Monday, June 17, 2013

Stand tall and defend the Faith

There never seems to be a lack of false biblical teaching on any given topic or subject. Church history is replete with the onslaught of attacks against the core teachings of the Bible. Think of all the councils, confessions, and catechisms throughout church history and the fact that they were borne out of the Church's desire to protect the purity of the faith. As you go through the New Testament the writings of the Apostle Paul make up 13 out of the 27 books found in the New Testament; with a large portion of his writings dealing with the importance of fighting for the purity of doctrine.

  We find Paul refuting salvation by works; explaining the truth of justification against the false teachings of the Judaizers who taught that salvation is not attained simply by faith alone, but by faith and the work of circumcision. Paul took antinomianism head on---those who taught that since we are saved by grace we can simply go on sinning. Then there were those in the church that were teaching Jesus never rose from the dead in a real and literal resurrection---again, Paul did not back down from these false and erroneous errors that were starting to spread in the early church, but he battled against false teaching with all his might.
Martin Luther the great reformer who stood so tall during his examinations by his enemies, sounded very much like the great Apostle Paul as he defended the faith against those who would impose church rules and regulations to make salvation complete, here is Luther at the Imperial Diet of Worms in 1521:

   "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

Today, we can't be any less diligent in our fight against false teachings and errors as they creep into our churches through our leaders, popular teachers, and current books that become the current cultural rave, but we like Luther must accept the full authority of Scripture and have our consciences bound fast to its truths. We can never let our guard down, for man will never give up in his relentless pursuit to usurp his authority over the Holy Scriptures. I dare say that not all error is borne out of evil and malicious intent, but error is error nonetheless.

Let us be like the Berean Jews who were commended by Paul in the book of Acts for searching the Scriptures daily so they could verify what was being taught to them. The battle for truth will never end; it will be a constant fight until the day our Lord takes us home.
 My admonishment to the Church and my fellow  believers is to study the Scriptures, become a student of God's word, learn to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him; and when error is detected confront it and do not back down---you can stand on the shoulders of the great ones who have gone on before us

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