Saturday, December 31, 2016


Faith-Believing Base for the Children of God

12 "Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. 13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."  2 Peter 1:12-21 (NASB)

          Faith-believing is the subject of the next paragraph in the development of the first division (vv. 12-21). In this para­graph the author grounds the believer in the validity of all that he has urged upon him. He points to his own repetition of the faith (vv. 12-15), moves quickly to a statement of the reality of the faith (vv. 16-18), and concludes with the reli­ableness of the faith (vv. 19-21). Here, too, several key words will bring the central ideas before the minds of the readers.

Friday, December 30, 2016


Purpose of Fruit


"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1:8

          Nor unfruitful in vs. 8 is the third key to this paragraph. Possessing the divine nature with its potentialities for life and godliness and supplying these potentialities through normal and personal activity, the believer will not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This means that the believer will not only realize the divine ideal in the present life, thus being safeguarded from pitfalls and any fatal falls along the way, but will at last arrive in that heavenly haven, ushered into that everlasting kingdom with the same abun­dance which characterized his fruitfulness along the way.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Production of Fruit

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge." 2 Pet. 1:5

          Add in vs. 5 is the second key word in this division. It is rather unfortunate that the Authorized Version carries this translation, for it conveys a completely distorted idea to the mind of the reader. The revisers have greatly improved their translation by substituting the word supply in its place. The idea of mechanical addition is, therefore, displaced by the proper sense of life development. The resident forces of nature do not produce fruit until there is activity, and that is precisely what this word means, "In your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge," and so on. This is the normal way in which the potentialities of nature finally produce fruit. Since the divine life is definitely joined with the human will, this passage is addressed to believers, describing the re­sponsibility which rests upon them in the production of fruit.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Provision for Fruit

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Pet 1:3-4

          Divine nature in vs. 4 is the key word for immediate scrutiny. Nature is the source out of which fruit must come. This is true in every department of creation, whether it be plant nature, animal nature, or human nature. Fruit always corresponds to the nature. What is true in plant, animal, and human nature may likewise be expected of spirit nature. For there is resident within spirit nature the life qualities for the fruit of the spirit. There is, therefore, only one way to possess these and that is by being made partakers of the Divine Nature. By this, one comes to possess the qualities of the Divine Nature which are declared to be all things that per­tain to life and godliness (vs. 3).

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Fruit Bearing and the Believer

2Pe 1:1Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:
2Pe 1:2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
2Pe 1:3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 
2Pe 1:4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pe 1:5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
2Pe 1:9But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2Pe 1:10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
2Pe 1:11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Fruit bearing is the subject of the opening paragraph (2 Pet. 1:3-11). In this paragraph is treated the provision for fruit (vv. 3-4), the production of fruit (vv. 5-7), and the purpose of fruit (vv. 8-11). Several key words bring the central ideas of this division to the reader's attention.

Monday, December 26, 2016


Principles of Salvation
(2 Pet. 1:3-21)


          Growing in grace is accomplished through the medium of growing in knowledge, and growth in grace is in proportion to the growth in knowledge. However, it must ever be remembered that in the opening invocation the writer expresses clearly and fully the thought, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" (vs. 2). This means that growth in grace depends upon growth in positive knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Posi­tive knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ provides food for the soul. And the best Teacher according to John 13:13 is none other than the Lord. His half-brother Jude names Him the Despot. He that has the sole right to teach and He sends His helper to internalize His truth. None other than the Comforter. (John 14:26)

          Prohibitions and negatives may serve in some respects as preservatives and protections, but positive information about God alone will provide food for growth and progress. Government agents schooled to detect counterfeit money are never supplied with counterfeit, but they are carefully schooled in good money and thus are amply prepared to cope with any sort of counterfeit that may be produced. This is likewise true of the children of God. For growth and development they need positive information first, and this may then be followed with the negative. Such is the manner in which Peter treats his theme, dealing first with fruit and faith.

Sunday, December 25, 2016



            As in the 1st epistle of Peter the purpose of the 2nd epistle is clearly stated by the writer. In the 1st epistle Peter writes, "By Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I account him, I have written unto you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God: stand ye fast therein" (1 Pet. 5:12 RV). Clearly enough this epistle was written to encourage be­lievers to stand in the grace where they already were. The 2nd epistle is now a departure based upon this. Being in grace and established there, the believer should "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18 RV). It is apparent from this statement that Peter realized that being established in grace was not enough. A larger necessity follows immediately, namely, that of growing within the sphere in which one is established.

          Purpose without method is powerless. For the most part it is characteristic of the world to see the goal without provid­ing a way to reach the goal. However, Peter did not fail here. This was probably not because Peter was more intelligent than others, but because Peter had been made more spirit­ually sensitive to the needs of believers by the experiences through which he had passed.

          The key vs. of the book reveals the method: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18 RV). The presence of the word "knowledge" adds a new thought. It is that of method. Growing in grace is the result Peter desires to achieve. The means to the end is growing in knowledge. The contrast in the invocations of the first and second epistles clearly indicates this point. In the first it is, "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (2 Pet. 1:2).

          In the second it is, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Pet. 1:2). The added idea "through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord," explains what Peter means by growing in knowl­edge in the final vss.

          The method of Peter is amplified by two other passages in the epistle. First of all are the following Scriptures: “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remem­brance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath chewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” (2 Pet. 1:12-15).

          In addition, are these vss.: “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.” (2 Pet. 3:1-2).

          Five things appear in these vs.s indicating the method by which the apostle intends to realize his purpose in believers:

(1) To refresh the minds of believers with knowledge they already possess (2 Pet. 1:12).

(2) To repeat the message which he has already clearly stated in the first epistle (2 Pet. 3:1).

(3) To reinforce the message of the apostles and the Lord Jesus with his own (2 Pet. 3:2, 15).

(4) To revive their spiritual life that there might be a con­tinual growing in grace (2 Pet. 1:13, 3:1).

(5) To record these truths concerning growth in grace for a perpetual reminder (2 Pet. 1:15).

          The content of the epistle may be divided into three divi­sions, corresponding roughly with the chapter divisions. The first division may be described as the principles of salvation revealed and founded (Chap. 1). The second division contains the perils to salvation revealed and exposed (Chap. 2). The third division contains the precepts for salvation revealed and urged (Chap. 3). By acquainting the people with these prin­ciples, urging them to avoid the perils, and applying the pre­cepts, the Apostle Peter is carrying out the great purpose of this book: "But grow in the grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). In this order, a survey of the entire book will be made.

Saturday, December 24, 2016



Prov. 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Vs. 15 "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

This is not a promise as people think but a threat. Perhaps there is no Proverb in all the collection which has been more frequently quoted than this; and perhaps also none has been more persistently misunderstood and misrepresented. It is a brief and complete revelation of the true method of raising a child. In order to a correct apprehension, everything depends upon the real meaning of the words "in the way he should go." That is by no means an inaccurate rendering, but the question arising is: What is the way in which a child should go? A more literal rendering of the Hebrew at once answers this question. Such translation would be: "Train up a child in the way of a child according to his way.'' In vs. 15 we shockingly learn that a child's way is that of foolishness. A fool is one who does not take God into account in their life and their actions confirm that belief. Therefore if you raise a child in the way of foolishness, as is the case for all people apart from Christ Who is the Lord and Teacher of John 13:13, they have officially been warned that he, the child, will not depart from it. Today the rod is politically shunned and is awarded punishment for the usage of that method. The modern thought of the godless society shun the Creators warnings here.

Cf. Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim 3:15

Friday, December 23, 2016



In concluding the discussion on the triunity of God, CERTAIN PRACTICAL VALUES deriving from this doctrine should be called to the attention of the reader.

1.      Without the plurality of persons in the Godhead, it would be impossible for there to be a God of eternal love. Love requires an object, and before creation there was no object to be loved unless it be found in God. But love of self is not love in the highest sense. So with a society of persons in the God­head, God is sufficient in Himself to be a God of eternal love (Jer. 31:3). The Father loves the Son (John 3:35; 5:20; 17:24) and the Spirit (1 John 4:8). The Son loves the Father (John 14:31), and the Spirit (Matt. 22:37; with 5:17). And the Spirit loves both the Father and the Son (Rom. 15:30 with Gal. 5:22).

2.      Without a triunity of persons in the Godhead there could be no final and complete revelation of God. If Jesus is not God, then we have no perfect revelation of God (John 1:18). And if the Spirit is not God, then even the revelation in the Bible concerning Christ is without perfect illumination which alone comes from the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12-13), who alone is qualified to interpret and explain the meaning of the written revelation.

3.        Without a triunity of persons in the Godhead, there could be no sal­vation in the Christian sense of that term. Only God can make atonement for sin, and this atonement must also constitute a transaction between members of the Godhead. Moreover, only God in the person of the Son could leave heaven and come to earth to die for sin (Phil. 2:5-8). And only God in the person of the Spirit could share His life with men (John 14:16-17).

4.        Without a triunity of persons in the Godhead there could be no such thing as a genuinely personal God. Personality cannot exist in the highest sense apart from a society of persons. If an individual were the only person in the universe, he would not be a complete personality in the fullest sense of that term. So the triunity of God constitutes a society of persons and provides the metaphysical basis for human personality (Gen. 1:26-27).

5.        Without a triunity of persons in the Godhead there could be no foundation for the social life of mankind. To realize all the social relation­ships possible there must be at least three persons. There must be an I, a you, and a he. This will provide for what the I does to you; what the you and I do to him; and what all three do together. It is therefore evident that human life and institutions are built squarely upon the divine society: the family, the state, the church (Eph. 5:22-32; 1 Cor. 11:1-16).

Thursday, December 22, 2016



In the unfolding of the doctrine of the triunity of God, certain INTELLECTUAL PROBLEMS APPEAR. But these problems are not insuperable to the heart that is exercised by faith. Nor are these problems peculiar to the doctrine of the Trinity. There is no article of the Christian faith that is not attended by problems. But in no case do the problems hinder the exercise of faith. At this point we call three such problems to your attention.

1. There is the alleged numerical contradiction in that God is both one and three. How can this be? The answer is that God is not one and three in the same sense. The doctrine of the triunity of God does not teach that there are three persons united in one person, or three beings in one being, or neither three Gods in one God, nor that God merely manifests Himself in three different ways. It does teach that THERE ARE THREE ETERNAL DISTINCTIONS IN ONE BEING. Or, to put it another way, there are THREE ETERNAL PERSONS IN ONE SUBSTANCE. This means that God is ONE IN SUBSTANCE. God's nature as displayed by His attributes has been the burden of this entire treatise; each person of the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share alike in this NATURE. But God is three in the sense of PERSONALITY. In this respect, these distinctions of person are so clear that personal pronouns are used for each, and there is a clear reciprocation of DUTY and PERFOMANCE among them.

The basic problem is twofold: the fact that there is no exact analogy in the world of sense experience, and the fact that human language means different things to different people and is constantly in a state of change. The history of the doctrine of the Trinity reveals this fact. This may account for the fact that God wisely incorporated the truth in the word of God without employing specific terms such as trinity, person, and substance. In the Eastern Church where Greek was the language, one set of terms grew up. In the Western Church where Latin was used, it was necessary to employ a different set of terms. And in every period since, and in every place, it has been necessary to re-examine and re­-define terms to make them conform to the facts in the Bible.

Many illustrations have been employed to convey the truth of this great doctrine to the minds of men. This is known as the LAW OF APPERCEPTION in teaching, that is, moving from the known to the unknown. Augustine used the tree and spoke of the root, trunk and branches. Luther employed the flower: form, substance, fragrance. Another used space: length, breadth, and height. Still another pointed to the sun: light, heat, rainbow; another to light: light, heat, rays; another, personality: self, disposition, will; another, self-consciousness: I (self), I know (the knower), and myself (the known). In the area of mathe­matics the triangle has been used. The area enclosed represents the substance of God. Each side is equal, representing the three persons in God. And each side possesses the whole area.

But there is a crave peril in all illustrations. There’s the attempt to use that which is created and finite to represent the creator who is infinite and incomprehensible. The result can well be that the unity of God is lost and the thinker moves in the direction of three Gods, or on the other hand, there is the loss of the three personalities and one moves in the direction of Unitarianism. The latter is the most prevalent. At this point the second commandment should be observed: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" (Exod. 20:4). Better by far to accept by faith what has been revealed in the word of God.

If there is any adequate illustration for this great truth, it is to be found in John 17:11: "that they may be one as we are." The pronoun "they" refers to the Church and this prayer was answered on the day of Pentecost. It was then that all three persons of the Godhead came to take up their residence in the Church when the Holy Spirit came (John 14:23). The Holy Spirit came into each one and they became one body, because they possessed the same spiritual essence as the persons of the Godhead even though they were separate individuals (1 Cor. 12:13). However, no one has ever solved this problem rationally. All such proposals have ended in heresy.

2. A second problem suggests itself in the fact that the Trinity was not fully revealed in the Old Testament. The only adequate answer is that this was not God's plan. If there is any explanation it lies in the fact that the tendency to idolatry and polytheism was so prevalent that the lesson on divine unity must be indelibly impressed upon men. Even this emphasis was ignored and there were many relapses. And again, the full revelation of the Trinity in words had to wait upon the revelation in deeds.
           3. A very practical problem has occurred to many saints. Since the three persons of the Godhead are equal, why is it not perfectly proper to pray to any one of them? The answer is just as clear. It is proper, depending on the circumstances. Stephen prayed to Christ (Acts 7:59). The benediction of 2 Cor. 13:14, making reference to "the communion of the Holy Ghost" suggests that there is a common sharing and reciprocation with the Holy Spirit, and this may be what was transpiring when Paul and Barnabas were selected by the Holy Spirit for missionary work (Acts 13:1-4). But the normal and general pattern of prayer is suggested in Eph. 2:18, "For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father." This means coming to the Father (Matt. 6:9), through the Son (John 14:13-14; 16:23-24), in the person of the Holy Spirit (Jude 20).

Wednesday, December 21, 2016



In the NEW TESTAMENT the doctrine of the triunity of God unfolds in­to a clear pattern of truth that has energized the Church through twenty centu­ries of time.

1.       At the outset it is important to note that the doctrine of triunity is based squarely upon the Old Testament doctrine of the unity of God. This can be seen in a text like Mark 12:28-29. In response to a question concerning the first and great commandment, Christ answered: "The first of all the command­ments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." It was the teaching on the unity of God that safeguarded men from the errors of polytheism which were so prevalent. The New Testament writers came from a Jewish background and environment, so this teaching confirmed them in the faith they held. This becomes the beginning point, the fixed star to guide them in their theology.

2.       It will be seen by examining the New Testament records that three persons appear and each one is regarded as God. One is called "God the Father" (John 6:27). Another is called "the Son...O God" (Heb. 1:8). And a third is called "the Holy Spirit...God" (Acts 5:3-4).

3.        Moreover, each of these three persons is clearly distinguished from the other two. In passages where they appear together, this distinction is clear. In the angelic announcement to Mary there is the Holy Ghost, and the Highest, and the Holy thing (Luke 1:35). In the upper room Christ prays to the Father to send another Comforter (John 14:16, 26; 15:26). At His baptism in Jordan the three persons are distinctive: Christ is in the water; the Spirit descends like a dove; and the voice of the Father is heard (Matt. 3:16-17).

4.        But it must be carefully noted that these three persons are set forth as one God. Christ declares, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). The Father and the Spirit are set forth as one in 1 Cor. 3:16, 17, when it speaks of "the temple of God" and "the Spirit of God." Or, as in 1 Cor. 2:11 when it speaks of "the things of God" and "the Spirit of God." In a remarkable passage all three persons are declared to be one, when Christ asserts that "If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23). This had reference to that time when the Holy Spirit would make His dwelling with the believer,

5.        In addition to the above notations, the equality of these three persons in being, power, and glory is attested. Each is called God (John 6:27; Heb. 1:8; Acts 5:3-4). They are associated in such a way as to demonstrate their equality, such as in the baptismal formula (Matt. 28:19), and in the benediction (2 Cor. 13:14). There seems to be no fixed numerical order that might even intimate differen­tiation (2 Thess. 2:13,14; Eph. 4:4-6; 5:18-20; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:2-3; Jude 20-21). Equality of the persons gave freedom to believers to express other ideas in the order of importance.

6. Certain distinctions of priority and subordination exist among the persons of the Godhead, but these concern their respective functions. The names "Son of God" and "Spirit of God" do not imply inequality. A son partakes of the same nature as the Father and is therefore equal. When Christ claimed to be the Son, the Jews understood that He was making Himself equal with God (John 5:18). And even among men, the spirit is the highest part, so also the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:10-11). With courage and clarity Christ made it clear to the Jews that "All men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father" (John 5:23). Even though Christ said that "the Father is greater than I" (John 14:28), this had reference to position, not nature.

The distinctions existing between the persons of the Godhead concern what they do and not what they are. In the work of the Godhead, the Father is first, the Son is second, and the Spirit is third. This is suggested by the prepositions used in the original text. According to 1 Cor. 8:6 the Father is said to be the source or origin of all things and the preposition "of" or "out of" is used. The Son is set forth as the channel "by" or "through" which they come into being; and in Eph. 2:18 the Spirit is depicted as the agent "by" or "in" which things are accomplished. In this same verse the Father is made the final goal, the One "to" or "unto" whom they come. But care must be taken not to press this arrangement too far. For God is declared to be the Savior in the sense of being the source of salvation (1 Tim. 2:3), while Christ is also declared to be the Savior in the sense of being the channel (Titus 1:4).

In the work of the godhead, the Son is subordinate to the Father, and the Spirit to the Father and the Son. The Scriptures declare that the Father sends the Son (1 John 4:10), and that the Father sends the Spirit (John 14:26), and that the Son sends the Spirit (John 15:25). But even this subordination is voluntary and not compulsory. In order to carry out the scheme of redemption, it was necessary for the Son to offer Himself in voluntary commitment for the task of redeeming men. But in the absolute philosophical sense it was not necessary. However, order and arrangement in the Godhead provides for perfect harmony and efficiency in the functioning of the divine economy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016



In the OLD TESTAMENT the doctrine of the triunity of God is not clearly taught, but in certain passages there are strong intimations.

1.     The plural name for God (Elohim) appears in the original Hebrew text more than 2000 times. It appears in the first verse of Genesis. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Moreover, it is used with a singular verb, and it is almost always used elsewhere with a singular verb. Some exegetes refer to the Hebrew word for God as an intensive plural, and suggest that it may thereby be used in a singular sense. In any event, while it does not denote a trinity, it does suggest a plurality in unity.

2.     The plural pronouns used of God in the Hebrew text are further intimations of a plurality in unity that may suggest the Trinity. At the creation of man, "God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness"(Gen. 1:26). After the fall God deliberated, "Behold, the man is become as one of Us" (Gen. 3:22). In the divine council at the tower of Babel, God said, “Go to, let Us go down, and there confound their language" (Gen. 11:7). As Isaiah beheld the glory of the Lord in the temple, he heard God say, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us" (Isa. 6:8).

3.        The plural verb in the Hebrew is used occasionally with the name for God (Elohim). Here is an instance. "And he built there an altar, and called the place El-bethel; because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother" (Gen. 35:7). This may intimate that the writer had no difficulty in recognizing a plurality of persons in the experience of Jacob and therefore did not hesitate to indicate this by the plural of the word for God and the plural of the verb "appeared."

4.        It is very evident that God's name is applied to more than one person in some of the texts of the Old Testament. This is true in Gen. 19:24. "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven". In Psa. 45:6-7, two persons are in­volved and both are called God. This is especially evident in Psa. 110:1 where two persons are called Lord, as a comparison of Matt. 22:41-46 will attest. Two persons appear in Hos. 1:6-7. One person is speaking, namely, God, and yet He declares that He will save His people "by the Lord their God." Isa. 44:6 reads, "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and besides Me there is no God." Here the Lord the King of Israel and the Lord the Redeemer are both claiming to be one God. Along with the above the writer of Proverbs propounds some questions concerning God: "What is his name, and what is his son's name?" (Prov. 30:4).

5.        Certain Old Testament passages strongly intimate that the number of persons purporting to be God is three. The Aaronic benediction recorded in Num. 6:23-27 uses the word Lord or Jehovah three times, and then equates this usage as "My name." There are those who feel that this follows the pattern found later in the New Testament in which the blessing of the One God subsisting in three persons is invoked.

There is a suggestion that all three person of the Godhead are depicted in creation as set forth in Psa. 33:6. There is the word pointing to Christ, and the Lord indicating the Father, and finally the word breathe, which is the word for spirit, singling out the Holy Spirit. From other passages it is clear that all three persons of the Godhead were involved in creation, and perhaps this passage includes all three acting as one God.

When Christ appeared in the synagogue of Nazareth, He used Isa. 61:1 and applied it to Himself. Three persons appear in this passage, there is the speaker, the Lord of Isa. 60:22. There is the Spirit of the Lord God with whom He was anointed. And there is the Lord, the Father who anoints Christ.

Isa. 63:9-10 also presents a similar instance of three persons appear­ing in the passage and denoting one God. The pronoun "he" of the passage is the Father; "Angel of His presence" is the Lord Jesus Christ; and "His Holy Spirit" is the third person of the Trinity. Yet the entire passage suggests that there is just one God who is involved.

Even the opening verses of the Bible testify to the presence of three per­sons. There is God in verse one; then the Spirit in verse two; and finally the word ("God said"), the third person in vs. 3.

Perhaps the strongest passage in the Old Testament is Isa. 48:16. The speaker points to the Father, the Lord God. He then refers to his Spirit, and then admits He, the Christ, has been sent. This speaker is identified as the first and the last in vs. 12, and as the Redeemer of Israel in vs. 17.

The strong emphasis in all these passages is upon the unity of God. But there is an underlying tone of plurality in this one God, and in some cases it suggests that that number is three. These intimations are sufficient to alert the Bible scholar to the possibility of further revelation in the unfolding truth about God.

Monday, December 19, 2016





The presentation of the attributes of God now reaches the highest pinnacle of revelation. The capstone is that incomprehensible MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY. To the most reverent and inquiring mind it will forever remain a dark but en­ticing secret. To the hearts of men of goodwill this unfathomable mystery of the Godhead will provide the necessary compulsion for everlasting wonder and ineffable worship.

The doctrine of the triunity of God is exclusively a revelation from God. Untrammeled human reason may lead one to the unity of God, but only divine revelation discovers the triunity of God to men. This teaches that the nature or essence of God is one, but that within this one essence there are three eternal distinctions presented under the figure of persons. This means that in one sense God is one, but in another sense God is three.

The word trinity is most often used in referring to this aspect of deity. But there is a sense in which this term is inadequate, because it lays emphasis upon three persons of the Godhead to the exclusion of the unity of essence. For that reason, it seems best to adopt the term triunity which brings the three persons into view and yet at the same time makes it clear that this is a trinity in unity.

The importance of this doctrine must not be minimized. It is the funda­mental of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. This doctrine differentiates the Christian faith from that of any other religion. Without this doctrine there could be no divine Savior, no divine Holy Spirit, and no incarnation of God in human flesh, no atonement effecting a transaction between persons of the Godhead, no God of eternal love, and no impartation of divine life to men. In fact, all the dis­tinctive truths of Christianity are wrapped up in this great fact. Even the vera­city of the Scriptures is at stake. If this is not what is taught in divine writ, then the movement of the Scriptures is to deceive. And if the Bible is deceptive in this area, then there is no fundamental of the Christian faith that can be trusted.

It is an obvious fact that the complete revelation of the triunity of God is given in deeds rather than words. As one theologian put it, "The doctrine of the Trinity is not so much heard, as overheard, in the statements of Scripture." The history and record of experience relating to the Trinity came first. Later, the Church formulated the doctrine of the triunity. It is true that the word trinity does not appear in the Bible. But the idea saturates the Bible. Godly Jews believed in a God who dwelt in heaven, and He was referred to as Father. When Christ came those Jews who knew God recognized Christ as God, though distinct from the Father. When the Spirit came on Pentecost, these same Jews were impressed with the fact that He was God, but different from the Father and from Christ. When at last the New Testament writers recorded their thoughts in books which now make up the New Testament, there was no con­scious effort to formulate a new doctrine. They just recorded what happened.

As one great theologian has written, "It is a great mistake to regard that doctrine as a mere speculative or abstract truth, concerning the constitution of the Godhead, with which we have no practical concern, or which we are required to believe simply because it is revealed. On the contrary, it underlies the whole plan of salvation, and determines the character of religion (in the subjective sense of that word) of all true Christians. It is the unconscious or unformed faith, even of those of God's people who are unable to understand the term by which it is expressed. They all believe in God, the Creator and Preserver, against whom they have sinned, whose justice they know they cannot satisfy, and whose image they cannot restore to their apostate nature. They, therefore, as of necessity, believe in a divine Redeemer and a divine Sanctifier...It is not, therefore, by any arbitrary decision, nor from any bigoted adherence to hereditary beliefs, that the Church has always refused to recognize as Christians those who reject this doctrine."

Sunday, December 18, 2016


This PERFECT REVELATION of God in Christ provides certain practical values that cannot be duplicated elsewhere.

1.        Since this PERFECT REVELATION OF GOD is preserved in THE BIBLE, there is an encouragement to study the Bible. "Search the scriptures: ...and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). "That I may know Him" was the passion that drove Paul forward, for he knew that Christ was the secret to the understand­ing of God (Phil. 3:10-14).

2.        Beholding the perfect revelation of God in Christ is the enablement of coming into immediate confrontation with that which is concrete and real about God. "God was in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:19). All the lines of truth that were once mere abstractions, now take on the quality of life and reality. Christ is the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16). It was the privilege of those early Christians to examine with the senses such as sight, hearing, and feeling, the reality of this One who walked among them. They concluded that this One was in complete reality the true God, and they did not hesitate to bear witness to this fact.

3.        Inasmuch as "In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), the one who beholds Christ is safeguarded from narrow and lopsided views about God. Christ is a total revelation of God. Every attribute is present and works in proper relation with every other attribute. It is thus possible for the believer to balance the various aspects of God's being and see them in perfect perspective. One verse can never conclude that God is love to the exclusion of hatred for sin, that God is infinite and cannot be concerned with the finite, that God is powerless to deal with the enormities of sin.

4.      It is of inestimable value to know that having come to Christ we have had encounter with the ultimate about God. This dives believers assurance that they really know God. It was this point that John was trying to drive home to believers of his day. "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen" (1 John 5:20-21).
The full realization of God is eternal life. But there is a sense in which the full realization of that life is dependent upon a progressive apprehension of God in Christ Jesus. That is the burden of Christ's prayer as recorded in John 17:3. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent". The word for “know” is in the present tense and refers to the necessary progressive realization by all the cognitive powers directed to God in Christ in order for the finite being to experience a growing realization of the infinite God. This provides the dynamic for continuous study now, and forever.

Saturday, December 17, 2016



The image of God becoming incarnate In human flesh constitutes God's perfect, complete, and everlasting revelation of Himself to men. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH...No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:14, 18). The writer of Hebrews states it as follows: "God...hath...spoken in his Son" (Heb. 1:1, 2).

1.      These verses make it clear that the fullness of God resides in the Son (Col. 2:9). The very glory of Christ is the glory of the Father. And that glory is marked by two things: FULLNESS OF GRACE AND TRUTH. Grace characterizes the moral and spiritual nature of God which permeates His entire being. Truth covers the aspects of genuineness. This is John's way of saying that Christ is truly God. In every aspect and detail men may behold Christ and find in Him that which constitutes Him a being who is man, but more than man. He is in absolute verity God.

2.       This FULLNESS qualifies Him for the function of revelation. The hard fact is that no man has seen God at any time. But Christ has declared Him (John 1:18). The word declared means to lead out and unfold like a teacher, the Teacher (John 13:13). Christ is God's word spoken to men (Heb. 1:1, 2). All that Christ is and does is like God, for He is God. For more than 30 years men beheld Him as He lived and moved among them and their conclusion was that His glory was the glory of the only begotten of the Father. Since His return to heaven, men have been contemplating the Christ through the medium of the written word and their conclusion is that He is God (2 Cor. 3:18).

3. The various facets of Christ combine to give the child of God the impression of what God is like. No one was ever able to catch and convict Him of sin (John 8:46), for He always did those things which please the Father (John 8:29). God is like that, for God is light (1 John 1:5). He was moved with deep compassion for men, for He saw them as sheep without a shepherd, wandering, helpless, ignorant (Matt. 9:35-36). God is like that, for God has ever been moved by sin and deeply grieved in His heart (Gen. 6:5-6). He could not restrain Himself from volunteering help to lift the burdens of life and relieve those who were heavy laden (Matt. 11:28-30). God is like that. He hears the cry for help and comes rushing to them who are in trouble (Psa. 34:4, 6, 7, 15). With scorching words of denuncia­tion He could address the wicked (Matt. 23:25-33). God is like that, for He is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). And yet with sorrow over His people that moved Him to His very depths, He cries out for them, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that kills the prophets, and stones them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" (Matt. 23:37-38). God is like that. "In all their affliction he was afflicted" (Isa. 63:9).

He took water and changed it to wine without the necessity of the long pro­cess necessary under normal circumstances (John 2:1-11). He could take bread and fish and increase the quantity sufficient to feed five thousand (John 6:5-13). He could calm the waves of the sea that had been lashed into fury by storm (Mark 4:37-41). He opened blind eyes (John 9:7), cleansed lepers (Luke 17:12-19), healed the sick (Luke 4:38-40), cast out demons (Luke 4:33-36), and raised the dead (John 11:39-44). Details about these miracles put them in a class which could only be accomplished by divine power. This is like God.

There was another thing that characterized the public ministry of Him, He did not hesitate to forgive sins. Even His enemies recognized that He assumed a prerogative and performed a function which belongs only to God (Mark 2:1-12). But what He did is like God, for in the ultimate sense God is the only one who can forgive sins.

To this could be added a thousand other things and more, all of which are the unfolding of the various facets of an infinite being. If you want to see God in complete perspective, then look at Christ and contemplate Him in His FULLNESS.

4. The force of contemplation of Christ will produce a progressive and enduring change in any who will behold Him. "But we all, with open face behold­ing as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18). Christ is not with us today, so we are deprived of that immediate vision of Him who is the image of the invisible God. But we do have access to Him through the word of God. As we behold the reflection of Him in the word of God, a progressive change takes place in us. We move from one state of glory into another as we look with approval upon the face of Him who is mirrored therein. The Spirit of God warms our hearts and presses them gently into the mold of His image. This is growing into the likeness of the God whom we worship.