Divine Good vs. Human Good by R.B. Thieme, Jr. (April 1, 1918 - August 16, 2009)Apr 26th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Religion
A catalog of available tapes and publications will be provided upon request by contacting R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries, 5139 West Alabama, Houston, TX 77056
Before you begin your Bible study, be sure that, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have named your known sins privately to God (1 John 1:9). You will then be in fellowship with God, under the control of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and ready to learn doctrine from the Word of God.
If you are an unbeliever, the issue is not naming your sins.
The issue is faith in Christ:
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
Production of Divine
Good Under Pressure
You see, this is what Isaiah is to tell the believers of his day: “Now look, the Assyrians are going to conquer 47 fortifications; they are going to defeat our allies, the Egyptians; there’s going to be bad news, bad news, bad news! Yet while you’re down in the valley in the midst of all this, you can have exaltation…’the valley shall be exalted.’ You can have inner blessing (based on the edification complex), and absolutely nothing will change it. You can sit on the walls and laugh at the Rabshakeh!”
Can you do that today, believer? Can you look at your own life and say, “I bring my own happiness; everywhere I go, I take it with me; I take it to parties, I take it to business, I take it to pleasure, I take it to recreation?” Well, you can! This is the whole point of Bible doctrine. However, it is impossible to carry around your own happiness unless certain things are true. What these things are begins in Isaiah 40, verse 6.
“The voice said, Cry…” (Isa. 40:6). Cry forcefully (literally). PREACH DOGMATICALLY! The “voice” is the voice of God here, and God says, in effect, to Isaiah: “If you’re going to help people on a permanent basis, you must have confidence yourself; everything you say has to be absolutely true, and you have to give it as though you yourself believe it to be absolutely true.”
When you preach truth, you don’t say, “Now, maybe it could mean this, and maybe it could mean that. There are five different views of this, and dear Brother So-and-So holds this view, and Brother So-and-So holds that view, and I think maybe they all have a little truth in them.” That’s for the birds - not for people ! People need something absolute; people need something that is dogmatic!
So God is saying to Isaiah, “When you stand up before those people, don’t you say, “Well, the scribes say this, the Pharisees say that, and the chief priests say this.’ It can’t mean three different things - it doesn’t mean two different things - this is it! This is absolute, this is dogmatic, this is doctrine; so you speak dogmatically!”
But Isaiah is still stalling: “What shall I preach dogmatically?” he asks. Isaiah has already had his first lesson from the Baptist’s message. What did he preach dogmatically? One, Christ died for sinners - therefore, believe on Christ and be saved. Two, when a believer sins, he confesses his sin, and he is forgiven immediately - now he is to forget it and move on!
If your life as a believer is ever going to count, if you’re going to take your own happiness wherever you go, then this is the lesson, beginning in the middle of verse 6.
“All flesh is grass…” Do you realize that you are just a blade of grass? And you know, it is rather interesting that God should use this analogy to teach the point. Just what is grass? I have asked myself this many times as I have faced a jungle in my yard. What is this grass? Well, first, grass is something that appeals to the eye because it is green. I suppose you know that green is the easiest color on the eyes. You look at this green grass and it looks fine.
Of course, there are other views about lawns. My first preference is to pave the entire yard; then if you have to have green, just paint it! But I’ll tell you something else about grass: grass contains misery. Did you ever see beautiful grass that you had a desire to roll in? I did that once - and the grass was full of chiggers! You see, grass contains misery! You often see the dogs and other animals rolling in the grass; but just watch what they do afterwards. They scratch!
Now, grass is misery for another reason: it requires continual care. I understand a lot of people enjoy fooling around with grass and plants and flowers - and that’s fine; to each his own! But no matter how beautiful and green the grass is, do you know what always happens to grass? Someone comes along with a mower and chops it down. And then what happens? It is dumped into a garbage can, the green grass dies and turns brown and is either discarded or burned. Now, isn’t that an awful life? Beautiful for a moment, then chopped down, and it’s all over!