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Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 5

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 5

Wade Webster

In the last four installments of this study, we examined four superlatives of Scripture: Peace that is beyond understanding, wisdom that is beyond comprehension, love that is beyond knowledge, and power beyond imagination.  In this installment of our series, we will discuss a fifth superlative.

Joy Beyond Words

Peter wrote, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:6-9).  They had been grieved by various trials.  However, the day was coming, when they would rejoice.  The joyous day that was coming was the second coming of Christ.  That day would mark the end of our faith and the salvation of our souls.  I am reminded of the song, What A Day That Will Be:

What a day that will be, When my Jesus I shall see, And I look upon His face, The One who saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand, And leads me through the Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there, No more burdens to bear, No more sickness, no more pain, No more parting over there; But forever I will be, With the One who died for me, What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be, When my Jesus I shall see, When I look upon His face, The One who saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand, And leads me through that Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be.

Oh What a day that will be, When my Jesus I shall see, When I look upon His face, The One who saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand, And leads me through that Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be.

Those that don’t believe Jesus will wail when He comes.  John wrote, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). Those who do know Him will rejoice with joy unspeakable.

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 4

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 4

Wade Webster

In the last three installments of this study, we examined three superlatives of Scripture: Peace that is beyond understanding, wisdom that is beyond comprehension, and love that is beyond knowledge.  In this installment of our series, we will discuss a fourth superlative.

Power Beyond Imagination

Paul wrote, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).  The first thing that Paul asserts is that God is able.  As you know, God is all-powerful.  There is nothing too hard for Him.  Jeremiah wrote, “Now when I had delivered the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD, saying: ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them—the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts. You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. You have set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, to this day, and in Israel and among other men; and You have made Yourself a name, as it is this day. You have brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror; You have given them this land, of which You swore to their fathers to give them—“a land flowing with milk and honey” (Jer. 32:16-22).  With God all is possible.  Jesus declared, “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mat. 19:26).  The second thing that Paul asserts is that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think.  Please note the adverbs - exceedingly, abundantly.  Paul is emphasizing that God is a liberal giver.  James wrote, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jam. 1:5).  Likewise, Jesus declared, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again”  (Luke 6:38).  I especially like the words pressed down. God doesn’t give a sack of blessings that is mostly air like a bag of potato chips.  He gives a sack that has been shaken to get as much in as possible.  He gives a container that is pressed down to get as much in as possible.  God gives blessings that overflow.  In the 23rd Psalm, David wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over” (Psa. 23:5).  God is able to give beyond what we ask or even think. However, we must ask, and we must do it in faith.  We often have not because we ask not.  James wrote, “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask” (Jam. 4:2).  Furthermore, we often do not receive because we do not have faith.  Again, James wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (Jam. 1:5-7).

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 3

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 3

Wade Webster

In In the last two installments of this study, we examined two superlatives of Scripture: Peace that is beyond understanding and wisdom that is beyond comprehension.  In this installment of our series, we will discuss a third superlative.

Love Beyond Knowledge

Paul wrote, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).  As Christians, we are rooted and grounded in love.  The love of Christ not only stabilizes us through any storm, it supplies us through any season.  Although we as saints strive to comprehend and to calculate the love of Christ, it passeth knowledge.  Since this love passeth knowledge, it also defies declaration.  To the Christians at Corinth, Paul declared, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).  There simply are not adequate words to describe the great love that Jesus displayed for us.  I love the way that the song, The Love of God, expresses it:  “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen could ever tell; It goes beyond the highest star, And reaches to the lowest hell…Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, aAnd every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Tho stretched from sky to sky.”  As you know, Jesus didn’t die for us when we were friends, but while we were still enemies.  Paul wrote,  “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:6-10).  This is a love that is greater than any love we know on earth.  Jesus declared, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  The love of Christ is even greater than this.  The love of Christ was shown to us while we were still enemies.  John wrote,  “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1).  The expression, “Behold, what manner” is an exclamation of surprise.  It means “of what country” is this love.  The love of Christ is a love that comes from a place other than earth.  It is a heavenly love. There was nothing like it on earth until Jesus came and died.

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 2

Friday, December 29, 2023

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 2

Wade Webster

In the first installment of this study, we noticed the first of five superlatives of Scripture.  We noticed a peace that passes understanding.  In this installment of our study, we will see a second superlative.

Wisdom Beyond Discovery

‘O 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 hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Romans 11:33-34).  God is rich in wisdom and knowledge.  The exact depth of these attributes is unknown.  You might say that there’s no bottom to them.  His judgments are unsearchable.  His ways are beyond discovery or finding out.  Paul again used the term unsearchable in his epistle to the Ephesians. He wrote, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” (Ephesians 3:8-11).  The unsearchable riches of Christ and the manifold wisdom of God are one and the same.  They both refer to the eternal purpose that God had in Christ. In the unsearchable riches of His manifold wisdom God devised a plan for man’s salvation.  Although we can understand the basics of this plan, there are aspects of it that are beyond our knowledge and understanding.  Isaiah declared, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith 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” (Isaiah 55:8-9).  In like manner, to the Christians at Corinth, Paul wrote, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  The things that God prepared for saints has never entered their hearts and minds.  In the first chapter, Paul wrote,” (1 Corinthians 1:25).  Paul wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). Of course, God has neither foolishness nor weakness. What some saw as foolishness and weakness, the saints knew to be wisdom and power.

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 1

Friday, December 22, 2023

Five Superlatives of Scripture - Part 1

Wade Webster

A superlative refers to something of the highest kind, quality, or order; surpassing all else or others; supreme; extreme.”  In language, the ascending order would be “good, better, best.” Sometimes, we use adjectives or adverbs to enhance words.  I used to get letters from prisoners addressed to the Very Right Reverend Wade Webster. There were definitely some superlatives there, as well as many errors.  The Scriptures speak of five superlatives.  Five things that are beyond our words or thoughts.

Peace Beyond Understanding

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). The tense of the Greek word translated as surpasses suggests that the peace of God keeps on passing understanding.  The peace that Paul has in mind is not dependent on external circumstances.  It exists in spite of them.  There were some negative circumstances in the lives of the writer and the readers. Paul, the writer, was awaiting trial.  He had experienced some shortages.  Thankfully, their care had flourished again.  He wrote, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:10-12).  The Philippians, the readers, were also facing some negative circumstances.  Two sisters were evidently divided.  Paul wrote, “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord” (Philippians 4:2).

In the context, we read not only of the peace of God, but also of the God of peace.  Paul wrote, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9). Because the God of peace is with us, we have a peace that keeps our hearts and our minds from anxiety and worry. He will gladly supply all our need.  Paul wrote, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).  All that we have to do is ask. 

It is true that those in the world have some peace – financial, domestic, vocational, national, and social. However, they are missing the peace that passes understanding .  They are missing true spiritual peace.  This peace comes only through the blood of Jesús.  Paul wrote, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).

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