Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Without truth, wrong doctrine

When we come to God devoid of the truth as presented by God in the Bible, then our worship to God is merely empty, heartless gestures of self-centred grandstanding before men!
It is our responsibility to be diligent in our stand for the truth! No-one else can do it for us! Sure, we must love people. That is a direct command from Christ Himself. However, true Biblical love will rejoice in the truth (1 Cor 13:6). To not rejoice in the truth means that in your "love" you are rejoicing in unrighteousness! This is by no means true Biblical love!
My son told me yesterday that another boy in his class asked him to give him a "wedgy!" They are only eight and still think that this is fun. When I asked him why he did it, he simply said that the boy asked him to do it! This created an opportunity for me to ask him another question. If someone asked him to push them over a cliff, would he do it? He immediately saw the predicament he was in. Should we do bad things to people just because they ask us to? No! In love we will not do it!
To not rejoice in true truth, we might as well push someone like that over a cliff. When a person is approaching a cliff at high speed we need to tell him of the impending danger and do our utmost to stop him from plummeting to his death. If the church's teaching starts to err, it becomes our responsibility to bring in correction. The same holds true for individuals who teach false doctrine.
"But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God." (2 Cor 4:2) Are you adulterating the Word of God? Are you making light of the truth of the gospel? If the gospel is the message about salvation, then you MUST realize that the truth of the gospel is of utmost importance. It is literally a matter of life and death. Do you want to mess with this truth, and risk the lives of many? Apart from ensuring that the way we live is correct before a holy God, we also need to ensure that our teaching is in order (1 Tim 4:16). Living and doctrine cannot be separated! Correct doctrine (and its application) will lead to living correctly. The truth sanctifies us! "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." (2 Tim 2:15) Are you indeed doing your utmost to present yourself to God as one approved, one who rightly handles the word of truth, or do you have something to be ashamed of? (Tit 2:7)
In Paul's mind, the truth of the gospel was so central to his very existence that he spoke a curse out on those who preach a different gospel. "(8) But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." (Gal 1:8-9 ESV) Paul is so adamant about the importance of the gospel and the truth that it is, that he spoke out a curse on false teachers. Why in the world would we think that we know more than Paul and bless these false prophets?! The church has accepted such false teachers wholesale and allowed them to frequent the airwaves, pulpits and the printed page wherever and whenever they want to!
It is time that the church once again make a stand for the truth and clearly and definitively speak out against heresy! (1 Tim 1:3) False teachers are to be rebuked (Tit 1:9),  not welcomed in our midst as brothers in Christ! "(9) Everyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (10) If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, (11) for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works." (2 Jn 1:9-11 ESV)
The truth is important. We are in the days when relativity reigns supreme, and I am sad to say, that this relativity has crept into the church too. Much of the church have come to the point where whatever works is used as truth. "(3) For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (4) and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (2 Tim 4:3-4 ESV)
The problem with the church is that in many denominations and movements (e.g. Charismatics, etc) the cross is just not enough. They see the cross only as a starting point. It is point A and we need to get to point Z. The fact is that everything in the Bible, every promise, every blessing, is tightly wound up in the cross! In all of Paul's travels and accomplishments he could still say: "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Gal 6:4) When it came to the knowledge that Paul desired, he also said: "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Cor 2:2)
In his book When I Don't Desire God, John Piper wrote:
"[T]he cross must be central in the fight for joy. We must put ourselves under its preaching on the Lord’s day, and we must preach it to ourselves all day every day. Don’t neglect the corporate hearing of the word of the cross preached. I stress preached because I do believe that God has ordained that the word of the cross--and all things in relation to the cross--be preached and not just taught or discussed." (p77)
When we move away from the centrality of the cross, we move away from the truth of the gospel!
Just thinking...

1 comment:

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Amen brother. Keep pumping out the great posts.

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