Biblical Truths

By Adam Clarke

Clarke’s use of the word “man” should be understood as including all people.

(1) There is only one uncreated, unoriginated, infinite and eternal BEING — the Creator, Preserver and Governor of all things. Gen. 1; Ps. 33:6; Col. 1:16-17

(2) There is in this Infinite Essence a plurality of what are commonly called persons, not existing separately, but essentially belonging to the Godhead. These Persons are commonly called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit. These Persons are generally  called the Trinity, a term, though not found in the New Testament, seems properly enough applied, as we never read of more than three Persons in the Godhead. Mt. 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14

(3) The Sacred Scriptures, or Holy Books, which form the Old and New Testaments, contain a full revelation of the will of God in reference to man. They alone are sufficient for everything relative to the faith and practice of a Christian, and were given by the inspiration of God. 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12

(4) Man was created in righteousness and true holiness, without any moral imperfection or any kind of propensity to sin, but free to stand  or  fall. Gen. 1:26-27

(5) He fell from this state, became morally corrupt in his nature, and transmitted his moral defilement to all his posterity. Gen. 3; 4:1-11; 5:3; Rom. 5:12

(6) To counteract the evil principle of sin and bring man into a salvable state, God, in His infinite love, formed the purpose to redeem man from his lost condition by JESUS CHRIST, and in the interim sent His Spirit to enlighten and convict men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Gen. 6:3; Psa. 51:11-12; Prov. 1:23

(7) In due time the Eternal Word (Jn. 1:1), who was called afterwards Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior, etc., was incarnated (made flesh) and sojourned among men, teaching the purest truth and working the most stupendous and beneficial miracles. Mt. 1:18-25; Luke 2:11; 7:19-22; Jn. 1:14;  Gal. 4:4-5

(8) This Divine Person, who was spoken of by the prophets and described by evangelists and apostles, is really and properly God; having assigned to Him by the inspired writers of the Bible every attribute essential to Deity, being one with Him, who is called God, Jehovah, etc.  Isa. 9:6-7; Mic. 5:2; Mt. 1:23; Jn. 1:1; 10:30; 14:8-9

(9) He is also perfect man in consequence of His incarnation, and in that man or manhood dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, so that His nature is twofold: Divine and human, or God manifested in flesh. Jn. 1:14; Col. 2:9; 1 Jn. 1:1-3; 4:2-3; 2 Jn. 7

(10) His human nature was derived from His virgin mother through the creative energy of the Holy Spirit, but His Divine nature was uncreated, underived, and unbegotten. Were it otherwise, He could not be God in any proper sense of the word. 1 Tim. 3:16

(11) As He took upon Him the nature of man, He died for the entire human race — equally for all, without respect of persons. Isa. 53; Jn. 1:29; 3:16-17; Acts 10:43; 1 Jn. 2:2

(12) On the third day after His crucifixion and burial He rose from the dead; and after showing Himself many days to His disciples and to others, He ascended to Heaven, where, as God manifest in flesh, He continues, and will continue, to be the Mediator of the human race until the consummation of all things. Luke 24; Acts 1:1-9; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 9:15

(13) There is no salvation except through Him. Throughout the Scriptures His suffering and death are considered as sacrificial; salvation being obtained by the shedding of His blood. Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:14; 13:12; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 Jn. 1:7, 9; Rev. 1:5

(14) No one since the fall of man (Gen. 3) has, or can have, in himself, merit or worthiness before God, and therefore has nothing to claim from God, except in the way of His mercy through Christ. Therefore, the pardon of sin, and all other blessings, which are promised in the Gospel, have been purchased by His sacrificial death, and are given to men, not because of anything that they have done or suffered, or what they can do or suffer, but for His sake, or through His merit alone. Rom. 3:21-28; 5:6-9; Tit. 3:5

(15) These blessings are received by faith, because not of works, nor of sufferings. Rom. 1:17; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:10-11, 21-26

(16) The power to believe, or the grace of faith,  is the free gift of God, without which none can believe. But the act of faith, or actually believing, is the act of the soul under the influence of this power. This power to believe, like all other gifts of God, may be slighted, not used, or misused — in consequence of which is that declaration: “He that believes . . . shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be  damned.” Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:16, 36; Eph. 2:8-9

(17) Justification, or the pardon of sin, is an instantaneous act of God’s infinite mercy in behalf of a repentant soul, who trusts only in the merits of Jesus Christ; and this act of pardon is absolute in respect to all past sin — all being forgiven where any is forgiven. Prov. 28:13; Acts 2:38-39; 13:38-39; 1 Jn. 1:9

(18) The souls of all Christians may be purified from all sin. A Christian may live under the continual influence of the grace of Christ, without sinning against his God, all evil tempers and sinful propensities being destroyed and his heart filled with pure love to both God and man. Rom. 6:6; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:9; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 1 Jn. 1:7; 2:5; 3:6-7; 4:12, 16-18

(19) Unless a Christian lives and walks in the spirit of obedience, he will fall from the grace of God and forfeit all his Christian privileges and rights. In this state of backsliding he may persevere, and, if so, perish everlastingly. Jn. 15:6; 1 Cor. 10:1-12; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:4-6

(20) The whole period of human life is a state of trial, or probation. In every part of it a sinner may repent and turn to God, and a Christian may commit sin and fall from grace. The possibility of rising, and the liability to falling, is essential to a state of trial. Eze. 18:20-32; 33:11-20

NOTE: It is true that God wants all people to be saved (2 Pet. 3:9), but the Bible does not promise us salvation tomorrow if we resist the Holy Spirit today as He tries to lead us to Jesus Christ. Today is the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late! “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

(21) All the promises and threatenings in the Bible are conditional as they relate to man; and on this basis alone the Sacred Writings can be consistently interpreted and rightly understood. Josh. 24:20; Isa. 1:19-20

(22) Man is a free moral being, and is never impelled by any irresistible influence to do either evil or good, but has it continually in his  power to choose the life or death that is set before him. On this basis man is an accountable being, answerable to God for his actions, and on this basis also he is capable of being rewarded or punished. Dt. 30:15-19; Prov. 11:31; 2 Cor. 5:10; Gal. 6:7-8

(23) Man has a free will, with a sufficiency of light and power to direct its operations. This powerful light is not inherent in any man’s nature, but is graciously bestowed by Him, who is the true Light, who enlightens every man who comes into the world (Jn. 1:9). Man’s free will is a necessary part of his rational soul, without which he must be a mere machine, or the victim of blind chance or of an irresistible influence, and, consequently, not accountable to God for any actions that he was impelled to do. Jer. 18:1-11; 26:2-3; Eze. 36:17-19, 39:24; Jon. 3:10; Mk. 1:15; Jn. 8:12, 12:46; Rev. 22:17

(24) Jesus Christ has made, by offering Himself on the cross, a sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. His gracious Spirit strives with and enlightens all men, thus putting them into a salvable state. Every person therefore may be saved. Ps. 86:5; Isa. 55:6-7; Mt. 4:17; Luke 15:4-32; Rom. 10:8-13; Rev. 3:2o

(25) Jesus Christ has instituted two sacraments  and has commanded that they be perpetuated in His Church: (1) Baptism, in the Name of the holy and blessed Trinity, as a sign of the cleansing and regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, thereby producing a death unto sin and a new birth unto righteousness (Rom. 6:3-7). (2) Holy Communion, commemorating the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Mt. 26:26-28; 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:23-26

(26) The soul is immaterial and immortal, and can exist independently of the body. Luke 16:19-31

(27) There will be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. The souls of both shall be reunited to their respective bodies, and both will live forever. Jn. 5:28-29

(28) There will be a Day of Judgment, when all will be punished or rewarded according to the deeds done in the body — the wicked being sent to Hell and the righteous taken to Heaven. Rev. 20:11 – 21:5

(29) These states of reward and punishment will never end, for the time of probation will be forever terminated and the following state will be fixed and unalterable. Mt.  25:31-46; Rev. 22:1-6

(30) The origin of salvation is found in the infinite love of God, and on this principle the unconditional reprobation of any soul is absolutely impossible. Jn. 3:16-19; 7:37; Rev. 3:20; 22:17

(31) The Sacred Writings are a system of pure, unsophisticated reason proceeding from the immaculate mind of God. In many places, it is true, the Scriptures are vastly elevated beyond what the reason of man could have devised or found out, but in no case are they contrary to reason. They are addressed to the reason of man, not to his passions. Every command is urged with reasons for obedience. Every promise and threatening is founded on the most evident reason and propriety. All the Scriptures, therefore, are to be rationally understood and rationally interpreted. Divine revelation and reason go hand in hand. Faith is the servant of the former and the friend of the latter, while the Spirit of God, who gave the revelation, improves and exalts reason, and gives energy and effect to faith.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. – Isaiah 1:18

All Scripture references are coordinated with the King James Version of the Bible, 1611.

Biblical Truths was condensed and revised from Clarke’s Commentary of the Bible.

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NOTE: This article is also in French (Vérités Bibliques).

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