Teaching by Lois Bergsma
The 16 part series is available for viewing online at gcfchurch.net

PDF version

 

The Attributes of GodPart 7

Rules of Interpretation

Understanding Biblical truths (doctrines)

 

Rule #1- Definition

Define your terms and stick to them

 

Rule #2 - Usage     

The whole Bible may be regarded as written to the Jew first. In interpreting the words, phrases and histories, it is not so much what we think of them from notions of our own… But in what sense these things were understood by the heavens and the lookers on, according to the usual custom and dialect of the nation.

 

Rule #3 - Context

Every word you read must be understood in the light of the words before and after it.
(What is the subject being discussed.)

 

Rule #4 - Historical Background

To understand one must be aware of Jewish life and society at the time it was written –
(what was in the mind of the authors.)

 

Rule #5 - Logic

The Bible comes to us in the form of human language and appeals to our reason.
(It invites investigation)

 

Rule #6 – Precedent (First Mention)

We must not violate the known use of a word and invent another for which there is no precedent.

 

Rule #7 - Unity

Scripture is part of a whole and must be consistent with the whole.

 

Rule #8 - Inference

A fact reasonably implied from another fact.
It is a logical consequence

 

Romans 9:10-13

Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad – in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls – she was told, "The older will serve the younger."
 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

 

Romans 9:16-18

It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh:
"I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

 

Harden (Chazaq) To strengthen or give courageindicating God not causing him to be an evil man or do evil actions – but gave him strength and courage, even when the plagues became overwhelming & terrifying, to stand by his intent to not let Israel go.

 

Dave Hunt wrote in the book
“What Love Is This”

 “We affirm as Biblical and reasonable God’s sovereign right to arrange circumstance and to position on the stage of life these players who he for knows, so his will is effected in human affairs and to do so without violating their will or encouraging their crimes.”

               

Exodus 10:1

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them."

 

Romans 9:16-17

It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh:
"I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

 

Romans 9:20-21

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

 

Jeremiah 18:5-12

Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it. "Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, 'This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.' But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.' "

 

Romans 9:22

What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.

 

Vine - N.T. word Study:

Fitted  (is in the middle voice)
indicating that the vessels of wrath

fitted themselves for destruction.

 

Remember - Interpretation is more that a set of rules but the spiritual sense cannot be separate from the grammatical sense.

 

Romans 9:21

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

 

2 Timothy 2:20-21

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

 

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Romans 9, 10 &11 (Are a unit of thought)

Two thoughts:

 

              1.) Jew  / Gentile

                           and

              2.) Faith / Works

     

  Not… Heaven or Hell

 

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Marvin R Vincent
(an authority on biblical language explains)
“EKLOGE, election is used as Gods selection of men or agencies for special missions or attainments...
Nowhere in the N.T. is there any warrant for the revolting doctrine that God predestinated a definite number of mankind to eternal life and the next to eternal damnation.“

 


 

2 Peter 1:10

  “Wherefore the rather, brethren,
give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things,
ye shall never fall”

 

The whole Bible is a unit.

We cannot determine the meaning of election or predestination by a few verses

 

 

Other Relevant Scriptures

  • 1 Peter 1:2
  • Romans 8:29
  • Matthew 23:37
  • Luke 18:41
  • Isaiah 53:6
  • Matthew 11:28
  • John 1:2
  • John 3:16