God Can Be Counted On! – By Daniel W. Sheridan
A man’s past record of honesty and integrity is a testimony to his character. We have confidence in a proven man of his word. A person who does what he says, and does it right, can be counted on both now and in the future.
God has proven Himself to be a God of His word!
“There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45).
Throughout the Bible, we see God fulfilling His promises.
“And the LORD visited Sarah AS HE HAD SAID, and the LORD did unto Sarah AS HE HAD SPOKEN. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which GOD HAD SPOKEN to him.”
What did this fulfilled promise produce?
“And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”
Sarah laughed for joy and asked everyone to laugh with her! God makes us happy!
The Bible says, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (The Apostle Paul).
Notice the words “shall all be” and “shall many be made” are future promises. “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided,” said Patrick Henry, “and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” And judging by the past, I, Daniel W. Sheridan, have come to the conclusion that God is as good as His word. I have a solid foundation upon which to rest my faith. I believe, and therefore I speak of the greatness, honesty, and integrity to my God!
We, like Sarah, can laugh today! Faith leads to joy! The human race will joyfully laugh when all of Adam’s progeny are alive and justified.
Let us give praise and honor to our faithful God! Our Redeemer is faithful and true!
The object of Luke was to confirm Theophilus and through him all his readers in the faith in which he had already been orally instructed, and to lead him to the conviction of the irrefragable certainty of the facts on which Christianity rests.
Luke…takes a universal view of Christ as the Saviour of all men and fulfiller of the aspirations of every human heart. He brings him in contact with the events of secular history in the vast empire of Augustus, and with the whole human race by tracing his ancestry back to Adam.
The whole book is undoubtedly admirably suited to Greek taste. It at once captivates the refined Hellenic ear by a historic prologue of classic construction, resembling the prologues of Herodotus and Thucydides. It is not without interest to compare them.
Luke begins: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fufilled among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most noble Theophilus; that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the things wherein thou wast instructed.”
Herodotus: “These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, which he publishes, in order to preserve from oblivion the remembrance of former deeds of men, and to secure a just tribute of glory to the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the barbarians; and withal to put on record what were their grounds of feud.”
Thucydides: “Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war in which the Peloponnesians and the Athenians fought against one another. He began to write when they first took up arms, believing that it would be great and memorable above any previous war. For he argued that both States were then at the full height of their military power, and he saw the rest of the Hellenes either siding or intending to side with one or other of them. No movement ever stirred Hellas more deeply than this; it was shared by many of the barbarians, and might be said even to affect the world at large.” (Jowett’s translation.)
These prefaces excel alike in brevity, taste, and tact, but with this characteristic difference: the Evangelist modestly withholds his name and writes in the pure interest of truth a record of the gospel of peace for the spiritual welfare of all men; while the great pagan historians are inspired by love of glory, and aim to immortalize the destructive wars and feuds of Greeks and barbarians.
***The text was taken from Phillip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church Vol 1, p 655-56.
The Royal Law
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“…As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The Apostle Paul.
The word of God is the foundation of our faith. Faith isn’t “positive thinking;” Faith is accepting God’s testimony. When we have faith, we are giving God credit for telling us the truth. The belief in the Salvation of All stands on the rock-solid authority of Holy Scripture. If the Hebrew Scriptures are a “myth,” or an “allegory,” or anything short of what the Lord Jesus Christ says they are – historical truth – then what Paul wrote in the above passage is meaningless. As a result, both Paul and our Lord Jesus would be false witnesses! The same is true of the Greek Scriptures.
If the Old Testament is a sham, there is no such person as Adam. If the New Testament is a sham, there is no such person as Jesus Christ. That means we have no message to proclaim, for if the Scriptures are false, then nobody ever died in Adam, and, as a gloomy consequence, nobody will ever be made alive in Jesus Christ – there’s no sin, no death, no Savior, and no resurrection.
So indulge me for a few moments as I glory in the living words of the living God for a few moments.
God has preserved His word. The Hebrews copied their Scriptures with careful hands and have passed them down from generation to generation. The Lord Jesus put His stamp of approval on those Scriptures when He said,
“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures…” Luke 24:44-45
In that statement, the Lord mentions the three primary divisions of the “Old Testament.” Those Scriptures are precisely what we have in our common Bibles today (not the same order, but the same content; excluding the Apocrypha which is not part of the Old or New Testaments).
As for the Greek Scriptures, the Divine Author has gone to great lengths to preserve His word and maintain its integrity. He has done this in three ways:
1. Copies (Including, “Lectionaries”)
3. Quotations from the Fathers
“By causing that a vast multiplication of COPIES should be required down the ages, – beginning at the earliest period, and continuing in an ever-increasing ratio until the actual invention of Printing,–He provided the most effectual security imaginable against fraud… NEXT VERSIONS. The necessity of translating the Scriptures into divers languages for the use of different branches of the early Church, procured that many an authentic record has been preserved of the New Testament as it existed in the first few centuries of the Christian era… Lastly, the requirements of assailants and apologists alike, the business of Commentators, the needs of controversialists and teachers in every age, have resulted in a vast accumulation of additional evidence, of which it is scarcely possible to over-estimate the importance. For in this way it has come to pass that every famous Doctor of the Church in turn has quoted more or less largely from the sacred writings, and thus has borne testimony to the contents of the codices with which he was individually familiar. PATRISTIC CITATIONS accordingly are a third mighty safeguard of the integrity of the deposit.” Dean Burgon, The Revision Revised.
The evidence of the copies is overwhelming. Most of the ones we have today are from the tenth through the twelfth centuries, yet without question, they are copies of older manuscripts which faithfully represent what the Apostles wrote (See the works of F. H. A. Scrivener for the details).
There are only a handful of manuscripts containing the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Sophocles, and these are over 500 years removed from the originals. Nobody, however, questions the integrity of these works. God’s word, unlike these classics, has thousands of witnesses! The text of the New Testament has more supporting evidence than the writings of the Greek legends.
—Open The Book!
Open your Bibles and drink from the fountain of pure truth!
“A glory gilds the Sacred page
Majestic like the Sun,
It sheds its light on every age
It gives, but borrows none.”
We can say with authority that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Article 1: Concerning God and Christ.
We believe that the Lord our God is one Lord, — that we all have one Father; one God hath created us, — and hath made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth; — that though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there are gods many and lords many,) yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him, (for God hath made him both Lord and Christ,) for there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29; Mal. 2:10; Acts 2:36 and 27:26; 1 Cor. 8:5,6; 1 Tim 2:5,6.
Article 2: Concerning the character of God.
We believe the Lord our God is Almighty, and of great power, — that His understanding (or wisdom) is infinite, — that He is love itself, — good unto all, and His tender mercies over all His works, — that He loves all the things that are, and abhors nothing that His hands have made, for He never would have created any thing to have hated it, — that He is a just God and a Savior, — Who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, and Who works all things after the counsel of His own will, — that in Him mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have embraced each other. Gen. 27:1; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 85:10; Ps. 145:9; Isa. 45:21; 1 Tim. 2:4; Eph. 1:11; 1 John 4:8,16.
Article 3: Concerning the mission and mediation of Christ.
We believe God sent His Son to be the Savior of the World, — that to this end, (as He loved both His Son and the World,) He gave all things into His hand, even power over all flesh, that He might give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given Him, and that all that the Father gave Him shall so come to Him as not to be cast out, — that, as He tasted death for every man, and is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied, — that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, — that, having brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel, He shall continue to reign until death, the last enemy, is destroyed, and all things are subdued unto Him; till every knee shall bow and every tongue confess Him Lord, to the glory of God the Father, — and, that then He will deliver up the reconciled kingdom to the Father, that God may be all in all. 1 John 2:2; 4:14; John 3:35; 6:37; 17:2; Heb. 2:9; Isa. 53:11; 1 Cor. 15:22,24-28; 2 Tim. 1:10; Phil. 2:10,11.
Article 4: Concerning the Motive to Obedience &c.
We believe it is our duty to love God, because He first loved us, — that, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, — that the goodness of God leads to repentance, — that the grace of God, that bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, and that those who believe in God ought to be careful to maintain good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men. 1 John 4:11,19; Rom. 2:4; Titus 2:11,12; 3:8.
Article 5: Concerning the reward of obedience.
We believe, that great peace have they who love God’s law, and nothing shall offend them, — they are like trees planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth their fruit in season; their leaf, also, shall not wither; and, whatsoever they do shall prosper, — that wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace, — that she is a tree of life to them that lay hold of her, and happy is every one that retains her, — that Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light, and all who come to Him find rest to their souls, — that, thought God is the Savior of all men, He is especially so of the believer, — and, that whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. Ps. 1:3, and 119:166; Prov.3:17, 18; Matt 11:28-30; Heb. 3:3; 1 Tim. 4:10; James 1:25.
Article 6: Concerning punishment for disobedience.
We believe the way of the transgressor is hard, — that the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, for there is no peace, says our God, to the wicked, — that he that doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done, and there is no respect of persons, — that God will render to every man according to his deeds, — tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile. Prov. 13:15; Isa. 57:20,21; Matt. 14:27; Rom. 2:6,9; Col 3:25.
Article 7: Concerning the limitation and remedial design of punishment.
We believe the Lord will not cast off forever; but, though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies, — that he will not contend forever, not be always wroth, lest the spirit should fail before him, and the souls he has made, — that, although he may apparently forsake his children for a small moment, yet with great mercies will he gather them, — in a little wrath, he may hide his face from them for a small moment, but with everlasting kindness will he have mercy on them, and heal them, — that whom he loveth he chasteneth, (and he loveth and chasteneth all,) for their profit, that they may be partakers of his holiness, and be enabled afterwards to say, “before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept thy word.” Lam. 3:31-32; Isa. 54:7-8, and 57:16-18; Heb. 12:7-11; Psa. 89:30-35, and 119:67.
Article 8: Concerning the Scriptures, the doctrines they teach, and the duties they enjoin.
We believe, that all Scripture, given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, — that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, — that God hath spoken of the restitution of all things by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began, — that the word, gone out of His mouth in righteousness, shall not return void, but shall accomplish that which He pleases, insomuch, that every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear, saying, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength. From the Scriptures, (which we take as the rule and guide of our faith and practice,) we are taught, that the whole duty of man is, to fear God and keep His commandments; to deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God; to do good to all men as we have opportunity; and that pure religion and undefiled before God and The Father, is this; to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and keep ourselves uncorrupted from the world. 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; Acts 3:21; Isa. 14:23,24; 55:11; Micah 6:8; Eccl. 12:13; Gal. 6:10; James 1:27.