Pink -Gleanings in the Godhead

Gleanings in the Godhead

by Arthur Pink

Pinks work, Gleanings in the Godhead is about the Attributes of God. He looks at 45 elements he sees in the Godhead. Note that Pink is both Baptist and reformed.

Table of Contents of Gleanings in the Godhead

1. The Solitariness of God
2. The Decrees of God
3. The Knowledge of God
4. The Foreknowledge of God
5. The Supremacy of God
6. The Sovereignty of God
7. The Immutability of God
8. The Holiness of God
9. The Power of God
10. The Faithfulness of God

11. The Lovingkindness of God
12. The Goodness of God
13. The Patience of God
14. The Grace of God
15. The Mercy of God
16. The Love of God
17. The Wrath of God
18. The Contemplation of God
19. The Bounties of God
20. The Gifts of God

21. The Guidance of God
22. The Blessings of God
23. The Cursings of God
24. The Love of God to Us
25. The Gospel of the Grace of God
26. The Fullness of Christ
27. The Radiance of Christ
28. The Condescension of Christ
29. The Humanity of Christ

30. The Person of Christ
31. The Subsistence of Christ
32. The Servitude of Christ
33. The Despisement of Christ
34. The Crucifixion of Christ
35. The Redemption of Christ
36. The Saviorhood of Christ
37. The Lordship of Christ
38. The Friendship of Christ
39. The Helpfulness of Christ
40. The Call of Christ
41. The Rest of Christ
42. The Yoke of Christ
43. The Quintessence of Christ
44. The Leadership of Christ
45. The Example of Christ

ESword Modules by Arthur Walkington Pink

Arthur Pink E-Sword modules Page

Except 7. The Immutability of God

First, God is immutable in His essence. His nature and being are infinite, and so, subject to no mutations. There never was a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be. God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal 3:6), is His own unqualified affirmation. He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; being perfect, He cannot change for the worse. Altogether unaffected by anything outside Himself, improvement or deterioration is impossible. He is perpetually the same. He only can say, “I AM THAT I AM” (Exo 3:14). He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish, nor His glory ever fade.

Second, God is immutable in His attributes. Whatever the attributes of God were before the universe was called into existence, they are precisely the same now, and will remain so forever. Necessarily so; for they are the very perfections, the essential qualities of His being. Semper idem (always the same) is written across every one of them. His power is unabated, His wisdom undiminished, His holiness unsullied. The attributes of God can no more change than deity can cease to be. His veracity is immutable, for His Word is “forever settled in heaven” (Psa 119:89). His love is eternal: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jer 31:3) and, “Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (Joh 13:1). His mercy ceases not, for it is “everlasting” (Psa 100:5).

Third, God is immutable in His counsel, His will never varies. Perhaps some are ready to object when we read “It repented the LORD that He had made man” (Gen 6:6). Our first reply is, Do the Scriptures contradict themselves? No, that cannot be. Numbers 23:19 is plain enough: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.” The explanation is simple. When speaking of Himself, God frequently accommodates His language to our limited capacities. He describes Himself as clothed with bodily members, as eyes, ears, hands.

He speaks of Himself as “waking” (Psa 78:65), as “rising early” (Jer 7:13); yet He neither slumbers nor sleeps. When He institutes a change in His dealings with men, He describes His course of conduct as “repenting.” Yes, God is immutable in His counsel. “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom 11:29). It must be so, for “He is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth” (Job 23:13).

Excerpt 10. The Faithfulness of God

Unfaithfulness Is One of the most outstanding sins of these evil days. In the business world, a man’s word is, with rare exceptions, no longer his bond. In the social world, marital infidelity abounds on every hand, the sacred bonds of wedlock are broken with as little regard as discarding an old garment. In the ecclesiastical realm, thousands who have solemnly covenanted to preach the truth have no scruples about attacking and denying it. Nor can reader or writer claim complete immunity from this fearful sin. How many ways have we been unfaithful to Christ, and to the light and privileges which God has entrusted to us! How refreshing, then, and how blessed, to lift our eyes above this scene of ruin, and behold One who is faithful, faithful in all things, at all times.

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God” (Deu 7:9). This quality is essential to His being, without it He would not be God. For God to be unfaithful would be to act contrary to His nature, which is impossible. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself’ (2Ti 2:13). Faithfulness is one of the glorious perfections of His being. He is clothed with it: “O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?” (Psa 89:8). So too when God became incarnate it was said, “Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins” (Isa 11:5).

What a word in Psa 36:5, “Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness unto the clouds.” Far above all finite comprehension is the unchanging faithfulness of God. Everything about God is great, vast, imcomparable. He never forgets, never fails, never falters, never forfeits His word. To every declaration of promise or prophecy the Lord has exactly adhered; every engagement of covenant or threatening He will make good, for “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Num 23:19). Therefore does the believer exclaim, “His compassions fail not, they are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-33).

Scripture abounds in illustrations of God’s faithfulness. More than 4,000 years ago He said, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Gen 8:22). Every year furnishes a fresh witness to God’s fulfillment of this promise. In Genesis 15 Jehovah declared unto Abraham, “thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them . . . But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again” (Gen 15:13-16). Centuries ran their weary course. Abraham’s descendants groaned amid the brickkilns of Egypt. Had God forgotten His promise? No, indeed. Exodus 12:41, “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.” Through Isaiah the Lord declared, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa 7:14). Again centuries passed, but “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman” (Gal 4:4).

God is true. His Word of promise is sure. In all His relations with His people God is faithful. He may be safely relied upon. No one ever yet really trusted Him in vain. We find this precious truth expressed almost everywhere in the Scriptures, for His people need to know that faithfulness is an essential part of the divine character. This is the basis of our confidence in Him. But it is one thing to accept the faithfulness of God as a divine truth, it is quite another to act upon it. God has given us many “exceeding great and precious promises,” but are we really counting on His fulfillment of them? Do we actually expect Him to do for us all that He has said? Are we resting with implicit assurance on these words, “He is faithful that promised” (Heb 10:23).

There are seasons in the lives of all when it is not easy, not even for Christians, to believe that God is faithful. Our faith is sorely tried, our eyes dimmed with tears, and we can no longer trace the outworking of His love. Our ears are distracted with the noises of the world, harassed by the atheistic whisperings of Satan, and we can no longer hear the sweet accents of His still small voice. Cherished plans have been thwarted, friends on whom we relied have failed us, a professed brother or sister in Christ has betrayed us. We are staggered. We sought to be faithful to God, and now a dark cloud hides Him from us.

We find it difficult, yes, impossible, for carnal reasons to harmonize His frowning providence with His gracious promises. Ah, faltering soul, seek grace to heed Isa 50:10, “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.”

When you are tempted to doubt the faithfulness of God, cry out, “Get thee hence, Satan.” Though you cannot now harmonize God’s mysterious dealings with the avowals of His love, wait on Him for more light. In His own good time He will make it plain to you. “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter” (Joh 13:7). The sequel will demonstrate that God has neither forsaken nor deceived His child. “And therefore will the LORD wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him” (Isa 30:18).

“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace,
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread,
Are rich with mercy, and shall break
In blessing o’er your head.”

More Major Works on the Attributes of God

Excerpt 13. The Patience of God

Stephen Charnock, the Puritan, defines God’s patience, in part:

It is a part of the Divine goodness and mercy, yet differs from both. God being the greatest goodness, hath the greatest mildness; mildness is always the companion of true goodness, and the greater the goodness, the greater the mildness. Who so holy as Christ, and who so meek? God’s slowness to anger is a branch of His mercy: “the LORD is full of compassion, slow to anger” (Psa 145:8). It differs from mercy in the formal consideration of the subject: mercy respects the creature as miserable, patience respects the creature as criminal; mercy pities him in his misery, patience bears with the sin which engendered the misery, and giving birth to more.

Personally we define the divine patience as that power of control which God exercises over Himself, causing Him to bear with the wicked and forebear so long in punishing them. Nah 1:3 reads, “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,” upon which Mr. Charnock said:

Men that are great in the world are quick in passion, and are not so ready to forgive an injury, or bear with an offender, as one of a meaner rank. It is a want of power over that man’s self that makes him do unbecoming things upon a provocation. A prince that can bridle his passions is a king over himself as well as over his subjects. God is slow to anger because great in power. He has no less power over Himself than over His creatures.

At the above point, we think, God’s patience is most clearly distinguished from His mercy. Though the creature is benefitted, the patience of God chiefly respects Himself, a restraint placed upon His acts by His will; whereas His mercy terminates wholly upon the creature. The patience of God is that excellency which causes Him to sustain great injuries without immediately avenging Himself. Thus the Hebrew word for the divine longsuffering is rendered “slow to anger” in Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 103:8. Not that there are any passions in the divine nature, but God’s wisdom and will is pleased to act with a stateliness and sobriety which becomes His exalted majesty

… gain, in Rom 9:22 we read, “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.” Were God to immediately break these reprobate vessels into pieces, His power of self-control would not so eminently appear; by bearing with their wickedness and forebearing punishment so long, the power of His patience is gloriously demonstrated. True, the wicked interpret His longsuffering quite differently—”Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecc 8:11)—but the anointed eye adores what they abuse.

“The God of patience” (Rom 15:5) is one of the divine titles. Deity is thus denominated, First, because God is both the author and object of the grace of patience in the creature. Second, because this is what He is in Himself: patience is one of His perfections. Third, as a pattern for us: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (Col 3:12). And again, “Be ye therefore followers [emulators] of God, as dear children” (Eph 5:1). When tempted to be disgusted at the dullness of another, or to revenge one who has wronged you, remember God’s infinite patience with you.

The patience of God is manifested in His dealings with sinners. How strikingly it was displayed toward the antideluvians. When mankind was universally degenerate, and all flesh had corrupted his way, God did not destroy them till He had forewarned them. He “waited” (1 Pet. 3:20) probably no less than one hundred and twenty years (Gen 6:3), during which time Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2Pe 2:5). Later, when the Gentiles not only worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, but also committed the vilest abominations contrary to even the dictates of nature (Rom 1:19-26), and hereby filled up the measure of their iniquity; yet, instead of drawing His sword to exterminate such rebels, God “suffered all nations to walk in their own ways” and gave them “rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons” (Act 14:16-17).

Marvelously God’s patience was exercised and manifested toward Israel. First, He “suffered their manners” for forty years in the wilderness (Act 13:18). Later, they entered Canaan, but followed the evil customs of the nations around them, and turned to idolatry; though God chastened them sorely, He did not utterly destroy them, but in their distress, raised up deliverers for them. When their iniquity rose to such a height that none but a God of infinite patience could have borne them, He, notwithstanding, spared them many years before He allowed them to be carried into Babylon. Finally, when their rebellion against Him reached its climax by crucifying His Son, He waited forty years before He sent the Romans against them; and that only after they had judged themselves “unworthy of eternal life” (Act 13:46).

How wondrous God’s patience is with the world today. On every side people are sinning with a high hand. The divine law is trampled underfoot and God Himself openly despised. It is truly amazing that He does not instantly strike dead those who so brazenly defy Him. Why does He not suddenly cut off the haughty infidel and blatant blasphemer, as He did Ananias and Sapphira? Why does He not cause the earth to open and devour the persecutors of His people, so that, like Dathan and Abiran, they shall go down alive into the pit? And what of apostate Christendom, where every possible form of sin is now tolerated and practiced under cover of the holy name of Christ? Why does not the righteous wrath of heaven make an end of such abominations? Only one answer is possible: because God bears with” much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.”

What of the writer and the reader? Let us review our own lives. It is not long since we followed a multitude to do evil, had no concern for God’s glory, and lived only to gratify self. How patiently He bore with our vile conduct! Now that grace has snatched us as brands from the burning, and given us a place in God’s family, and begotten us unto an eternal inheritance in glory; how miserably we requite Him. How shallow our gratitude, how tardy our obedience, how frequent our backslidings! One reason why God suffers the flesh to remain in the believer is that He may exhibit His “longsuffering to us-ward” (2Pe 3:9). Since this divine attribute is manifested only in this world, God takes advantage to display it toward “His own.”

May your meditation upon this divine excellency soften our hearts, make our consciences tender; and may we learn in the school of experience the “patience of saints,” namely, submission to the divine will and continuance in well doing. Let us seek grace to emulate this divine excellency. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). In the immediate context Christ exhorts us to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us. God bears long with the wicked notwithstanding the multitude of their sin. Shall we desire to be revenged because of a single injury?

More Minor works or mentions of Attributes of God

Excerpt 21. The Guidance of God

There Is A Need to amplify the positive aspect of divine guidance. There are few subjects which bear on the practical side of the Christian life, and that believers are more exercised about, than that they may be “led of the Lord” in all their ways. Yet when some important decision has to be made, they are often puzzled to know how “the Lord’s mind” is obtained. Great numbers of tracts and booklets on this subject have been written, but they are so vague that they offer little help. There certainly exists a real need today for some clear, definitive treatment of the subject.

For some years I have been convinced that one thing which contributes much to shrouding this subject in mystery is the loose, misleading terms generally employed by those who refer to it. While such expressions are used, “Is this according to God’s will?”, “Do I have the prompting of the Holy Spirit?”, “Were you led of the Lord in that?”, sincere minds will continue to be perplexed and never arrive at any certainty. These expressions are so commonly used in religious circles that probably quite a few readers will be surprised at our challenging them. We certainly do not condemn these expressions as erroneous, but rather we wish to point out that they are too intangible for most people until more definitely defined.

What alternative, then, have we to suggest? In connection with every decision we make, every plan we form, every action we execute, let the question be, “Is this in harmony with God’s Word?” Is it what the Scriptures enjoin? Does it square with the rule God has given us to walk by? Is it in accord with the example which Christ left us to follow? If it is in harmony with God’s Word, then it must be “according to God’s will,” for His will is revealed in His Word. If I do what the Scriptures enjoin, then I must be “prompted by the Holy Spirit,” for He never moves any one to act contrary thereto. If my conduct squares with the rule of righteousness (the precepts and commands of the Word), then I must be “led of the Lord,” for He leads only into the “paths of righteousness” (Psa 23:1, Psa 23:3). A great deal of mystical vagueness and puzzling uncertainty will be removed if the reader substitutes for, “Is this according to God’s will?” the simpler and more tangible, “Is this according to God’s Word?”

God, in His infinite condescension and transcendent grace, has given us His Word for this very purpose, so that we need not stumble along blindly, ignorant of what pleases or displeases Him, but that we might know His mind. That divine Word is given to us not simply for information, but to regulate our conduct, to enlighten our minds, and to mold our hearts. The Word supplies us with an unerring chart by which to steer through the dangerous sea of life. If we sincerely and diligently follow, it will deliver us from disastrous rocks and submerged reefs, and direct us safely to the heavenly harbor. That Word has all the instructions we need for every problem, every emergency we may be called upon to face. That Word has been given to us “that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2Ti 3:17). How thankful we should be that the Triune God has favored us with such a Word.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa 119:105). The metaphor used here is taken from a man walking along a dangerous road on a dark night, in urgent need of a lantern to show him where to walk safely and comfortably, to avoid injury and destruction. The same figure is used again in the New Testament. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place” (2Pe 1:19). The dark place is this world, and it is only as we take heed to the Word, to the light God has given us, that we shall be able to perceive and avoid “the broad road which leadeth to destruction,” and discern the narrow way which alone “leadeth unto Life.”

It should be observed that this verse plainly intimates God has placed His Word in our hands for an intensely practical purpose, namely, to direct our walk and to regulate our deportment. At once this shows us what is the first and principal use we are to make of this divine gift. It would do a traveler little good to diligently scrutinize the mechanism of a lamp, or to admire its beautiful design. Rather he is to take it up and make a practical use of it. Many are zealous in reading “the letter of Scripture,” and many are charmed with the evidences of its divine Authorship. But how few realize the primary purpose for which God gave the Scriptures, how few make a practical use of them—ordering the details of their lives by its rules and regulations. They eulogize the lamp, but they do not walk by its light.

Our first need as little children was to learn to walk. The mother’s milk was only a means to an end: to nourish the infant’s life, to strengthen its limbs so that they should be put to a practical use. So it is spiritually. When we have been born again and fed by the Spirit on the pure milk of the Word, our first need is to learn to walk, to walk as the children of God. This can be learned only as we ascertain our Father’s will as revealed in Holy Writ. By nature we are totally ignorant of His will for us and of what promotes our highest interests. It is solemn and humbling that man is the only creature born into this world devoid of intelligence as to how to act, and who needs to be taught what is evil and what is good for him.

All the lower orders of creation are endowed with an instinct which moves them to act discreetly, to avoid what is harmful, and to follow what is good. But not so man. Animals and birds do not have to be taught which herbs and berries are poisonous; they need no curbs upon them not to overeat or over drink—you cannot even force a horse or a cow to gorge and make itself sick. Even plants turn their faces to the light and open their mouths to catch the falling rain. But fallen man has not even the instinct of the brutes. Usually he has to learn by painful experience what is harmful and injurious. And, as it has been well said, “Experience keeps an expensive school”—her fees are high. Too bad that so many only discover this when it is too late, when they have wrecked their constitutions beyond repair.

Some may answer to this, “But man is endowed with a conscience.” True, but how well does it serve him until he is enlightened by the Word and convicted by the Spirit? Man’s understanding has been so darkened by sin, and folly is so bound up in his heart from childhood (Pro 22:15), that until he is instructed he does not know what God requires of him, nor what is for his highest good. That is why God gave us His Word: to make known what He justly demands of us; to inform us of those things which destroy the soul; to reveal the baits which Satan uses to capture and slay so many; to point out the highway of holiness which alone leads to heaven (Heb 12:14); and to acquaint us with the rules which must be observed if we are to walk that highway.

More Works by Arthur Pink

‘We do not idolize him. But we do recognize him as a very unique man of God who can teach us through his pen and through his life. He was truly “born to write and all the circumstances of his life, even the negative ones he did not understand, propelled him to the fulfilment of that God-ordained purpose.’– RICHARD P. BELCHER Biography of Arthur Pink

“As a young man, Pink joined the Theosophical Society and apparently rose to enough prominence within its ranks that Annie Besant, its head, offered to admit him to its leadership circle.[4] In 1908 he renounced Theosophy for evangelical Christianity… Pink very briefly studied at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 1910 before taking the pastorate of the Congregational church in Silverton, Colorado…By this time Pink had become acquainted with prominent dispensationalist Fundamentalists, such as Harry Ironside and Arno C. Gaebelein, and his first two books, published in 1917 and 1918, were in agreement with that theological position.[8] Yet Pink’s views were changing, and during these years he also wrote the first edition of The Sovereignty of God (1918), which argued that God did not love sinners and had deliberately created “unto damnation” those who would not accept Christ.[9] Whether because of his Calvinistic views, his nearly incredible studiousness, his weakened health, or his lack of sociability, Pink left Spartanburg in 1919 believing that God would “have me give myself to writing.”[10] But Pink then seems next to have taught the Bible—with some success—in California for a tent evangelist named Thompson while continuing his intense study of Puritan writings. “ Go to the article on Pink to read more.

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