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Sermon #2061                                                               Miscellaneous Sermons


      Title:                                 “My Doctrine”


      Text:                                  Deuteronomy 32:1-4

      Subject:               Gospel Doctrine

      Date:                                Sunday Morning — March 24, 2013

      Reading: Deuteronomy 32:1-14, 39-43

                                                                          and 2 Timothy 3:1-4:6

      Tape#                              BB-18



Let me begin by telling you what gave birth to this message. —I received note yesterday from a young man with whom I have been corresponding recently. He asked me three questions, which I answered briefly.




“Thank you for your note and your frank questions. Let me answer them as you gave them.


1)    What’s the point of missions, witnessing, etc for Calvinists? If God decided who is saved, and man has no choice in the matter, then it would seem witnessing, missions, and other missionary outreach is pointless? (i.e. if man can’t decide, you can’t convince them).


As you might know, our congregation supports missionaries around the world. All of them (and the pastors of the churches they have been used to establish) believe and preach the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ (TULIP). I make at least one missionary trip every year to visit these missionaries and the national churches and pastors with whom they serve the Lord.


Why missions, why preach, why witness? The answer is very simple: God commands it. We need no other reason. But there are other reasons. God has ordained the instrumentality of the preached Word for the salvation of his elect. He has promised that his Word will not return to him void and that it shall accomplish his purpose in sending it. And I preach with the confidence that my labor is not in vain in the Lord. God’s elect will be saved.


2)    In your “What Does it Mean to beReformed?” PDF, you say Baptists who call themselves reformed are just Presbyterians. So why do you pastor a Baptist church? Just curious as to how that plays out.


I am a Baptist by conviction, not merely by name. Most of the churches in which I minister do not call themselves “Baptist” by name, though they are Baptists by conviction. I choose to use the name because it represents an historic identification with men and women who have died at the hands of both Protestants and Papists because of their conviction that baptism (immersion) is the believer’s public confession of faith in Christ after the command and pattern of the N.T. Baptists were around for 1500 years prior to the Protestant Reformation. In those days as in our day, there were many heretics; but Baptists have historically preached the gospel of the grace of God (TULIP), just as Baptists whose names are familiar to you (Bunyan, Gill, Spurgeon, etc.) did in their day.


3)    If God pre-decided who would be saved, and man has no choice, then some people were created for the express purpose of going to hell? And for those who are saved, they are merely robots on a stage, like a skit.


If the plain revelation of God’s Word made God a monster and men robots (as is often suggested by men who cannot refute to doctrine of Holy Scripture), that would not change the revelation of God. Of course that is not the case.


Now, I will ask you three questions. Please take your time considering them.


1.    If God loves all men alike, what does the love of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?

2.    If Christ died for all men alike, what does the death of Christ have to do with anyone’s salvation?

3.    If God the Holy Spirit calls all men alike, what does the call of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?


There can only be one answer to those questions: — Nothing. Salvation is not determined by the will of God, the love of God, the death of Christ, or the work of God the Holy Spirit, but by the will and choice of man, which the Word of God expressly denies (Romans 9:16).


Before responding, please carefully read the attached. The first two (Election and Just in Case) are brief tracts I wrote many years ago. The others are chapters on the Atonement taken from my Basic Bible Doctrine book. Please read them carefully, comparing Scripture with Scripture. If the things I have written are not so, if I have erred in anything written in the attached, please let me know my error, showing it to me from the Word of God. If that can be done, I will make as public a retraction as soon as possible, begging God and his people to forgive me. If, however, the things written in the attached are verified by the Word of God, let no man call himself God’s servant or a preacher of the gospel who does not boldly, clearly, and relentlessly declare them.”




Now, open your Bibles to Deuteronomy 32, and I will give you a fuller, more complete answer to this young man’s questions. I plan to see to it that he gets a copy of this message.


(Deuteronomy 32:1-4) “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. (2) My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: (3) Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. (4) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”


Slanderous Accusations


When people cannot refute our message, when they cannot break down and destroy our doctrine, if they refuse to believe it, if they refuse to bow to the Scriptures, they have only one method of defending themselves, only one method by which they can try to get people not to hear us. Their chosen, most loved weapon is slander. They try to smear us, and the gospel we preach with ugly names.


Gospel preachers always have their detractors. Like others, I have had a few in my day. We are often condemned by legalists as base antinomians. The legalists assert that the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ promotes licentiousness. — People who live in bondage are scared to death of liberty.


Recently, some little imps have been running around declaring: — “Fortner is a compromiser. His doctrine has changed. He’s not as strong as he used to be.” — Well, I’ll leave that for you to decide. I gave up the business of defending myself a long time ago. The yelping of little dogs doesn’t bother me. I ignore them, but always in such a way as to let them know they are being ignored. I do like to aggravate them a little.


Others, attempting to cast one of God’s servants in what they imagine is an ugly light, will sometimes say, “He is a doctrinal preacher,” or “He’s a dogmatic doctrinalist.”


What they fail to realize is that to people who read their Bibles that is not a detraction but an attraction. All gospel preachers are doctrinal preachers.Doctrine” is not an ugly word. It simply means “teaching”. The doctrine of Christ is the teaching of Christ. The doctrine of the Bible is the teaching of the Bible. The doctrine of the gospel is the teaching of the gospel. Those who despise doctrine despise the teaching of the Bible, the teaching of Christ, the teaching of the gospel.


The Bible talks a lot about doctrine. All true doctrine is described as...

·      Pure Doctrine” (Job 11:4).

·      Good Doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:6).

·      Sound Doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:10).


The gospel of Christ, the teaching of the Bible is called “the doctrine of God” (Titus 2:10), “the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6:1), and “the doctrine which is according to godliness” (1 Timothy 3:6).


It is the business of every gospel preacher to give himself wholly to prayer, the study of the Word, and doctrine. — The doctrine of Christ! And it is the duty of every gospel preacher to establish his hearers in sound doctrine that they be not tossed about with divers and strange doctrines. That preacher who labors in the Word and in the doctrine, Paul says, is worthy of double honor(1 Timothy 5:17). That means, he is “worthy of double the pay of any other man.” He does not seek it, or even desire it; but he is worthy of it. He is to be highly esteemed in love for his work’s sake (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). All who understand that gospel preachers are the “messengers of God’s glory” to their souls understand these things and do highly esteem them as such.


In the light of these things, I make no apology for asking you to turn with me to Deuteronomy 32 and preaching this message to you. The title of my message is found in verse 2: — “My Doctrine.” Like the apostle Paul, our Lord Jesus himself, and God’s prophet Moses, I avow the doctrine of the gospel, the doctrine of this Book, the doctrine of God to be “My Doctrine.”

·      My doctrine is public knowledge (2 Timothy 3:10 – “Thou hast fully known my doctrine.”).

·      My doctrine will bear the scrutiny of Holy Scripture (John 7:16-17). – I say to you exactly what our Lord said to those to whom he preached. —


(John 7:16-17) “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (17) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”


·      My doctrine is the joyous doctrine of song and praise (Deuteronomy 32:1-4).


(Deuteronomy 32:1-4) “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. (2) My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: (3) Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. (4) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”


I take Moses’ words in this song to be my own, for his doctrine is my doctrine and my doctrine is his doctrine.


1.    My doctrine drops as the dew and the rain from heaven.

·      It is of God. — In its origin. — In its revelation. — In its teaching.

·      It is refreshing and delightful.

·      It is vital, necessary for life.


2.    My doctrine publishes the name of the Lord.

·      Johovah-Jireh — The Lord Will Provide (Genesis 22:14).

·      Johovah-Nissi — The Lord Our Banner (Exodus 17:15).

·      Jehovah-Rapha — The Lord that Healeth Thee (Exodus 15:26).

·      Jehovah-M'kaddesh – The Lord that Doth Sanctify You (Exodus 31:13).

·      Jehovah-Shalom — The Lord Our Peace (Judges 6:22-24).

·      Jehovah-Ra-Ah — The Lord Our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1).

·      Jehovah-Tsidkenu — The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).

·      Jehovah-Shammah — The Lord Is There (Ezekiel 48:35).

·      Jehovah-Jesus — The Lord Our Savior (Genesis 43:3; Matthew 1:21).


3.    My doctrine calls for all men everywhere to ascribe greatness to God.

·      Great is his Person!

·      Great is his work!


4.    My doctrine declares that the Lord our God is the Rock, not a rock, but the Rock.


Their rock is not our Rock” (v. 31). The God who is our Rock is the Man Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:4).


·      The only Rock of Foundation! — Build on Him!

·      The only Rock of Refuge! — Hide in Him!

·      The only Rock of Hope! — Hope in Him!


5.    My doctrine declares that all the works of the triune God are perfect.


When rightly understood, all his works are one, all that God does is for the saving of his people for the glory of his name; and “his work is perfect” (Isaiah 63:12, 14; Ephesians 1:3-14).


6.    My doctrine declares that all God’s ways are judgment.


(Psalms 97:2) “Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.”


Everything he does and everything he permits, the whole work of creation, providence, grace, and judgment reflects...

·      The Wisdom of God.

·      The Justice of God.


7.    My doctrine asserts that our great God, the only true and living God, in contrast to all the imaginary gods of men, is a God of Truth.

·      He cannot lie.

·      He is without iniquity.

·      He is just and right in all he does.


My Doctrine” is not a complicated, intricate, mysterious system of theology. It is “the simplicity of Christ.” It is as plain and obvious as the nose on your face, and is easily understood by all who believe. “My Doctrine” can be essentially set forth in five statements. It has not varied so much as a hair’s breadth since I was seventeen years old. Let me give these five statements, and I will sit down.


God’s Sovereignty


1.    The Lord our God is the absolute sovereign of the universe.


To say that God is sovereign is simply to declare that God is God. A god who is not sovereign, a god whose purpose can be overturned, whose will can be resisted, whose power can be defeated, whose grace can be frustrated, is no God at all, but only the idolatrous figment of man’s depraved imagination. I say of this generation what the Lord God said of Isaiah’s generation: — “They pray unto a god that cannot save.” The god of this age is an idol carved from one of the trees in the dark forest of man’s depraved heart of spiritual ignorance. The God of the Bible is totally sovereign, the absolute Monarch of the universe. Read your Bible and tell me whether or not I speak the truth (Isaiah 14:24, 26, 27; Isaiah 46:9-11; Psalm 115:3; Psalm 135:6; Daniel 4:35-37).


(Psalms 115:3) “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”


(Psalms 135:6) “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”


(Isaiah 14:24) “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:”


(Isaiah 14:26-27) “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. (27) For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”


(Isaiah 46:9-11) “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (11) Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”


(Daniel 4:35-37) “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (36) At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. (37) Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”


I want everyone who hears my voice to understand exactly what I am saying. God is totally sovereign...

·      In predestination (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:5-6, 11).

·      In creation (Proverbs 16:4).

·      In providence (Romans11:36).

·      In grace (Romans 9:16-18).


God’s Word


2.    This Book, this Book alone and in its entirety, is the Word of God.


·      It was written by Divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 2:20).


(2 Timothy 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”


(2 Peter 2:20) “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”


·      It is complete, final, and authoritative (Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 22:19).


(Hebrews 1:1-3) “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (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; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”


(Revelation 22:19) “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”


Illustration: Sister Ruth’s Vision.


·      It is our only rule of faith and practice (Isaiah8:20).


(Isaiah 8:20) “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”


Total Depravity


3.    All men and women, since the fall of our father Adam, are born in a state of sin, total depravity, alienation from God, and spiritual death (Romans 3:9-19; 5:12).


(Romans 3:9-19) “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (13) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (14) Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: (15) Their feet are swift to shed blood: (16) Destruction and misery are in their ways: (17) And the way of peace have they not known: (18) There is no fear of God before their eyes. (19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”


(Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”


Find out what happened in the garden and you will have no trouble understanding both the history of man and the necessity of salvation by grace. Here are five facts revealed in Holy Scripture about all human beings by nature, by birth, and by practice. We are all...


(1.)         Totally depraved (Genesis 6:5).

(2.)         Haters of God (Romans 8:7).

(3.)         Justly children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3; Galatians 3:10).

(4.)         Spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-5).


(Ephesians 2:1-5) “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”


(5.)         Incapable of doing good, or of even coming to Christ (John 5:40).


A dead man cannot change his condition. He is not even aware of his condition! He must be raised to life, or he shall never have life.


Illustration: Lazarus (John 11).





4.    “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah. 2:9)


(Jonah 2:1-9) “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, (2) And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. (3) For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. (4) Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. (5) The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. (6) I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. (7) When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. (8) They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. (9) But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”


Salvation is the work of God alone. Man has nothing to contribute to it and nothing to do with it. All we can do is “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”

·      God’s salvation is an eternal, covenant salvation (2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:3).

·      God’s salvation began in sovereign, electing love (Jeremiah 31:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Romans 9:11-13).


Read Deuteronomy 33:3 and you will see who God’s elect are. — “Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.”

Ø The People He Loved

Ø His Saints – The People He Sanctified

Ø Those Who Are In His Hand

Ø Those Who Sit At His Feet

Ø Those Who Receive His Word


·      The salvation of God’s elect was secured by Divine predestination (Ephesians 1:4-5, 11; Romans 8:28-30; Deuteronomy 32:8).


(Deuteronomy 32:8) “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”


(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”


(Ephesians 1:4-5) “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”


(Ephesians 1:11) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”


·      The salvation of God’s elect was obtained by a legal purchase and an effectual atonement made specifically for them by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

·      Isaiah 53:8 — Limited Atonement!

·      Hebrews 9:12 — Effectual Atonement!

·      2 Corinthians 5:21 — Substitutionary Atonement!


·      God’s saving grace is irresistibly and effectually applied to every chosen, redeemed sinner at the appointed time of love by God the Holy Spirit.

·      Psalm 65:4

·      Psalm 110:3

·      John 6:63

·      Romans 9:16


·      Every saved sinner, every true believer, is infallibly secure and shall persevere in grace because he is kept by the power of God (Malachi 3:6; Ecclesiastes 3:14; John 10:27-30).


“The Lord’s portion is his people. Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” Look what God does for his Jacobs (vv. 9-10).


(Deuteronomy 32:8-10) “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. (9) For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. (10) He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”


1.    “He found him in a desert land, in the waste and howling wilderness” (Ezekiel 16:1-8).

2.    “He led him about.”

3.    “He instructed him!”

4.    “He kept him, as the apple of his eye!”


Faith in Christ


5.    Every sinner in this world who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ is saved, has passed from death unto life, and must possess all the blessedness and glory of heaven (John 5:24).


(John 5:24) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”


If you now believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, whoever you are, no matter how old, how young, or how vile you are, if you now trust Christ, you are right now...

Ø Forgiven of All Sin (Romans 8:1).

Ø Completely Justified (Acts 13:39).

Ø Free from the Law (Romans 6:14).

Ø Made Worthy Of Heaven (Col. 1:12).

Ø “Accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

Ø Sealed by the Spirit.“Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise (John 14:1-3).




Here is a test by which you may determine whether any doctrine, the doctrine of any church, the doctrine of any preacher is of God. Does it give you rest? (Jeremiah 6:16).


(Jeremiah 6:16) “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”


Let’s put some doctrine to the test...

1.    The doctrine of Rome — Penance — Indulgences — Purgatory.

2.    The doctrine of the Campbellite — Baptismal regeneration.

3.    The doctrine of the legalist — Obedience to the law.

4.    The doctrine of the Arminian — Freewillism — works!

5.    The Doctrine of Grace — My doctrine — Trust Christ. — He did it all. — Here is my Sabbath!






Don Fortner








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