The Godly Saint and the Gold Standard

Title: The Godly Saint and the Gold Standard

Bible Book: Psalms 19 : 9-11

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Bible; Word of God; Godliness



The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed weight of gold. There are three distinct types of ‘gold standards.’ The gold specie standard is a system in which the monetary unit is associated with the value of circulating gold coins or has the value of a certain circulating gold coin along with other coins made of less valuable metal. The gold exchange standard usually does not involve the circulation of gold coins. The main feature of the gold exchange standard is that the government guarantees a fixed exchange rate with another country that does use the gold standard (specie or bullion), regardless of what type of notes or coins are used as a means of exchange. This creates a de facto gold standard, where the value of the means of exchange has a fixed external value in terms of gold that is independent of the inherent value of the means of exchange itself. Finally, the gold bullion standard is a system in which gold coins do not circulate, but the authorities agree to sell gold bullion on demand at a fixed price in exchange for circulating currency.”[1]

The gold standard for the godly saint is the Word of God, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546), father of the Reformation, penned these inspiring words: “Feelings come and feelings go, / And feelings are deceiving; / My warrant is the Word of God, / Naught else is worth believing! Though all my heart should feel condemned / For lack of some sweet token, / There is One greater than my heart / Whose Word cannot be broken! I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word / Till soul and body sever; / For, though all things shall pass away, / His Word shall stand forever!”[2]

From our text we read, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, / Yea, than much fine gold; / Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, / And in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9b-11).

Allow me to point out three things David affirms.

I. David affirms the dependability of the Word of God.

In Psalm 19:9b we read, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” Dr. W. A. Criswell (1909-2002) comments in The Criswell Study Bible, “The word of God is characterized as being: (1) perfect, i.e., complete and without fault, (2) sure, i.e., not variable, (3) right, i.e., straight, (4) pure, i.e., without alloy, (5) clean, i.e., without impurities, and (6) true, i.e., utterly dependable.”[3]

While Literary Criticism of the Bible serves a purpose but there is a great danger in what theologians call "Higher Criticism." In an article titled “The Fallacy of Higher Criticism (Isaiah-Who Wrote It?),” Harold S. Martin warns, “The historical-critical approach is supposed to improve one’s understanding of Scripture, but it has actually been employed to bring the Bible into disrepute. Those who advocate the historical-critical method say:

1) The Pentateuch is composed of four basic documents (labeled J,E,D,P) the last of which was compiled only after the Exile in Jeremiah’s day.

2) The accounts in Genesis 1-11 are ‘myths’ (that is, stories that communicate universal truths, but are not themselves historical and geographical realities).

3) The book of Isaiah was written by two or three different writers, each widely separated in time.

4) The recorded experience of Jonah is intended to be an allegory, not a reality. The important thing is to get the religious truth behind the story.

5) The Gospels are the recollections of early church leaders, and the words attributed to Jesus may never have been uttered the way they are recorded.

The word ‘criticism’ and related words (like ‘critic’ and ‘criticize’) are usually understood as referring to something negative or unpleasant. Thus to the average person, to ‘criticize’ is to ‘find fault,’ and ‘criticism’ is to ‘pass unfavorable judgment on the qualities of some person or thing.’ However, the root word from which the words ‘critic’ and ‘criticism’ and ‘criticize’ are derived is the Greek word ‘krites’ which speaks of a ‘judge.’ And a true judge is one who is fair and impartial and who will sway neither to the right nor to the left. His decision will as much as possible be guided purely by the facts of the case.”[4]

These two accounts are from the department of faith lost and found related specifically to the use of “Higher Criticism” of the Bible.

The story of Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a New Testament scholar and critic of early Christianity, illustrates, faith lost. Dr. Ehrman completed his undergraduate work at Wheaton College, and received his Master of Divinity and his Ph.D. (magna cum laude) from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he encountered “Higher Criticism.”

From a review of his book titled, Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them), appeared in the Durham, Herald-Sun: “For both scholars and the masses who read about religion, Bart D. Ehrman needs no introduction . . . He adds the personal to the scholarly for some of his works, detailing how he went from a Moody Bible Institute-educated fundamentalist evangelical to an agnostic.”[5] In a message titled, “The Reliability of the God’s Word,” Rev. Mike Graham shares, “During the final lecture of his Intro to New Testament, Ehrman gives his anti-testimony of his de-conversion from the historic Christian faith. The event is always highly attended and standing room only.”[6]

Faith found is illustrated in the story of Dr. Eta B. Linnemann (1926-2009), former Professor of Theology/Religious Education, Pedagogic Academy, Braunschweig Honorary Professor, New Testament, Philipps University, Marburg, once a part of the problem a few years ago she repented and recanted her position in print. She published a few books describing in detail the error of her ways, namely, Is There a Synoptic Problem?: Rethinking the Literary Dependence of the First Three Gospels (Baker Publishing Group, 1992) and Biblical Criticism on Trial: How Scientific Is Scientific Theology? (Kregel Academic & Professional, 2001).

Dr. Eta Linnemann began her testimony in a lecture given on Wednesday, November 7, 2001, 7:00 p.m. at Grace Valley Christian Center, Davis, California, as part of the Faith and Reason series sponsored by Grace Alive! and Grace Valley Christian Center, "I want to give you my testimony, beginning with a verse from God's word, 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” This is very important. I was a theologian for decades but did not know about the inspiration of the Holy Scripture. I had to be born again to find this out."

She concludes her testimony with the following statement, "So I found out you can trust your Bible. You cannot trust historical critical theology or higher criticism. It is not trustworthy. I praise God for bringing me out of it, and pray that he will use me to bring others from criticism to Christ."

Dr. Eta Linnemann was a chapel speaker at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, in the Spring of 1992. According to Rev. Woodie Ladnier, pastor of First Baptist Church, Lamoni, Iowa, Dr. Linnemann shared her testimony at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee.

Criticism is like judging, it is not all wrong. For example, Jesus said in Matthew 7:1, "Judge not. . ." and later said in John 7:24, "judge with righteous judgment". We must cultivate a spirit of discernment as we read in 1 Corinthians 2:15, “But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”

Dr. F. F. Bruce (1910-1990), a well-respected Bible scholar, made the following statement about the documents of the New Testament, "The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than have many theologians."[7]

Dr. William F. Albright (1891-1971), world-renowned biblical archaeologist, concluded, "There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition. . . The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools of the 18th century, certain phases of which appear periodically, has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as legitimate source of history."[8]

We read in Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, / But the word of our God stands forever.” Later, we read in Isaiah 55:10-11, “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, / And do not return there, / But water the earth, / And make it bring forth and bud, / That it may give seed to the sower / And bread to the eater, / So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; / It shall not return to Me void, / But it shall accomplish what I please, / And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, pastor of Moody Memorial Church, in Chicago, writes, "Malachi probably was acquainted with the other sacred books of the Old Testament. But Daniel might not have known what Ezekiel had written, and many of the prophets would not have known the message their contemporaries were giving. In the New Testament, Paul wrote independently of John, James did not know what Paul was writing.

If there had been collusion, if the writers would have consciously attempted to make their writings agree with others, there would have been a superficial unity and apparent inconsistencies would have been resolved. The fact that the Bible has unity despite obvious differences in content, style, and perspective is a powerful witness to the independence of each author.

Imagine various pieces of a cathedral arriving from different countries and cities, converging on a central location. In fact, imagine that investigation proves that forty different sculptors made contributions over a period of many centuries. Yet the pieces fit together to form a single magnificent structure. Would this not be proof that behind the project was a single mind, one designer who used his workmen to sculpt a well-conceived plan? The Bible is that cathedral. . ."[9]

Dr. B. H. Carroll (1843-1914), founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary stated, “When you hear this silly talk that the Bible ‘contains’ the Word of God [but] is not the Word of God, you hear fools talk. I don’t care if he is a Doctor of Divinity, a president of a university covered with medals from universities of Europe and the United States --- it is fool’s talk. There can be no inspiration of the Book without the inspiration of the words of the Book.”[10]

Dr. J. B. Cranfill (1858-1942) shares the following about Dr. Carroll, “A little while before he died, he said to his associate, Rev. L. R. Scarborough [1870-1945], ‘I believe that orthodoxy is to make its last stand on Seminary Hill.’ He believed in the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, and that its author was God’s Holy Spirit. Never for a moment did he quibble or equivocate concerning the authenticity of God's Word. His wish that the coming generation of Baptist ministers would go out saturated with the conviction that the Bible was God's Book and not in any way to be trifled with, led to the establishment of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was his crowning work, and if my spiritual vision is not at fault, it was the most far-reaching enterprise ever projected by Texas Baptists.”[11]

II. David affirms the desirability of the Word of God.

From Psalm 19:10 we read, “More to be desired are they than gold, / Yea, than much fine gold; / Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

Frequently we see or hear the message, “We buy gold.” Gold is a precious commodity. To discover gold is an instant boon. From time to time we read about someone unearthing a treasure trove of gold coins or bullion. Moses records the first mention of gold, in the first book in the Bible. We read in Genesis 2:10-14, “Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.”
Dr. V. Raymond Edman (1900-1967), former president and chancellor of Wheaton College, wrote a book titled, Sweeter Than Honey, published by Scripture Press, Wheaton, Illinois, in 1956. The title comes from the central verse of our text. In it he writes, “Honey is the quintessence [pure essence] of natural sweetness.”[12] Dr. Edman concludes this devotional, “Sweetness is the last word in excellence for personality and character as it is for food; and the same is true for the Bible. It is the honey of God to the human spirit.”[13]

Job stated in Job 23:12, “I have treasured the words of His mouth / More than my necessary food.”

Dr. Gary Hardin shares the following in the Holman Bible Dictionary, “During Bible times, honey appeared in three forms: (1) honey deposited from wild bees (Deuteronomy 32:13), (2) honey from domesticated bees (one of the products ‘of the field’ 2 Chronicles 31:5), and (3) a syrup made from dates and grape juice (2 Kings 18:32). Honey served as a food stuff (Genesis 43:11) and as an item of trade (Ezekiel 27:17).

Almost all references to honey in the Old Testament are to wild honey. . . .

Honey was rare enough to be considered a luxury item (Genesis 43:11; 1 Kings 14:3). Honey was so ample in Canaan that the land there was described as a land ‘flowing with milk and honey’ (Exodus 3:8). . . .

The Lord's ordinances are ‘sweeter than honey’ (Psalm 19:10). God's goodness to Jerusalem was expressed by the phrase ‘you ate honey’ (Ezekiel 16:13).”[14]

Do you desire the Word of God more than money and honey?

III. David affirms the deliverability of the Word of God.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the term deliverability means, “To produce the promised, desired, or expected results.”[15]

We read in Psalm 19:11, “Moreover by them Your servant is warned, / And in keeping them there is great reward.”

Paul writes in 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, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Therefore, we could say Paul the Apostle encouraged Timothy, his son in the ministry, to live on “the gold standard.”

Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) warns, “Unbelief disables a man for the performance of any good work. ‘Whatsoever is not of faith is sin,’ is a great truth in more senses than one. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’ You shall never hear me say a word against morality; you shall never hear me say that honesty is not a good thing, or that sobriety is not a good thing; on the contrary, I would say they are commendable things; but I will tell you what I will say afterwards—I will tell you that they are just like the cowries of Hindostan; they may pass current among the Indians, but they will not do in England; these virtues may be current here below, but not above. If you have not something better than your own goodness, you will never get to heaven. Some of the Indian tribes use little strips of cloth instead of money, and I would not find fault with them if I lived there; but when I come to England, strips of cloth will not suffice. So honesty, sobriety, and such things, may be very good amongst men—and the more you have of them the better. I exhort you, whatsoever things are lovely and pure, and of good report, have them—but they will not do up there. All these things put together, without faith, do not please God. Virtues without faith are whitewashed sins. Obedience without faith, if it is possible, is a gilded disobedience. Not to believe, nullifies everything. It is the fly in the ointment; it is the poison in the pot. Without faith, with all the virtues of purity, with all the benevolence of philanthropy, with all the kindness of disinterested sympathy, with all the talents of genius, with all the bravery of patriotism, and with all the decision of principle—‘without faith it is impossible to please God.’”[16]

From Romans 10:17 we read, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We read the tragic account of the Israelites in Hebrews 4:2, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”


From the American Judicial Alliance website we read, “In 1906 [Supreme Court] Justice John Marshall Harlan, I (1833-1911) gave his own Bible to the Supreme Court of the United States. It has become known as the “Harlan Bible” and is maintained by the Court’s Curator. Since its presentation, the Harlan Bible’s flyleaf pages have been signed by every justice in succession shortly after taking the oath of office.”[17]

In an interview by James B. Morrow (1906), Associate Justice, John Marshall Harlan, I (1833-1911), stated, "I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. Nothing which it commands can be safely or properly disregarded - nothing it condemns can be justified. No civilization is worth preserving which is not based on the doctrines or teachings of the Bible. No nation that habitually ignores the rules prescribed by it for the conduct of human affairs can long last.”[18]

Remember Rehoboam’s shields of brass were a substitute for the shield’s of gold (1 Kings 10:17; 2 Chronicles 12:1-11). Dr. O.S. Hawkins wrote a book several years ago titled Shields of Brass or Shields of Gold? Reestablishing a Standard of Excellence in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritually, are you living on the gold standard? While many godly saints might have “just a cottage below, a little silver and a little gold,” they will have a mansion in that Celestial city with streets paved with gold.

[1]“Gold Standard,” accessed February 8, 2013,

[2]Martin Luther, Quotable Quotes, Goodreads, accessed February 16, 2013,

[3]The Criswell Study Bible, ed. W. A. Criswell, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979), 650

[4]Harold S. Martin, “The Fallacy of Higher Criticism (Isaiah-Who Wrote It?),” Brethren Revival Fellowship, January / February, 1984, Vol. 19, No. 1, Ephrata, PA, accessed February 17, 2013

[5]Bart Ehrman, Jesus Interrupted, accessed February 16, 2013,

[6]Mike Graham, “The Reliability of God’s Word,” Sermon Notes (Isaiah 40:8)

[7]F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 10

[8]William F. Albright, Archeology and the Religion of Israel, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006), 176

[9]Erwin W. Lutzer, Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1998), 45-46

[10]B. H. Carroll, Inspiration of the Bible, (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1930), 85

[11]J. M. Carroll, A History of Texas Baptists, Comprising a Detailed Account of Their Activities, Their Progress and Their Achievements, ed. J. B. Cranfill, (Dallas, TX: Baptist Standard Publishing Company, 1923, pp. 918

[12]V. Raymond Edman, Sweeter Than Honey, (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press, 1956), 2

[13]Ibid., 3

[14]Gary Hardin, “Honey,” Holman Bible Dictionary, ed., Trent C. Butler, 1991, accessed February 9, 2013,

[15]Merriam-Webster Dictionary, accessed 02/08/13

[16]Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Sin of Unbelief,” Sermon Notes, (2 Kings 7:19)

[17]American Judicial Alliance, Bible Project, accessed February 16, 2013

[18]James W. Gordon, “Religion and the First Justice Harlan: A Case Study in Late Nineteenth Century Presbyterian Constitutionalism,” Marquette Law Review, Vol. 85, Winter 2001, Number 2, 341-342, [Interview by James B. Morrow with John Marshall Harlan, Washington Post, February 25, 1906, John Marshall Harlan Papers, Library of Congress. Note: This article appeared in a number of newspapers. There are several copies of it clipped from different newspapers in the Harlan Papers.]

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on and / [email protected] / (251) 626-6210

© February 17, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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