The world wants to believe that the Bible is filled with contradiction. If that were proven true, there could be no omniscient God behind its penning.
The believer on the other hand, if he is being honest with himself, cannot accept contradiction within his doctrine, if he truly believes that the Bible is true. So here are a few observations with regard to the biblically described nature of God, effecting the doctrines of the church.
These are characteristics of God which span eternity. They do not change.
1. God is just. He is a just judge.
2. God is omniscient. He is all knowing. He knows the end from the beginning, and everything that goes on in between even from before the time of creation.
3. Additionally He is good, in Him there is no darkness.
4. He is omnipresent, He is present everywhere even in hell itself. He is all powerful.
5. God is no respecter of persons as opposed to the fact that He is a respecter of the actions of all men. He will judge all based upon the revelation of His word, and upon their deeds relative to His revelation to them.
6. God’s word is true and He cannot and will not lie. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh.
7. All sin must be punished by Him. All are children of His wrath, until…
8. Jesus paid for all sin. But there does appear in scripture the unforgivable sin.
9. Men’s/Women’s names were recorded in the book of life before the foundation of the earth. He thus has predetermined who will be and are the elect sons of God, and He did this before man was ever born.
So our doctrine of election and salvation must take all of this into consideration without contradicting any of it.
Given the character and nature of God, I have some possible understanding of what He will do with the man who knows nothing of the Christ, but only because I know two things. His judgment of them will be just. And I also know that His judgment of us, who have heard the Gospel, must be more critical simply because God is just, and we have been given far more information in His word, than other generations. We possess His word. Because we have this word of God we are the ones who must understand what it means to “work out your salvation in fear and trembling”.
We are the ones responsible for believing the truth of the Word of God, and for presenting it to our generation.
Therefore, our doctrine exposes to man and to God what we believe about His word. If we have contradiction within our doctrine we confuse the hearer, and make ourselves subject to what The Word of God says of the man who engages in false witness or false teaching. If we lack wisdom, in other words if we are confused; then we are to ask of God for His wisdom (the ability to understand and present His truth).
James 3:1 Let not many [of you] become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (NASB)
If you are called to teach, you must first be prepared, rightly dividing the word of truth. Our next post will deal with that right division.
This will be a three part series.