August 19, 2015

thinking over feeling

“Why then are we committed to preserving , defending, and proclaiming the historical fundamental teaching of the Christian faith?” Looking into the Scriptures we find that the Holy Spirit gives us many admonitions to preserve and defend the faith. Jude in verse three tells us, “I felt it necessary to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude tells us to earnestly contend because as he puts it in verse four, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” John warns us about this in all of his epistles. He tells us to be alert and to watch , “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.”, (2 John 7). He goes on in verses eight through eleven reminding us to watch, guard, and protect the church from the ministry of such deceivers.

The same theme is found in I John 4:1-5 where he tells us to test and identify those who teach doctrines contrary to the doctrines of Christ. Much of the content in the New Testament letters deals with heresy and false teaching which had already crept into the early church congregations. This only serves to warn us that the danger of false teaching and the imposing menace of false teachers are ever present. These passages are as relevant to the church today as they were in the apostolic era. Nineteen times in the pastoral epistles alone the apostle Paul uses the Greek word didaskalia which is translated either doctrine or teaching. In writing to these young pastors directed by the Holy Spirit the apostle impressed upon them the importance not only of defending against false doctrine but also of preaching sound doctrine and teaching, (I Timothy 1:10).

In I Timothy 4:1 he writes about believers falling prey to doctrines of demons. In verse 6 Paul tells Timothy to be constantly nourished by the sound doctrine which he has been following. In verse 13 he instructs the pastor to give great attention to the preaching of doctrine and in verse 16 he reminds young Pastor Timothy that sound doctrine will preserve the pastor himself and bring salvation to those who receive it. In I Timothy 5:17 Paul says that honor is to be given to those pastors who work hard at preaching and teaching doctrine, an admonition he repeats in I Timothy 6:1-6. In II Timothy. 3:16 we have perhaps the most powerful statement concerning the importance of the scriptures. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” In Paul’s closing words to Timothy he exhorts him to preach the word (II Tim. 4:2-5).

The same admonitions are given to Titus in Titus 1:9, 2:1, 7, 10. Titus 2:7 reads ,”In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds with PURITY IN DOCTRINE.” Another Greek word, didache, is used through the course of the New Testament . It is found thirty times in the New Testament ranging from Matthew through Revelation. The Holy Spirit uses it in Romans 16:17 to warn us to , “keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the basic rule of basic doctrine which you learned and turn away from them.” Here we are clearly told to guard and protect sound doctrine and to discipline and avoid those who disseminate false doctrine.

We have only looked at New Testament passages which command the church to keep constant vigil concerning doctrinal purity. And we have mentioned just a few of the great volume of passages of Scripture directed to the church to preserve, defend and proclaim sound doctrine. If we had time we could examine the Old Testament where we would discover that this was a constantly recurring theme for the nation of Israel, but this article is intended to focus on doctrinal purity within the church of Jesus Christ.

In the epistles of John we found warnings to the church to be on guard against attacks on sound doctrine fostered by Satan and those from without the church. He labels them as deceivers, unbelievers who have never known Christ, but have deliberately perverted the truth of God¹s Word, II John 7. I John 4:1-6 clearly Identifies these individuals as unbelievers prompted and tutored by Satan himself. In verse two of this passage John speaks of the fact that the early church had been told that this attack on and distortion of sound doctrine would surely come. In verse four he contrasts the true believer with the emissaries of Satan.. In verse five he speaks of the ready hearing unregenerate hearts are willing to give to these teachers. In verse six he sums up our responsibility to discern truth from error. We see from all the passages we have looked at that God has mandated His church with the responsibility to preserve and defend the faith from false teachers from outside the church.

In Acts 20:26-31 we find the apostle Paul meeting with the Ephesians elders at Miletus. He delivers a very sobering warning to guard against false teachers that will arise from within the ranks of the church itself. Verse 27 states that he had declared the “whole purpose of God.” Couple this with his statement in verse thirty- one that, “for three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” This gives us insight into the importance that Paul placed on the preservation and proclamation of sound doctrine. Verses 29 and 30 mention that Paul knows that “savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.” But then he warns that even from the midst of the church “men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” Here we find that dangerous teachings can be fostered by believers filled with pride, seeking to come up with new doctrines to draw followers after themselves rather than followers of Christ.

There is a great temptation among God¹s servants to be recognized as a great teacher or scholar Peter warns the elders in the church to be mindful of this temptation in I Peter 5:1-6. He enjoins the elders to point the flock to the Chief Shepherd. He closes this passage with a strong warning in verses five and six, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time.” (I Peter 5:5-6). John alludes to this temptation in his third epistle when he writes of the harm brought to that church through the leadership of Diotrephes who as John wrote, “loves to be first among them.” 3 John 9.

The Apostles’ Creed was established and came into acceptance by the church around 700 A.D. It reads as follows:

1.I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2.And in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, our Lord;

3.Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;

4.Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell;

5.The third day He rose again from the dead;

6.He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

7.From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead;

8.I believe in the Holy Ghost;

9.I believe in the universal church: the communion of the saints;

10.The forgiveness of sins;

11.The resurrection of the body;

12.And the life everlasting. Amen

Those are a good basic fundamental beginning to the development of your faith

God bless from

Continue to remember Stacie in your prayers

Robert H. who on his second day of the job for the Treasury Department defended himself bravely and saved four agents plus himself  after taking 5 gunshots to his own body. He is in serious condition and needs our prayers.

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