Tag Archives: Faith-Rest

The Importance Of Doctrine

A Christian’s desire for the Truth, the Word of God, must be avid. A believer must give the highest priority in his life to learning Bible facts and principles. There are many examples in the Bible of the great effort made by people of God to obtain truth.

John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Matt. 6:28-34

Psalm 119:72The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.”

Psalm 119:127, 162.

Prov. 23:23Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction and understanding.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name.”

Examples of Eagerness for Truth

Temple worshipers in the time of Christ: Luke 21:37,38

Samaritans: John 4:39-42

Cornelius: Acts 10:30-33

Bereans: Acts 17:10-13

Col. 1:9-13, 21-23; 2:1-8

Eph. 1:17-23; 3:14-19; 4:11-16

Reasons Why Bible Teaching is Important

The Bible is the only source of knowledge of how to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as “love at first sight” in spiritual things. The believer must get to know Christ very well, and this requires the daily intake of knowledge about Christ through the Word of God, which is “the mind of Christ.”

I Cor. 2:16 “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Phil. 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death.

John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings; and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

Daily Bible study leads to occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ, a daily walk with the Saviour.

Heb. 12:2,3 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.”

Bible doctrine, learned under the faith principle of applied teaching, produces confidence during the believer’s lifetime.

2 Cor. 5:6-8 “Therefore, we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, and not by sight). We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

See also Job 5:24-27

The Bible is the only source of God’s viewpoint.

Isaiah 55:7-9 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Bible doctrine is the basis for orientation to God’s plan during the believer’s lifetime.

Isaiah 26:3,4 “The one who is steadfast of mind thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting rock.”

Bible knowledge produces sanity and stability of mind. It is very important to get the Word of God into the mind before the times of pressure come. It is not too likely that an unstable person will respond to the Word of God. God’s deals with the pressures of life using “preventive maintenance”.

James 1:8 “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Bible doctrine is the basis for divine guidance.

Romans 12:1,2 “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Without the Word of God, the believer’s mind will be corrupted by Satan and will become a repository of world-viewpoint and false teaching.

2 Cor. 11:3 “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Eph. 4:17-25

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Happiness

Philemon 7, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

This phrase demands some of our attention, for Paul is in prison, he is chained, his physical movements are confined, his recreation is very limited, his pleasures are denied; in these circumstances, how can Paul make the statement that he is not just happy, but that he has much happiness?

Happiness is the situation of well being or general prosperity of mankind. It encompasses the circumstances of life and relationships. Happiness can run the gamut from tranquility to being intensely ecstatic and the term often used in scripture to describe happiness is blessedness. Blessedness relates happiness to God and His plan of grace.

Happiness has many different facets:

  1. Happiness related to prosperity is described in Psalm 128:1-4, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.
  2. I Peter 3:14 declares that believers may be happy even in suffering, “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.’
  3. Proverbs 3:13 says that true happiness is found through knowing God’s word, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.
  4. Proverbs 14:21 states that happiness may be gained from treating others with kindness and grace, “He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.
  5. Romans 14:22 says that a clear conscience produces a type of happiness, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
  6. Proverbs 29:18 states that happiness comes from obeying the laws of the land and that lawlessness and spiritual apostasy accompany each other, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
  7. Psalm 144:13-15 states that happiness comes from living in a free and prosperous nation.

To fully understand the concept of happiness, we must understand the happiness of God. God’s happiness is unique in the sense that God’s happiness is absolute, perfect and unlimited. In other words, because God is perfect He has perfect happiness. God is eternal, so is His happiness; God’s happiness never ends and has never been diminished in the least and cannot be changed.

God is perfect and this means that He is perfect righteousness; thus God’s perfect happiness is directly connected to one simple fact: God is never wrong, has never been wrong and never will be wrong. This makes God happy. Additionally, since God is perfect He is also perfect justice; this means God is never inequitable, unfair or unjust. This makes God happy. Inasmuch as God is perfect, His love is perfect; this means that God loves the other members of the God head with a perfect love and that He loves Himself with a perfect love and that He loves His creatures with a perfect love; this ability to love perfectly, without bounds or mitigation, makes God happy. God is omnipotent, this gives Him an unlimited capacity to be happy. In His omniscience God’s very genius adds comprehension and sharpness to His happiness; in other words, God knows that He is happy.

Finally, in His sovereignty, in His reign, in His supremacy, God has determined that He will share His perfect happiness with mankind, for Psalm 43:4 says, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.” Psalm 97:12 tells how God shares his happiness with mankind, “Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous , and praise his holy name.” Habakkuk 3:18 states that once the believer has God’s perfect righteousness given to him/her, then the believer may be given anything and everything by God, for God gives to His perfect righteousness (in the believer) from His perfect righteousness (in Himself).

The fact that God has determined to give His happiness to mankind and found a way to do it is called grace. God’s instrument of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ; thus true happiness begins at the point of belief in Christ. This is where happiness begins. From there, the more the believer knows about God and Christ, the greater the believer’s capacity for happiness becomes. Thus through spiritual growth the believer’s happiness may become as the happiness of God: without limit, without dependence on circumstances, events, people or any exterior influence. John 13:17 declares that once spiritual maturity is attained, the believer shares God’s perfect happiness, “Now that you know these things , you will be blessed if you do them.

God’s word is the source of the believer’s happiness, according to John 17:13, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

Sharing God’s perfect happiness should be the estate of every believer, according to Philippians 4:4, which states, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! I Peter 1:8 states, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Once the believer shares the perfect happiness of God, the believer’s happiness cannot be diminished by: circumstances, things or people, according to Philippians 4:11, 12 states, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.Hebrews 13:5 states, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’Hebrews 12:3 states, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Thus, even though mankind inhabits an imperfect world, mankind can have the perfect happiness of God. Jude 24 asserts that the happiness experienced by the believer in heaven is more intense than that on earth; this degree of intensity is related to the locale, heaven and not to any limits on the sharing of God’s perfect happiness.

Isaiah 35:1, 2 declares that in the future millennial reign of Christ happiness will be ubiquitous.

According to the following verses, II Samuel 1:19, 20, Ecclesiastes 9:9 and 11:8, 9, the happiness derived from the world, sin, evil and pleasure is temporary and inadequate. For the aesthetic age seeks satisfaction through the senses, physical beauty, erotic excitement and through success in any of its guises. True inner happiness cannot be found through the senses or being a celebrity.

Ultimately, the truly happy person, the believer who shares the perfect happiness of God, provides happiness for, and is a ministry of refreshment to, other believers and unbelievers. This concept is found in Philippians 2:28, 29 and II Corinthians 7:13, and our verse, Philemon 7, which says, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Paul’s use of the term brother, adelphos, indicates that Philemon is not only a fellow believer, a member of the royal priest/family of God along with Paul, but that Paul is about to discuss a family matter.

The Greek term for refreshed is anapauo; and this concept was briefly discussed in the above dissertation on happiness. However, the idea commands more attention and more detail, as refreshment is an attribute of those believers that have attained spiritual maturity. Thus we might say that the ministry of refreshment is the realization and function of the spiritually mature.

Paul calls Philemon a refreshment. This means that Philemon is a vivifying and soothing personality to all that interrelate with him. Spiritually and soulishly, Philemon provides refreshment to others. He is a pleasure to be with and around; others seek out his company so that they might be restored by his calm faith in God, by his virtue love toward others, by his real compassion and by his doctrinal perspective toward life.

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Mastery Of The Details Of Life

Foreword: This topic was written by the Grace Notes founder, Warren Doud.  The mature Christian learns regardless of what their life is like, they are to glorify God.  

I met Ethel at church in Kansas City, in 1952; we were 18. She was then already a master of the details of life.

Ethel had accepted Christ at 16, and had immediately begun studying the Bible, learning and absorbing the teachings of Bible doctrine, virtually memorizing epistles and other large portions of Scripture. We got married in 1955; from then until now, Ethel’s life has been one of the continuous application of Bible doctrine to the details of life.

It’s easy to “master” the details of life when one is prosperous. It is when hard times come, and details of life are lost, that a Christian’s true mettle is seen. During those 60 years since I met Ethel, I have observed her spiritual responses in times of both privation and relative prosperity.

During hard times, Ethel has always trusted the Lord to provide. When she was hurt or offended, she did not fume and seethe, backbite, malign, or cast blame. Instead, she would grow quiet in order to pray, recall Bible promises, claim the promises (faith-rest), quickly recover a relaxed mental attitude, forgive the offenders (most often me), and be restored quickly to her usual condition of joy and cheerfulness. She never yelled at me or the children, she never asked for anything for herself, was always focused on the needs of others.

Ethel’s testimony has always been one of occupation with Christ, faith-rest, a relaxed mental attitude, and the resulting joy of the Lord.

The Details of Life

For the purposes of our Bible studies, we use the term “details of life” to refer to everything that is a part of human life on earth.

Anything that affects our life, or on which our life is contingent, is a detail of life. An exhaustive list would be hard to create, but details of life include such things as:

  • Your human body, which includes your health, physical fitness, age.
  • Your mental capability, e.g. intelligence, education, mental stability.
  • Necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, transportation.
  • Human love, marriage and sex, and family life.
  • Social life, including your relationships with friends, fellow workers, church family.
  • Finances, income, savings, and your financial future.
  • Employment: satisfaction with job, sense of accomplishment, etc
  • Environment: the country and community you live in, the weather, the comfort of your surroundings.

I know you could add many things to these, but this list is representative.

Human Happiness

Now the details of life can sometimes provide a measure of satisfaction and happiness, but only in the sense of human happiness.

When one has enough money, for example, there is a sense of relaxation and satisfaction. There is relief, as least for a while, of the fear of poverty, of not being able to pay bills, of being able to purchase things you want. We will call this good feeling “human happiness.”

Good health also provides “human happiness”; if you feel well, if you aren’t in pain, if you can exercise and work without physical problems, you may have a feeling of well-being and satisfaction with your life.

Likewise, when you have a good marriage and social life, with compatible friends, easy relationships with people, etc., you are happy with those situations.

If your employment also is providing you with satisfaction, and you feel you are contributing to society, that makes you feel good, too.

Human happiness depends upon one or more details of life to sustain it. Therefore, human happiness is temporary and dependent. It lasts only as long as it is supported by the details that provide the happiness.

Human happiness begins to be diminished, or disappears completely, when the details that support that happiness are no longer there.

The Loss of Human Happiness (Suffering)

One way of describing suffering is to say that it comes from the removal of some form of human happiness. Suffering is the loss of some of the details of life.

Suffering can occur several ways, both for Christians and unbelievers, including the following:

  • Suffering by loss of health – physical pain, illness, accident, loss of function, etc.
  • Suffering by privation – the lack of something necessary such as money, food, shelter, clothing, transportation.
  • Suffering from the weather – freezing weather or hot, storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, as well as earthquakes, volcanoes.
  • Suffering from mental anguish – worry, sorrow, anguish, fears, phobias, bitterness, jealousy, not the least of which is “suffering by anticipation”.
  • Suffering from justice, the long arm of the law, deserved or undeserved.
  • Suffering caused by other people. As long as there are two people in the same location…well, you know what I mean.

Joy (Divine Happiness)

God’s happiness (joy) is independent of anything in this world. The Bible says that it is possible, “to be content in whatsoever state I am”, that is, to have a deep inner happiness and contentment that does not depend on other people, material possessions, or circumstances.

  • Joy is not dependent on the details of life!
  • You can see, then, that if a person possesses God’s joy (+H), the loss of human happiness is much more tolerable.
  • When you are a master of the details of life, your happiness does not depend on people, circumstances, or things.
  • You have the peace of God that passes understanding.
  • You have learned to be content under any circumstances.
  • You can wait for the Lord’s timing in providing the details you want; you can enjoy them when you have them.
  • You can remain happy when the Lord sees fit not to provide some detail.

Mastery of the details of life means that you look to the Lord for every detail, that you accept with calm fortitude either the gain or loss of details of life.

We are all involved with details of life. Either we master them, or they master us! If you are a slave to one or more details of life, your thoughts are devoted to them, and they drive you. They dominate your thoughts, your conversation, your decisions. Slavery to the details of life leads to disillusion, disappointment, and depression.

Inner happiness is not possible for the believer who so occupied with himself and his needs or desires that he ignores God’s plan. Inner happiness is a state of rejoicing based on knowing that God is everything He claims to be and that He can do what He has promised. Inner happiness is the joy of living where every provision for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being is being made by God in the life of a Christian who is walking in daily fellowship with Him.

There are many Bible teachings which contribute to a Christian’s being able to have mastery of the details of life.

The following is a list of many of the Bible doctrine topics that contribute to a person’s having mastery of the details of life. Your mastery of the details of life depends on your learning and applying these principles of Bible doctrine.

Doctrinal studies are available at the Grace Notes Topical Library site. Go there to download them.

http://www.gracenotes.info/GN_TopicsLibrary.shtml.

Chastisement

Depression

Edification

The Faithfulness of God

Faith Rest

Happiness

The Holy Spirit’s Sustaining Ministry

Hope

The Importance of Bible Doctrine

Jealousy

Mental Attitude

The Much More Care of God

Negative Volition

Occupation with Christ

Peace

Problem Solving Devices of Scripture

Promotion

Redeeming the Time

Reversionism (Backsliding)

Salvation Doctrines

Separation

Suffering

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Faith-Rest and a Christian’s Mental Stability: Bible Answers to Fear, Worry, and Depression

Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite Grace Notes topical studies. Life is crazy these days, how to cope? This study walks you through Hebrews 3 and 4 looking at the Wilderness generation and the results of no faith in the Lord.

Do you remember the song “Ship Ahoy”? “I was drifting along on life’s pitiless sea, And the angry waves threatened my ruin to be.” The floundering sailor was rescued from drowning by a “ship”, which was a metaphor for a condemned sinner being saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of atonement on the
Cross.

We rejoice in our salvation; yet we find that after we are saved, one of the consistent features of the
Christian life is testing. We Christians live in a fallen world, in an imperfect society, among people whose way of life is directed by Satan and their own sin natures. We cannot avoid the friction, conflict, or confrontation that results from this. We face daily disasters, small and great, which are brought on us suddenly by nature, by the ignorance or deliberate actions of other people, or even by our own mistakes and sins.

This testing and affliction often causes us great concern, worry, fear about the future, and can even lead to serious depression, unless we have put into practice some of the Bible principles the Father has provided to give us peace, joy, and mental
stability in times of stress.