Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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“Man does not thank God for his mercy, for his goodness, for his dealings with us in providence.  We take the sunshine for granted; we are annoyed if we do not get it.  We take the rain for granted.  How often do we thank God for all these gifts and blessings!…God is “the giver of every good and perfect gift”; he is “the Father of mercies.” But people go though the whole of their lives in this world and they never thank him; they ignore him completely.  That is how they show their attitude toward God.  In this way they suppress the truth that has  been revealed concerning [him].” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: an exposition of Chapter 1, The Gospel of God, P.382)

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A.W. Towzer

Born in rural Pennsylvania, born again Akron, Ohio, A. W. Tozer began his lifelong pursuit of God at age seventeen.

Walking home from work one day, he heard a street preacher say, “If you don’t know how to be saved, just call on God.” When young Tozer got home, he climbed into his attic and did just that.

In many ways, that simple act would characterize Tozer’s entire life and ministry. In his early 20s, just after his ordination ceremony, he retreated to a quiet place in the woods and prayed what he later wrote down and titled, “The Prayer of a Minor Prophet.” In it he said:

Give me vision to see and courage to report what I see faithfully. Make my voice so like Thine own that even the sick sheep will recognize it and follow Thee.

It seems God granted his request, for Tozer gave himself to three main tasks: prayer, study, and proclamation. He was known to arrive at his office in the early morning, change into a pair of old pants so he wouldn’t wrinkle his slacks, and pray for a up to three hours at a time—beginning on the couch, but soon moving to the floor, face buried in the carpet.

He made time for sustained study as well, mostly meditating on Scripture, but also reading deeply of many authors—early church fathers, mystics, writers of the Middle Ages, reformers, puritans, philosophers, and even his contemporaries—impressive, considering his formal education ended at the sixth grade.

What Tozer heard from God through prayer and study he spoke to men through books and sermons. Perhaps his most popular work, The Pursuit of God, he wrote on an overnight train, equipped with just a Bible, notebook, and pencil. His books and sermons cut to the heart and healed many spiritual ills.

No doubt A. W. Tozer was unique. He had the grit of an early-century Midwesterner and a shepherd’s heart. His countenance was stern but his sense of humor was warm. His mind was steel and his rhetoric sharp. But these only made him a gifted man. It was his deep devotion, his abiding dependence on the Spirit—his painstaking attention to the beauty of Christ—that made him a servant of God.
A. W. Tozer ministered until his death in May 1963. His body rests in Akron, OH, under an epitaph that simply reads:

A. W. TOZER – A MAN OF GOD

Fitting words for a minor prophet.

In his life and after his death, Tozer was regarded by many as a modern-day prophet, perhaps due to his prayer long ago in those woods:

Lay thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet.

“We are saved to worship God. All that Christ has done… leads to this one end.”

A.W. Tozer

Source:{http://awtozer.org}

Going Beyond God’s Word

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Numbers 22:18 says, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more.”(ESV)

Verse 18.I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God. Balaam’s faith was paramount within its own sphere of operation. It did not control his wishes; it did not secure the heart obedience which God loves; but it did secure, and that absolutely, outward obedience to every positive command of God, however irksome; and Balaam never made any secret of this.

We too need to listen to God’s word, and not go beyond what he has written.  For even in the last book of Revelation God warns those who would be so cavalier.  We read, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, GOD Will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”(Revelation 22:18-19, ESV)

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An ancient tradition holds that the word of God, though equally authoritative in whichever form it comes, comes primarily in the form of Sacred Scripture, and thus we should seek for Sacred Doctrine primarily in the Scriptures. As Thomas Aquinas said:

…[S]acred doctrine…properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may properly be used, yet merely as probable. For our faith rests upon the revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical books, and not on the revelations (if any such there are) made to other doctors.

God is the author of the Bible, and has imparted to us a gift to direct the belief and morals of the church.  What we think about God, and our conduct should be evaluated and tested by reference to the Bible.  God, through his sovereignty, has chosen to exercise his rule over us by his written word.  Scripture is God’s instrument of Christ’s lordship over the Church.  This is illustrated by the letters to the churches in Revelation(Rev. 2;3).

“The Roman Catholic view of the Bible has compromised its unique authority by combining  it with the tradition of the church.  Roman Catholics accept the Bible as God-given truth, but insist that it is incomplete without the official interpretation of the church as it is led by the spirit.  In the past, giving the church authority over the Bible has led to discouraging or prohibiting ordinary Christians from reading it…”[The Reformation Study Bible,R.C. Sproul, P.1765]

The Bible’s inspiration is distinguished from all other books by it’s being “breathed out by God”(2 Tim. 3:16).  Historically the Protestant church accepts  the Bible as the only written revelation of God.  Scripture can be described as infallible, sufficient, and clear.  It is infallible in all it affirms; sufficient in containing all that is necessary to  know for salvation; and clear, so that a person without special preparation can understand what God requires without an interpreter.

The Bible cannot be subject to any group or person, no matter how noble.  For it was by this principle of Sola Scriptura, that the Reformers were able to free their consciences from human traditions.  The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Reformation to summarize the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity.

For this reason, some sources say that prima scriptura is the normative Catholic approach. Yves Congar referred to prima scriptura as the “normative primacy of Scripture” as he described the work of Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. “[wikipedia, Prima Scriptura]

So it seems that in traditional Catholicism, the word of God had an elevated position in the whole deposit of the faith.  Now, I am afraid, the Magisterium is, “thus making void the word of God by [their] tradition that [they] have handed down. And many such things [they] do.”(Mark 7:13)

Sola Scriptua(Scripture Alone)!

See also: Deuteronomy 4:2 “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it…”

Interpretation

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“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”(1 Corinthians 2:10)

1. Why doesn’t the Catholic church allow it’s people to interpret scripture for themselves? They say it is because they don’t want to cause schism, but it seems entirely for controlling it’s members. For in 1Corinthians 11:9 it says,”for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.”

Also in regard to private interpretation, it says,”Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.” (2 Peter 1:20) This is in plain reference to the prophets own interpretation, not the reader. In other words, it is telling us this prophecy comes from God and is not of the prophets own making.  As far as private interpretation; 2 Tim 2:15 says,”Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” For years catholics have relied on these so called” Princes of the Church”to interpret scripture for them; leading millions to hell. This is why Martin Luther was willing to risk schism for the sake of bringing the TRUTH of the Bible to the people. Instead of leaving so many to wander in darkness with a false assurance.

Because of God’s guiding, Christians can rely on God the Holy Spirit to lead them in all  truth. Even in the deep things of God.

The Gospel of God; Dr. John Gerstner

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John Gerstner

John H. Gerstner (1914-1996) was a Professor of Church History at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and an authority on the life and theology of Jonathan Edwards. Gerstner counted among his students R.C. Sproul and wrote several books, including Primitive Theology.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/handout_apologetics/the-gospel-of-god-3437/