Tag Archive: bible doctrine


In the introduction to this series we discussed briefly the different types of suffering that a believer will experience over the course of their life here on earth. We understand as believers that suffering, at whatever stage and in whatever capacity we meet it, is a tool designed by God as a directive catalyst toward spiritual maturity.

As we move through this study we will gain valuable insight on exactly how God uses suffering to train, correct, strengthen, and even protect His people. When this study was first introduced to me in its original form some years ago, it changed my perspective on how I view and received adversity in my life. This is extremely important in the process of moving along the continuum towards spiritual maturity.

As we move deeper into this study you will be faced with a multiplicity of scripture. The reason for this is that a life void of scripture is a life void of power. It is the primary priority of every believer to engage in the consistent daily study, intake, digestion, metabolism, and inculcation of Bible doctrine. One of the greatest deficiencies of the modern believer is sound doctrine, resident in their souls. We tend to lean too much toward emotionalism, which has no foundation to support us when we are bearing the burdens of conflict and suffering.

Some of the core concepts in this lesson were originally presented by the late R.B. Thieme Jr., someone I have always respected as a Bible teacher and expositor. Over time, I have revisited these concepts multitudinous times and I have developed a deeper understanding and the concepts have broadened. It is not important who gets credit for this, because God is the author.

Suffering has multiple purposes and these purposes can best be understood in relation to the believer’s spiritual growth or progression towards spiritual maturity. Basically there are five categories of Christian suffering. The first two are primarily associated with spiritual childhood (the stages of spirituality that range from spiritual infancy through spiritual adolescence. These two categories are designed as punitive measures by God. The last three are associated with spiritual adulthood and are designed for the sake of providing blessings for the believer.

It is important to understand that although these categories of suffering are associated with certain stages of spiritual advancement, they can be experienced by any believer at any time. For instance, a spiritually mature believer can find themselves in a state of carnality and suffering as a means of punitive (punishment) and correction; while an immature believer can find themselves suffering for blessing through making good choices.

This study series is designed to examine the multiplicity of problems that believers encounter in the way of suffering and the divine solutions available to them in any stage of suffering. Suffering has purpose and the answer to dealing with suffering is extensively delineated through scripture. We will learn how to engage our struggles without becoming emotional, frenetic, unglued or defeated.

The five categories of Christian suffering are as follows:

Punitive

  1. Self-Induced Misery – the consequences of poor decisions.
  2. Divine Discipline – the move of God to correct poor decisions and wrong actions

For Blessing

  1. Providential Preventive Suffering – Pressure applied by God to prevent you from making the wrong decision or doing the wrong thing (Paul’s Thorn in The Flesh, 2 Cor. 12:7-9)
  2. Momentum Testing – Suffering used as a barometer to gauge the believers progression and impetus towards spiritual maturity
  3. Evidence Testing – Suffering used as evidence of a believer’s maturity and God’s sovereignty

All suffering, in some way is designed by God for the purpose blessing; the circumstances that surround the suffering will provide the clarity that reveals the purpose. The important thing is for every believer to have doctrinal orientation so that they might be able to understand the spiritual implication of the physical manifestations that are contributing to their suffering.

One of the primary problems with a vast majority of Christians is that they use emotion as a barometer and catalyst to move them through their daily encounters. God designed emotions to be a responsive mechanism not the catalyst for problem solving the issues of life. We are to have Bible doctrine inculcated deeply into our heart (the right lobe of the soul) in which a foundation is developed on which the believer can learn to apply the doctrine that they have learned to the circumstances that they encounter.

Suffering functions as a guardian for the adult believer in the same way that a parent functions with as a guardian for a child. Basically the restraints that are used and put in place for children are replaced and enforced by suffering. The dynamic of suffering serves to deplete us of our own resources and it forces us to lean and depend on God for our daily provision. Suffering makes us more pliable for the hands of the Potter.

In the same way that parents are more than disciplining agents for their children, suffering is not simply God’s way of disciplining us. Suffering is a great instructor as it demands your attention. As we are forced to use the provisions of our God, our appreciation and love for Him is strengthened and we become more in tune with His will for our lives.

As we move through this study series we continue to develop a new perspective of suffering as we dismiss both, the proclivity for asceticism and the victim complex. We will learn that when properly engaged, suffering will always catapult us toward our divine destiny.

Contrary to popular beliefs among many believers, suffering is not something to be sought out, there is no intrinsic value in suffering itself. The value is in taking the lesson and the purpose involved in the suffering and maximizing its potential. Suffering should never be a perpetual force in the life of a believer. If it is, there are other elements that must be addressed.

In the same sense, believers are not to take on a victim mentality when faced with suffering and adversity. They should engage it with faith and certainty that a sovereign and omniscient God is in complete control. When the believer uses all of the Divine assets at their disposal, there are no circumstance that can negatively impact their peace and state of happiness. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

 

“Christianity is not a religion of  suffering. Bible doctrine explains suffering, and metabolized , applied doctrine alleviates suffering in the soul. There is no asceticism in the protocol plan of God. Despite false teaching to the contrary, suffering for its own sake is not a legitimate Christian objective.

 

 

 

Tragically, many Christians never learn the doctrine of suffering. To their way of thinking, Adversity creates an aura of spirituality. Presumptuously claiming to follow Christ in His sufferings, they attach importance to their own pain as if it brought them closer to God. They distort their lives to fit a crippling false doctrine. They assume God honors self-sacrifice and commands them to suffer. This malignant idea breeds arrogance, destroys capacity for life, and blasphemes the character of God.” (R.B. Thieme Jr.)

 

 

 

Dr. Rick Wallace

 

 

One of the most crippling forces in this ethereal journey of Christianity is asceticism. When the Christian believer does not understand suffering as it relates to God’s divine plan, they erroneously apply value to being in a state of suffering. Too many believers have adapting suffering as their lot in life. They fail to realize God’s purpose in it for them, so they miss the chance to advance. God has no desire for you to be miserable, but He will use whatever means is necessary to insure your success in fulfilling your designed purpose. Paul endured suffering to insure that he would not be destroyed by his own arrogance (2 Cor. 12:7-9)

 

 

 

Suffering always has a purpose, whether for correction, protection, testing, or blessing. It is not God’s desire to destroy your happiness, but to provide you with the resources and assets that will solidify your happiness irregardless of your circumstances. Inner happiness is not circumstantial, it is based on the immutability of God and your position in His royal family. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

 

Daily Scriptural Truth –
March 20, 2012

The Kenosis of Christ

Philippians 2:7 – but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (NASB)

What does “emptied Himself” mean? The original manuscript is in Greek and the term Greek word “κενόω, kenoō”
(ken-o’-o)
From G2756; to make empty, that is, (figuratively) to abase, neutralize, falsify: – make (of none effect, of no reputation, void), be in vain.
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries G2758

This same word is translated “make void” (Rom. 4:14; 1 Cor. 9:3); make of no effect (1 Cor. 1:17); be in vain (2 Cor. 9:3); and make of no reputation or emptied Himself (Phil. 2:7).

The question becomes: Of what did Christ empty Himself?

It could not have been his divine nature, for He was God not only from all eternity (Mic. 5:1-2; Jn. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8-11), but God manifest in flesh during His life on earth (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:18-25; Jn. 1:1-2, 14; 1 Tim. 3:16)

Christ Emptied Himself of:

1. Equality with God (Phil. 2:6-7; Jn. 14:8; 1 Cor. 11:3)

2. God-form or God-body, the spirit body that he lived in from eternity, to take human form (Phil. 2:6-8;3:21; Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:35;Jn 1:14; Lk. 24:37-40; Zech. 13:6; Gal. 4:4; Rom.8:3)

3. Immortality of body (1 Cor. 15:3; Ps. 16:10; 1 Pet. 2:5-11)

4. The glory that He had with the Father before the world was (Jn. 12:23; 17:5; Mt. 16:27; Phil. 2:5-11)

5. His authority in heaven and in earth, which was given back to him after the resurrection (Mt. 28:18; Phil. 2:9-11; Eph. 1:20-23; 1 Pet. 3:22)

6. His divine attributes and outward power that He had with the Father from eternity. He had no power to perform miracles until He received the Holy Spirit in all fullness (Jn. 2:11; 3:34; Isa. 11:1-2; 42:1-7; 61:1-2; Lk. 3:21-22; 4:16-21; Mt. 12:28; Acts 10:38). He could do nothing of Himself in His earthly life. He attributed all His works, doctrines, powers, etc. To the Father through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

In doing this Christ set the example for us to follow. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the power to live this Christian life in power and victory.

Tune in tomorrow for the next scriptural truth.

God Bless,
Bishop Rick Wallace
http://rickwallaceministries.com/

Home Page
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I have not been shy in my assessment of the average believer’s deficiency as it pertains to scripture. One does not have to look far at all to see the source of a great deal of Christian struggles. The Bible is replete with scriptures that point to the requirement to learn doctrine. We are to engage the Word of God on a daily basis. The first and greatest responsibility of every believer is the constant daily intake, digestion, metabolism and inculcation of Bile doctrine. Irregardless to your calling, your mission, your gifts, no other responsibility can be properly executed without mastering the first.

Although this principle of learning doctrine is taught throughout the Bible, We will center our focus in the New Testament because it addresses the Christian believer in specific. This means that these scriptural passages cannot be explained away through dispensational or covenantal theories. These scriptures directly address Church age believers. (Of Course I will have to toss in a couple of OT classics for good measure)

Let us take a look at the first scripture that we will examine in this study:

I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. (2 John 4 NASB)

2 John is an epistle or letter sent to Lady Nympha (Cyria), a noble woman who opened her home in Laodicea to one of six of John’s nonresident congregations (Col. 4:15-16; Rev. 2-3). It seems that Nympha was committed to learning and teaching doctrine and had applied what she new in rearing her children, several of which had moved to Ephesus and were part of John’s congregation there. John recognized by observing Nympha’s children that she was to be commended and supported for her work in Laodicea. Nympha would read John’s written sermons to the congregation in her home.

John explains that this divine command to walk in and live in truth is only accomplished by knowing truth (Bible Doctrine).

5And now I beg you, lady (Cyria), not as if I were issuing a new charge (injunction or command), but [simply recalling to your mind] the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.

6And what this love consists in is this: that we live and walk in accordance with and guided by His commandments (His orders, ordinances, precepts, teaching). This is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you continue to walk in love [guided by it and following it]. (2 John 5-6 AMP)

The divine mandate to learn and appropriately apply Bible doctrine is also implied in Paul’s dissertation on the pastor’s professional objectives.

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:11-13 NIV)

Spiritual momentum is developed as we progress toward spiritual maturity and spiritual maturity is accomplished by the consistent learning and application of Bible Doctrine. In doing this we take on the mind of Christ which allows us emulate the character, integrity and capacity for the complete Christian life He acquired while fulfilling His earthly mission. Full “knowledge” as is connoted here is translated from the Greek word

ἐπίγνωσις

epignōsis

ip-ig’-no-sis

From G1921; recognition, that is, (by implication) full discernment, acknowledgement: – (ac-) knowledge (-ing, -ment).

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries G1922

Epignosis in contrast to “gnosis” is full knowledge that a Christian understands and believes. Because this knowledge is learned it is resident in the soul and is readily available for accurate application to life.

Paul continued his treatise on Pastors and their responsibility to study and teach (accurately disseminate) Bible doctrine while under the power of the Holy Spirit.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Eph. 4:14-15 NIV)

Paul brings to life this same truth while addressing the Thessalonians. He iterates with clarity the divine mandate to learn and apply doctrine in order to achieve the capacity to live the Christian life as it is meant to be lived based on the Divine Plan of God.

12Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labor among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all]–your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you.

13And hold them in very high and most affectionate esteem in [intelligent and sympathetic] appreciation of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 AMP).

Paul is making the point that a pastor should be respected and appreciated for his accurate knowledge of the Word of God accompanied by his effective teaching of this same knowledge. A committed pastor labors hours in the Word each day to be in a place to effectively and accurately disseminate Bible doctrine to his congregation and he is to be respected and held in high regard for this. Why; because sound Biblical doctrine is the foundation for the advancement of the Christian way of life. When bible doctrine is not sufficiently appropriated into the life of the believer he suffers from a spiritual deficiency and fails to advance toward spiritual maturity. It is imperative that each believer be committed to a daily regimen of studying the Word of God. The lack of this commitment leads to failure in purpose and a destructive lifestyle.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. (Hosea 4:6 AMP)

You cannot neglect this great responsibility and advance in the Christian life. You cannot properly and adequately engage the issues of life without emerging yourself in scripture. You will not develop the fortitude to persevere which is a requirement for blessing and attainment without full knowledge of scriputure. Your success is directly tied to accurate apprehension and appropriate application of scripture.

7Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

8This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good[b]success. (Josh. 1:7-8 AMP)

Your ability to live this life victoriously is inextricably bound to your knowledge and application of Bible doctrine. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to the enemy through ignorance, pick up that Word and get to it.

God bless,

Bishop Rick Wallace

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