Roots of the Faith – The Incommunicable Attributes of God: Independence

My notes for Wednesday night, Jan 11th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as an outline each week for our Tabernacle Church family. Our study over the next few months will be “The Roots of the Faith.” This study will focus on key biblical truths that will transform our thinking and allow us to faithfully live out the Christian life. You can find Sermon Notes, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List, and other resources at our Church Website.

Resources for this Study

50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith – Gregg R. Allision

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine – Wayne Grudem

Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth – John MacArthur & Richard Mayhue


INTRO

  • The incommunicable attributes are God’s characteristics or perfections, as revealed by Scripture, that God does not communicate, or share, with human beings.” (Gregg R. Allison, page 73)
  • “The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshipped.”  A.W. Pink
  • When we get our view of God right… then we can get our life right.
    • Right Belief – Right Living

Independence

THOUGHTS

  • God is independent and self-sufficient.
  • Creation is dependent upon Him.
    • Wrong – God needs you
    • Right – God needs nothing

God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy.

Wayne Grudem, page 190.

God is independent of all things. He is perfectly self-sufficient, not depending on anything outside himself for anything, and is therefore the eternal, foundational being, the source of life and sustenance for all other beings.

John MacArthur, page 168.

A Look in the Word

(John MacArthur, page 169)

  1. As Yahweh, God is self-existent, having life in and of himself
    • Ex. 3:14; John 5:26
  2. God existed before all things, and through him alone all things exist.
    • Ps. 90:2; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11
  3. God is Lord of all.
    • Deut. 10:17; Josh. 3:13
  4. He depends on nothing; all things depend on him.
    • Rom. 11:36
  5. He is the source of everything.
    • Deut. 32:39; Isa. 45:5–7; 54:16; John 5:26; 1 Cor. 8:6
  6. He does as He wills.
    • Ps. 115:3; Isa. 46:10–11; 64:8; Jer. 18:6; Dan. 4:35; Rom. 9:19–21; Eph. 1:5; Rev. 4:11
  7. His counsel is the basis of everything.
    • Ps. 33:10–11; Prov. 19:21; Isa. 46:10; Matt. 11:25–26; Acts 2:23; 4:27–28; Eph. 1:5, 9, 11
  8. He does everything for His own sake.
    • Josh. 7:9; 1 Sam. 12:22; Pss. 25:11; 31:3; 79:9; 106:8; 109:21; 143:11; Prov. 16:4; Isa. 48:9; Jer. 14:7, 21; Ezek. 20:9, 14, 22, 44; Dan. 9:19
  9. He needs nothing, being all-sufficient.
    • Job 22:2–3; Acts 17:25
  10. He is the first and the last.
    • Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13
  11. He is independent in His mind (Rom. 11:33–35), his will (Dan. 4:35; Rom. 9:19; Eph. 1:5; Rev. 4:11), his counsel (Ps. 33:11; Isa. 46:10), his love (Hos. 14:4), and his power (Ps. 115:3)

Roots of the Faith – The Clarity of Scripture

My sermon notes for Wednesday night, Nov 30th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as an outline each week for our Tabernacle Church family. Our study over the next few months will be “The Roots of the Faith.” This study will focus on key biblical truths that will transform our thinking and allow us to faithfully live out the Christian life. The church provides a live stream of the service each Wednesday at 6:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube. You can find Sermon Notes, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List, and other resources at our Church Website.

Helpful Resources for this Study

50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith – Gregg R. Allision

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine – Wayne Grudem

Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth – John MacArthur & Richard Mayhue

INTRO

  • Can we understand the Bible?
  • What does it take for me to learn the meaning of the Bible?
  • Why do so many people disagree over biblical matters of life?
  • Deut 6:6-7

Scripture is written in such a way that it can be understood by God’s people. (Gregg Allison, pg. 39)

The clarity of Scripture means that the Bible is written in such a way that it is able to be understood, but right understanding requires time, effort, the use of ordinary means, a willingness to obey, and the help of the Holy Spirit; and our understanding will remain imperfect in this lifetime (Wayne Grudem, pg. 109)

The Bible affirms its own clarity

  • Psalm 19:7; 119:130
  • We can know and understand.
  • It is progressive in nature.
  • We never learn everything.

We should not expect EVERYONE to grasp the truths of Scripture

  • 1 Cor 2:1, Luke 18:34
  • Can an unconverted person understand?
  • It is the spirit that teaches, guides, and illuminates.

Why do Christians misunderstand Scripture?

  • We are all sinful and fall short of God’s standard.
    • We need better hermeneutics (methods of interpretation).
      • The method of our study.  The process we utilize
    • We need better exegesis (process of interpreting a text).
      • The work of the study.  What does the text mean?

The role of teachers/scholars/theologians

  • They fulfill the office of teacher – 1 Cor 12:28.
    • They utilize their giftedness to build up the body.  A tool to help us understand more clearly.

Practical Considerations

  • There will be differences over minor doctrine, so there is liberty
  • See THEOLOGICAL TRIAGE on pastorjonbeck.com under topical studies
    • Major verse minor
  • Liberal Churches do not take the Bible as inerrant and infallible
    • All of Scripture is not true
    • Part truth, but not all
  • The lost world will never grasp the Bible as God’s Word
    • To them there is no absolute truth

Requirements for understanding scripture rightly

1. Time

2. Effort

3. The Use of Ordinary Means

  • Using a translation of the Bible in one’s own language
  • Listening to teachers of the Word, for God has given the gift of teaching to the church (1 Cor. 12:28).
  • Reading of commentaries where available, for these are merely the written form of what is taught by teachers in the church.
  • Being aware of the wisdom contained in the history of interpretation of the church (even if this only comes not firsthand but through reading commentaries that reflect some knowledge of that tradition).
  • Seeking understanding in fellowship with others, as in small group Bible studies (or at academic conferences).
  • Using modern tools such as concordances, Hebrew and Greek lexicons, grammars, and sources of historical background information, which help modern readers understand more precisely the sense of the original language and the historical context in which a passage was written.

4. A Willingness to Obey

5. The Help of the Holy Spirit

6. A Humble Recognition That Our Understanding Is Imperfect

7. The Reasons for These Requirements

We might ask why God did not give us something simpler, something where our understanding would be instantaneous and automatic? Perhaps for several reasons:

  1. The Complexity of the Subject Matter. God communicated to human beings in Scripture with the purpose of guiding the entire belief system and the lifelong conduct of billions of different people in hundreds of cultures throughout centuries of history. Communication sufficient for this task must necessarily be quite extensive and intricate. An infinite God is telling us about himself and his purposes in all creation! The subject matter is vast.
  2. The Value of Relationship. God delights to teach us in relationship with himself. The prayers for understanding that are found in Scripture (see section B.5 above) indicate an awareness that Scripture is rightly understood only in personal relationship with God, only in a context of prayer for his presence and his help in right understanding.
  3. The Value of a Lifelong Process. God causes us to delight in the process of growing in likeness to him. Growth in understanding Scripture is merely part of the larger process of growth in sanctification, and God in his wisdom has ordained that sanctification is a process, a lifelong journey.

God seems to delight in process, for he delights in gradually disclosing his glory over time. He took delight in creating the world not in one day but in six. He took delight in promising that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent and then in preparing the way for thousands of years so that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4). He has taken delight in building and purifying his church for the past two thousand years.

And he takes delight when we continually increase in the knowledge of himself and his ways through his Word:

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Col. 1:9–10)

The process of understanding more of Scripture and more of God is one that will never end in this life. I expect that it will never end even in the age to come. We are finite and we can rejoice in the unending and delightful process of learning more about our infinite Creator[1]


[1] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, Second Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2020), 113–122.

Q&A with Pastor Jon – “What is God like?” God is Truth

God is truth

John 14:6; John 17:1-5; Hebrews 6:18

  • He is the source of all truth
  • He is the final standard of truth

The Spirit guides believers in all truth

John 16:12-15

  • Guide you
  • Not speak on His own

God’s Words are true and completely righteous

Psalm 19:9

  • Scripture – The Word of God
  • Read it – Meditate upon it

God wants us to know the truth

John 17:17

The Truth sets us free

John 8:31-32

Therefore, We should live according to the truth

Psalm 86:11

  • Hear the Word
  • Believe it….as the Word of God
  • Trust it – Our hear tour heart
  • DO IT – Trust and obey!!!!!

Q & A with Pastor Jon – “Why is doctrine important?”

Q & A with Pastor Jon is a teaching time dedicated to looking directly at Scripture as we answer questions that I have been asked over the course of my ministry.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as a listening guide each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Wednesday at 6:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube. You can find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer Lists, and other resources at our Church Website.

Why is doctrine important?

This question touches on other aspects of the Christian life:

  • Why truth matters.
  • The importance of the theological beliefs of a church (not all churches are the same)
  • The joy we have as believers to mature in our faith as dig deeper into the Word of God.

A couple of my go to phrases…

  • “All Christians need to know what they believe and why they believe it.”
  • “Our theology drives our methodology” (as a person and as a church)
  • So goes our thinking so goes our life (when we see people make terrible decisions we will ask “what were they thinking”)

A few statements I have encountered over the years:

  • Why can’t we all just get along.  We need unity at all costs.
  • I have the holy spirit and I have my own relationship with God therefore, I do not need the “church” to tell me how to live or what to believe.
  • We can have different interpretations of the Bible. It can mean different things to different people.

As always… we must biblically define the terms:

  • Doctrine – something that is taught. A set of beliefs
  • Doctrine is what we believe about God and the Christian faith.
  • True Doctrine – The substance of what separates true biblical Christianity from other religions and philosophies of the day.
  • The Biblical truths that shape and mold our faith.

Why is it so important?

Jesus told us to go and make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20

A disciple is someone:

  • that has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord
  • that is growing daily in their relationship with Him
  • that is serving Him by their involvement and ministry within the fellowship of His Church
Acts 2:42–47 - [42] And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44] And all who believed were together and had all things in common. [45] And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, [47] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)
Titus 1:5–9 - [5] This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—[6] if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. [7] For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, [8] but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. [9] He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (ESV)
Titus 2:1–8 - [1] But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. [2] Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. [3] Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, [4] and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, [5] to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. [6] Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. [7] Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, [8] and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (ESV)
Ephesians 6:10–20 - [10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, [19] and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (ESV)
Romans 12:1–2 - [1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

Truths to embrace:

  • Teaching and Learning are key components within the church… handed down from the early church. (Maybe it is time to get back to how we used to do church)
  • Our doctrine must be Biblical (sound and good)
    • TRUTH MATTERS
  • It is not an option for a true child of God.  Each believer is responsible for their growth and maturity.
  • The intake of the Word (Doctrine) is what shapes our mind and transform or life.  A transformed life is a life doing the will of God. (THE WORD: Read, Meditate, Live Out)

We must be people that are:

  • Teachable – I do not know all the answers.
  • Maturing/Growing – I need to be showing progress in my walk with the Lord.
  • Diligent – It is going to take an effort on my behalf.
  • Humble – Do not let knowledge “puff you up” 1 Cor. 8:1  The more we grow in knowledge the humbler a servant we should become.

God has given us all we need to believe right and live right. God has provided the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God.

I believe every Maturing Christian needs these resources as part of their personal library:

  • A study Bible
  • A Systematic Theology
  • Commentaries

Here is a link to some resources that could be of great help.

1 Corinthians 3:18-23 “Our Dependency on Christ”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Jan. 9th.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook at Tabernacle Facebook Page. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon at TAB YouTube.  You can also find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List and other resources at our Church Website.

1 Corinthians 3:18–23

[18] Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. [19] For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” [20] and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” [21] So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, [22] whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, [23] and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (ESV)

Intro

  • division in the church is because of lack of focus and direction
  • If the church has lost their way… we have lost our way
  • The believers within the church had lost their focus and direction
  • Do not depend on the wisdom of the world, but depend on Christ
  • Not on man or the ways of the world, BUT ON CHRIST

Do not believe the lies of the world – v. 18

Let no one deceive himself

  • Deception – a lie.  Not the whole truth
  • Deception starts in the mind

Our mind is crucial

  • Theologically, the mind is seen as the center for the power of reason, (The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms)
  • Thoughts produced by our brain (Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained)
  • How we reason, think, and process the world around us.  OUR THINKING DICTATES OUR DOING

Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (ESV)

Romans 8:5–6 – [5] For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. [6] For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (ESV)

Romans 12:1–2 – [1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

Philippians 2:5 – Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (ESV)

We must get our thinking right

  • We DO need help
  • We CANNOT do life on our own

Think less of yourself – v. 18b

  • Become as a fool (think different from the world)
  • Become wise (divine thinking… the mind of Christ)

Keys to divine wisdom

  • Transform your mind with the Word of God
    • Read thoughtfully and devotionally
    • Not academically or legalistically
  • Transform your mind with communion with God by prayer and meditation
  • Set your mind on the things of God and not of the world

v. 18 is the exhortation… vv. 19-20 is the theological reason behind the exhortation.

Trust in the promises of God – vv. 19-20

Two Key thoughts

The message of the Cross is folly to the world (1:18)

  • Foolishness, makes no sense
  • The gospel
    • God, Man, Christ
    • Repentance and Faith
  • There is no absolute truth to the world
    • That is why we do not look to the world for truth
    • IT IS ALWAYS CHANGING…
    • Ephesians 4:11–16 – [11] And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, [12] to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, [13] until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, [14] so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. [15] Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, [16] from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)

The way of the world is futile to God

  • Empty, useless

Embrace the gifts of your salvation– vv. 21-23

The theology of vv. 19-20 leads to the doxology of vv. 21-23

  • Sound doctrine always leads to praise to the creator!

Do not boast in man

  • What they have is folly and futile

All things are yours

  • the benefits of redemptions
  • NEW MIND, NEW LIFE, NEW PURPOSE, NEW JOURNEY

WHY… Because YOU ARE CHRIST’S