Standing On The shoulders Of The Fathers – 13
Theology is broken into two greek words, theos (God) and logos (Word). So then basically theology is the study of a “word about God” or God’s Word or God. You cannot separate the two. Many today will decry the study of doctrine or forming a belief system or knowledge about what and why one believes what they believe about God’s Word.
Claiming all you need are the red letters, or love, or the Bible is forgetting some important truths. Those same red letters, that same Bible says that because of love we should “be aware of false teachers.(Matthew 7:15, Romans 16:17-20, 1 Timothy 4:1-2)” Paul, told Timothy to study God’s Word, so that he would be a craftsmen (2 Timothy 2:15).
The writer of Hebrews challenged his readers to move beyond the, “milk of the Word. (Hebrews 5:11-6:4)” So, to say that doctrine is not necessary is to try to live this life, as though one is building a swingset with no instructions. Ask anyone who has tried such a thing, and they will point out how utterly futile such an effort is.
Yet, the Word of God says something else very powerful, it says that God has given us teachers in order that we might not be carried away with every wind of doctrine, (Ephesians 4:14, Hebrews 13:9). So, to say that we need no one to teach us God’s Word is bound to allow us to begin a slow decent into the land of heresy, off the path of solid truth that keeps us on the right road, taking us beyond the horizon.
Yet, how does one know that how one is interpreting God’s Word or how a particular teacher is interpreting God’s Word is right? One way is by looking back upon historical faith. Historical faith helps direct us toward knowing how to interpret the Bible, application and theological formation, allowing one to know not only how such beliefs one is holding to may have developed, thus helping one better postulate those beliefs.
Historical faith also reveals to us what is important about the faith and how Christ is building His church. It is these, the reason why World Prayr is bringing, “Standing On The shoulders Of The Fathers”. As, we travel through history we will be looking at what various teachers, pastors, writers have had to say through history about God’s Word.
We, pray you are encouraged and blessed by such insights, introductions and teachings.
Arthur W. Pink
Arthur Walkington Pink (1 April 1886 15 July 1952) was an English Bible teacher who sparked a renewed interest in the exposition of Calvinism. Virtually unknown in his own lifetime, Pink became “one of the most influential evangelical authors in the second half of the twentieth century.”
Spiritual Growth by Arthur W. Pink
12. Its Evidences
If the Christian expects to find an improvement in the “old man,” he will most certainly be disappointed: if he looks for a waning of natural pride, a lessening of the workings of unbelief, a cessation of the risings within him of rebellion against God, he will look in vain. Yet how many Christians are bitterly disappointed over this very thing and greatly cast down by the same.
But they ought not to be, for God has nowhere promised to sublimate or spiritualize the “flesh” nor to eradicate our corruptions in this life, yet it is the Christians duty and privilege to so walk in the spirit that he will not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Though we should be deeply humbled over our corruptions and mourn for them, yet our painful awareness of the same should not cause us to conclude we have made no spiritual growth.
An increasing realization of our native depravity, a growing discovery of how much there is within us that is opposed to God, with a corresponding despising of ourselves for the same, is one of the surest evidences that we are growing in grace. The more the light of God shines into our hearts, the more are we made aware of the filth and wickedness which indwell them.
The better we became acquainted with God and learn of His ineffable purity, the more conscious do we become of our base impurity and bewail the same. That is a growing downwards or becoming less in our own esteem. And it is that which makes way for an increasing valuation of the atoning and cleansing blood of Christ, and a more frequent betaking of ourselves to that Fountain which has been opened for sin and for uncleanness. Thus, if Christ is becoming more precious to you, if you perceive with increasing clearness His suitability for such a vile wretch as you know yourself to be, and if that perception leads you to cast yourself more and more upon Himas a drowning man does to a logthen that is clear proof you are growing in grace.
Growth is silent and at the time imperceptible to our senses, though later it is evident. Growth is gradual and full development is not reached in a day, nor in a year. Time must be allowed before proof can be obtained. We should not attempt to gauge our growth by our feelings, but rather by looking into the glass of Gods Word and measuring ourselves by the standard which is there set before us.
There may be real progress even where there is less inward comforts. Am I denying myself more now than I did formerly?
Am I less enthralled by the attractions of this world than I used to be? Are the details of my daily life being more strictly regulated by the precepts of Holy Writ? Am I more resigned to the blessed will of God, assured that He knows what is best for me?
Is my confidence in God growing, so that I am more and more leaving myself and my affairs in His hands? Those are some of the tests we should apply to ourselves if we would ascertain whether or not we be growing in grace.