, and friend Jesus was leaving, another one who was exactly like him was going to take his place to comfort, counsel, help, intercede for, advocate for, strengthen, and be a stand-by support for them.

 

Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
There is that in the Father which constitutes him the Father and not the Son; there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the one proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His name one.

John 1:18 John 15:26 John 17:11 John 17:21 Zechariah 14:9
The members of the Trinity are distinguished one from another in various passages. In the Old Testament, “LORD” is distinguished from “Lord” (Genesis 19:24; Hosea 1:4). The LORD has a Son (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:2-4). The Spirit is distinguished from the “LORD” (Numbers 27:18) and from “God” (Psalm 51:10-12). God the Son is distinguished from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9). In the New Testament, Jesus speaks to the Father about sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). This shows that Jesus did not consider Himself to be the Father or the Holy Spirit. Consider also all the other times in the Gospels where Jesus speaks to the Father. Was He speaking to Himself? No. He spoke to another Person in the Trinity—the Father.

Each member of the Trinity is God. The Father is God (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2). The Son is God (John 1:1, 14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16).
Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence, neither Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others.

John 5:17-30 John 5:32 John 5:37 John 8:17,18

There is subordination within the Trinity. Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father. This is an internal relationship and does not deny the deity of any Person of the Trinity. This is simply an area which our finite minds cannot understand concerning the infinite God. Concerning the Son see Luke 22:42, John 5:36, John 20:21, and 1 John 4:14. Concerning the Holy Spirit see John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7, and especially John 16:13-14.

The individual members of the Trinity have different tasks. The Father is the ultimate source or cause of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11); divine revelation (Revelation 1:1); salvation (John 3:16-17); and Jesus’ human works (John 5:17; 14:10). The Father initiates all of these things.

The Son is the agent through whom the Father does the following works: the creation and maintenance of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17); divine revelation (John 1:1, 16:12-15; Matthew 11:27; Revelation 1:1); and salvation (2 Corinthians 5:19; Matthew 1:21; John 4:42). The Father does all these things through the Son, who functions as His agent.

The Holy Spirit is the means by whom the Father does the following works: creation and maintenance of the universe (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30); divine revelation (John 16:12-15; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21); salvation (John 3:6; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2); and Jesus’ works (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 10:38). Thus, the Father does all these things by the power of the Holy Spirit.

There have been many attempts to develop illustrations of the Trinity. However, none of the popular illustrations are completely accurate. The egg (or apple) fails in that the shell, white, and yolk are parts of the egg, not the egg in themselves, just as the skin, flesh, and seeds of the apple are parts of it, not the apple itself. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not parts of God; each of them is God. The water illustration is somewhat better, but it still fails to adequately describe the Trinity. Liquid, vapor, and ice are forms of water. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not forms of God, each of them is God. So, while these illustrations may give us a picture of the Trinity, the picture is not entirely accurate. An infinite God cannot be fully described by a finite illustration.

 

Elohim: Part One-God the Creator

Elohim: Part One-God the Creator

Several thousand years ago, the Pharaoh of Egypt asked Moses the question, “Who is the Lord that I should obey Him?” (Exodus 5:2). It is a question that has followed mankind for centuries. Some, like Pharaoh, ask it in a sarcastic manner so that they might throw off authority while others genuinely want answers to their questions: “Who is God? Does God have personhood? Can I really know Him?” We will spend the summer answering that question by way of understanding who God is through the names He is called by in the Bible.

 

I want to begin by giving you 3 passages of Scripture that illustrate the difficulty of what we will attempt today.

 

Romans 11:33

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

 

Isaiah 40:13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?

 

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?

 

To describe the God is nearly impossible and, in fact, the Bible does not really attempt to describe Him. Rather it declares that He is and it shares His names and attributes. Hebrews 1:3, in talking about what happened after the Ascension, gives us what is most probably the best description of God in the whole of the Bible, simply referring to Him as the Majesty on High. Even Isaiah 6 and and Revelation 5, where we get the clearest pictures of the person of God, leave us wanting. Who is this Majesty on High? Can I know Him? Does He care about me?

 

Genesis 1:1 (JPS TaNaKh Translation)

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

In the original Hebrew, we are not able to go more than three words into the text before we are confronted with the word elohim, which is translated God. The word elohim is closely paired with another word, bara, which means to create. The very first information we have revealed to us about God is that there is one, and this God is the creator of our world.

 

In the beginning… No information is given to us about what happened before the creation of the physical universe, though John 1:1 alludes to this time as does Psalm 90, especially the second verse. It is very possible that the rise, rebellion, and judgment of Satan transpired before the events of this chapter but important to know that we do not have that information given to us anywhere in Scripture.

 

God. This standard Hebrew term for deity is Elohim, occurring 2500 times being surpassed only by YHWH which occurs 5410 times, and it is in a form called the plural of majesty or plural of intensity. In contrast to the ordinary plural, gods, this plural means “the fullness of deity” or “God — very God.” Further, the use of the plural allows for the later revelation of the Trinity (Matthew 28:19; John 1:1 – 3).

 

The basic meaning behind the name Elohim is one of strength or power of effect. Elohim is the infinite, all-powerful God who shows by His works that He is the creator, sustainer, and supreme judge of the world. “Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure—you, the righteous [Elohim] who probes minds and hearts” (Psalm 7:9).

Sometimes the word Elohim is shortened to El and used as part of a longer name. El Shaddai, for example, means “God Almighty” (Genesis 49:24); El Elyon means “God Most High” (Deuteronomy 26:19); and El Roi means “God Who Sees” (Genesis 16:13). Personal names of people can include the name of God: Daniel (“El Is My Judge”), Nathanael (“Gift of El”), Samuel (“Heard by El”), Elijah (“El Is Yahweh”), and Ariel (“Lioness of El”) are examples. Place names, too, can contain the shortened form of Elohim: Bethel (“House of El”), Jezreel (“El Will Sow”), and, of course, Israel (“Prince of El”) are examples.

When Jesus cried out from the cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (Mark 15:34), He addressed the Father with a form of Elohim (a personally possessive pronoun)Eloi. Mark translates Jesus’ statement for us: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Making understanding Elohim more complex is the fact that Elohim has other usages in the Old Testament besides referring to the One True God. In some contexts, elohim refers to human rulers or judges (see Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34)—the idea is that such people are to act as God’s representatives on earth, exercising authority wisely and ensuring justice. The warning of Psalm 82 is that the human elohim must answer to the Supreme Elohim some day. Elsewhere, elohim is used to refer to false gods (e.g., Deuteronomy 4:28). “They have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the [elohe] of the Sidonians, Chemosh the [elohe] of the Moabites, and Molek the [elohe] of the Ammonites” (1 Kings 11:33). Note that elohe is a form of elohim used with qualifying words or phrases and translated “god of.”

Interestingly, the word Elohim is grammatically plural rather than singular (the -im suffix in Hebrew indicates the plural form). The singular form of Elohim is probably Eloah. What are we to make of the plural? Does the plural form of Elohim imply polytheism? No, the Torah makes clear that God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). Polytheism is expressly forbidden in the Old Testament.

What about Trinitarianism? Does the fact that Elohim is plural suggest the triune nature of God? It is best to understand the word construction as a plural of majesty; that is, writing “Elohim” is a stylistic way of emphasizing greatness, power, and prestige. With that said, and in light of the overall teaching of the Bible, the plural form of Elohim certainly allows for the further revelation of God’s triune nature; the Old Testament hints at the Trinity in order to prepare people for the Messiah who would be much more than a human prophet. When Jesus appeared, He more fully revealed mysteries hinted at in the Old Testament. At Jesus’ baptism we have all three Persons of Elohim present: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16–17).

Our God is great and mighty. His power is on display every day and night in the universe He has made. “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17). This great power that no one can restrain is the characteristic of God basic to His name Elohim.

 

We now come to a fairly obvious question: Is there evidence for the existence of God outside of the Bible? Romans 1 points out that creation declares the glory of God. We also have the conscience, a moral compass so to speak that is built into every person. Additionally, there are the arguments from, Teleology, Cosmology, and Logic, all of which we will cover in our next chapter, the Lesson on God the Father.

Arguments for God

  • Argument from Cosmology – How could there be anything if there wasn’t a Cause (God) who was Uncaused (Romans 1:20)? Quoting Dr. Sproul, “IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME WHEN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EXISTED, ALL THERE COULD POSSIBLY BE NOW IS NOTHING.”
  • Argument from Teleology – The mathematical precision and obvious intelligence in Nature demands a designer of infinitely superior intellect. (God – Psalm 19:1-6)?
  • Moral argument –If there is no one to give a Law, who then is the arbiter of right and wrong? (God – Romans 2:14,15; James 4:12)?
  • Ontological argument – Where do people get the idea of a Perfect Being/Deity (God) except from God Himself (Act 17:27; Romans 1:19)?

 

Can we describe or explain Elohim? How do we do so? God has many perfect characteristics (attributes). Attributes are the characteristics that define the essence of the Godhead

Incommunicable attributes (characteristics belonging only to God).

  • Creator: Genesis 1, Genesis 2, John 1:1-3
  • Self-existence (Exodus 3:14, John 5:26).
  • Immutability (Psalm 102:25-27; Ex.3:14; James 1:17) – God does not change His essence or plan. He can never be wiser, more holy, more just, more merciful, more truthful. Neither can God be any less of any of those as any change would make Him less than God. His plans and His purposes never change (Ps 33:11)
  • Infinity (Psalm 147:5, 1 Kings 8:27, Psalm 145:3, Ephesians 3:8, Revelation 19:6, Psalm 113:4-6, Revelation 1:8, Isaiah 40:28, Jeremiah 23:24, 2 Chronicles 2:6, 2 Chronicles 6:18, 1 Timothy 6:16, Romans 11:33
  • Eternality – Infinite in time (Psalm 90:2)
  • Omnipresence – Infinite in space (Ps.139:7-11) Present everywhere at once (Jeremiah 23:23-24) Yet transcends His creation and as such He is always able to help us, His creatures (Ps 46:1, Matt 28:20) He is inescapable (Ps 139:7-10, 17)
  • Holiness – The absence of evil and presence of purity (Lev.11:44; John 17:11; 1 John 1:5)
  • Holy: God is separate from and exalted above all of His creatures God is free from all defilement, absolutely pure) Isaiah 6:3. Holiness is the foremost attribute of God – the attribute by which He especially wants to be known. God’s Throne is established upon His holiness, thereby regulating His love, power, and will

 

Elohim has communicable attributes (characteristics found in a limited degree in man). Elohim’s communicable attributes are:

  • Intellectual Attributes
  • Omniscience – God knows all things actual and potential. The Bible does not explain this but does assume it as fact (Ps.139:16; Matt. 11:21).
  • All-wise – God acts upon His knowledge to always do what is infinitely best (Rom.11:33-36).
  • Wisdom and knowledge are imparted to man though nowhere close to the level found in God.

Attributes of Emotion

  • God is Love – God is incomprehensibly active for our good (1 John 4:8).
  • Mercy – concern, compassion (James 5:11)
  • Long suffering – self-restrained when provoked (2 Peter 3:9,15)
  • God is just – God is perfectly righteous and exact in His dealings with man (Ps.19:9).

 

Additional Communicable Attributes of God

  • Will/Volition (John 4:34, John 6:38)
  • Omnipotence (Job 42:2) God is able to do anything He wills. He will not do anything against His nature (sin) and He cannot do anything that is logically self-contradictory. Because God can only do what is in harmony with His nature, He cannot
  • lie (Titus 1:2)
  • repent from evil (Numbers 23:19)
  • deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13)
  • be tempted to sin (James 1:13)

In other words, in congruence with His nature, God can do anything that is logically possible and cannot do anything that is logically impossible, such as those mentioned above.

Sovereignty (2 Chronicles 29:11,12) As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty, He is neither author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6) and in that choosing has sovereignly decreed their salvation.

 

Africa Study Bible

Africa Study Bible

 

It is my great honor to have a copy of the Africa Study Bible to review; I am even more grateful that Tyndale provided it free of charge in exchange for an honest review. To serve side by side with Tyndale and Oasis International is a gift I would never have imagined. To see what God is doing through the Africa Study Bible is mind boggling.

 

Bible Information:

Tyndale tells us: The Africa Study Bible brings together 350 contributors from over 50 countries, providing a unique African perspective. It’s an all-in-one course in biblical content, theology, history, and culture, with special attention to the African context. Each feature was planned by African leaders to help readers grow strong in Jesus Christ by providing understanding and instruction on how to live a good and righteous life:

  • Over 2400 notes explain the Bible, inspire readers to apply truth to everyday life, teach Christian values and doctrine, and more.
  • “Touchpoints” and “Proverbs and Stories” give African perspective on the Bible and also show parallels with African wisdom.
  • A narrative timeline highlights God’s work in Africa.

There are over 1.3 million African immigrants in the US and an additional half million African born people living in the UK.

Translation The Africa Study Bible is available in the New Living Translation (NLT) and I cannot imagine a wiser choice. NLT almost feels like it was designed for those who have English as a secondary language. The word choices are simple yet accurate. Some feel like the English you find in the NLT detracts from the reverence due the Bible. I could not disagree more. Time after time, I see people have an “I get it now” reaction when they hear the Bible read in the NLT and to its detractors I say, “How can you not be moved to worship when someone finally understands the Bible.”

There are approximately 2000 languages/dialects on the African Continent giving our brothers over there a very unique and full flavored faith experience. English, however, has the potential to be a uniting language for Africa as there are slightly more than 500,000,000 English Speakers making it the second most spoken language in the world. NLT, with English so simple that a small child can be conversant, is the natural choice for a Bible for all of Africa.

 

Why Africa is Important to Christianity: In a sense, Christian History is African History. Christianity stems from the portion of the world where Africa and Asia intersect. According to Church History, Mark the Evangelist (the same Mark who penned the Gospel According to Mark) became the leader of the Church in Alexandria in 43 A.D. Further, In the first few centuries of our faith, African Christian leaders such as Origen, Lactantius, Augustine, Tertullian, Marius Victorinus, Pachomius, Didymus the Blind, Ticonius, Cyprian, Athanasius and Cyril led the church with responses to Gnosticism, Arianism, Montanism, Marcionism, Pelagianism and Manichaeism, and the idea of the University. It is legitimate to say that without the African Fathers, there would not be Christianity. So it is fitting to honor the land that so vibrantly defined and defended our faith with a Bible that speaks to its unique culture and ministry needs.

 

Helps Some of the helps are fairly standard for a study Bible and some are fairly unique.

Center-column References Scripture interprets Scripture and in the Africa Study Bible you get around 40,000 references. This is, without doubt, the most important of the helps as it will be used by virtually every user of the Bible to help you follow the message of Redemptive History

Introductions The Introductions include two unique sections that I absolutely love, Overview and Story and What this Book Teaches Us. It is entirely possible that many users of the Africa Study Bible will be first time Bible users and these 2 sections within the introduction provide both a “big-picture” understanding of Scripture and the main lessons that one should be able to take away from study.

Application Notes As the name suggests, application notes are bite sized examples of how to apply the Scripture to life in general and African life in particular.

Proverbs and Stories Proverbs and stories share the wisdom of the Elders and the Ancients and illustrate how these pearls of wisdom are drawn on Scriptural Truth.

Articles and Learn Notes Here, we find the materials that help us go deeper into our doctrine and theology.

Africa Touch Points These are notes that highlight Scripture References with a special connection to Africa, especially the African Church Fathers

 

Overall Impression When I first began using the Africa Study Bible, I was overcome with emotion. I had no idea how much influence Africa has had over Christianity and I was amazed at the wisdom I had found inside. Many of the proverbs felt like sitting at the feet of the Church Fathers and learning directly from them.

Endorsement

I would encourage every pastor that I know to buy two of the Africa Study Bible, keep one for their use and give the other to a pastor in Africa. I endorse this Bible with a 9.9 rating (I wish it had wide margins.)

Special Note: A number of this site’s readers are who I refer to as “the Faithful Brethren in Africa,” men and women who have touched my heart in ways they will not know this side of Heaven. To be permitted to serve these men and women is one of the greatest treasures that God has permitted me to enjoy. Now to have a tool like this, so I may better understand our Faithful Brethren, I really have no words adequate to express my gratitude and joy. My hope, and my prayer, for the Africa Study Bible and her publishing partners is this: “May the glories of Christ spread across Africa as the sun parts the sky and above all, may Christ be glorified in the reading.”

Teachers Study Bible Review

Teachers Study Bible Review

 

One of the oldest names in Christian Study materials is Standard Lesson, a member of the David C Cook publishing family. Standard Lesson publishes a number of valuable resources and today, I am bringing a review of one of their most important resources, the Standard Lesson Teacher’s Study Bible. It is available in KJV and NIV and I am reviewing both, a hardcover KJV and a duotone NIV. (Note: These Bibles were acquired at my own expense and this review was not solicited by Standard Lesson, in any way. My opinions are, wholly, my own.)

 

Publisher’s Product Description

The Standard Lesson Study Bible includes over 13,000 lines of commentary derived from 60 years of the best-selling Standard Lesson Commentary combined with the most popular study Bible features. Whether preparing for a Sunday school class, a small group, or to share insights with a friend, you will find this Bible packed with a wealth of resources for virtually every Scripture passage on which a lesson would likely be based.

The Standard Lesson Teacher Study Bible is designed specifically for teachers and serious students alike.  Great for Sunday school, adult Bible fellowships and small groups, this Bible contains a wealth of resources for virtually every Scripture passage on which a lesson would likely be based.

What you’ll find:

  • New International Version or King James Version text
  • A daily Bible reading plan
  • Study Notes compiled and selected from sixty years of the best selling Standard Lesson Commentary content. Contributing scholars include ministers, professors and other experts in Bible exposition and Christian education.
  • Enhanced Biblical Content Introductions.
    • What to review before you teach
    • Questions this book answers
  • Cross-references to other relevant passages
  • Discussion questions with “talking points” for deeper understanding
  • In-text maps showing the world of the Bible
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Introductions to each book in the Bible
  • Comprehensive time line to Bible events
  • Pronunciation Guide to help pronounce those hard-to-say names and places
  • Concordance of key words throughout the Bible
  • Easy-to-read, 10 pt. font

 

 

Translation Choices

Standard lesson makes this Bible available in the two most widely circulated English translations of the Bible NIV and KJV. I have used both translations for years, 31 with KJV and 25 with NIV. I would love to see it available in my preferred study translation, NASB (which I have used for just slightly less than NIV at 22 years), but by choosing these two translations, Standard Lesson has kept with their tradition of uniformity and made the Teacher’s Study Bible available to the broadest spectrum of churches possible.

 

The NIV text, featured here, is the 2011 edition. For some of my readers, this will be a turn off due to misguided perceptions of a liberal agenda driving the translation. I have read all the relevant literature and I disagree that this is an agenda driven translation. NIV dominates the English speaking world with over 40% market share and for most English speaking Christians, this is the translation that is meant when the Bible is spoken of.

 

In my case, usage is at a 50/50 split; I carry NIV with me into my secular job (I am bi-vocational) and I keep the KJV beside my bed for late evening study sessions.

 

Paper, Font, Layout, & Cover

The paper has to be thinner to accommodate the sheer volume of materials available and it is surprisingly opaque. I do not have issues reading either book; any show-through is almost non-existent.  The layout is double column; on most pages there is a column of Scripture and a column of notes. We have a complete black letter text which is excellent for color coding and marking. Both Bibles are available in hardcover and truetone (imitation leather). The binding does appear to be sewn, which would certainly be a wise choice given a Bible of this size.

 

For the remainder of this review, I want to talk about actual ways I use this Bible instead of simply providing abstract comments on the helps.

 

Introductions

The Introduction features some of the most useful material I have encountered for planning lessons. What to Review Before Teaching visits relevant material for the interpretation of the particular book you are preparing to teach. I have found this to be most useful in preparing an overview of the text.

 

Practical Questions Answered is perhaps my favorite section in the introductions. These are questions that will commonly be asked by disciples as they are learning. By reviewing these questions in preparing for a lesson, I can anticipate questions that I will encounter in my one on one discipleship and answer them or I can use these questions as a building block to other discussion questions.

 

Teaching Through is a brief outline of the book that covers the main points that I, as a teacher, need to be familiar with before teaching through the book.

 

Notes, Talking Points, and Discussion Questions  

The notes are brief commentary based on the Standard Lesson Commentary and the International Sunday School Uniform Series. Admittedly, I am not very familiar with those materials but the materials which have been drawn from them are very useful for teaching. The talking points, just like the practical questions, are points to bring up during teaching and the discussion questions are incredibly useful in one on one discipleship or small group sessions. They have served me as a launching point for more in-depth discussion.

 

There are other materials but these are the ones I actually use.

 

Would I recommend the Teacher’s Study Bible? Heartily. I recommend it for the person that wants to teach Sunday School or lead a small group but feels hopelessly unqualified. I also recommend it for the missionary who may be encountering a different culture and is unsure of how to open the Scripture. Being drawn from an international/uniform curriculum should prove helpful across cultures and countries.

 

Are there any disadvantages? The only drawback I see is more of a personal gripe than any real detraction from this Bible; there is not much in the way of notes pages. I would expect that, in a teacher’s study Bible, you would have some pages for notes, preferably either following the introductory material or after the book itself.

 

Final Thoughts

The Standard Lesson Teacher’s Study Bible is a very useful tool. I feel confident in saying that any person who desires to teach the Bible to another would find themselves well equipped for the task by adding this tool to their repetoire.

The Bible Train (Family Worship) 5.28-6.3

The Bible Train (Family Worship) 5.28-6.3

This week, our guided tour of the Bible will take us deeper into the Wisdom Literature. We will see contrasts between the godly and the wicked and we will see the glory of a woman of noble character. Solomon will consider the vaporous quality of our lives and reflect on all things having their due season.

We do not have any discussion questions for this week.

Monday Proverbs 10:1-32
Tuesday Proverbs 12:1-28
Wednesday Proverbs 31:10-31
Thursday Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:26
Friday Ecclesiastes 3:1-22
Saturday Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14
Sunday Song of Songs 1:1-2:17

 

 

A Firm Foundation: Why you can build a life upon the Word.

A Firm Foundation: Why you can build a life upon the Word.

We come, at last, to the culmination of the Sermon on the Mount. For the last 5 months we have looked and learned as Jesus described, to us, the differences between saving faith and self righteous false religion. Now, at the culmination of the Sermon on the Mount we are admonished by Jesus to build our lives on a firm foundation, His teaching.

There is a group of people who call themselves “Red Letter Christians” and they emphasize only the “words in red” which are the words of Scripture that are attributed to Christ. They focus primarily on Jesus’ teachings about social issues. I find two problems with that.

  1. Social Justice is not the Gospel; Jesus did not come to earth, suffer and die, and rise again to correct social ills. He came to pay the bride price for His beloved, the Church, who has been betrothed to Him since the foundation of the world and who will, one day, join her beloved in glory.
  2. Since Jesus is God, all the words that are attributed to God, in both testaments are His. Jesus not only believes that God revealed everything we need to know to live a God pleasing life in the Scriptures, He is also certain that He is that very God who did so.

My point, after that brief digression, is that all the Bible is, in a sense, the teaching of Jesus and worthy of building a life upon. Remember, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is not only contrasting self-righteous false religion, He is also explaining the Law.

Let’s consider our text, Matthew 7:24-29

 

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

 

When I read these words, my mind automatically goes to the words of the old hymn, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent word.” As Jesus is apt to do, He instructs us, again, with a metaphor: our life is a house where there are only two choices of a foundation, the Word of God or self and the rains are Divine Judgment. Note: Divine Judgment does not always indicate wrath; proving/testing character is, in fact, an element of judging. To put that another way:

 

“The adjectives sensible and foolish describe a person’s spiritual and moral state, not his intellect. Whether one is considered sensible or foolish is determined by his response to Jesus’ teaching. Since OT writers described God’s wrath using the image of a great storm (Isaiah 28:16-17; Ezekiel 13:10-13), the storm that destroys the house on the sand is a picture of divine judgment. Hence, the person who hears and acts on Jesus’ teaching is prepared for judgment. The one who hears but doesn’t act on Jesus’ words will be destroyed in the storm of judgment.” ~ HCSB Study Bible annotations.

 

We will all, every last one of us, at some point, face a proving of our faith. How do I know this? Both the Lord, Himself, and James point this out. In his epistle to the churches, James writes, “My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2) and the Lord tells us, in John’s Gospel (16:33), “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” A testing of our faith is assured. Let me give you the rest of James’ context before we get into our lesson:

 

“2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

We often refer to times of trials and testing as the “storms of life” and (now you know where we get the picture from) many times we are left to wonder why some people, and especially their faith, are able to stand, perhaps even come out stronger, and others seem to be destroyed. It comes down to a question of foundations; have you build your life and your faith on the rock of God’s Word or not? Those that have will stand while those that have not will eventually be destroyed.

 

The Bible is Inspired so we can rely on it

The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21) The term used by Paul is theopnuestos, literally breathed out by God. It is no accident that this is the term used by Paul as in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is called Ruach (breath) ha’Kodesh (the Holy One). Using that metaphor for the Holy Spirit, we can say that everything He inspired was breathed out by Him.

Verbal Plenary Inspiration:

“Verbal plenary inspiration means that every word found in the Bible is given to us by God (verbal), everything in the Bible is authoritative (plenary), and every word is also divinely directed (inspired). But, this does not mean that everything referenced in the Bible is also morally proper. For example, the Bible might record someone’s lie or a murder even though lying and murder are not approved of in Scripture. But the recording of the events is under the direction of God and is accurate.

The verbal plenary inspiration applies to the original manuscripts, also known as the autographs. It was the originals that were penned by the prophets and apostles that were given by God, authoritative, and divinely directed. Presently we have copies of the original manuscripts but the copies are not perfect, though close to it. So, we have copies of inspired documents and for all intents and purposes the copies are inspired.

  • “The older phrase “plenary inspiration” meant that all the words of Scripture are God’s words (the word plenary means “full”), a fact that I affirm in this chapter without using the phrase.”
  • “Inspiration, plenary The “full” (plenary) inspiration of the Scriptures, in the sense that the whole Bible is inspired, not simply portions of it.
  • “inspiration, verbal theory of The view that God through the Holy Spirit directly guided the exact words recorded by the biblical writers as they wrote the Scriptures.”

Verbal plenary inspiration stands in opposition to partial inspiration which limits the inspired quality of the Bible in various ways whether it be restricting inspiration to doctrinal matters, or one author was inspired where another was not, or there are mistakes in historical events and geographical locations but the main thoughts are correct.” ~CARM

 

The Bible is Authoritative, so we may build a life hidden in Christ upon it

Notice that Jesus spoke with authority, not as the scribes did. The scribes often quoted the Rabbis and Sages to establish their authority. On the other hand, since Jesus is Himself God, He has no higher authority to appeal to (Hebrews 6:13) and therefore His words are final. I read this in the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary as I was preparing this lesson: It is important to note that both the wise and foolish builders hear the teaching of Jesus. It is his teaching, no longer that of Moses, that is the standard of judgment. But it is not enough to have heard the teaching of Jesus. Hearing and knowing the teaching of Jesus are worthwhile activities only when they result in application. The false prophets, whatever their appearance and words, are lawless. The wide gate, though attractive, leads to destruction. Eschatological judgment utterly destroys houses built on sand, but houses built on rock withstand it.
Cornerstone Biblical Commentary Volume 11: Matthew and Mark.

 

In the original manuscripts the Bible is both inerrant and infallible ” To confess that the bible is infallible is to confess that the Scriptures are incapable of teaching any error. Taken in itself, this is a term that strongly presents the perfection of Scripture. The prophets and apostles not only did not err—they could not err when writing Scripture.” ~ RC Sproul

 

“Inerrancy is a natural outflow of infallibility in the traditional, orthodox sense. Since the authors could not err when writing Scripture, the bible contains no affirmations of anything that is contrary to fact. Inerrancy is a quality of the original text of the bible. Translations may err, but the original manuscripts penned by the prophets and apostles do not.”~ RC Sproul

 

 

Many, if not most, people today have little idea, if any at all, what the truth is. To some nothing is truth and to others, truth is in the eye of the beholder. You might hear them say, “Well that’s your truth (emphasis added),” which is to imply that truth is subjective. We reject that entirely and echo the words of Jesus, “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Since that is the case, it is of utmost importance that we embrace the inerrancy of the Scripture if we are to build a life on it. Here is why:

 

The Bible itself claims to be perfect. “And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). “The law of the Lord is perfect” (Psalm 19:7). “Every word of God is pure” (Proverbs 30:5 KJV). These claims of purity and perfection are absolute statements. Note that it doesn’t say God’s Word is “mostly” pure or scripture is “nearly” perfect. The Bible argues for complete perfection, leaving no room for “partial perfection” theories.

The Bible stands or falls as a whole. If a major newspaper were routinely discovered to contain errors, it would be quickly discredited. It would make no difference to say, “All the errors are confined to page three.” For a paper to be reliable in any of its parts, it must be factual throughout. In the same way, if the Bible is inaccurate when it speaks of geology, why should its theology be trusted? It is either a trustworthy document, or it is not.

The Bible is a reflection of its Author. All books are. The Bible was written by God Himself as He worked through human authors in a process called “inspiration.” “All scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). See also 2 Peter 1:21 and Jeremiah 1:2.

We believe that the God who created the universe is capable of writing a book. And the God who is perfect is capable of writing a perfect book. The issue is not simply “Does the Bible have a mistake?” but “Can God make a mistake?” If the Bible contains factual errors, then God is not omniscient and is capable of making errors Himself. If the Bible contains misinformation, then God is not truthful but is instead a liar. If the Bible contains contradictions, then God is the author of confusion. In other words, if biblical inerrancy is not true, then God is not God.

The Bible judges us, not vice versa. “For the word of God…judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Notice the relationship between “the heart” and “the Word.” The Word examines; the heart is being examined. To discount parts of the Word for any reason is to reverse this process. We become the examiners, and the Word must submit to our “superior insight.” Yet God says, “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” (Romans 9:20).

The Bible’s message must be taken as a whole. It is not a mixture of doctrine that we are free to select from. Many people like the verses that say God loves them, but they dislike the verses that say God will judge sinners. But we simply cannot pick and choose what we like about the Bible and throw the rest away. If the Bible is wrong about hell, for example, then who is to say it is right about heaven—or about anything else? If the Bible cannot get the details right about creation, then maybe the details about salvation cannot be trusted either. If the story of Jonah is a myth, then perhaps so is the story of Jesus. On the contrary, God has said what He has said, and the Bible presents us a full picture of who God is. “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89).

The Bible is our only rule for faith and practice. If it is not reliable, then on what do we base our beliefs? Jesus asks for our trust, and that includes trust in what He says in His Word. John 6:67-69 is a beautiful passage. Jesus had just witnessed the departure of many who had claimed to follow Him. Then He turns to the twelve apostles and asks, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” At this, Peter speaks for the rest when he says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” May we have the same trust in the Lord and in His words of life. (Got Questions)

 

 

The Bible is Sufficient The sufficiency of Scripture can be simply defined as follows: In the Bible alone, God has given humankind all things that are necessary for the proper understanding of who God is, who we are, how God has acted in the past, and what God expects from us. The basic idea behind the sufficiency of Scripture is that nothing else needs to be revealed to humanity about God or his plan for the human race. In addition, through the various stages of history, God have His people sufficient information to believe in Him.

 

The answers to the basic problems that humanity faces, such as identity, purpose, and destiny, can be found in the pages of Scripture. Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day.

 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Here, Paul says that those who study the Scripture can be thoroughly equipped for “every good work.” Scripture is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. We need nothing else. The Bible, alone, has the answers we need for living a God pleasing life that is hidden in Christ. The sufficiency of Scripture means that the Bible contains what God thought that we should know on a number of different topics. His teaching on any subject is sufficient for us. We do not have to go elsewhere to find answers.

 

The Bible alone holds the key to salvation. Paul wrote to Timothy.

How from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15).

 

While the Scriptures contain everything humanity needs to know about God, it does not reveal everything that we want to know. Indeed, it cannot because then God would cease to be infinite. Most probably we will see new aspects of His person for 10,000 eons in Heaven. The truth that God has revealed is sufficient but not exhaustive.

 

We affirm the Priesthood of the Believer which is to say that we do not need some special person or authority to interpret the Scripture for us.  Some people, especially the Roman Catholic Church, argue that Scriptures are not clear in and of themselves and that believers need some type of external authority to properly interpret and understand it. However, the facts speak otherwise and it is unreasonable to assert that God would give humanity a revelation of Himself that could not be understood by every day Christians. The Bible is written in such a way that people in every age are able to understand it. Every believer is commanded to study the Scriptures for themselves because if God can be known, and He can, it is through the revelation of Scripture that we will know Him

 

 

 

Categories

Search the Bible

Lookup a word or passage in the Bible


BibleGateway.com
Include this form on your page

Daily Dose of Bible

Reformed Bible Teaching