A Summary of the Holy Trinity

If covenantal thinking forms the architecture of Reformed faith and practice, then the doctrine of the Trinity is its foundation. As seen throughout The Christian Faith, this doctrine is not merely one among many, but is proclaimed in the church’s message of salvation and structures all Christian theology, liturgy, prayer, and praise.

Biblical-Theological Development of the Doctrine
Just as faith in Yahweh and no other is the foundation of Old Testament faith and practice (e.g., Deut. 6:4), so New Testament believers affirmed and carried on this faith in the uniqueness of the God of Israel (e.g., Eph. 4:6). At the same time, Jesus called this one God his Father in an exclusive sense and claimed to bear the same divine character and authority. His followers confessed him as Lord and trusted him for salvation, all the while rejecting pagan polytheism. The Bible clearly testifies, in the context of strict monotheism, to both the full divinity and distinct personality of the Son (e.g., John 1:1–3) and the Spirit (e.g., Matt. 28:19; 2 Peter 1:21). Long before the biblical dogma of the Trinity was formally refined, then, believers were trusting in and praying to the triune God whom it describes. We know God as our Father in his one and only Son; the Father directs us to his Son as our Lord; Jesus is the way to the Father and sends his Spirit into our hearts; the Spirit enables us to call on the Father through the Son. Christian worship is Trinitarian as well, reflected in baptism into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and in the New Testament’s liturgical forms and benedictions (e.g., 2 Cor. 13:14).

Historical-Theological Formulation
Though Christian Trinitarianism arose in the context of Jewish monotheism, it’s elaboration and defense came amid encounters with Greek objections.

The Emergence of Christian Trinitarianism
The historical development of Trinitarian dogma is a primary illustration that Christian theology is always done within a specific context, yet with an overriding concern for Scripture as its source and norm. The main cultural problem Trinitarian doctrine encountered was a philosophical privileging of the one (unity) over the many (plurality). Some, like Origen, believed that all plurality is a “fall” from unity and confessed the Son and the Spirit as truly God, but essentially derivative of and inferior to the Father. Others, like Arius, felt that any distinction in properties and names denotes a distinction in natures, and separated the Son and the Spirit from the one God, the Father. Still others, like Sabellius, saw plurality in God as a temporary self-presentation for the purposes of creation and redemption—apart from and above the economy, God is not Trinity. Against each of these ways of privileging unity over plurality in God, teachers like Athanasius and especially the Cappadocians developed increasingly nuanced ways of speaking about the essential unity and the personal plurality in God, so that both may be affirmed according to the integrity of the biblical witness. God is one “essence” in three “persons.” The persons, or “hypostases,” are not simply roles that the one God takes on or aspects of his character, but they are each distinctly and all together the one God. This catholic consensus emerged with the Niceno-Constantinopolitan (Nicene) Creed (381). Differences between Eastern and Western Trinitarian formulations are frequently over exaggerated, but in so central a doctrine every nuance can be significant. The Western, Augustinian tradition has sometimes had trouble maintaining a robust account of the distinct characteristics of all three persons in their individual existence and mutually shared activity. In both traditions, the common Trinitarian faith was affirmed, but with different accents and conceptual frameworks, often leading to tension on important points (such as the filioque).

Essential Attributes and Personal Properties
Calvin and the Reformed tradition received and developed the Trinitarianism of their forebears, against rising neo-Arianism and Unitarianism from the sixteenth century. Reformed theologians, though indebted to Augustine’s emphasis on the divine persons’ essential unity, also emphasized with the Cappadocians the personal distinctions of the divine persons. In this vein, Calvin’s insistence on each person’s essential self-existence (each is “autotheos,” as the one self-existent God), while affirming the Father as the personal source of his only begotten Son and the Spirit who proceeds from both, navigated between tendencies toward subordinationism on one hand and modalism on the other. With some variation in language and explanation, the Reformed after Calvin continued this twofold emphasis on essential unity and personal distinction. Especially significant was Reformed insistence that in every outward activity of the one God (toward creatures), the persons operate in distinct ways to accomplish their unified work, in accord with their intrinsic personal characteristics.

  • The beginning of all activity belongs to the Father.
  • The counsel or pattern belongs to the Son.
  • The efficacy belongs to the Spirit.

The Trinity in Modern Theology
Modern Enlightenment theology largely rejected or ignored classical Trinitarian theology until Hegel appealed to a radically recast view of the Trinity for his philosophy of “Spirit” realizing itself in the process of history. The twentieth century experienced a revival of Trinitarian theology in the wake of Karl Barth’s break with Protestant liberalism, and in many respects contemporary debates in Trinitarian theology still reflect the legacy of Barth and Hegel. Those following Barth’s trajectory tend to privilege the oneness of God, by so stressing the absolute subjectivity of God in self-revelation as Lord, that the genuine distinc­tiveness and mutuality of the three persons is undermined. Those following Hegel’s trajectory tend to privilege the plurality in God, by so distinguishing Father, Son, and Spirit in their identities, wills, and actions—sometimes even in essences—that the unity of God’s nature is endangered.

One and Many: Systematic-Theological Development: The following sections offer two guidelines for theological reflection on the Trinity. 

We Should Recognize that All of Our Definitions of Person in Relation to the Godhead Are Analogies. If traditional analogies for the Trinity—such as Peter, James, and John sharing in humanity—are taken univocally, they lead to either tritheism or modalism. But classical Trinitarians were very careful to make clear the analogical nature of all our knowledge of God’s being and to counter the partial potentially misleading aspects of Trinitarian analogies by appealing to the fullness of the revealed character of the triune God. We should neither accept or reject such important Trinitarian concepts as “person” by directly applying to God any existing human definitions. We must avoid univocity of concepts and language, both between our notions and God’s being and between God as he has revealed himself and God in his hidden majesty.

Our Formulations Should Acknowledge that the Three Persons Are Not Simply Relations but Distinct Subsistences with Their Own Incommunicable Attributes. While the Father, the Son, and the Spirit do not differ with respect to the divine essence and attributes they share, they possess personal characteristics that they do not share. Only the Father is unbegotten; only the Son is begotten; only the Spirit is spirated (breathed). In every external work of the Godhead, the Father is always source, the Son always mediator, and the Spirit always perfecter. The divine persons are not merely relations but persons in relation. It is not simply that the relations of begetting, being begotten, and being spirated are essential to the personal identities of Father, Son, and Spirit but also that the persons themselves are essential to each other’s identity. Each is an unsubstitutable agent who lives, wills, and acts in a distinct way that is never separated from the others. The covenant of redemption is the primary illustration of these points.

The Filioque
The variation between the East and the West became a formal schism (in 1054) with a debate that started in the sixth century and still continues, over whether the Spirit proceeds only from the Father or from the Father “and the Son” (filioque), as the West inserted into the Nicene Creed. Advocates of the Western position argue for the filioque from such texts as John 14:16 and Romans 8:9, where the Spirit is identified as “the Spirit of God” and “of Christ,” sent by the Son as well as the Father. Eastern advocates say that the Spirit is only ever explicitly said to “proceed” from the Father (in John 15:26 ESV, wording that is echoed in the unaltered Nicene Creed). The Reformed tradition has historically followed the Western view. Though this controversy deals with significant questions of the character of God’s unity and the relationship between the immanent Trinity (God in himself) and the economic Trinity (God in relation to us), the filioque question does not of itself threaten the ecumenical consensus on the Trinity.

(HT: A summary of Michael Horton’s, The Christian Faith, Chapter Eight)


The Great Commission or the Apostles Ordination?

The blogosphere,  within Evangelical and Baptist circles, has continued to go back and froth about the recent discussion on soteriology and the Ten Article Preamble written by a number within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The Preamble has been written with a major concern of New Calvinists gaining ground and number within the SBC denomination.

The Ten Article Preamble has a heavily bent towards Arminianism;  and at times has been argued as Semi-Pelagian. It has brought constant posts, disagreements and differences among a number of leaders within the SBC. From the beginning, Calvinists have taken the time, on a number of platforms, to respond by pointing out their differences with the Ten Articles, none of which excel Rev. Dr. Tom Ascol’s 13 part series titled “Response to A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.

I have seen a number disagreements with almost every point of the Ten Article Preamble, including Number 10 which concerns The Great Commission. As a matter of fact, The Rev. Dr. Tom Ascol,  from my reading and understanding, did not disagree with Article Ten: The Great Commission. Article ten states,

We affirm that the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned His church to preach the good news of salvation to all people to the ends of the earth. We affirm that the proclamation of the Gospel is God’s means of bringing any person to salvation. We deny that salvation is possible outside of a faith response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As Scriptural proof text, the writers of this article use the following:

Psalm 51:13; Proverbs 11:30; Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 28:19-20; John 14:6; Acts 1:8; 4:12; 10:42-43; Romans 1:16, 10:13-15; 1 Corinthians 1:17-21; Ephesians 3:7-9; 6:19-20; Philippians 1:12-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

It is what the “Traditional SBCers ” affirm that brings some concern and is in need of clarification for a proper understanding and doctrinal agreement for myself. Two things come to my mind after reading the 10th Article along side their Scriptural proof texts.

The first concerns the fact that the SBC has remained dominantly Dispensational in their hermeneutics. Seeing the writers use proof texts in the Old Testament,  such the Psalms and Isaiah, while applying them to the New Testament people of God seems to be a move towards a more covenantal hermeneutic.

The second applies to Article Ten which states “that the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned His church to preach the good news of salvation to all people to the ends of the earth.” This is proof texted by Matthew 28:19-20. I would like to see some clarification on what is meant by “commissioned His church.” What does “His church” mean in the Article? Is it every single individual member of the church? Is it the commission of the church? Does it mean that the commission was given to the offices of the church? Is this “great” commission given to both men and women of the church?

Maybe it is time that the “Traditional Baptists” of the SBC take a look at their elder brothers of the Protestant Faith such as the “Particular” Baptist. The 1689 London Baptist Confession (LBC) chapter 28 sections 1 & 2 state the following,

1. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, to be continued in his church to the end of the world. 2. These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ. Scriptural Proof Text: Matthew 28:19-20.

What American Evangelicals, such as the SBC have commonly titled The Great Commission and used as a Scriptural proof for the Church to evangelize has lost its theological intent and audience. Here in the LBC (as well in the Westminster Confession of Faith chapter 28 & The Belgic Confession Article 34 ) traditionally Protestants have seen Matthew 28:19-20 not as The Great Commission, but as the Apostles Commission, or better said The Apostles Ordination by Jesus Christ.

Here Jesus ordaining the disciples into the office of Apostleship, passing the keys and authority that had been given to Him from His father, telling the Apostles their commission, “to teach and baptize… to all the nations” meaning both to the Jew and Gentile takes place before His ascension. Later in the New Testament, it is this office of Apostles and commission of teaching and baptizing that had been given to them by Jesus Christ himself that is passed to the office of the teaching elder. (Cf. Acts 14:23, 20:28; Titus 1:5) As John Calvin gives light to the original intent and theological importance of the passage to the church today;

Now since this charge is expressly given to the apostles along with the preaching of the word, it follows that none can lawfully administer baptism but those who are also the ministers of doctrine. When private persons, and even women, are permitted to baptize, nothing can be more at variance with the ordinance of Christ, nor is it any thing else than a mere profanation.”


God’s Sovereignty Over His People: The Beauty of Election

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job 23:13 But he [is] in one [mind], and who can turn him? and [what] his soul desireth, even [that] he doeth.

Job 23:14 For he performeth [the thing that is] appointed for me: and many such [things are] with him.

Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Psalms 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

Psalms 27:1 { [A Psalm] of David.} The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble.

Psalms 48:14 For this God [is] our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide [even] unto death.

Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Psalms 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?

Psalms 56:13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: [wilt] not [thou deliver] my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

Psalms 57:2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth [all things] for me.

Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psalms 118:24 This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Isaiah 43:5 Fear not: for I [am] with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

Isaiah 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from f`r, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

Isaiah 43:7 [Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

John 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 9:22 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Romans 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Romans 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Romans 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to [the image of] Baal.

Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

1 Corinthians 1:9 God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Hebrews 13:5 [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue


God’s Sovereignty over Those Who Do Not Know Him

Exodus 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

1 Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

Job 8:22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.

Job 18:5 Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.

Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

Job 36:6 He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.

Job 38:13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

Job 38:15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.

Psalms 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day.

Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God.

Psalms 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek [after God]: God [is] not in all his thoughts.

Psalms 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup.

Psalms 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be].

Psalms 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalms 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Psalms 75:10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; [but] the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalms 94:13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

Psalms 101:8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.

Psalms 119:119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth [like] dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.

Psalms 129:4 The LORD [is] righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.

Psalms 139:19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

Psalms 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

Psalms 146:9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Psalms 147:6 The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

Proverbs 2:22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Proverbs 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

Proverbs 11:21 [Though] hand [join] in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

Proverbs 14:11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright [is] his delight.

Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked [is] an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

Proverbs 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked [are] an abomination to the LORD: but [the words] of the pure [are] pleasant words.

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD [is] far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

Proverbs 16:4 The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, [and] the plowing of the wicked, [is] sin.

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked [is] abomination: how much more, [when] he bringeth it with a wicked mind?

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Isaiah 48:22 [There is] no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.

Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked [are] like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

Isaiah 57:21 [There is] no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

Nahum 1:3 The LORD [is] slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit [the wicked]: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds [are] the dust of his feet.

Matthew 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just


God’s Sovereignty over all Nations

Genesis 41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh [is] one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he [is] about to do.

Genesis 41:32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; [it is] because the thing [is] established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

Joshua 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, [and] that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Judges 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it [was] of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

2 Kings 7:6 For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, [even] the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,

Psalms 66:7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

Psalms 86:9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.

Psalms 96:5 For all the gods of the nations [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

Isaiah 19:14 The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken [man] staggereth in his vomit.

Isaiah 30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and [there shall be] a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing [them] to err.

Jeremiah 25:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:

Daniel 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.


God’s Sovereignty over Nature

Exodus 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go [back] by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry [land], and the waters were divided.

Deuteronomy 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as [appeareth] this day.

Deuteronomy 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

Deuteronomy 11:4 And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and [how] the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;

Job 26:12 He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.

Psalms 78:26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.

Psalms 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.

Jeremiah 14:22 Are there [any] among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? [art] not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these [things].

Jonah 4:6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made [it] to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

Nahum 1:3 The LORD [is] slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit [the wicked]: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds [are] the dust of his feet.

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

Matthew 21:20 And when the disciples saw [it], they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

John 2:6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

John 2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

John 2:8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare [it].

John 2:9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

John 2:10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: [but] thou hast kept the good wine until now.

John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.


God Didn’t Create A Mistake

(HT: Challies)

This morning I woke up like everyday other day, walk into my home office, read Challies ale cart then made coffee. But today Tim had posted a video that related to my last few post, so I decided to post it here as well, enjoy.


God’s Sovereignty over Angels

UNFALLEN

Exodus 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

Psalms 68:17 The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angels: the Lord [is] among them, [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place].

Psalms 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Psalms 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Psalms 104:4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Matthew 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

SATAN

Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save his life.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

FALLEN

Psalms 78:49 He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels [among them].

Matthew 8:31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

Matthew 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.


God’s Sovereignty in His Creation

Gen 1:1¶ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Gen 2:4¶ These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Deu 4:32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?

Psa 89:12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

Psa 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

Psa 115:3 But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psa 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

Isa 26:12 ¶ LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. (AV)

Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

Isa 41:20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

Isa 42:5¶ Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

Isa 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Isa 43:13 Yea, before the day [was] I [am] he; and [there is] none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Isa 45:8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

Isa 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand.

Isa 65:17¶ For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Am 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:


God’s Sovereignty of the Heavens and Earth

I recently (last Friday) wrote a short post on a young man I knew of that lost his girlfriend in a wreck when he was driving. The post was to show how the believer gets to enjoy the sovereignty of God during hard times. However I was extremely stunned when I received several Facebook messages and emails asking me what to do, “if you do not believe that God is in control at all times?” So I have decided to put a search together and just simply allow the Scriptures speak for themselves to answer exactly that what younger people, teens and college age groups struggle with, “Is God really in control of all things?” Over the next few days I will simply, from the Bible, show how God is soveregin over all things, speically on one area each post.

For starters, answering the question today, “Is God in control over the heavens and in the earth?”

Gen 1:1¶ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Gen 2:4¶ These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Gen 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Gen 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

Deu 3:24 O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?

Deu 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

Deu 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Jos 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

Neh 9:6 Thou, [even] thou, [art] LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all [things] that [are] therein, the seas, and all that [is] therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

1Ch 16:26 For all the gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

1Ch 29:11 Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

1Ch 29:12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

2Ch 20:6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, [art] not thou God in heaven? and rulest [not] thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand [is there not] power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Neh 9:6 Thou, [even] thou, [art] LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all [things] that [are] therein, the seas, and all that [is] therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

Psa 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

Psa 62:11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power [belongeth] unto God.

Psa 65:6 ¶ Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; [being] girded with power:

Psa 89:11 The heavens [are] thine, the earth also [is] thine: [as for] the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.

Psa 89:12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

Psa 103:19 ¶ The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Psa 104:5 [Who] laid the foundations of the earth, [that] it should not be removed for ever.

Psa 104:6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as [with] a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

Psa 104:7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

Psa 104:8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

Psa 104:9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

Psa 104:13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

Psa 104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

Psa 104:19 ¶ He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

Psa 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Psa 115:3 But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psa 115:15 Ye [are] blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.

Psa 119:89 ¶ LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Psa 119:90 Thy faithfulness [is] unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

Psa 119:91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all [are] thy servants.

Psa 121:2 My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Psa 124:8 Our help [is] in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Psa 134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

Psa 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, [that] did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Psa 135:7 He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.

Psa 136:5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Psa 136:6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Psa 136:7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Psa 136:8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Psa 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Psa 147:5 Great [is] our Lord, and of great power: his understanding [is] infinite.

Psa 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

Psa 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

Isa 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou [art] the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things

Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else.

Jer 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

Jer 27:5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that [are] upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.

Jer 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing too hard for thee:

Jer 51:15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.

Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Act 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou [art] God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Heb 1:1 ¶ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;


Crestview teen dies in crash & God is still Sovereign

The headline of Mansfield’s New Journal Wednesday morning caught me off guard because I graduated from the school in Ohio. The reason I took a second look at the article was because I recognized one of the names. The name was Garret Mullet, the son of my youth/associate pastor when I grew up in Ohio. The article stated, “the vehicle driven by Garrett D. Mullett, 16, of Ashland, was traveling east on County Road 956…”

But article went on to say,

“Megan Jenkins, 15, of Mansfield, was a front-seat passenger when the 1998 Chrysler Sebring she was riding in slid off the south edge of the snow-covered road and struck a guard rail on County Road 956 in Clear Creek Township, the post reported. Jenkins was transported to MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital and later died as a result of her injuries.”

Oh how my heart broke for this young-man I knew of. I did not know much of, I did not know personally, but I just knew of him through his father who played a major role in my teen years. However, I stopped and thought what could I tell this teen, what would I tell this teen, was the same thing I’d tell anyone in any circumstance, to enjoy the sovereignty of God.

Daniel 4:34-35 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 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?”

Ephesians 1:11-12 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

The sovereignty of God must be boasted in because God, reigning over all creation, reveals His pre-eminence and shows the finiteness of humanity in its ability to know and control things.

Of all the doctrines regarding the attributes of God, His sovereignty is by far the most necessary for the understanding of His character. As believers, this is crucial to living a life of glorifying God to the utmost. The understanding that God is in control over all creation makes it easy to boast in Him. Without the understanding of His control, there is no room for boasting in God. Not knowing that the God who created all things is in control of all things can build a huge barrier to boasting in His control. Being able to boast in such a divine truth that God is in control and is overlord of all things brings the believer to his knees in worship of the Creator’s supremacy over everything. In A.W. Pink’s great work, The Sovereignty of God, he states:

“The sovereignty of God! What do we mean by this expression? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the Godhead of God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What does Thou?”

This gospel truth of the character of God provokes nothing but humility in man. God is the only being that has total control over all things, and therefore deserves to be boasted in more than anything else in this world. Man must look away from himself during troubles, afflictions, trials and suffering. To grasp the concept that God is in control over these areas of life brings the most glory to His being.

To boast in God’s sovereignty is not only to understand or know that God is in control and appoints all things for a reason, but more so, to find it satisfying to the soul. This is how believers can grow in the gospel, knowing that their Creator has a purpose; for the glorification of Himself. When life’s struggles start to eat away at the soul, a gospel-centered individual will first look to the sovereignty of God. No matter what health concerns men may have, they still have the sovereignty of God. No matter what financial concerns may arise in the life of believers, they still trust in God’s perfect control of everything on this earth. No matter what they lose – house, pets, kids, parents, spouse, etc., God knows, and has allowed all of this, to give Himself the glory so that they would find Him to be the highest treasure in the midst of all events, good or bad. One of the greatest areas to boast of in the sovereignty of God is the fact that humans do not always have control. Knowing that there is a Maker of the heavens and earth, and that He holds them in His hand, deserves the uttermost glorifications. As Abraham Kuyper famously said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” God’s sovereignty must be boasted in because man’s nature cannot – nor will ever – have the ability to be in control over all events, issues and circumstances in life. Realizing that God has allowed suffering and hardship for the sake of His name is when boasting in the sovereignty of God best glorifies Him. God, therefore, allows hardships, trials, suffering, and situations in which every man does not want to deal with, because only then can they see God in control over all things and there find gratification in knowing that they can enjoy the sovereignty of God.