Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lying And Granting

Psalm 119:29
Ronnie W. Wolfe

The psalmist continues to plead with the Lord to make his ways God's ways. This should be a continual plea in our own lives. Teach me thy way, O LORD . . . (Psalm 27:11).

But before we can be taught the way of the Lord, we must turn from our own lying way. The way of the world is wickedness, for we read in 1 John 5:19 . . . the whole world lieth in wickedness.

He asks the Lord to "remove" the way of lying from him. So much sin is in need of removal in our lives. The Hebrew word SUWR means to turn aside from. In other words, "Lord, lead me in  your righteous paths rather than in the ways of the world." The wide path is so easy, so welcome to my sinful soul, so tempting, so flesh-pleasing! Put my feet on a new path; take them from the miry clay, set them upon a rock (Christ), and establish my goings (See Psalm 40:2).

In the stead of the lying way, put in my path the law of God, but put it there graciously: do it by your grace. Grace is the only way this law may be subscribed to, entered in, known, and obeyed. As such his commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).

We enter into this law by looking into the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25). This is the Bible, God's word, God's knowledge, God's way, truth, and life, as it reflects the express image of God through Christ. This is the word of Jesus, as he expresses in Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. We shall run to Christ Jesus, our Lord, who shall rid us of a lying spirit and give unto us the precious truth of God in his word, which will sanctify and make us "meet for the master's use" (2 Timothy 2:21).

Friday, May 30, 2014

Crying For Help

Psalm 119:28
Ronnie W. Wolfe

In this psalm we read of a man whose heart is melting due to the heaviness of, no doubt, sin in his life. Other things besides sin can also burden us: the weariness of living in a sin-cursed world, the burden of the churches as we do our best to serve the Lord there, the burden of illness and heartache, etc.

Notice that this man who is crying for help from the Lord does not ask the Lord to take away the burden but rather to strengthen him. When the burdens of the world come upon us, we should beg the Lord for strength, that no matter, whether the burden is lifted or abides, we will serve the Lord.

Not only does he ask for strength, but he knows the direction from which this strength comes. It comes through "thy word." This word, of course, is the Bible, God's holy word.

  • We are saved through the word, Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23. 
  • We are sanctified through the word, John 17:17.
  • We are approved by the word, 2 Corinthians 6:4-10.
  •  We overcome by the word, Revelation 12:11.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Understand And Teaching

Psalm 119:27
Ronnie W. Wolfe

Understanding In Teaching

Before a thing can be taught, it must first be understood. It is easy enough to learn today about many things. With the arrival of the internet only a few strokes of the fingers can take a person to almost any subject, and a broad understanding of any subject can be obtained in short order.

But here we are speaking of the way of the precepts of God. These are not so easily understood. 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that these thing are spiritually discerned. We need to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) in order to understand the precepts of God. His ways are past finding out (Romans 11:33), but we may discern or understand them if we are taught from the spiritual world, from God himself. That is why the psalmist here cries out to God for understanding.

The purpose of desiring understanding is that we may effectively talk of God's wondrous works. Without the proper wisdom and understanding of these things, we speak no more than one more opinion, of which there are too many now.

But with proper understanding, received only by asking, we can truly and effectively talk about the wondrous works of God, which implies teaching the works that he did through Christ in purchasing our salvation on the cross by his perfect life, his death, and his resurrection (the Gospel).

God's wondrous works include provision for his lost sheep for salvation, his sealing them by the Holy Spirit, and his performance of that which he has started in them unto the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

His salvation is complete from first to last.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Ways and God's Statutes

Psalm 119:26
By Ronnie W. Wolfe

"I have declared my ways" indicates a true, personal confession. My ways are not God's ways, and this is the first thing that a person must realize before he will come to Christ for salvation. He must realize that he is not worthy in himself to receive anything from God. It is only by God's grace that a person is saved.

Declaring our own ways is difficult even to other people, but especially to God. God already knows everything about us, so he knows when we are making a true confession. We are bound by his very attributes to tell God the truth. Truth is hard to confess when it is about your most inward self and the sins that so hardly and so easily beset us.

The benefit of confessing to God is that he will always hear that true confession. When we tell God the truth, we are actually agreeing with God that we are truly sinners, depraved, undone, and unworthy. This God must agree to, or he would deny himself.

Now, after true confession, the next step is to ask God to teach us his word, his commandments, his statutes. They are true.

We read in Psalms 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.  When we truly confess to God, we are actually asking him to show us his statutes, which are far from our own.
God says in Ezekiel 18:29 ... O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? 

God's word is the container of his statutes. Let us learn his ways, since they are far above our own ways, more blessed, more abundant, and more precious.
Salvation is of the Lord, Jonah 2:9.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Word And Life

Psalm 119:25
Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

My soul, that which is really me, that which moves me, gives me a moral conduct, arranges my life for me, has hold of my every thought and intent of heart, cleaves to this dust, this flesh, this carnal, fleshly person, so tightly that one is never without the other [the physical and the spiritual] and watches over my every move and spawns my purpose and action.

If this soul, the real me, is dead, then what kind of man will I be? I will exist according to my own nature--depraved in sin and weak to the point of death spiritually.

But the psalmist cries to God to quicken him, to make him alive, to make him like God in the sense that all real life comes from God. John said about Jesus, In him was life, and the life was the light of men." We do not desire to live wholly in the flesh, but the soul that cleaves to this dust must be made alive so that this dust can serve the true and living God; otherwise, we shall live in vain and be foolish as those who believe there is no God.

This quickening, or making alive, must come from the word of God, for Romans 10:17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Also we read in Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

Both the dust and the soul are dead to God, but the soul can be made alive by hearing and trusting in God's written word and Jesus Christ, the living word. Acts 16:31 tells us in brief, . . . Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

The object of this faith is Jesus Christ, the work of this faith is Jesus' work of redemption through his perfect life and shed blood.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Wisdom Of Words

Psalm 119:23
by Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe


     When the important people in the world speak against us, as the world seems to be doing today in a great way, we should not be surprised at the world's arrogance.
     We are reminded of Psalm 2:1-2 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed,
     The world is called secular, because that word basically means "of the world." We are in the world but not of the world. We cannot speak the same as the world; otherwise, we are no different from the world. Our speech should be wisdom from above, not the wisdom of the world (see James 3:15-18).


     As our text expresses, "thy servant did meditate in thy statutes." The standard for the believer's life is the word of God, and the wisdom of the world knows very little about it. They may have heard it; they may have read it; they may even love it in a worldly way; but they who are in the world have never "tasted it," Hebrews 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come . . .
     The world hates and fights against the wisdom of God in his word, but that word is and will remain the standard for holiness and salvation. Meditate in God's statutes (his word), and you will live; you will abound in good works; and you will rest in heaven as your eternal inheritance reserved for you who are kept by the power of God ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5.

Friday, May 2, 2014


By Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

    Legalism originates, not from customs, not from practices, not from religious rites, but from the heart. Its execution is prompted by the mind and is based upon a false conception of Bible interpretation.
    Therefore, we must be cautious about our judging others upon their actions, calling those actions legalism when they may not actually be a part of it. So many participate in religious acts and even rites that, because of their upbringing and their ignorance of the word of God, they understand them to be necessary, not having a reason why.
    True legalism is practiced upon the human belief that the things practiced are not only proper but necessary for salvation. Legalism is set against grace and takes the place of grace in the teaching of those who follow legalism. Many of the teachers of legalism have literally “fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4), turning from the true meaning of grace, redefining it, and turning rather to their own doctrines and practices as the basis of their Soteriology, their teaching on salvation; and they teach others their false doctrine and turn others to their fallacies and drawing them away from God’s true grace.
    This is made manifest many times in their practice of religion. These teachers put much emphasis on a strong free will and a necessity of works both for salvation and for the keeping of one’s soul, which gives no real assurance to those who practice legalism, for they do not know how many of these legal works they must do in order to know for sure that they are saved.
    Many practice these things, however, without having a heart of legalism. They practice them as a result of coming up in life with these practices in their families and churches. For example, if a person practices foot washing, that in itself does not dictate that the person practicing it believes in legalism. If a person applies oil on another person’s head and prays for him for healing, that does not mean that he is practicing legalism.  When a preacher preaches on a Christian’s having a sanctified, a separated, life, that in itself does not mean that he is preaching legalism. The belief in the heart is the determining factor.
    That is why the Bible is very clear that we should not be judges of other men’s matters. We must, of course, be judges according to righteous judgment, but we must be very sure that the judgment is righteous and not personal or subjective. Note what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?.
    Peter is speaking of two types of judgment here. The first part of the verse speaks of the judgment that comes from the house of God and must begin there. We must judge as to the morality and the testimony of the members of the Lord’s church. Then Peter brings the matter to a more serious level in the last part of the verse in regarding the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God. This is the final determination of what legalism really is. It is a turning away from the gospel of God, his death, burial, and resurrection, and turning into one’s self for the salvation of the soul, leading to legalistic practices. It is not unreasonable to think that only God can know for sure whether a person is practicing legalism or whether he is simply ignorant of the freedom that he has in Christ Jesus. If that be the case, then we must not think that we can determine a person’s position before God by his actions. Remember that many of the believing Jews were continuing to practice much of Judaism after they were saved (See Gal. Chapter 3).
    Let us not judge people by their actions alone but by their true and genuine faith in Christ Jesus as their Master and Lord and with some make a difference (Jude 1:22), giving them freedom to do as they feel pressed to do, but teaching them to observe all things that the Lord has commanded us. Then their actions that seem to be legalistic, if they are truly saved, they will turn away from and follow Christ. At first they do not know that they need to turn away from their idols to God (1 Thess. 1:9).  Yes, some will continue to follow idols through their practices, even though they may not worship them. But when they learn more of the Savior and his word, they will turn from them and serve the living God.
    There are three kinds of government: (1) Theonomy, (2) Heteronomy, and (3) Autonomy. In Theonomy God is the ruler and king. Only he directs the judicial judgments. Israel was under such a government, and the Kingdom of God is spiritually under this government.
    A Heteronomy is “another” government, which means that one man or a few men (an oligarchy) rules men in both their actions and in their consciences.
    The third is an Autonomy, which means that men have free consciences and should not be judged by other men in their beliefs and opinions. This is the government under which we live and which is taught, I believe, in God’s word for earthly societies. Therefore, we must leave men to their own consciences to believe as they want; but then it is our calling and work to teach men of the gospel and of the truths of God’s word. It is this truth that will make them free indeed (John 8:32), not our judgment of their actions.