Baptist History Homepage
Two Old Paths
By R. L. Vaughn

      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.


      In many of our like faith churches, when we begin to speak of “the old paths,” our minds often run immediately to church truth, local & visible congregations, immersion is baptism, strict communion, etc. And rightly so. However, in the 21st century, we find ourselves in a quandary where we must go back to the beginning, to two “old paths” that are older than (before) the rest: (1) The doctrine of God, and (2) The doctrine of Scripture.

      Our church statement of faith lays out two foundational truths, from which all our church doctrines grow: We believe that God is, and that he has revealed himself in the sixty-six books we call the Holy Bible.

God is eternally self-existent. Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; Hebrews 11:6.
The Bible is inspired by God. Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

The doctrine of God

      God is the Creator.

      a. The Bible begins on that note, in Genesis 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. It does not stop there, but continues to reiterate the message. Isaiah 40:28

      Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

      b. His creation is to and for his own ends or purpose.

      Proverbs 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself:

      c. He sustains and upholds the world by the power of his might.

      Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power.

God is Sovereign.

      a. He does whatsoever he pleases in heaven and earth Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Psalm 135:6 Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

      b. Who can say anything against him? Romans 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

      c. God is true; he is truth alone. Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar

      Nebuchaddnezzar recognized the sovereign God. Daniel 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

God is our Saviour.

      a. There is one God. Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

      b. There is one Saviour. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

      c. Neither is there any other. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

      We must reject the unknown God of the Athenians, the unknowable God of the Deists, the “no” God of atheists and agnostics, and return to the God of the Bible, the God of our fathers, the God who sees and knows all things, who does all things as he pleases and does them all well!

The doctrine of Scripture

      God revealed himself to Moses from a burning bush, and to us from a burning Bible. Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire?

Scripture is inspired.

      a. God gave the word (Psalm 68:11); God breathed the word. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

      b. The Holy Ghost moved the prophetic speakers and writers. 2 Peter 1:20-21 knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Scripture is preserved.

      a. God gave his word as he wanted, without addition or subtraction. Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure… Add thou not unto his words

      b. His purpose in giving his words stands in his purpose to preserve his words. Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

      c. God stands by and watches over his word; it will not return void; it will stand; it will not pass away. Ezekiel 12:25 For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass… Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:24-25

      d. We will be judged by his forever words. Revelation 20:12 and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books… John 12:48

Scripture presents the Saviour.

      a. The holy scriptures make one wise unto salvation 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. When Eve saw the tree in the midst of the garden was a tree to be desired to make one wise (Genesis 3:6), she partook of it. Rather than making she and Adam wise, it made them dead in trespasses and sin.

      b. The holy scriptures testify that eternal life is in Jesus Christ. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

      Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? (Isaiah 40:28) Yes, we have heard and we know because we have the inspired preserved Scriptures which testify of the Lord Jesus Christ.

      In Why I Preach from the Received Text, Tanner Dikin wrote, “If the reliability of the holy Scripture is in question, we have no solid ground for our faith.” I agree, and would add, “If we cannot trust that God has kept his word, which says he keeps our souls, how can we trust that he keeps our souls?” Where is the end of rejecting the inspired preserved word of God? Despair. What is the answer to despair? Jesus. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


      Psalm 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Perhaps we at times have been like a man defending his roof and walls, blissfully unaware of the attack on the very foundation itself. We must return to these two old paths and aggressively contend for this part of the faith once delivered to the saints.


[From R. L. Vaughn, 10.25.22. Ministry and Music; - Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

More R. L. Vaughn Articles
Baptist History Homepage