DOCTRINE OF DIVINE GOOD

May 20, 1984

  1. Preliminary considerations.
    1. Divine good is the application of Bible Doctrine in the soul under the filling of the Holy Spirit, Gal.5:22,23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
    2. It is divine good because God sponsors it as a part of His perfect plan for each believer, Eph.2:10.
    3. The intake of Bible Doctrine is the basis for establishing the frame of reference for what is divine good production, 2Tim.3:16,17 "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God might be mature, equipped for every good work."
    4. Greek vocabulary for the doctrine.
      1. The adjectives avgaqo,j, agathos: good, 2Tim.2:21; and kalo,j, kalos: good, Ti.3:8.
      2. The noun e;rgon, ergon: work, deed.
      3. The noun karpo,j, karpos: fruit.
      4. The noun avga,ph, agape: love, Eph.1:15; cp. Heb.10:24.
  2. Divine good production must be distinguished from human good.
    1. The unbeliever cannot produce divine good, Rm.8:8 "and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
    2. Human works of righteousness cannot provide salvation, Ti.3:5 "He saved us not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit."
    3. Satan sponsors human good as a part of his activity to deceive the human race, 2Cor.11:13-15 "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds."
    4. Human good constitutes any activity that is not clearly mandated by the Word of God, and is a part of the cosmic system in its alienation from God.
  3. Divine good production is the will of God for every believer.
    1. God has decreed that every believer, as a part of the normal Christian way of life, should engage in divine good, Eph.2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
    2. Divine good production is essential to maturity, Lk.8:15 "And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with patience"; also, vs.14.
  4. Ingredients necessary to divine good production as seen in the analogy of the vine in Jn.15:18.
    1. Union with Christ (the true vine) provides the positional qualification, vss.1,3.
    2. The imperative "abide in Me" refers to being in fellowship, vss.47.
    3. The words "I in you" refers to having doctrine in the soul, vs.4; cp. vs.7.
    4. Pruning is analogous to testing, which results in greater production, vs.2.
    5. Failure to abide in Christ and to have His words in the individual believer (branch) is to suffer discipline and loss of reward, vs.6.
    6. There is a promise for those who follow the way to divine good production in vs.7.
    7. Divine good production glorifies God and is conclusive proof of complete discipleship, vs.8.
  5. How God views the divine good of believers.
    1. God knows our works, Rev.2:2,19; 3:15.
    2. Divine good glorifies God, Jn.15:8a.
    3. Our production is not in vain in the Lord, 1Cor.15:58.
    4. God is not so unjust as to forget our divine good, Heb.6:10.
    5. God impartially judges each one's works, 1Pet.1:17.
  6. How we should regard divine good.
    1. Be zealous for divine good, Ti.2:14 "who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people, zealous for good deeds"; 3:8.
    2. Do not grow tired of applications in your niche, Gal.6:9 "And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary"; 2Thess.3:13.
    3. Stimulate others to apply doctrine, Heb.10:24 "and let us consider how to stimulate others to love and good deeds."
    4. Do not neglect doing good and helping others in need, Heb.13:16.
  7. The importance of Rebound with respect to divine good is seen in:
    1. The passage on vessels of honor and dishonor, 2Tim.2:20,21.
    2. The teaching on the isolation of the indwelling sinful trend of Adam (STA), Rom.7:4.
    3. The two categories of good, 1Cor.3:12,13.
  8. Occupational hazards associated with divine good production.
    1. Failure to be in fellowship, Jn.13.
    2. Failure to know doctrine, 2Pet.1:5-8.
    3. Pursuit of the details of life, Lk.8:14.
    4. Faith minus works, Jam.2:14-20.
    5. Religious reversionism, Ti.1:15,16.
  9. The Pastor-Teacher's role in the divine good production of his congregation.
    1. He is to teach so they can do the work of the ministry, Eph.4:12.
    2. He is to pray for this end, Col.1:10; 2Thess.2:17.
    3. He is to set an example in good works, Ti.2:7.
    4. He is to exhort with respect to divine good production, Ti.3:8.
  10. Each believer's niche has great potential for divine good production.
    1. Ladies in the Royal Family, 1Tim.2:10; 5:10; Ti.2:35.
    2. The well-to-do in the church, 1Tim.6:18.
    3. Young people, Col.3:20.
    4. Church leaders, 1Thess.5:12,13.
    5. Employers and employees, Eph.4:28,29; Col.3:22.
    6. Older saints, Ps.92:12-15.
  11. Surpassing grace blessings in Phase 3 (SG3) are the incentive for divine good, 2Cor.5:10 "For we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad"; cp. 1Cor.3:1215.
  12. There is a Phase 2 justification by works for the believer who puts the application of Bible Doctrine above personal security and interests.
    1. Abraham, the patriarch, obeyed God and proceeded to offer up his only son Isaac, Jam.2:21-24.
    2. Rahab, the prostitute, hid the spies in Jerico at great personal risk because doctrine was more real than the seemingly impregnable walls of the city, Jam.2:25.

1Cor.15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."

Reviewed: July 1989



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