I have introduced a new term here: logistical grace blessing (this concept is new to this study; not new to theology—R. B. Thieme, Jr. first coined this phrase). Logistical grace blessing applies to both Lot and Abram, as well as to all believers.
1. The principle of logistical grace is found in Matt. 6:25–33 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This is logistical grace in the temporal realm; God provides logistical grace for us in the spiritual realm as well. The principle for the spiritual provision of logistical grace is found in 2Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make every [category of] grace overflow to you, so that in every way, you always have everything that you need, so that you may excel in every good work.
2. The origin of the terminology logistical grace.
1. Logistics is a military word which refers to the military science of supply, provision, and planning of troop movement.
2. Logistics is the provision, movement, and maintenance of all necessary resources and services necessary to sustain military forces. Logistics involves the national economic capacity and the nation's ability to support its own military forces. This sustenance can certainly go beyond simple food, clothing and shelter. Internet access, for instance, today can be seen as logistical support (it improves the morale of those in uniform).
3. Logistics is a technical military term for the sustenance of the troops in every form of military activity and maneuver, i.e., in the barracks, in the field, when going into battle, as well as before battle, and after battle.
4. From this military nomenclature comes a Bible Doctrine based on analogy (many words in the Bible—including the New Testament—are military terms appropriated for a spiritual usage). Logistics always plays a very important and dramatic part in warfare (poor logistics can result in the loss of a war), but logistics plays an even greater part in your life as a believer. Every believer is alive today because of logistical grace.
5. The word "logistics" comes from two Greek words.
1. Logistês (λογιστς) [pronounced lohg-is-TACE], which means an inspector of accounts, an auditor, a calculator, or teacher of arithmetic. No Strong’s #.
2. Logismos (λογισμός) [pronounced lohg-is-MOSS], which means, 1) a reckoning, computation; 2) a reasoning: such as is hostile to the Christian faith; 3) a judgment, decision: such as conscience passes. Thayer definition only. R. B. Thieme, Jr. adds the definition thinker. Strong’s #3053.
3. Logistical grace is defined as what God has planned for us, the Divine support he gives us, His Divine provision, and his Divine blessing. The result is, we as believers in Jesus Christ are able to execute the plan of God just as logistical support on the battlefield allows an army to defeat the enemy. God does not give us logistical grace because we are nice people or really good Christians; God gives us logistical support because we are believers and He gives this to us for a purpose.
4. Logistical grace can be broken down into two categories of Divine provision.
1. Temporal provisions.
1. Life support is provided for every Church Age believer. This explains how and why we are alive at any given moment. The only reason we are alive is because of logistical grace. We do not earn it nor do we deserve it. There is no set of spiritual works which we can accomplish to keep ourselves alive. For all intents and purposes, this is food, shelter and clothing. The principle was explained by Jesus in Matt. 6:25–33.
2. God also supplies the laws of divine establishment, which provide for an orderly and lawful society. It is quite difficult for the average believer to advance spiritually under chaotic conditions, e.g. are found today in Egypt, Greece or Tunisia (there are Christians in these counties—I write this in 2011 when there are revolutions occurring within these countries). Evangelism and spiritual growth certainly takes place during riots and war, but a society is sustained and calmed by having many believers.
3. Spiritual growth is a slow and steady process, and is more easily accomplished in peace and tranquility.
4. As an aside, this does not mean that every nation functions perfectly under these laws of divine establishment. A recent example of these laws not functioning are in Afghanistan, where a person became a believer in Jesus Christ and was sentenced to death. That is an horrendous failure of the laws of divine establishment in that nation. However, such a thing has occurred in order to cause our leaders to think about what we are doing. If we (the United States) are simply providing an orderly society for Muslims in that nation, then we are wasting our time. This recent event involving one man will call upon no one less than the President of the United States to think about this and act.
2. Spiritual provisions:
1. Logistical grace is provided for every Church Age believer, both winners and losers. All believers are blessed by God. This exemplifies the justice of God, in that the justice of God sends life support and blessing to the righteousness of God which is in both winner and loser believers (all believers have God’s righteousness imputed to them).
2. That spiritual blessings are afforded to all believers emphasizes grace. You are alive only because of the grace of God, not because of anything you do. Winners utilize logistical grace, loser's coast on it, but never utilize or fully exploit it.
3. Jesus Christ provides the Word of God, which He has preserved for at least 4000 years.
4. God gives his provision to every Church Age believer so that they may execute the Plan of God. This means you have access to doctrine (the teaching of the Word of God). In most cases, this means a pastor-teacher and a local church (which is your local classroom). Although, in today’s time, you can hear a variety of pastors via MP3 files, the authority of the pastor-teacher in the local church (when it comes to teaching the Word of God, not running your life), is extremely important. True positive volition toward the Word of God will solve whatever location problem you have. We recently studied the will of God. If you are not in a place where there is a good local church where doctrine is being taught, then you may be in the wrong geographical location. Quite obviously, moving from point A to point B is a serious decision, and you can allow God to take the lead in this regard. Having had the experience of being moved from point A to point B, I have to say it is one of the greatest decisions God has allowed me to make. I can look at hundreds of things which have happened in my life, which happened since then, which clearly reveal the hand of God to me. There are many cities where there is no careful teaching of the Word of God and many cities where there is. There are many examples in the Bible of God moving believers from one place to another.
5. We all have the grace provision which allows us to take in doctrine. God has provided every believer a human spirit at salvation wherein doctrine is stored. God has provided the filling of the Holy Spirit, which is the restoration of fellowship through naming your sins to God. The filling of the Holy Spirit makes spiritual information something that you are able to comprehend and retain. Furthermore, God has made it possible for all IQ types to take in doctrine, through gap (the grace apparatus for perception). In addition, God provides believers with a prepared pastor-teacher who is able to teach you doctrine. 1Cor. 2:10–16 Eph. 3:18 2Peter 3:18 1John 1:9
6. God provides, in this age, the privacy of the royal priesthood (when you believed in Jesus Christ, you became a member of the royal family and, therefore, of the royal priesthood). This means, you should have the privacy to make your own decisions and that you are directly responsible to God for your decisions and actions. This gives the believer great freedom to take in the Word of God and you have the freedom to live your life before God. If you are in a church where part of the church doctrine allows for others to bully you into some course of action (e.g., some sort of spiritual mentoring system), then you are in the wrong church. Quite obviously, there must be some discipline within the local church, so that everyone can learn in a public (classroom) setting. Therefore, if the pastor teacher tells you to sit down and shut up while he is teaching, this is not the same thing as him running your life; he is merely enforcing academic discipline within the local church.
7. The God-ward side of spiritual provision is, God cannot violate His own character in order to bless us with any kind of blessing, including blessing us with logistical grace. After salvation, we all continue to possess an active sin nature and we all sin. God cannot simply ignore this. God has devised a way, by which He can bless man, and yet simultaneously, maintain the perfection of His essence.
5. As previously mentioned, God provides logistical support through the laws of divine establishment. Some additional points ought to be made.
1. The laws of divine establishment not only protect the freedom of a nation, but they also guarantee the freedom and the privacy of local churches in that free nation.
2. As long as a citizen refrains from disobeying the law, he has a right to his privacy, property, and personal freedom.
3. Evangelism and Bible teaching are legitimate functions in a free society. In fact, without these activities, a society is not really free (contemporary Islamic nations are examples of this).
4. It is the responsibility of the local government and the police officer to protect the rights of a church whether it is a good church or a bad church.
5. These same "laws of establishment" also provide for the separation of church and state.
1. As originally conceived, our founders correctly understood the relationship between church and state.
2. The founding fathers did not understand the separation of church and state to be what it has become today—where the federal government has some control over what is said in church and where religious expression of people or institutions is limited (e.g., not allowing school choirs to sing Christmas carols during Christmas). What recent Supreme Courts have done is, established a wall of separation between any activity of the state and religious expression, which is very different from the separation of church and state. As a result, some things related to the state continue to express some sort of religious thought (e.g., “in God we trust” as the motto on our coinage; various Bible verses and expressions of faith on various monuments, but a disallowance of the captain of a football team leading the prayer before the game). The actual concept of the separation of church and state is, these are two separate entities, and one cannot tell the other one what to do. The state cannot, therefore, threaten to instate taxes on a church because they don’t like what s being taught in church. Furthermore, the state, country or federal governments might express a religious thought without this being subsequently mired in years of court battles.
3. Since most people in the United States were believers, there would be deference given to the Bible and to God by our federal government. Therefore, we find Bible verses, the Ten Commandments, and various figures of Moses in most courts at all levels and in many federal buildings and on many public monuments.
4. Furthermore, public and private schools were originally established so that the people of the United States could read and understand the Bible. Most private colleges and universities originally had curriculums which were quite similar to seminaries and Bible colleges of today (in fact, when first established, most of them were more Bible-centered).
5. However, the specific limitations were: the federal government could not establish a religion nor could it close a church down because it did not like their doctrine.
6. The Bill or Rights was designed to limit the federal government, not to limit the actions and speech of individuals or churches. So, George Washington could issue a Thanksgiving proclamation which recognizes the blessings of God upon the United States soon after agreeing to all of the provisions of the Constitution. What Congress could not do was establish, for instance, the Plymouth Brethren as the official religion of the United States.
6. God provides a myriad of systems of organizational and enforced humility in order for you to accomplish the will of God in your life.
1. For instance, when you drive to church or to your job (which is part of God’s will for your life), you encounter stop signs, speed limits and traffic lights. This is organizational humility which allows you to go from point A to point B on the same road with thousands of people, all of whom have sin natures and many of whom have had a bad day, and yet you travel in relative safety (such is not the case in the large cities of most foreign countries).
2. The highway patrol (or however they are designated in your state) provides enforced humility for those who choose to ignore those stop signs, traffic lights and speed limits. The expense of a traffic ticket and the consequences of breaking traffic laws make us more likely to obey the system of organizational humility which has been set up.
3. At your job, there are systems of organizational and enforced humility set up, so that your place of employment can employ 10 or 100 or 1000 people, all of whom have sin natures and many of whom have had a bad day, and yet, enough gets done at this organization in order for it to be productive and self-sustaining.
4. In the local church, there are also systems of organizational and enforced humility. Where I go to church, there is a clear policy in place when it comes to the teaching of the Word of God. We are supposed to be quiet and not distract others (organizational humility). When someone violates that standard, the pastor and/or a deacon would deal with the problem directly (enforced humility).
7. Why does God provide logistical grace? God has a purpose and plan for our lives. Since we live in the age of grace, God provides everything which is necessary in order to further His purpose for our lives. Certainly, you have bought some item where the outside of the box reads, “Some assembly required.” If all the parts are not there, you are up a creek and you usually return the item. In our lives, there is certainly some assembly required, but all of the parts are guaranteed to be here. That is logistical grace.
8. The basis of logistical grace is God’s integrity. God is able to provide us with logistical grace because this does not compromise His integrity (God must always act within the confines of His character).
1. God is infinite, eternal, and absolute holiness, the latter of which may be classified as Divine integrity or as absolute unchangeable Divine virtue.
2. The integrity of God is composed of His perfect righteousness and His perfect justice. God loves His own integrity. There are four principles related to the integrity of God which apply:
1. What the righteousness of God rejects, the justice of God judges. Most of the time, we follow this logically to, what God judges, God must punish. However, there is a flip side to this coin.
2. What the righteousness of God approves of, the justice of God must bless. This is the basis for logistical grace.
3. The justice of God must administer what the righteousness of God demands. The righteousness of God approves of certain things; therefore, God character demands that God bless these certain things. This is the basis for logistical grace.
4. At the moment of salvation, the righteousness of God is imputed to the believer by the justice of God (Gen. 15:6). The righteousness of God therefore demands blessing from the justice of God, no matter if we fail or succeed as believers. This explains why God continues to provide logistical grace to both winners and losers in the Christian life.
3. Believers who fail to execute the Christian life—that is, they opt for some system of morality rather than to utilize their spiritually operating assets—still have the forty things that they received at salvation (a topic for a future lesson), one of which is the righteousness of God. This means God will support and sustain you regardless of how deserving or undeserving you are (in your own eyes or in the eyes of others).
1. Two additional points: first of all, you may appear quite undeserving of God’s grace in the eyes of others, and, it may give you some measure of amusement to know that this makes their hackles rise when He blesses you with logistical grace.
2. Secondly, you may have believed that Christianity was all about knowing what is moral and then being moral, and your life has been fairly good since you began to follow that philosophy (I am assuming that you first believed in Jesus Christ). There are two reasons for this: logistical grace (God blesses you logistically because you now have the righteousness of God within you) and the concept of the laws of divine establishment. God has prescriptive behavior for all people—believers and unbelievers alike—which prescriptive behavior we call the laws of divine establishment, of which, morality is a subset. So, if you are moral, good things are going to happen. Simple example: the man who chooses to love his wife and to remain faithful to her is going to have a better marriage than the person who doesn’t.
4. At the moment of salvation by means of faith in Christ, the righteousness of God is imputed to us. This is true in every dispensation. Because God imputes His righteousness to us, there are several results:
1. Justification. God imputes His righteousness to us and then declares us to be righteous—this is justification. Justification occurs instantly. Rom. 5:1-5.
2. God loves us personally. Because God’s perfect righteousness has been imputed to us, God's love toward us changes from impersonal love to personal love. His imputed righteousness allows God to love us personally. God does not step outside of his well-defined character in order to have personal love for us.
3. We become recipients of logistical grace. Because we have imputed righteousness, God is able to bless us with logistical grace, without compromising His righteousness.
4. If you are a new believer, you may not quite understand all of this. You have been taught that God loves you and therefore He blesses you. However, God’s love for us as unbelievers is an impersonal, but real, love. God’s love for us as believers is a personal and real love. The key is, whatever God does on our behalf cannot violate His perfect character. To help you differentiate between impersonal and personal love: you are commanded to love all other believers—that is impersonal love. There are some believers you don’t want to spend 14 seconds with; you can maintain this distance, and still love them impersonally (that is, you don’t hate them, you don’t spread rumors about them, etc.). You also love your family, which is personal love. Now and again, a family member does something that you do not care for. Perhaps they said something about you that rubbed you the wrong way. Impersonal love means that you overlook what they said. If you are only able to function on emotion and on personal love, that remark may become the basis for a family rift.
5. In the function of God’s policy of grace, there can be no compromise of God’s attributes. God has found a way, through logistical grace, to bless each believer without compromising any of His attributes.
6. God's righteousness is the principle of Divine integrity, while God's perfect justice is the function of Divine integrity.
1. God’s justice cannot accept anything less than perfect righteousness as the object of His blessing.
2. Therefore, God cannot bless anything less than His own perfect righteousness, because this takes God outside of the boundaries of His perfect character. He cannot even bless relative righteousness. That is, He cannot bless you simply because you had a pretty good day, sin-wise.
7. The indwelling righteousness of God is the recipient of all logistical grace life support and all blessing from God. The grace pipeline excludes human merit and ability from the reception of blessing.
8. The justice of God is the source of logistical grace life support and Divine blessing. Divine justice became the reference point for mankind since Adam sinned.
9. God has found a way to administer logistical grace blessing to every Church Age believer and still act within the confines of His righteousness and justice.
10. Because we have God’s righteousness imputed to us, God’s own justice requires that He provide logistical grace life support and blessing to the believer.
11. The grace pipeline is established between God’s perfect holiness (or integrity) and the righteousness which is imputed to us. This grace pipeline excludes man's works and ability; because man does not earn or deserve logistical grace blessing from God. Rom 3:22 Matt. 6:33.
12. We are studying Abram and Lot, and they are blessed because God imputed righteousness to each one of them when they believed in Jehovah Elohim (Gen. 15:6). For both men, this is logistical grace. For Abraham, he receives logistical support from God as well as more blessing on top of that (which is called greater grace in 2Cor. 4:15 and James 4:6).
9. The grace pipeline and logistical grace:
1. At God’s end of the pipeline is His Divine justice, which is the source of Divine blessing to all believers, winners or losers. At our end of the pipeline is Divine righteousness, which was imputed to us at salvation. This pipeline cannot be destroyed; it does not suffer from any "metal fatigue."
2. God’s justice is the source of all logistical grace blessing. Therefore, God is fair and just in supporting winners and losers alike. Since God is perfect, it is impossible for God to provide blessing for imperfect believers on the basis of their character, goodness or works. We are not blessed because of what we do for God, we are blessed because of what God has done for us. After all, if God provides the imputed righteousness for us at salvation, how can we brag about this?
3. Therefore, this grace pipeline excludes all human ability, morality, talent, giving, sacrifice, service, or any other patronizing function of legalism as a legitimate source of Divine blessing. In other words, our good works do not prompt God to give us logistical grace. In fact, There is nothing that we can do in order to earn God’s logistical grace. It is provided to every single believer.
4. Therefore, God is free to bless all believers, winners and losers, spiritual or carnal, without compromising His own character. God has found a way to bless us through His Divine policy, which is called grace. God cannot endorse or accept anything less than perfect righteousness and, therefore, God cannot bless anything less than perfect righteousness. You might see how we would be in quite a jam if we did not possess God’s perfect righteousness via imputation.
5. Consequently, the justice of God sends His grace blessing down the grace pipeline. All logistical grace life support and blessing travel down this pipeline to both winner and loser believers. Therefore, in logistical grace, the justice of God is the source of all Divine support and blessing, and the righteousness of God is the recipient of all Divine support and blessing.
10. In order for us to receive logistical grace blessing, we must have God’s righteousness (which is not something we have the ability to accomplish) and we must have a human spirit as well. God’s imputed righteousness and the creation of a human spirit within us are all accomplished by God. We did nothing meritorious in order to deserve God’s righteousness or a human spirit.
11. Logistical grace support is necessary for the perception of Bible doctrine and for the execution of the Plan of God. Every believer potentially has access to accurate teaching of the Word of God so that they can execute the plan of God. The fact that few pastor-teachers are doctrinal teachers and the fact that many doctrinal churches are sparsely attended is a matter of volition of the believers in that geographical area. However, potentially, these things are provided, so that every believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute God's plan which results in the glorification God. We all receive the following assets as a part of logistical grace:
1. God creates within us a human spirit at the moment of salvation. This is where doctrine is stored and is the basis for our fellowship with God. 1Cor. 2:10–16
2. God provides the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that you can go to the Bible and expect God to tell you what everything means.
3. In every generation, the gift of pastor-teacher is distributed to a number of male believers. Their gift of communicating Bible doctrine to you is a part of logistical grace. 99% of all believers can only grow under a pastor-teacher. There are unusual circumstances where a small fraction of believers are able to advance spiritually on their own. This is rare and this is not you.
12. God’s perfect justice can only bless His perfect righteousness.
1. God’s integrity God is both the guardian of His Divine attributes and God’s integrity is the believer's point of contact with God.
2. Even though we live in an age of grace, God’s attributes cannot be compromised by the function of His grace. God’s plan is the way that God is able to provide logistic grace for the believer without any compromise of His attributes.
3. God's perfect righteousness is the principle of His integrity. God's perfect justice is the function of His integrity. God cannot accept or endorse anything less than perfect righteousness as the object of His Divine blessing. Man's righteousness is completely unacceptable to God.
4. Because God loves mankind impersonally, He was motivated to solve the problem of how to bless man. God solved this problem without compromising His perfect justice. God’s attributes cannot operate against one another.
5. From the moment of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s perfect righteousness resides in every member of the royal family (Rom 3:22). Therefore, every believer is legitimately qualified to receive life support and blessing whether he succeeds or fails in the Christian life.
6. God’s justice of God administers exactly what His righteousness demands.
7. Given what God has given us, logistical grace avoids any compromise of God’s attributes. Therefore, logistical grace is compatible with the integrity of God. The function of logistical grace does not compromise God’s character in any way.
13. 2 Peter 3:18 reads: Grow by means of [logistical] grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Logistical grace is support and supply for growth, Phil 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to all men. The Lord is near. The word near means that, God is within supporting and supplying distance. Unless logistical support is near to an advancing army, that army cannot survive.
2. The Lord is near; that is, He is within supporting distance (i.e., He is close enough to us to bless us). Deut 33:27 Philip 4:19 Psalm 37:25 Eph 1:3 2 Cor 9:8.
3. The key is not His physical nearness and His desire to bless us, but His ability to bless us. Sloppy agapê (ἀγάπη) is, God loves us and so He blesses us. However, God can only bless us when this does not conflict with His perfect character (that is, His blessing us cannot conflict with His perfect righteousness and justice).
14. There are reasonably some differences between logistical grace in the Church Age (the time in which we live) and in previous dispensations. In the Church Age, all believers have a place in the plan of God. Every one of us has a life of purpose, meaning and definition. Therefore, we all must receive logistical grace and we all must utilize logistical grace in our trek toward spiritual maturity.
I realize that, portions of this doctrine were very technical and involved, at times, a very technical vocabulary (e.g., the integrity of God, enforced and organizational humility, etc.). It is possible that you read this, and there were several points which did not make complete sense. However, the primary principle here is, God provides for us, both spiritually and temporally, after we have believed in Jesus Christ.
http://www.gracedoctrine.org/word/082409.htm (Pastor/Teacher: James H. Rickard teaches at Grace Fellowship Church in Plainville, MA)
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