"Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 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: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 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."††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -- Deuteronomy 32:1-4
The doctrine of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ is heavenly doctrine. It is the doctrine of Holy Scripture. In these four verses of his song, Moses describes the doctrine of the gospel by seven distinguishing characteristics. By these seven things, true, gospel doctrine may be identified.
1. IT DROPS AS THE DEW AND THE RAIN FROM HEAVEN. Like the rain and the dew from heaven, the gospel of grace is from God. He is the Origin of it and the Revealer of it. The only way any man can know it is to be taught of God. Like the rain and the dew, it is refreshing, delightful, reviving, and vital.
2. THE DOCTRINE OF GOD DECLARES THE NAME OF THE LORD. That is to say, it publishes all the character of God as his character is set forth in his names: Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides (Gen. 22:14), -- Jehovah-rapha, the Lord who heals (Ex. 15:26), -- Jehovah-nissi, the Lord our Banner (Ex. 17:15), -- Jehovah-shaloam, the Lord our Peace (Judges 6:22-24), -- Jehovah-tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6), -- Jehovah-shammah, the Lord who is there (Ezek. 48:35), and -- Jehovah-Jesus, the Lord who saves (Gen. 43:3; Matt. 1:21).
3. HEAVENLY DOCTRINE ASCRIBES ALL GREATNESS TO GOD AND CALLS FOR ALL MEN TO DO SO (Ps. 115:1). It ascribes greatness to God in his Person and in all his works. Any doctrine that ascribes greatness to man is not of God.
4. THE DOCTRINE OF THE BIBLE ASSERTS THAT GOD IN CHRIST IS THE ROCK, not a rock, but "THE ROCK!" That God who is the Rock is our Savior, the man Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 10:4). He is the foundation Rock, the Rock of refuge, and the Rock of hope. Build on him. Hide in him. Hope in him.
5. TRUE DOCTRINE DECLARES THAT ALL Godís WORK IS PERFECT. When rightly understood, all God's work is one work, and it is perfect. His work is the salvation of his people for the glory of his name (Isa. 63:12, 14; Eph. 1:3-14).
6. GOSPEL DOCTRINE AVOWS THAT ALL GOD'S WAYS ARE JUDGMENT. Everything he does in creation, providence, and grace reveals his righteousness, his wisdom and his justice.
7. HEAVENLY DOCTRINE REVEALS THE TRUE GOD WHO IS "A GOD OF TRUTH." He cannot lie. He is without iniquity or deception. He is just and right in all he does. Justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. He is light. In him is no darkness at all.