A Baptist Body of Divinity
Sermons on the Baptist Catechism
WHY USE CATECHISMS? Colossians 1:21-23
May 24, 2020 • Brett Baggett
Why use Catechisms? I. Because "[Jesus] has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard" (Colossians 1:21b-23a). II. The way to be stable and steadfast is to be properly instructed (catechized). Why is it crucial that we are properly instructed? I. If we do not continue in the faith, we reveal that we are not reconciled to God by the blood of Jesus (Colossians 1:21-23). II. We are commanded to grow up into the likeness of Jesus, no longer children tossed around by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-14). III. There are many who are catechizing you according to damnable heresies (2 Peter 2:3, 1 John 2:6; 4:1). IV. There are difficult doctrines “which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). V. Leaders must be raised who can “give instruction in sound doctrine and also confute those who contradict it” (Titus. 1:8). VI. “Such that are not settled in the faith can never suffer for it” — Thomas Watson. (see Mark 4:16-17). VII. The more instruction you drink, the more intoxicating joy you will have in Jesus—to know Him more is to love Him more (Psalm 16:11). VIII. The better instructed you are the better you will be able to instruct others. Being properly catechized will make you more useful in helping others be glad in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Q1. WHO IS THE FIRST AND BEST OF BEINGS?
May 27, 2020 • Brett Baggett
A. God is the first and best of beings. Q. WHY DOES THE CATECHISM BEGIN HERE, WITH GOD CLARIFIED AS THE FIRST AND BEST OF BEINGS? I. WE MUST BEGIN WHERE THE BIBLE BEGINS GENESIS 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." II. WE MUST BEGIN WHERE TRUE WISDOM BEGINS PROVERBS 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” PROVERBS 9:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” PSALM 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” Stories are best begun in the beginning or confusion will abound. Foundations are best laid on the ground or everything will fall apart. So it is when we are seeking to be grounded in the faith—we must begin with God or confusion and crumbling may surely follow us all the days of our life. Q. What is God? A. God is the Creator and Sustainer of everyone and everything. (New City Catechism Q2) Q. WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT GOD IS FIRST? A. First in Existence and Preeminence. I. FIRST IN EXISTENCE GENESIS 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." JOB 38:1-7 1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? PSALM 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” COLOSSIANS 1:16-17 “16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” REVELATION 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” II. FIRST IN EMINENCE PSALM 97:9 “For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” COLOSSIANS 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” See the sad state of all who do not honor God, the first and best of beings. ROMANS 1:21-23 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things ISAIAH 44:9-11 9 All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together. Q. WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT GOD IS BEST? I. BEST IN GLORY AND GOODNESS PSALM 8 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! See the happy state of all who are reconciled to God by His Son Jesus Christ! The first and best of beings—Jesus Christ our Lord—was made a little lower than the angels. He debased himself in order to Redeem His bride. On the cross, the first and best of beings was treated like the last and worst of beings. Why? So that you could be cleansed of your filthy sin and clothed in the pure white robes of Christ. HEBREWS 2:9-11 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers. BENJAMIN KEACH (1640-1704) Originally from Buckinghamshire, Keach worked as a tailor during his early years. He was baptized at the age of 15 and began preaching at 18. He was the minister of the congregation at Winslow before moving in 1668 to the church at Horsleydown (Horse-lie-down), Southwark where he remained for 36 years as pastor (1668-1704). This congregation later became the New Park Street Church and then moved to the Metropolitan Tabernacle under the pastorship of Charles Spurgeon. Keach’s catechism was first published in 1693. For a brief biography of Keach, see http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/keach.benjamin.tbe.html For easy access to a digital copy of The Baptist Catechism, see http://www.ekklesiamuskogee.church/the-baptist-catechism/ To purchase a hard copy of The Baptist Catechism, see https://www.amazon.com/1689-Baptist-Confession-Faith-Catechism/dp/1599253771/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=The+Baptist+Catechism&qid=1590608161&sr=8-2 HERCULES COLLINS (1646/7-1702) For a brief biography of Collins, see https://founders.org/2012/07/12/baptists-and-1662-the-persecution-of-john-norcott-and-hercules-collins/ To purchase a hard copy of An Orthodox Catechism, see https://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Catechism-Hercules-Collins/dp/0980217911/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1590608349&sr=8-1 For easy access to as digital copy of An Orthodox Catechism, see https://www.thecalvinist.net/etc/1680%20Orthodox%20Catechism%20(Hercules%20Collins).pdf
Q2. WHAT IS THE CHIEF END OF MAN?
June 3, 2020 • Brett Baggett
Q2. What is the chief end of man? A. Man's chief end is to glory God and to enjoy Him forever. Distinctions to be made concerning the glory of God: 1) Intrinsic glory. 2) Ascribed glory. The Intrinsic glory of God is like the Grand Canyon; ascribing glory to God is like giving others a helicopter ride through it to simply behold its beauty. The glory is there. You cannot add to it. You are but meant to show it! Or if you prefer, the glory of God is like the moon. It is huge and beautiful but it seems far away to we simple men. To glorify God is like helping others look through a telescope to see its bigness and beauty up close! WHY MUST WE GLORIFY GOD? I. Because it is the plain teaching of Scripture that this is why we exist. II. Because this is why all things exist. III. Because this is why Jesus purchased sinners on the cross. I. We must glorify God because it is the plain teaching of Scripture that this is why we exist. 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” - Watson: “The glory of God is the silver thread which must run through all our actions.” Philippians 1:20 “as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” - Watson: “The glory we give God is nothing else but our lifting up His name in the world, and magnifying Him in the eyes of others.” II. We must glorify God because this is why all things exist. Colossians 1:16-18 “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. ... that in everything he might be preeminent.” III. We must glorify God because this is why He purchased sinners on the cross. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 “You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” - Those who know they were bought on the cross with the precious blood of Christ make it their aim to glorify that precious One whose blood was spilled for their sake! WHAT IS IT TO GLORIFY GOD? Watson: “To glorify God consists in four things: I. Appreciation. II. Adoration. III. Affection. IV. Subjection. This is the yearly rent we pay to the crown of heaven.” I. Appreciation (thought/prayer life). - Watson: “To glorify God is to set Him highest in our thoughts.” Psalm 97:9 “For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” - Watson: “To glorify God is to have God-admiring thoughts; to esteem Him most excellent, and search for diamonds in this rock only.” II. Adoration (worship). Psalm 29:1-2 “Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.” III. Affection (love). Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” IV. Subjection (joyful obedience). 1 Corinthians 6:20 “You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "ENJOY HIM FOREVER"? Psalm 73:25-26 “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” Philippians 1:21, 23 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ... I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” HOW MAY WE MOST ENJOY GOD HERE AND NOW? I. Fellowship with Him through the scripture and prayer. II. Trust His promises. III. Fellowship with His saints. IV. Take, by faith, His Supper. V. Help others know Him and enjoy Him. VI. Enjoy Him by glorifying Him and glorify Him by enjoying Him.
Q3. HOW DO WE KNOW THERE IS A GOD?
June 10, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER: The light of nature in man, and the works of God, plainly declare that there is a God; but His Word and Spirit only, do effectually reveal Him unto us for our salvation (Rom. 1:18-20, Psalm 19:1-2, 2 Tim. 3:15, 1 Cor. 1:21-24, 1 Cor. 2:9-10). We know there is a God by the light of creation and conscience; yet only the light of the canon of Scripture illumined by the Comforter will lead to our conversion. I. CREATION (the works of God) Psalm 19:1-2 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Isaiah 6:3 “And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" ￼ Romans 1:18-21 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” II. CONSCIENCE (the light of nature) Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has put eternity into man's heart.” Romans 2:14-16 “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” So by the testimony of Creation and Conscience all men know there is a God—we are all without excuse. Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." III. CANON (His Word) Romans 10:14-17 “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? ... So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Luke 16:29-31 “But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'” MacArthur Study Bible: “Although the evidence from conscience (1: 19; 2: 14), creation (1: 20), and God’s Word is irrefutable, men choose to resist and oppose God’s truth by holding fast to their sin (cf. Ps 14: 1; Jn 3: 19, 20).” John 3:19-20 “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” IV. COMFORTER (His Spirit) John 14:26 (Comforter/Helper/Paraclete) 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, 12 “But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God...Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” A. The light of nature in man, and the works of God, plainly declare that there is a God; but His Word and Spirit only, do effectually reveal Him unto us for our salvation. We know there is a God by the light of creation and conscience; yet only the light of the canon of Scripture illumined by the Comforter will lead to our conversion. Q. HAVE YOU BEEN CONVERTED? (effectually...for our salvation) If not, look at Jesus as He is revealed in His Word until the Spirit calls you to Him! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! If so, boast in the LORD! 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."”
Q4. WHAT IS THE WORD OF GOD?
June 17, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Isaiah 8:20) I. “The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments” LUKE 11:50-51 “50b …the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.” JOHN 16:12-14 “12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” 2 PETER 3:15-16 “15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” II. “are the Word of God” 1 THESSALONIANS 2:13 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” III. “being given by divine inspiration” 2 TIMOTHY 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God (theopneustos).” 2 PETER 1:20-21 20b “…no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along (same word as “born from heaven”) by the Holy Spirit.” IV. “the only infallible rule of faith and practice” PSALM 19:7-11 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” ISAIAH 8:19-20 19 “And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 2 TIMOTHY 3:14-17 14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God… 2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. BRAKEL: “The written Word is competent to teach the truth, to rebuke error, to correct evil, and to identify that which is good, so man may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. In one word, it is able to make man wise unto salvation. More one need not desire, for to have this is to have all. Indeed, the vitality and efficacy of Scripture is such that it is both perfect and sufficient.”￼ WATSON: “The Word is the judge of controversies, the rock of infallibility. That only is to be received as truth which agrees with Scripture, as the transcript with the original. All maxims of divinity are to be brought to the touchstone of Scripture, all measures are brought to the standard.” LLOYD-JONES: “Here in this Book is a message that would solve every single problem of the human race.”
Q5. HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD?
June 24, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER. The Bible evidences itself to be God’s Word by the heavenliness of its doctrine, the unity of its parts, its power to convert sinners and to edify saints; but the Spirit of God only, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in our hearts, is able fully to persuade us that the Bible is the Word of God. (1 Cor. 2:6,7,13; Ps. 119:18, 129; Acts 10:43, 26:22; Acts 18:28; Heb 4:12; Ps. 19:7-9; Rom. 15:4; John 16:13,14; 1 John 2:20-27; 2 Cor. 3:14-17) NATURAL WAYS WE KNOW THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD The Bible evidences itself to be God’s Word by... I. THE HEAVENLINESS OF ITS DOCTRINE ISAIAH 55:8-9 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “The mystery of Scripture is so [perplexing] and profound that no man or angel could have known it, had it not been divinely revealed. That eternity—should be born; that he who thunders in the heavens—should cry in the cradle; that he who rules the stars—should suck the breasts; that the Prince of Life—should die; that the Lord of Glory—should be put to shame; that sin should be punished to the full—yet pardoned to the full; who could ever have conceived of such a mystery, had not the Scripture revealed it to us?” - Thomas Watson. Works. Monergism Books. Kindle Edition. II. THE UNITY OF ITS PARTS 40 authors, spanning 1,400 years, all with one message: “God is holy, man is not, Christ Jesus came to save sinners, we must turn from sin to faith in God’s Savior.” ACTS 26:22-23 22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles. ROMANS 4:2-6 “2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” III. ITS POWER TO CONVERT SINNERS HEBREWS 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” 1 PETER 1:23-25 “you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” ACTS 2:37 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” MARTIN LUTHER: I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted. At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’” There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me." - The Legacy of Luther, Sproul and Nichols, Reformation Trust CHARLES SPURGEON: lifting up his hands, [the man] shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do, "Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin' to do but to look and live." I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said,—I did not take much notice of it,—I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, the people only looked and were healed, so it was with me. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, "Look!" what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, "Trust Christ, and you shall be saved." Yet it was, no doubt, all wisely ordered, and now I can say,— "Ever since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die." - Charles Spurgeon, Autobiography: The Early Years, Banner of Truth IV. ITS POWER TO EDIFY SAINTS LUKE 24:25-27, 30-32 “25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. . . . 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” EPHESIANS 2:19-21 19 you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. NATHAN COLE: “And my hearing [George Whitefield] preach gave me a heart wound; by Gods blessing my old foundation was broken up, and I saw that my righteousness would not save me, then I was convinced of the doctrine of Election.” - George Leon Walker, Some Aspects of the Religious Life of New England (New York: Silver, Burnett, and Company, 1897), 89–92. THE SUPERNATURAL WAY WE KNOW THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD I. But the Spirit of God only, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in our hearts, is able fully to persuade us that the Bible is the Word of God. 2 CORINTHIANS 2:13 “And we impart [wisdom] in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” 2 CORINTHIANS 3:14-17 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 1 JOHN 2:20 “But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.” Beloved, it is not enough to know the Scriptures and trust that they are the word of God. JOHN 5:39-40 “39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” You must go to Jesus is faith, whom the whole Bible reveals! Your GPS can tell you exactly how to get to the Grand Canyon, but you have to go there to see it. The Bible tells you perfectly how to have eternal life, but you have to go to Jesus to get it.
Q6. MAY ALL MEN MAKE USE OF THE SCRIPTURES?
July 1, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER. All men are not only permitted, but commanded and exhorted, to read, hear, and understand the Scriptures. (John 5:39; Luke 16:29; Acts 8:28-30; 17:11) I. ALL MEN ARE NOT ONLY PERMITTED We are permitted to make use of the Scriptures. In fact, Jesus expects us to! Matthew 12:3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: Matthew 12:5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? Matthew 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, Matthew 22:31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: Mark 12:10 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; Mark 12:26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? Luke 6:3 And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: My question to you is this: Have you read? II. BUT COMMANDED AND EXHORTED We are commanded and exhorted explicitly: Isaiah 8:20 “To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.” 2 Peter 1:19 “we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place.” Luke 16:29 “But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'” We are commanded and exhorted by example: Mark 12:24 “Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” Acts 17:11-12 “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.” III. READ, HEAR, AND UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES Psalm 119:97-105 97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. 101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. 102 I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. NOTICE THE MANY WAYS GOD COMMUNICATES TO US IN HIS WORD. Look at Psalm 119:97-105 and see the variety of words he uses to describe what we simply call “The Bible” - look starting at verse 97! Your Law (v.97) Your Commandment (v.98) Your Testimonies (v.99) Your Precepts (v.100) Your Word (v.101) Your Rules (v.102) Your Words (v.103) Your Precepts, again (v.104) Your Word, again (v.105) WHAT MUST WE DO WITH GOD’S WORD? I) Read / Study (implied in every verse) II) Meditate / Reflect / Think (v.97, 99) III) Memorize (v.98 “for they are ever with me”) Jesus modeled this for us perfectly in his earthly ministry. Almost every time there is a problem or someone has a question Jesus would say either, “Have you not read?” or “Gegrapeti!” which means “It is written.” IV) Keep/Obey (v.100-102) Jesus himself says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” To Keep Gods Word is also part of our Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus also commands us through his earthly brother James, “Do not be hearers of the Word only, but doers!” What must we do with God’s Word? We must be readers, meditators, memorizers, and keepers. WHAT DOES GOD DO TO US THROUGH HIS WORD? Through His word, God gives us: His Teaching (102) Wisdom (v.98) Understanding (v.99,100,104) Holiness and Hatred of sin (v.101-102, 104-105) Joy (v.103) Jeremiah the Prophet says it like this: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” - Jeremiah 15:16 Why joy? Because the main thing God is communicating to us in His word is Jesus. THE WHOLE BIBLE IS ABOUT JESUS. In Genesis, Jesus is the Seed of the woman who will crush the head of the serpent. In Exodus, Jesus is the Passover Lamb, slain so the LORD’s people can be spared justice. In Leviticus, Jesus is our true High Priest offering a better sacrifice than the others. In Numbers, Jesus is the Pillar of cloud by day and the Pillar of fire by night, leading His people to the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy, Jesus is the Prophet like Moses whom we must listen to or perish. In Joshua, Jesus is the Captain of the LORD’s army, making war on His enemies. In Judges, Jesus is the Judge we long for to correct our rebellious hearts. In Ruth, Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer. In 1st and 2nd Samuel, Jesus is our trusted Prophet, revealing God perfectly to us. In Kings and Chronicles, Jesus is the King we long for who will rule righteously forever. In Ezra, Jesus is the Rebuilder of the broken down walls of the city of God. In Esther, Jesus is the one who doesn’t simply RISK his life, but GIVES his life to save his people. In Job, Jesus is our ever-living Redeemer. In Psalms, Jesus is the Son we must Kiss and our Good Shepherd. In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, Jesus is the very embodiment of wisdom. In the Song of Solomon, Jesus is the Church’s Loving Bridegroom. In Isaiah, Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the Gospel Preacher, and the Suffering Servant. In Jeremiah, Jesus is the Righteous Branch. In Lamentations, Jesus is the better Weeping Prophet—who doesn’t simply weep for sin but kills sin by letting himself be killed in the place of sinners. In Ezekiel, Jesus is the wonderful Four-Faced man. In Daniel, Jesus is the fourth Man in the fiery furnace with Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, he’s the One who closes the lion’s mouths for Daniel, and He is the Son of Man given an eternal Kingdom after His ascension. In Hosea, Jesus is the Faithful Husband, forever married to the backslider. In Joel, Jesus is the baptizer with the Holy Spirit. In Amos, Jesus is our true Burden-Bearer. In Obadiah, Jesus is the One Mighty to Save. In Jonah, Jesus is the better one that was thrown into the sea of God’s wrath so those on board would be spared. In Micah, Jesus is the Messenger with beautiful feet. In Nahum, Jesus is the Avenger of God's elect. In Habakkuk, Jesus is God's evangelist. In Zephaniah, Jesus is our Saviour. In Haggai, Jesus is the restorer of God's lost heritage. In Zechariah, Jesus is the fountain opened up in the house of David for sin and uncleanness. In Malachi, Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings. In the Gospel Accounts, Jesus is the God-Man come to save sinners by grace. In Acts, we see what Jesus continued to do the first 30 years after He ascended to Heaven. All the Letters of the New Testament clarify who He is, what His gospel means, how we should live for Him, and to watch out for those who teach contrary to His Prophets and Apostles. In Revelation, Jesus is our coming King—He will slay men who refuse to come to Him and remain in their sin; He will perfect His people who trust Him by faith and He will perfect the entire world. Those who refuse to repent and believe on Jesus and His gospel will be thrown in the fiery pit of hell to be punished for their sin for all eternity. Those who belong to Jesus in this life will belong to Him forever in the perfect life to come, where we will enjoy Him forever for His glory and our gladness!
Q7. WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES PRINCIPALLY TEACH?
July 8, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man. (2 Tim. 3:16,17; John 20:31; Acts 24:14; 1 Cor. 10:11; Eccles. 12:13) I. THE SCRIPTURES PRINCIPALLY TEACH WHAT MAN IS TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD GENESIS 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” EXODUS 34:6-7 “6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…” HEBREWS 1:1-3 “1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” REVELATION 22:1-5 “1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” As one author said, “The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of 10,000 temporal problems.” (A.W. Tozer) Would you relieve yourself of 10,000 problems? Get a right belief about God. That’s what the Scriptures principally teach. II. THE SCRIPTURES PRINCIPALLY TEACH WHAT DUTY GOD REQUIRES OF MAN DEUTERONOMY 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” What duty does God require of man? I) It is your duty to love the LORD with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength Mark 12:29-30 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ II) It is your duty to love your neighbor as yourself Mark 12:31 “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” ROMANS 3:22-23 22 For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” GALATIANS 3:10, 13 10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”. . . 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” The gospel is the good news that what God requires, He provides in Jesus Christ. Whom He provides for by Christ, He purifies by the Holy Spirit. Whom He purifies by the Spirit, He protects by His providence. And whom He protects by His providence, He will one day perfect in His presence. III) As a sinner who is in the path of the wrath of God, it is your duty to repent and believe the gospel MARK 1:14-15 14 Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” JOHN 6:28-29 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” IV) In Christ, your duty is to take up your cross and follow Jesus MARK 8:34-38 34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Recommendation: John Piper’s book What Jesus Demands from the World. 50 short chapters. V) In Christ, it is our duty to make disciples of all nations MATTHEW 28:19-20 “18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” VI) In Christ, it is your duty to act and speak in order to glorify God in all of life 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31 “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” MATTHEW 5:16 “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” VII) In Christ, it is your duty to worship God in all of life, especially as a member of a local church HEBREWS 10:24-25 “24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” VIII) In Christ, it is your duty to be anxious for nothing, casting all your anxieties on Him PHILIPPIANS 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” 1 PETER 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” ROMANS 8:32-34 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? “To withhold Scripture from anyone is an act of ecclesiastical robbery as well as spiritual murder.” Wilhelmus A. Brakel
Q8. WHAT IS GOD? (SPIRIT, INFINITE, ETERNAL, UNCHANGEABLE)
July 15, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. (John 4:24; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 90:2; James 1:17; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 89:14; Exod. 34:6,7; 1 Tim. 1:17) Q. What do you believe about God? I. GOD IS A SPIRIT JOHN 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” II. GOD IS INFINITE PSALM 147:5 “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” ISAIAH 40:28 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” ROMANS 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” JEREMIAH 23:24 “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.” JOHN 1:16 “For from [Jesus’] fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” III. GOD IS ETERNAL PSALM 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” IV. GOD IS UNCHANGEABLE PSALM 102:25-27 “25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, 27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.” JAMES 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” MALACHI 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” HEBREWS 6:17-18 “17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things (His promise and His oath), in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.”
Q8. WHAT IS GOD? (WISDOM)
July 23, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, WISDOM, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. (John 4:24; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 90:2; James 1:17; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 89:14; Exod. 34:6,7; 1 Tim. 1:17) GOD IS INFINITE, ETERNAL, AND UNCHANGEABLE IN WISDOM ROMANS 16:27 “to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.” I. GOD’S WISDOM IS SEEN IN HIS INFINITE INTELLIGENCE PSALM 147:5 “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” DANIEL 2:28 “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.” PSALM 94:11 “the LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.” II. GOD’S WISDOM IS SEEN IN HIS WORKS We see the wisdom of God as we consider his works of I) Creation, II) Redemption, and III) Providence. I) CREATION PSALM 104:24 “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” II) REDEMPTION ROMANS 3:23-26 “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” ROMANS 11:33-36 “33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ 35 ‘Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” III) PROVIDENCE EPHESIANS 1:11 “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” GENESIS 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” ACTS 2:23 “Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” ROMANS 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Q8. WHAT IS GOD? (POWER)
July 29, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, POWER, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. (John 4:24; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 90:2; James 1:17; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 89:14; Exod. 34:6,7; 1 Tim. 1:17) GOD IS…INFINITE, ETERNAL, AND UNCHANGEABLE…IN POWER PSALM 147:5 “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power.” JEREMIAH 32:17 “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” THE SCRIPTURES SPEAK OF GOD’S POWER IN THREE WAYS: 1) POSITIVELY: Genesis 17:1 "I am God Almighty.” 2) NEGATIVELY: Luke 1:37 “Nothing is impossible with God.” 3) COMPARATIVELY: Matthew 19:26 "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." God’s infinite, eternal, and unchangeable power is clearly set forth in at least 5 ways: His I) Creating, II) Preserving, III) Governing, IV) Redeeming, and V) Judging. I. CREATING POWER Psalm 33:9 “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” Romans 1:20 “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” II. PRESERVING POWER Hebrews 1:3 “[Jesus] upholds the universe by the word of his power.” III. GOVERNING POWER 1) Elements Deuteronomy 4:36-38 “And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power.” Mark 4:37-41 “37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” 2) Men Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 21:1 “The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” Exodus 9:16 “But for this purpose I have raised you up (Pharoah), to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 3) Demons Matthew 8:31 “And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 4) Wicked men Isaiah 37:29 “Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came.’” Daniel 4:35 “all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” IV. REDEEMING POWER I) The virgin birth of Jesus Christ Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.’” II) Jesus’ resurrection from the dead Romans 1:4 “[Jesus Christ our Lord] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” III) Taking dead sinners and converting them to living saints through the preaching of the gospel Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” IV) Empowering Christians to be witnesses for Jesus Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” V) Guarding Christians through faith 1 Peter 1:5 “who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” VI) In giving His saints resurrected bodies 1 Corinthians 6:14 “And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.” Philippians 3:20-21 “20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” V. JUDGING POWER I) In judging unrepentant sinners Romans 9:22 “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.” Romans 2:4-5 “4 …do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.”
Q8. WHAT IS GOD? (HOLINESS)
August 12, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, HOLINESS, justice, goodness and truth. (John 4:24; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 90:2; James 1:17; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 89:14; Exod. 34:6,7; 1 Tim. 1:17) God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in HOLINESS. I. LET US UNDERSTAND THE HOLINESS OF GOD I) God is Holy 1 John 1:5 “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” John MacArthur: “God’s holiness is His inherent and absolute greatness, in which He is perfectly distinct above everything outside Himself and is absolutely morally separate from sin.” Isaiah 6:3 “And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’” Revelation 4:8 “Day and night [the angels] never cease to say, ’Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” GOD THE FATHER IS HOLY! Jesus, in John 17:11: “Holy Father.” GOD THE SPIRIT IS HOLY! Again, Jesus ,in John 14:26: “The Holy Spirit.” GOD THE SON IS HOLY! Paul, in Acts 13:35 (quoting Psalm 16:10): “You will not let your Holy One see corruption.” II) God’s Works are Holy Exodus 15:11 “Who is like [the LORD], majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” Psalm 145:17 “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” III) God’s written Word is Holy Romans 1:2 “[Jesus was] promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,” IV) God’s Commands are Holy Romans 7:12 “So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” V) God’s Promises are Holy Psalm 105:42 “For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant.” VI) God’s Covenant is Holy John the Baptist's father Zechariah calls God’s covenant, “his holy covenant” in Luke 1:72. II. LET US APPLY GOD’S HOLINESS I) You will not be accepted by God unless you are perfectly holy Habakkuk 1:13 “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” II) You will not escape God’s wrath if you stand before Him in your unholiness (sin, wickedness) Nahum 1:3-5 “3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; . . .5 The mountains quake before him; the hills melt.” III) You must go to Christ in faith so that God will count you holy Colossians 1:21-23 “21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel…” IV) In Christ, you must sanctify God as Holy Leviticus 10:3 “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” V) In Christ, you must be Holy Leviticus 14:44-45 “44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. . . 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (The Apostle Peter repeats this in 1 Peter 1:16) VI) In Christ, you must worship God in Holiness 1 Chronicles 16:29 “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.” Hebrews 12:28-29 “28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.” VII) In Christ, you must be motivated toward holiness by God’s promises 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
Q8. WHAT IS GOD? (JUSTICE)
August 19, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, JUSTICE, goodness and truth. (John 4:24; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 90:2; James 1:17; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 89:14; Exod. 34:6,7; 1 Tim. 1:17) God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in justice. I. GOD IS JUST Deuteronomy 32:4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” II. GOD DOES WHAT IS JUST Genesis 18:25 “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” Psalm 111:7 “The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy” III. GOD LOVES JUSTICE Psalm 33:5 “He loves righteousness and justice.” IV. GOD HATES INJUSTICE Isaiah 61:8 “For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong.” V. BECAUSE GOD IS JUST HE WILL PUNISH SINNERS Ezra 9:15 “O Lord, the God of Israel, you are just… Behold, we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you…” Nahum 1:3,6,8 “3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. . . 6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him….8 with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.” VI. THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS THAT GOD IS JUST AND THE JUSTIFIER OF THE ONE WHO HAS FAITH IN JESUS Romans 3:25,27 “25 God put forward [Jesus] as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. . . 27 so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” VII. IF YOU ARE IN CHRIST, YOU ARE AS SECURE AS CAN BE BECAUSE GOD IS JUST 1 John 1:8-9 “8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”
Q8. WHAT IS GOD? (TRUTH)
September 3, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and TRUTH. (John 4:24; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 90:2; James 1:17; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 89:14; Exod. 34:6,7; 1 Tim. 1:17) God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in TRUTH. My aim is to give you six points of instruction and six points of application concerning God being infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in truth. INTRUCTION I. GOD IS TRUTH JOHN FLAVAL: “[Truth] is an essential property of [God’s] nature, whereby He is perfectly faithful in Himself, and in all that He hath spoken.” BOSTON: [God’s truth] is that perfection of His nature whereby He is faithful, and in Him there is no falsehood.” Titus 1:2 “God…never lies.” Q. Why? A. Because He not only tells the truth but He Himself is truth. Deuteronomy 32:4, “A God of faithfulness (truthfulness) and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” God the Holy Spirit is called “The Spirit of truth” John 14:17, 15:26, 16:33 “The Spirit of truth” God the Son is called “the truth” John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life.” THOMAS WATSON: “There is nothing true but what is in God or comes from God.” THOMAS BOSTON: “All God’s works are true and real things, not chimeras or appearances. He executes true judgements, grants true deliverance, works true miracles; His mercies are true mercies, and His comforts are true comforts. He does not deceive or delude His people with vain shews and appearances.” II. JESUS IS FULL OF TRUTH John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus says, “Truly” at least 30 times as He teaches, in the book of Matthew alone. III. GOD’S WORD IS TRUTH Psalm 18:30 “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” Psalm 119:60 “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” I) God’s Historical narrative is true. II) God’s prophetic predictions are true. III) God’s commands are true. IV) God’s warnings are true. V) God’s promises are true. IV. GOD’S TRUTH IS ETERNAL Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his [truthfulness] to all generations.” V. GOD’S TRUTH IS UNIVERSAL John 17:17 “Your word is truth.” VI. SINNERS SUPPRESS THE TRUTH Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Q. Why is the wrath of God revealed from heaven against those that suppress the truth? Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him…” APPLICATION: I. THERE WILL BE WRATH AND FURY FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT OBEY THE TRUTH Romans 2:8 “for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” II. YOU MUST HEAR THE WORD OF TRUTH AND BELIEVE ON JESUS CHRIST Ephesians 1:13 “In [Christ]…when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” Q. What is this “gospel of you salvation”? Ephesians 1:7 “In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” III. IN CHRIST, YOU MUST KNOW THE TRUTH AND SO BE SET FREE FROM SIN John 8:31-32 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” IV. IN CHRIST, GOD SANCTIFIES YOU IN THE TRUTH John 17:17 “sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.’ V. IN CHRIST, YOU MUST IMITATE GOD IN TRUTHFULNESS Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor…” FLAVAL: “Truth and sincerity of heart is that which is most suitable and pleasing to God.” VI. IN CHRIST, THE PROMISES OF THE GOSPEL ARE AN ACHOR FOR YOUR SOUL, BECAUSE GOD IS TRUTH Micah 7:19 “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” God promised Abraham offspring and gave it because He is true. Romans 4:20-21 “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. “ God promised meat and gave it because He is true. Numbers 11:23 “And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord's hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.” God promised Canaan and gave it because He is true. Joshua 21:45 “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” God promised rest and fulfilled it because He is true. 1 Kings 8:56 “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.” God promised the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent and did it because He is true. Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” In Christ, God has promised your justification has done it because He is true. Romans 4:5 “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” In Christ, God has promised your sanctification and is doing it because He is true. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” In Christ, God has promised your glorification and will do it because He is true. Romans 8:30 “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” In Christ, God has promised to never leave you nor forsake you and will uphold it because He is true. Hebrews 13:5 “[God] has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” In Christ, God has promised to take you to be with Himself and will do it because He is true. John 14:2-3 “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. In Christ, God has promised this eternal covenant and even swore an oath by Himself. He will not turn back because He is true. Hebrews 6:19 “We have this (the truthfulness of God) as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”
Q8. WHAT IS GOD? (GOODNESS)
August 27, 2020 • Brett Baggett
ANSWER: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, GOODNESS and truth. Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” I. GOD IS GOOD Q. What is goodness? A. Goodness does not mean “the opposite of badness.” Goodness does not mean the same thing as “righteous.” Goodness means kindness, mercy, patience, generosity. That God is good means God is kind, God is merciful, God is patient, God is generous. Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Exodus 33:18-19 “18 Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’ 19 And [The LORD] said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.’” II. GOD DOES WHAT IS GOOD Psalm 119:68 “You (LORD) are good and do good.” I) God does what is good to all mankind. Matthew 5:45 “[God] makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Acts 14:17 (Paul and Barnabas at Lystra) “[God] did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” II) God especially does what is good to His saints. Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Thomas Watson: “To know that nothing hurts the godly, is a matter of comfort; but to be assured that all things…shall co-operate for their good…this may fill their hearts with joy till they run over.” III. GOD DID HIS HIGHEST GOOD BY SENDING HIS SON TO DIE SO THAT YOU COULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Concerning the word “so” in John 3:16, Thomas Boston: “This is an inexpressible so, a so that all the angels of heaven cannot analyze. None can conceive or understand the boundless extent and dimensions of it.” C.S. Lewis: “It cost God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things: but to convert rebellious will cost him crucifixion.” Q. How must you respond to God’s goodness? IV. YOU MUST NOT PRESUME UPON GOD’S GOODNESS—IF YOU DO, YOU WILL GO TO HELL Romans 2:3 “Do you suppose, O man…that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness (goodness) and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s [goodness] is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” Thomas Watson: “Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell.” V. YOU MUST REPENT AND BELIEVE GOD’S GOOD NEWS—IF YOU DO, GOD WILL FORGIVE AND CLEASE YOU Mark 1:14-15 “14 Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” Psalm 86:5 “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” Isaiah 55:2 “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.” VI. IN CHRIST, YOU MUST IMITATE GOD IN HIS GOODNESS Luke 6:35 “…love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Martin Luther: “Good works do not make a good man — but a good man does make works good.” VII. IN CHRIST, YOU MUST TELL OTHERS OF GOD’S GOODNESS Psalm 145:4, 7 “4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. … 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.” VIII. IN CHRIST, YOU MUST PRAISE GOD FOR HIS GOODNESS 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 135:3 “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!” Psalm 31:19 “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” CONCLUSION Thomas Boston: “Seek not your happiness in created things and enjoyments, but in an ever-bountiful God, who is the spring and source of all goodness and mercy, and who can fully satisfy all the desires of an immortal soul.” Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”