Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 071711
The Doctrine of The Divine Decrees. Part 4.
This week we have been noting five important and unique characteristics of the divine decrees:
1) All‑comprehensive
2) Eternal
3) Perfect
4) Unchangeable and certain.
5) The free choice of God in eternity past.
All‑comprehensive means that not the slightest degree of uncertainty could exist as to the smallest or most insignificant of events without confusion to all.
Eternal – God’s decrees are not subject to time.
God has authority over time.
2PE 3:7-8, But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
PSA 90:4, For a thousand years in Thy sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or {as} a watch in the night.
The point is that God is not gaining in knowledge. Knowledge is that which, next to virtue, truly raises one person above another. Knowledge gives us confidence in face of the difficulties of life. Now, I want you to notice some things that the divine decrees and the Knowledge of God and His plan for your life will do for you.
In the book of knowledge, the book of Wisdom known as the Proverbs, notice what the mind of Christ thinks about knowledge. For the Bible is the very mind or thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ.
– The knowledge of God concerning His divine decrees or His divine desire for your life comes from, first of all, respect for the Lord, PRO 1:7, The respect or reverence for the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Notice that fools reject teaching! They reject knowledge.
LUK 6:40, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”
If the teacher is a reversionist, the pupil will be one when it comes to the spiritual life. A reversionistic pastor is a case of the blind leading the blind, both fall into the ditch of reversionism. And such a congregation becomes a program church. They love simple things, a simple church, and then they will scoff at doctrinal teaching and doctrinal understanding.
PRO 1:22-33, “How long, O naive ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, And fools hate knowledge? Turn to My reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel, And did not want my reproof; I will even laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm, And your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, When distress {and} anguish come on you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me, Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the respect for the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, And be [say-she-aided] satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the naive shall kill them, And the complacency of fools shall destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely, And shall be at ease from the dread of evil.”
– Knowledge of God and His plan for your life comes from respect for the Lord.
– The knowledge of God and His divine decrees or desires for your life comes from dedication and commitment to truth, it has a price on it.
PRO 2:4-5, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern true respect for the Lord, And discover the knowledge of God.
PRO 23:23, Buy truth, and do not sell {it,} {Get} wisdom and instruction and understanding.
There’s no shame or embarrassment in not knowing, the shame lies in not finding out.
– Knowledge of the divine decrees will also give you inner peace and happiness, PRO 2:10-12, For wisdom will enter your heart, And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse doctrines;
You see, it’s not the quantity but the quality of knowledge which determines the mind’s inner peace and happiness and dignity.
– The knowledge of God and His divine decrees or desires for your life comes from storing up doctrine in the soul. The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that are not true. PRO 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.
– Knowledge of the divine decrees or God’s desire for your life delivers the believer from people trying to destroy him. PRO 11:9, With {his} mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
– The knowledge of God and His divine decrees or desires for your life comes from discipline in the realm of learning.
PRO 12:1, Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.
PRO 19:27, Cease listening, my son, to discipline, {And you will} stray from the words of knowledge.
This is why students of TLJC were called disciples or disciplined ones! However, always remember, Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to practical use.
– Knowledge of God and His plan for your life should be coveted more that the prosperity this world can offer.
PRO 20:15, There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
– Knowledge of the divine decrees or God’s desire for your life gives your very own soul structure and personal power.
PRO 24:3-6, By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power. For by wise guidance [doctrine resident in the soul] you will wage war, And in abundance of counselors [doctrinal principles counseling the soul of the believer] there is victory.
Knowledge is power. The essence of knowledge is, having it, you should apply it; not having it, you should confess your ignorance. Remember the principle again, there’s no shame or embarrassment in not knowing, the shame lies in not finding out.
– Knowledge of the divine decrees or God’s desire for your life gives confidence under pressure, PRO 24:14, Know {that} wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find {it,} then there will be a future, And your hope will not be cut off.
For those who think that knowledge puffs up or makes someone arrogant, you might want to remember this statement, Knowledge fills a large brain; it merely inflates a small one.
– The knowledge of God and His divine decrees or desires for your life is what preserves a nation, PRO 28:2, By the transgression of a land many are its princes, But by a man of understanding {and} knowledge, so it endures.
HOS 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
To not know God is tantamount to rejecting Him.
GAL 4:8, However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.
Ignorance of God is a characteristic of pagan nations and unbelievers.
JER 9:3, “They bend their tongue {like} their bow; Lies and not truth prevail in the land; For they proceed from evil to evil, And they do not know Me,” declares the Lord.
JER 9:6, “Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” declares the Lord.
The Lord said to Israel in ISA 1:3, “An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, {But} Israel does not know, My people do not understand.”
This is why simply professing to know God is not enough TIT 1:16, They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.
When you have knowledge of doctrine and you’re in spiritual adulthood, your knowledge is used to correctly interpret history and God’s plan for your life. And we are told that it is the motives that the Lord weighs in PRO 16:2, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.”
1CO 4:5, Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, {but wait} until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of {men’s} hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
The apostle Paul even tells us that if we do something great but with the wrong motives it absolutely useless in 1CO 15:32, If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me?
We are even warned about pastors or men in the position of pastors who do not have the gift, Paul says in PHI 1:17, The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.
You can be a teacher of the Bible and have wrong motives! Even our prayers can be hindered because of the wrong motivation in JAM 4:3, You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend {it} on your pleasures.
The apostle also tells us how the message of grace motivated him in 1CO 15:10, But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
This is why he said in TIT 2:11, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Please notice that salvation is brought to all men through common grace!
Then notice what grace does, TIT 2:12, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,
Notice that grace motivates us and instructs us!
2CO 5:14, personal love for TLJC motivates us as well, For the love for Christ motivates us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
We are even told that no matter what we do we better be motivated from a “willing heart” or a desire to do so,
Paul said to Philemon after asking him to forgive Onesimus, PHM 1:14, But without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.
And so we live in a time which is relatively normal. Overt disaster is not present as of yet, but in the meantime, people find themselves without motivation. And as a substitute for motivation they accept some form of human stimulation. They look for some form of self-gratification to take up the slack for no motivation in life. A person who loves his job, who enjoys what he is doing, always has a better social life because motivation from one factor over-flows into motivation in other factors. There are people who are enthusiastic about sports or music or theater and that enthusiasm serves as motivation.
When people enjoy their job, enjoy life, enjoy what they’re doing in life, when people have a wonderful spiritual life, then they are going to have a wonderful social life, business life, etc. God wants us to enjoy life!
ECC 9:9, Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your passing life which [woman] He [God] has given to you under the sun [in this life]; for this is your reward in life, and [enjoy life] in your work in which you have labored under the sun.
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