Wisely Discern and Differentiate
A man was treated unjustly by the very authority charged to keep him safe and as all the world now knows, he lost his life instead. The man I’m speaking of here is Jesus Christ. There were no after-action mobs protesting His death. No pillaging, looting, plundering, or burning government or private property. After watching Jesus breath His last the mob proudly beat their chests and went home (Luke 23:48). They thought that they had gotten rid of their problem by killing Jesus.
Fifty days later, the name of Jesus Christ was spreading through the world in such a powerful manner that mobs, Molotov cocktails and raging anger can never accomplish. That great and holy name has lasted and has become the Salvation of the world. Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from mayhem and hooliganism not to place His approval upon it. In His own day Jesus evaluated the human condition saying,
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. “For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke. 6:43-45)
Own the Problem
As citizens of this country we all must demand justice for Mr. Floyd of Minneapolis. At the same time, we must all own that angry mobs can never accomplish a true and civil justice. Christians must be on guard against those inciting crowds of people to commit further acts of violence or worse actually taking part with them in those acts. We must also be on guard over our own hearts as we all can too easily fall prey by watching the same viral video over and over again or listening to the incessant reiterations of the event by news media coverage working their audience into a mad frenzy of shame. Be aware that these are methods of anarchists and they tend to the subversion of the rule of law in a civil society and in this they do not differ from police abuse. This is not the way of peace and reconciliation.
Before you enter the crowd at the office or in the public square, before joining around your television with family and friends, recall that God tells us we must not follow a crowd to do evil (Exodus 23:2) not even in our hearts.
A Better Way
Follow instead the multitude of principles given to us by God in the Bible. Deescalate the tensions that exist by speaking and living in a manner meant to build up your neighbor by speaking the truth in love. Calculate the response to the words you are about to speak using the words of the old adage, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1).
Affirm your underlying principles, like those found in Paul’s letter to Roman Christians.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:16-21 ESV)
Point to God’s Lasting Justice
Offer the hope of the gospel to those who are dispirited by the recent actions concerning Mr. Floyd’s death. It was heart wrenching to see a man asking for air to breath. Why shouldn’t we be incensed to learn this man was denied his request? But let that indignation be quelled in sea of God’s grace by taking them to the cross of Christ. Tell them of the love of God in Christ toward a world that was filled with a raging enmity against the very One, the only One who could save them, even in the face of unparalleled hostility (Psalm 2). Let the world once again see both the brutality and obscenity of the cross as well as the beauty and wonder of the cross of Christ.
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Pet. 2:21-25 ESV)
Take the angry unruly hearts of our land to the cross of Christ to see the example of how God’s grace rules in a sin cursed world. Friends, I’d rather live in an imperfect society ruled by grace than in an imperfect world driven by anarchy.
The Congregations of the Midwest Presbytery are called to
A Solemn Day of Fasting and Prayer
The Midwest Presbytery is calling on her congregations to consider a day for prayer and fasting on Saturday April 4, 2020, for the purpose of seeking God’s help and mercy during this time of pestilence in our land.
“In Christian fasting, as an ordinance of God, the believer voluntarily abstains from food or some ordinary pleasure for a season for the purpose of seeking the will of God, strength for service, or deeper spirituality. It should be accompanied by meditation, self-examination, humiliation before God, confession of sin, repentance and renewed dedication to a life of obedience.”—Reformed Presbyterian Directory for Public Worship, 4.3
Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Joel 2:15-16a
As the passage above makes clear, there are none too young, nor none too old, to participate in a fast. And therefore we are calling on the congregations of Midwest Presbytery to set aside Saturday April 4, 2020, as a solemn day of fasting and prayer. Fasting is not simply abstaining from food for a time, but rather it is abstaining from a legitimate physical engagement for the purpose of seeking God in a more earnest and special way. Therefore, fasting and prayer are always to go together.
While there are many good reasons and occasions to fast and pray, we are asking that Saturday be specifically set aside for the purpose of crying out to God for help and mercy during this time of disease in our land.
Here is a suggested guide for praying as you fast …
Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him —Hosea 6:1-2
Glorify & Exalt God
- As the Great and Majestic, Lord of All
- The Creator, Redeemer, and Consummater
- The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Confess & Acknowledge Sins
- Our Personal Sins
- Our Family Sins
- Our Congregational Sins
- The Church’s Sins
- The Sins of our Nation
- The Sins of other Nations
Plead for God’s Mercy & Grace in Christ
- Seek His Continued Patience toward Us
- Seek His Mercy though we deserve His Wrath
- Seek His Grace upon us in light of our Demerit
- Seek His Power and Sanctifying Work within Us
- Seek His Saving Kindness upon Unbelievers
- Seek His Wrath Upon Evil Doers
- Seek His Vengeance Against His Enemies
- Seek His Revival and Reformation of the Church
- Seek His Wisdom for our Governing Officials
- Seek His Gift of Repentance for our Nation
Thank Him for His Many Blessings to Us
- Thank Him for the Gift of His Son for Sinners
- Thank Him for an Inheritance in Heaven
- Thank Him for the Surety of Glory
- Thank Him for the Presence of His Spirit
- Thank Him for the Institution of the Church and the privilege of public worship on the Lord’s Day
- Thank Him for our Families and Friends
- Thank Him for the Good Things of this Life
- Thank Him for the Beauty of Creation
- Thank Him for Safety and Relative Peace
- Thank Him for daily Provisions and Prosperity
- Thank Him for His Faithfulness to His Promises
PRAYER AND FASTING QUOTES
“Fasting possesses great power. If practiced with the right intention, it makes one a friend of God.” Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 220 AD)
“As bodily food fattens the body, so fasting strengthens the soul. Imparting it an easy flight, it makes it able to ascend on high, to contemplate lofty things, and to put the heavenly higher than the pleasant and pleasurable things of life.” John Chrysostom (c. 349–407)
“Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself.” Augustine (354–430)
“Fasting and prayer are proper means for the bringing down of Satan’s power against us, and the fetching in of divine power to our assistance. Fasting is of use to put an edge upon prayer; it is an evidence and instance of humiliation which is necessary in prayer, and is a means of mortifying some corrupt habits, and of disposing the body to serve the soul in prayer. When the devil’s interest in the soul is confirmed by the temper and constitution of the body, fasting must be joined with prayer, to keep under the body.” Matthew Henry
“The pleasures of this life and the desires for other things— these are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God. ‘Desires for other things’— there’s the enemy. And the only weapon that will triumph is a deeper hunger for God. The weakness of our hunger for God is not because he is unsavory, but because we keep ourselves stuffed with “other things.” Perhaps, then, the denial of our stomach’s appetite for food might express, or even increase, our soul’s appetite for God.” John Piper
 And yet we fully recognize that some may not be able to participate at all, or only in a limited way, because of health concerns or some other legitimate reason. If there is a concern at all that a food fast would not be wise for you, please either consult with your doctor before or feel free to fast in another way that is more appropriate for you and/or your family.
Until Jesus returns the church is a
construction site, not the finished project.
Building Jesus’ Church by Confessing Christ
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “I will build My church” and the last 2000 years of history clearly demonstrate Jesus’ powerful resolve and ability to build His church. The context of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16 indicates that the church is built upon the rock of Christ and that Peter is a stone set in that grand structure which Jesus here possessively calls, “My church.”
When writing in his 1st Epistle, Peter used this same metaphor of building stones to describe our relationship with Christ and to each other, saying,
“Coming to Him [that is to Jesus] as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” (1Pe 2:4-6)
Both the Matthew 16 and 1 Peter 2 passages point to Christ as the Rock or chief cornerstone, while we are stones built on Christ. It is a wonderful privilege of God’s amazing grace to be placed by the Master Builder into His spiritual house. So, how do we recognize if someone is a part of God’s spiritual house?
Look again at Jesus in Matthew 16 giving us an example to follow. There Jesus pointed to Peter’s outward confession of his inward faith. A faith given by the Lord (Mat 16:17) and outwardly professed was the criteria for identifying Peter as a living stone. Peter was a stone that Jesus would use to build His church and his confession was simple, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mat. 16:16). For some it may help to recall here that Jesus did not require Peter to be re-baptized upon profession of his faith, neither do we. The baptism of our covenant children proceeds on the grounds of obedience to Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19 and the example and instruction of Peter in Acts 2:38, 39 and the analogy of faith throughout the whole of Scripture.
Our own profession of faith in Christ functions in the same way whether we are the children of believers or not. Inwardly saving faith unites us to Christ, outwardly our profession of faith identifies us as appropriate building material for Jesus’ church. If we have been baptized as children, we need not do so again. If we have never been baptized and wish to confess Christ now, we must follow the Lord’s command (Mt 28:19). But either way, it is neither right nor safe to build Jesus’ church with those who do not credibly confess to Jesus, His church, and the world, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (Jn. 11:27). Solo Christo!
 Communicant Membership is built upon a credible, believable, and trustworthy profession of faith in Christ. Our church’s constitution tells us our profession of faith must be credible (RPCNA Directory for Church Government, 1.1).
William Cowper 1731-1800
In conversation with a dear and well-meaning friend I had expressed my thanks to God for a particularly good providence. As soon as the words were out of my mouth my friend quickly informed me that we shouldn’t say something was a “good providence” because, God is good all the time and all the time, God is good. Now, that saying is also true, of course it is! God is good all the time, because that is His nature. But it was a horse of a different theological color and my friend clearly did not understand my words.
Now, allow me to explain, when a Christian remarks that a providence is either, “good” or “bad” they are not thereby passing judgment on God’s actions as if some of His providences were good or right, while others were, bad or wicked, heaven forbid!
If someone were to tell you they had suffered a “hard providence” it doesn’t mean that God had a hard time in bringing a particular providence to pass. The Bible asks, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14) and the expected answer is, “No, of course not”! For us, on the other hand, some things we experience are exceedingly hard things, like illness and disease. They can be hard to grasp and harder to endure unless faith in Christ is our companion.
What do we mean in using words like good, bad, heavy, pleasant, etc., to qualify the word providence? In using a phrase like “hard providence” or “good providence” the Christian is expressing their own experience of God’s providences. They are not reflecting upon God’s moral character or ability. The phrases are intended to be reflective of our own struggle or joy, not God’s.
What my friend was commenting on is also true and is non-negotiable Christian truth, just misapplied. For believers no matter how we experience life, all events and circumstances are given to us from the hand of Divine love (Romans 8:28-39). However, the dispensation of God’s actions or His providences to us will be good or bad, hard or easy, kind or afflicting as we perceive and experience them in real time.
Thus, our Lord Jesus wept at the grave of a friend, and sweated as it were great drops of blood in the garden, and cried from the cross, “My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?” All this to make Him a merciful and faithful High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. Jesus experienced good and bad providence for me and all those who trust in Him. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me” Ps. 23:4
So, friends it is theologically and Biblically permissible to speak of God’s hard, difficult, heavy, kind, good, or loving providences as the need arises. Saints throughout the ages have used this kind of language to describe God’s providence towards them and we would be the poorer for not having read William Cowper’s verses,
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense but trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning Providence He hides a smiling face.
I hope you see the connection with what is happening today. This article was not intended as a random recollection of a conversation from years ago, nor is it about semantics or striving for idiomatic accuracy in theological parlance.
Friends, we are experiencing a day of “hard providences.” That means you and I will see and perhaps experience hard things more than usual. But the honor of God requires me to tell you, this doesn’t mean that God has forgotten to be good, or that He can’t stop evil in its tracks. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26).
The fact that there is sunshine every morning is all the evidence that faith needs to recall that God is on His throne doing what is right and good to a world that has lost its way. Now that is a good providence!
Perhaps these few verses from the prophet Jeremiah will put all this in perspective best …
“He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.” Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. – Lamentations 3:15-26 ESV
On Monday (3/16/20) our country’s President gave new national guidelines for responding to the current COVID-19 virus threat. The guidelines tell the country to avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people for the next 15 days to aid in slowing the spread of the corona virus. This is a temporary measure intended for the safety of all residents.
Your SRPC Elders see the 15 day guideline as extending to our congregation’s weekly gatherings. This means that for now we are cancelling all our church’s weekly meetings, including the Lord’s Day services, until 4/5/20.
The Next 15 Days at Shawnee RPC
Your Elders are complying with the recommendations on the grounds that we want to do our part to slow the COVID-19 virus. Our Kansas City Alliance of Reformed Churches has canceled the 3/29/20 evening worship service as well.
Especially during this time the SRPC Elders urge all of us to,
- Participate in SRPC’s Lord’s Day Worship Services Online
As our Lord Jesus tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). We need the encouragement and supply of strength from God and one way we plan to bring encouragement to you is to have Lord’s Day morning and evening worship services live streamed for all to join.
You can find SRPC Worship links for our live streamed services and also previously recorded services on our website at, www.shawneerpc.org. The live streaming will be at the regular times 11 AM and 6 PM on the Lord’s Day. We ask that you join with us at those times as you may be able and to let others know of our services too.
- Live a Biblically Based Response
As God’s dear children we want to respond to every event in life on the principles of God’s word (Eph 5:1). In instances such as these we need to avoid the extremes of surrendering to a mentality of fear or rushing ahead in foolish ignorance (2 Tim 1:7; Pr 27:12). Like Daniel of old, God calls us to a walk of obedience and love no matter what the circumstance or day in history we are living (Daniel 6:10). At SRPC we are,
- Complying with a lawful request from our nation’s highest office ( 13:1-5; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Mk 2:23-28).
- Seeking to keep our congregants and others safe and out of harm’s way (Mt 22:36-40).
- Being prudent with the information being given to us (Pr 13:16).
- Trusting our sovereign God for the care of our lives (Pr 3:5-7).
- Provide Ongoing Communication & Check on Member Needs
We will continue to monitor the situation and update the congregation as needed. We plan to communicate through telephone and email, or in person as need arises. Our elders will contact members in shepherding groups to ensure needs are being met [IF you or someone you have been in contact with during since last week has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus please make your shepherding elder aware. Elders will not share the names of those contracting the illness or testing positive for COVID-19 without consent]. Thank you!
- Aspire To:
- Demonstrate faith by working through love (Gal 5:6), show love to God and man.
- Provide care for one another (1 Thes. 3:12). Please consider reaching out to others and help as you can during these days ahead.
- Remind yourself and others to keep an eternal perspective on all of life (2 Cor 4:16)
- Pray earnestly and daily for this nation, people, and one another (1 Timothy 2).
- Cast our cares on God who alone is able to bear them (1 Pe 5:7; Mat 6:25-34).
- Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God! (1 Cor 10:31).
Your Servants for Jesus Sake,
The SRPC Session
1 Corinthians 13 contains the Bible’s well known description of how love behaves. There the apostle of Christ shows us the demands of love toward God and all mankind. This is especially true of those who are given God’s gift of a circumcised heart (Deuteronomy 30:6). A circumcised heart is one that is renewed in the image of God. A heart given the grace of true love results from our being made alive in Christ, a heart which invariably manifests love. It is a joy to recognize that, “… the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
Chapter 13 bears an important message for Christians as we walk in a world darkened by sin. However, as we look at passages like 1 Corinthians 13 they can become for us a list of do’s and don’ts without giving any regard to the disposition of our hearts. Paul warns in verses 1-3 that it is possible to give all that we own to a charity and become martyrs to the cause of Christ and still not have love. It is possible then to avoid impatience, envy, pride, rudeness and such behavior and yet not have love. It is possible to do acts which appear as loving and yet not be loving. In this light it is helpful to observe that Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13 are not a definition of love so much as a description of love’s behavior and that it is possible to act lovingly and yet not have the love of God.
So, what is love? Seems to me that whenever I ask for a definition of love the word suddenly gets rather squishy. Admittedly, love is harder to define than describe. The English dictinoary is helpful, but only if I know the kind of love I am seeking to define and there is the problem. As Christians we want to know what God has in mind when we are told to,”… love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and to, “… love your neighbor as yourself …” (Leviticus 19:18).
So, Biblically, we can see that, love involves several components and when those components or constituent parts are present within me, love can be said to be present. Based upon the Biblical data I offer a definition of love for those who would like one. God’s gift of love is a right affection and disposition of the heart and mind in relation to God and man in every circumstance.
Only in Christ can God’s love be seen clearly and perfectly. Jesus is both our Savior and Exemplar!
For further thought, see this helpful devotion from Ligonier TableTalk Magazine
“Then comes …”
1 Corinthians 15:24
Concerning the End –
Five Essentials That Every Christian Should Know
- Christ will return bodily to this earth to consummate His eternal reign, Ac 1:11; 2 Th. 1:7-10; 1 Co 15:22-28
- The dead will be raised to life, both the wicked and just, Dn. 12:2; Jn. 5:29; 2 Tim. 4:1.
- Christ will judge all men, living and dead, both wicked and just, Mt. 25:31-34; Acts 17:31; Heb. 9:27
- The wicked will be sentenced to eternal punishment in hell, Ps. 1:4-6 Mt. 25:46; Mk 9:47
- The just will enter heaven, the joy of their Lord for all eternity, Mt. 25:21; Rev. 21-22
There, that isn’t so difficult to comprehend, 1) Christ will return, 2) then a general resurrection occurs, 3) Christ judges all men, 4) Christ sentences the wicked, and 5) Christ rewards the righteous. The church has historically considered these five truths as essential teaching. You’ll find them incorporated into the historic creeds, confessions, and catechisms. Now these are given in the Bible so we can be prepared and know what we are to expect. Remember that Jesus has called us His friends, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:14-15).
Because considering The End can be an unsettling matter to consider, we remind ourselves what our Lord Jesus Christ has purchased by His death on the cross. The Westminster Shorter Catechism rehearses a summary of these gospel benefits in questions 32 through 38. Speaking primarily of justification, adoption, and sanctification, but also mentioned are those several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from this gospel grace of Christ. I’ll call special attention here to the blessings of Gospel Rest, Protection, Comfort, & Concern
Rest in Christ – if you are believing in Christ today, you are in the ark of safety already and Christ says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me”
Protection – God’s truth will keep you from being deceived or troubled by impetuous spirits who stir up and vex the church with their prophetic schemes (Mar. 13:21-22; 2 Thess. 1:3-8; Eph. 4:14). There is also a restraining grace provided through the innate knowledge that God will judge the world (Rm 1:18-20).
Comfort now and in the world to come – with the knowledge of Christ’s coming again (1 Thess. 4:18). It is the world that is in danger Christian, not you, for when Christ comes again the entire world will know it (2 Thess 1:7) for King Jesus will summon every person before Him, “and every knee shall bow…” (Rm. 14:11). Christians will be openly acknowledged and acquitted on that day, for “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect” & “Come you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you…” (Rm. 8:33; Mt 25:31-46).
Loving concern for the world – As there will be a day of death for each so there will be a day of judgment for each one (Heb. 9:27). The knowledge that God will judge the world gives us reason to labor for the salvation of God’s elect (2 Ti 2:10) being constrained by the love of Christ (2 Co 5:14).
Christian you and I can LIVE and ABOUND in this framework by the grace of Christ – no matter how disconcerting today’s headlines may be.
Witness of the Christian Church from the Past about, The End >>>>
“To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?” (Isa. 46:5)
We learn from the Bible that God is the All-Seeing, All-Knowing, All-Powerful Being, whose wisdom, knowledge and power have no limit. We call this aspect of knowing God’s attributes, the doctrine of God’s Omni’s.
The Bible supports what our internal being was created to know, “… what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead …” (Rom. 1:19-20)
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Tim. 1:17)
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.” (Prov. 15:3)
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.” (Rev. 11:17)
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36)
There are of course many verses which teach the omni’s of God. We sometimes refer to the omni’s as incommunicable attributes of God. They cannot be in any measure given or shared by creatures. These are Divine attributes alone. Now there is some aspect of knowledge, wisdom and power that are known by God’s created beings. We call these attributes, God’s communicable attributes. However, the “omni” aspect of these attributes is not and cannot be shared. We learn here a lesson and find how practical theology can be.
For instance, sometimes men forget this truth and begin to act or assume as if they had omni-attributes themselves, such as a divine eye, mind, or arm. I have run across some in the church whom I trust are well-meaning brothers, yet, they make the sophomoric mistake of assuming that if they don’t see a work being done, or done as they would do it, that it is not being done at all and belittle or even attempt to mandate that others must follow them (Luke 9:49). There are others who seem to have all wisdom, and say, if a work in the church is not done by their standard of wisdom it must not be done, or at least done right. Still others will tell us that if we simply applied principles of human excellence, the power of God would be sure to follow (Paul has quite a bit to say about this in 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5).
As men we can too often forget that we are just men at best. I find personal comfort in Job’s application of this truth to his otherwise well-meaning friends, “Then Job answered and said: “No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you! But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such things as these? “I am one mocked by his friends, Who called on God, and He answered him, The just and blameless who is ridiculed.” (Job 12:1-4)
Who knew just how practical the Divine Attributes might be?
Sabbath School. . . . . . . . . .9:45 AM
Morning Worship. . . . . . . . 11:00 AM
Evening Worship. . . . . . . . .6:00 PM
Wed. Prayer Mtg . . . . . . . . 7:00 PM