“WE HAVE”

At a first glance, the above phrase may seem quite insignificant and meaningless for a major editorial column. However, these are Scriptural words, and no words in in the inerrant Scriptures are insignificant. Every word in the inerrant record counts for something.  The seemingly insignificant words constitutepart of the words of certainty, words which are part of the inspired contents of the Word of God as Prov. 22:21 clearly declare: “That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth. The phrase “we have” thus carries great spiritual meaning and weight. Consider some of its following usages in the infallible record of truth.

                1. “We have” an Authority: This authority is the inspired Word of God. II Peter 1:19-21 states: “But 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…For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

                In this sin darkened world, God has not left individuals in the darkness to aimlessly wander and stagger about helplessly. Ps. 119:130 plainly declares that “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple, while just a few verses previously in that same passage, the Psalmist states that “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

                These authoritative words are (a) Christ-centered words—John 5:39, (b) chosen words—II Tim. 3:16-17, (c) ceaseless words—Matt. 24:35, (d) converting words—I Pet. 1:23, (e) cleansing words—Ps. 119:9; (f) comforting words—I Thess. 4:18, (g) commanding words—Ps. 19:8. Consider these authoritative words also as you find them in Psalms 119: They are  (a) stored words—Ps. 119:ll; (b) statuatory words—Ps. 119:16, (c) strengthening words— 119:28; (d) saving words—Ps. 119:41, (e) settled words—Ps. 119:89; (f) shining words—Ps. 119:105, (g) subduing words—Ps. 119:170.

                2. “We have” an Atonement: Eph. 1:7 states: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (See also Rom. 5:11) The doctrine of atonement is one of the chief major doctrines of Scripture. Baker’s Dictionary of Theology [BDT] terms this doctrine as “the center of gravity in Christian life and thought.” BDT says that “the cross has always been central in Christian theology because it is central in the N.T.” 

                However, the BTD minimizes the primacy of Christ’s shed blood in his death as the means by which this atonement occurs or takes place. The Scriptures place great emphasis upon Christ’s shed blood as the sole basis for our redemption. Christ’s blood was (a) promised blood—Lev. 17:11, (b) pure blood—I Pet. 1:18-19, (c) propitiating [satisfying] blood—Rom. 3:25, (d) purchasing blood—Acts 20:28 and (e) purging blood—Heb. 9:14.

It is impossible to over-emphasize this great truth. The Word of God also emphatically declares that Christ’s blood was (a) Superior blood—Heb. 10:12, (b) supernatural blood—Acts 20:28, (c) saving blood—Col. 1:14, (d) sanctifying blood—Heb. 10:10, (e) sprinkling blood—Heb. 12:24a, (f) speaking blood—Heb. 12:24b and (g) slandered [rejected] blood—Heb. 10:29.

3. “We have” an Anchor: The Word of God uses numerous picturesque phrases and words as natural and historical backgrounds to portray and present divine truth. The Scriptures are full of references to agricultural terms, military phrases, environmental expressions, archeological labels, numerous animal species, specific food items, geographical places and even nautical words

Using one of these nautical terms—the anchor—the author of Hebrews, in Heb. 6:18-20, portrayed believers as eternal souls whose lives are safely anchored in the unsinkable ship of eternal salvation, that anchor being the person of Jesus Christ.  “That by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchizedec.”

4.”We have” an Assurance: This assurance is the assurance of answered prayer, when it is in the will of God. I John 5:14 says: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”  The Apostle John reiterates this truth when he writes in I John 3::22: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

In Matt. 7:7, Jesus said: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”In Matt. 21:22, Christ reiterated this when he stated:  “And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  Again in John 14:13-14, our Saviour repeated this truth when he declared: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Now the phrase “ask in my name” is not a mystical phrase or a magical rhetorical expression, but involves the entire will of God as John penned in the verses above. Sometimes, in our fallible minds, we ask for things that God knows are not best for our lives. This assurance is based on some stipulated conditions that we are in complete subservience to God’s will, and complete subjection to His Word as stated above, plus the important fact of God’s inerrant will for our lives.  Due to our errant depraved nature, we sometime pray for blessings and things that are not God’s best for our lives. Our heart can be right, but our mind wrong on some occasions. This is where the Holy Spirit enters the picture, sifting out our prayers as Rom. 8:26-27 declares.

When the spiritual conditions are met and God’s will clear, this assurance of answered prayer beforehand is a blessed assurance indeed.

5. “We have” an Advocate: In I John 2:1, the Apostle John penned both an earnest entreaty as well as a blessed promise: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  The word advocate comes from the Greek noun and adjective “paraklesis", and “parakletos" which essentially means “a calling to one’s side.” Vines Complete Expository Dictionary suggests that it refers to the “capability or adaptability for giving aid.” This word refer both to Christ—I John 2:1-- and to the Holy Spirit—John 14:16, John 15:26, and to the comfort and consolation that they both can provide. In II Thess. 2:16 this root word is translated “consolation” and there it “combines encouragement with [the] alleviation of grief."

However, it is also a term that was used in a “legal court of justice to denote a legal assistant, a counsel for the defense,” thus an advocate. When applied to Christ, it is He who pleads our case before the Throne of His Heavenly Father when Satan attacks believers. Christ there becomes our lawyer, our intercessor, our mediator and our advocate! Praise God when this occurs, our divine lawyer has never lost a case in over 2,000 years—I Cor. 15:57.

6. “We have” an Altar: Heb. 13:10 states: “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.”  The O. T. altar was a place where holy offerings were made by both the common people—Lev. 1:2 as well as the priests—Lev. 2:1-3.  Now the Scripture clearly declares that believers are both priests—I Peter 2:5 and saints—Eph. 1:1. As such, we have both the right and the privilege of making holy offerings.

The context of Hebrews 13 makes it plain that this offering involves a sanctifying separation from the worldHeb. 13:12-13: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people, with his own blood suffered without the gate. Let us go forth without the camp, bearing his reproach.” This altar where we present this holy offering is actually the believer’s body—Rom. 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” 

According to the context, this offering—sacrifice—is also an offering of praise: Heb. 13:15 says, “By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise.” The praise of God by believers should never be minimized or overlooked.  God’s praises should be a major portion of our daily lives—I Peter 2:9.

            7. “We have”an Aptitude:The word aptitude refers “to a capacity for learning” and it can refer to the mental alertness that individuals may possess so that they can act correctly and discerningly.  In I Cor. 2:16, the Apostle asserts that as believers “…we have the mind of Christ.”  The context of that statement reveals that the “natural man”—the unconverted sinner—“receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

                However, the born-again believer, possesses an inner aptitude that enables him to properly discern between good and evil, between truth and error, between righteousness and unrighteousness. That inner aptitude comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the “mind of Christ” for us. I John 2:27 states that this inner aptitude is the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit who abides in believer’s bodies. This inner aptitude, as that verse so plainly indicates, gives believers the ability to distinguish between the doctrine of Christ and the doctrine of anti-Christ

                Possessing this inner spiritual aptitude, genuine saints can thus distinguish between deceitful apostate religious doctors of divinity and genuine instructors of God’s truth as I John 4:1-6 states: “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God…Hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

CONCLUSION

                Are you convinced now that “little” words and short phrases in the Scripture are significant? As this writer stated at the beginning of this article, every word in God’s inspired Book counts and is part of His preserved record that He intended for believers to possess. Prov. 30:5 is surely true when it says that “every word of God is pure.” Believer, read every word in this wonderful book, and don’t overlook the significance of even any so called insignificant or small words—they are all part of THE BOOK, God’s book, that we need and possess—accurately preserved in the King James Version, including the short phrase "We Have."

  Editorial – FEBRUARY  -  MARCH  2015  The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.

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