Lucia's Blog: March 2016
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, March 31, 2016

THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN: TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY, INHERITED SIN


 "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God."
I Peter 4:11



We owe a debt of gratitude to the Puritan trailblazers as well as the Bible Translators and Reformers of the 1500's and 1600's who fought their way out of the darkness of Church tradition and deeply rooted false doctrines. Our affection for many of these heroes is understandable. However, it is no honor or tribute we pay them when we cling to any of their errors. One such error that they almost universally retained was the poisonous belief that all men are born sinners because of Adam's sin. From cover to cover, the Scriptures call out to us with the powerful truth that exposes that error. Please consider with me an analysis of what is called "original sin."

I am amazed at how many of the commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and lexicons are Calvinist.  As I read and analyze some of them, I cannot help but be alarmed since many of my brethren use them as tools.  I am not going to deny that some of them are good and useful and that not all of them accept all the concepts of Calvinist theology, but there are presuppositions running throughout the commentaries and deeply embedded in many of their conclusions.  One can greatly benefit from them, but it is vital to discern between good and evil. 

"But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.  (I Thess. 5:21).

 Notice what one Bible Dictionary says regarding "original sin."
"Original sin. "Our first parents being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation." Adam was constituted by God the federal head and representative of all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and therefore when he fell they fell with him (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22-45). His probation was their probation, and his fall their fall. Because of Adam's first sin all his posterity came into the world in a state of sin and condemnation, i.e., (1) a state of moral corruption, and (2) of guilt, as having judicially imputed to them the guilt of Adam's first sin. "Original sin" is frequently and properly used to denote only the moral corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men from Adam."  

The primary basis of Calvinism and Denominationalism is the so-called doctrine of "original sin." 

Calvinism asserts three things:
  • That man is born in sin:  
Calvinism states that man is hereditarily born a sinner with a corrupt nature, i.e., that man inherits Adam's sin and has no free will.  This is the doctrine of total hereditary depravity. The word "total" means all, full, complete. "Hereditary" means that one receives, inherits it from the parents.  In this case, it means from Adam, therefore, Adam's original sin.  The word "depravity" means bad, evil, wickedness, lawlessness. Thus, each person born is born totally, utterly sinful.
  • The Holy Spirit  regenerates the sinner directly:  
Since man is born a sinner with a corrupt nature, he is not able to believe in God. Therefore, God has to do everything for him, and He has to elect those that He wants to be saved. They imply that Christ died only for the elect and that the Holy Spirit has to touch their hearts miraculously (regenerate them) so that they can believe and be born again. Lest they fall from grace, Jesus' righteousness must be imputed. This doctrine implies that man can do nothing to be free from his sad state of depravity, for he is totally inactive in his redemption.  The "enabling force" of the Holy Spirit must regenerate the wicked sinner before he responds to the calling of the Gospel. Therefore, this  "direct action or working of the Holy Spirit" takes place without the individual's will, election or choice.  Given the individual is entirely dead, he must be given life before he can act.  Hence, the Holy Spirit, without means or agencies, regenerates, giving life to the soul.
  • The regenerate cannot die:  
So once the Holy Spirit imparts life, that life cannot be lost:  "once saved, always saved."  And since man cannot undo his physical birth, neither can he lose his spiritual birth; thus saith Calvinism. Once born of the flesh, one cannot be born again; so once born of the Spirit, one cannot be unborn. "Once in grace, always in grace."
    The above analysis is a fair description and representation of the many beliefs and creeds of denominationalism, Calvinism.  Their line of defense focuses mostly on the events back in the garden of Eden, where they initially assumed this absurd theology.  It is not surprising to see a significant division among many Calvinists on this issue.  Why?  Because there is a diversity of different beliefs among them; therefore, they spend a considerable amount of time writing volumes arguing about their disagreements over several points.  However, there is one thing they do agree on and have in common, and that is the belief that man inherits a corrupt nature, "original sin" (man is born with a sinful nature).

    This powerful false teaching has successfully deceived many.  In Matthew 7:15-23, Jesus warns us of false teachers.  Who are these false teachers?  Simply those who disobey I Peter 4:11:
    "Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

    Those who teach the doctrine of original sin, total depravity, corrupt nature, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, etc. do not speak according to the oracles of God.

    Often the apostle Paul writes of those who proclaim or teach another Jesus, another Spirit, another Gospel (2 Cor. 11:4).  And this is precisely what the Calvinists teach:  another God; one that is very different from what the Bible describes; a God of love, (I John 4:16).

    The doctrine of original sin and sinful nature is one of Satan's most powerful and deceitful tools used in the deception of mankind.  As with any of my studies, I hope you can find it useful as you and I search for the Truth in matters of sound doctrine.

    Consider the following errors resulting from this false doctrine of original sin.  Here are the major tenets: 


    I.   CALVINISM AND ADAM:  (MAN IS BORN IN SIN (TOTAL DEPRAVITY, SINFUL NATURE, INHERITED SIN, ETC.):  

    From Genesis to the book of Revelation the Bible clearly teaches that all men have free will and that he is morally responsible or accountable before God for their sins.  The Word of God explicitly teaches that
    "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."  (I John 3:4).

    Therefore, no Bible text shows that sin is inherited, or that one is born in sin.  This is nothing but one of Satan’s biggest lies or false doctrines (1 Tim. 4:1) to deceive all men about sin.  Satan's ministers (2 Corinthians 11:15) teach that man’s sins are so great and so bad that the only explanation for it is that they are born depraved (corrupt).  They speak of the intensity, passion and strong inclination in always wanting to do evil, concluding that man is born corrupt, devoid of divine life, thus becoming God’s enemy.  The practical consequence of the original sin false teaching is that sins are reduced, and the guilt for personal sin is transferred to our ancestors.  Man sins because that is his nature; therefore he must do it.  Satan wants man to say willfully,

    • “We sin all the time and cannot help it.”
    • "That is the way man is."
    • "It is human to sin."
    • "Humans sin because they're humans and that is natural for them."   
    This, of course, gives them license to sin. These false concepts contradict the Bible from cover to cover on man's responsibility to His Creator and His Word.

    In Genesis 3:16-19 we see the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin without any reference to an “original sin” that was to be inherited by Adam’s descendants.  Such a fallacious concept contradicts all that the Bible teaches on the subject of sin!

    The Bible speaks of many kinds of sin:  in deed, in word, by thought, by refusing to do God’s will and much more.  But original sin?  What verse in the Bible speaks of original sin?  If there is one, I would like to know!

    Indeed, Satan has always persuaded the carnal man to blame others for his sins.  And since Adam sinned, all his descendants also sinned, and all men inherit the supposed sinful nature of Adam. Thus, man is not morally responsible since he cannot choose between good and evil. According to this false doctrine, everyone (all mankind) is born sinful.  All babies are born utterly corrupt, depraved of all righteousness; incapable of having a pure heart and unable to believe.  And he sins because he is a sinner and cannot help it.  And it is human to sin. This is what is called “original sin.”  That is why some (like the Catholics) practice "infant baptism" which of course is not in any sense Biblical or ordained by God.  Rather they make fun of the teachings of the New Testament over baptism which is the immersion in water of the penitent sinner for the forgiveness of his sins, (Acts 2:38).

    Satan has always made things chaotic for the Lord’s church.  He used the famous “St. Augustine,” the son of a Christian mother and pagan father.  He lived an immoral life searching for the most suitable path through several philosophies.  After his mother had died, he converted in 387 AD.  He became a monk and eventually the bishop of Hippo in northern Africa.  He was impressed with the moral depravity of man, which he believed to be inborn (influenced by his experiences and philosophy).  He also believed that the elect were predestined by God to obtain salvation.  He wrote a book named “Confessions,” where he retells his life story.  He is one of the most influential writers and teachers of the vast world of Catholicism/Protestantism.  He taught that because of Adam’s sin everyone is guilty of “original sin.” That man is born with a corrupt nature, sinful, totally depraved, unable to do good or righteousness and believe in God.


    In John 3:16 John said, 
    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

    This Jehovah God obviously is not the god of Calvinism.  The god of Calvinism knows nothing about the salvation of "whoever believes in him."  

    Those who support and teach this absurd doctrine of original sin ignore what John 7:37 states:

    "On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink."

     Notice it says, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink."  The god of Calvinism asserts that man has no free will, therefore, even though he is thirsty, he still cannot come to Christ to receive the water of life on his own.  Amazing!

    Another text, they ignore is Matthew 11:28 that says,
    "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

    Again, the god of Calvinism says that since man has no free will, he cannot accept Christ's invitation on his own.
    "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.  (Revelation 3:20)

    The god of Calvinism says that it is impossible for anyone to respond to Christ's call but that the elect have to wait until the Holy Spirit works miraculously in their heart to regenerate them and then God will give them the faith they need.  This is absurd!

    They refuse to acknowledge that God shows no partiality "but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."  (Acts 10:34-35).

    The God of the Bible desires all men to come to the knowledge of Him that they might be saved.

    Calvinists along with other false teachers site many Bible texts that speak of the enormity of sin:  Genesis 6:5; Romans 3:10-18, Psalm 51:5; Job 14:14; Exodus 20:5; John 3:5; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:12 and following.  They conclude that since man is so corrupt (depraved), he had to be born with a sinful nature.  

    Furthermore, they say that the corrupt man, the sinner can never change:  They use the following texts to support their argument:  Job 14:14; Jeremiah 13:23.


    II.  FALSE TEACHING OF  ROMANS 7:14-15 ABOUT ORIGINAL SIN:

    It is perplexing to me how many false teachers (including some of my brethren) twist the Bible teaching of Romans 7:14-15 regarding our supposed sinful nature.
    "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
    In this text, Paul in no way is saying that man is born a sinner or in sin, unable to obey God and live a faithful and righteous life.  The focal point of Romans 7 is the sad condition of the Jews, no matter how truthful or sincere they were, under the Law of Moses.  Notice that Paul is merely talking about the Law of Moses saying "I"  as someone who is representing the condemned condition of the Jews. Therefore, in Romans 7:24 he concludes by saying,

    "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
    Later in Romans 8:1-2,  Paul speaks of the Gospel of Christ as the remedy for their condemned condition.
    "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." 

    III.   THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD:

    The false doctrine of original sin asserts that one diminishes and denies the sovereignty of God when he says that man has a free will and can obey out of his own will to be saved, and take part in the process of salvation.  On the contrary, we exalt the sovereignty of God when we emphasize man's obedience since this implies man's humiliation and the exaltation of God.


    IV.   THE FOUNDATION, THE ROOT AND THE SOURCE OF MANY OTHER DOCTRINAL ERRORS:

     The doctrine of  "original sin" or "total depravity" is nothing but the wicked foundation for several other false doctrines as unavoidable consequences of this error. Consider them:
    1. Unconditional election (or arbitrary predestination of some men and angels to salvation and others to condemnation).  
    2. Irresistible grace (that the elect are regenerated only by the working of the Holy Spirit).
    3. Perseverance of the saints (that once saved, always saved, and that man can never fall from grace).
    Having accepted the concept that man is born totally depraved of righteousness, the other four points of Calvinism are necessary to complete their theology.

    The most popular false doctrines are:
    • Salvation by faith alone.  They refuse to accept that "faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ,"  (Romans 10:17). They rather twist Ephesians 2:8 for their own convenience, saying that faith itself is not of our own doing but rather it is the gift of God.  Aha!  How convenient it is to find texts to suit our error!  The devil has succeeded in deceiving a multitude of people with this false teaching.   
    • Infant baptism to take away original sin (Roman Catholic Church).   If the baby is born with original sin and since baptism is for the remission of sins (and it is according to them), then logically the baby must be baptized (but instead of baptizing which is immersion, they only moisten the baby's forehead with a wet finger).  Such false teachers do not care about their lack of biblical authority for such so-called "infant baptism."
    • Others teach that it does not matter what one believes.  For that reason, they deny that baptism is necessary for salvation.  Likewise, they dare to say that all churches are the same and it is not necessary to be a member of any church.  
    The truth is that all these false doctrines are in one way or another related directly or indirectly to the fundamental error, that man is born corrupt. Then, he can do nothing to be saved and whatever he does, it does not matter.  And if God wants to save him, he will be saved.  Therefore, once this false foundation is destroyed, the other false doctrines fall of their own weight.



    V.   ALL BABIES ARE BORN INNOCENT AND PURE:

    The Bible makes this clear!  Christ and the apostle Paul affirmed it as well.  Hence, the false doctrine that all babies are born sinful is a false doctrine, period!

    In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said,
    "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
    False teachers believe they know more than our Heavenly Father when they brazenly claim that Christ did not understand original sin.

    Matthew 19:14,
    "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

     Now, if all children are born corrupt, sinful, then all that are in the kingdom of heaven are corrupt as well.  What do you think?

    I Corinthians 14:20,
    "Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature."
    So if all infants are born corrupt, how is it then, that Paul says, "be infants in evil?" 

    Galatians  4:4,
    "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law.

    If man is born a sinner, totally depraved, as many false teachers claim, then Jesus was born a corrupt sinner, totally depraved and inclined to do evil.  This is even revolting to the false teacher, and that is exactly why they feel compelled to invent some other false doctrines to correct their false teaching. One of these false and absurd doctrines is the so-called "immaculate conception" of Mary.  How brazen!!

    Zachariah 12:1,
    "The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him."

    From this prophecy, we infer that the spirit of man is not corrupt.  It would be blasphemy to affirm that God could form an evil spirit in the baby or infant.  These who teach such a thing must take heed!

    My question:  Is the baby that is formed in the womb, the spirit and body of a man, corrupted by God?  Even to ask such a question is an accusation and blasphemy of our God who forms the spirit of man within him!

    Undoubtedly, the “god” of Catholicism and Calvinism (and other religions that teach this false doctrine) is not the God of love we find in the Bible.  (I John 4:16).  “God is love.”  What kind of love would pervert or corrupt the spirit of a baby before he is born?

    Genesis 6:5 speaks of the perversity and wickedness of man.  Notice that it does not say that man is born that way.  Verse 12 states, “God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.”

    Hebrews 12:9,
    "Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?"
    Acts 17:29-29,
    "In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man."
    Therefore, those who teach that we are born with a corrupt and evil spirit are blaming God!


    VI.  FALSE TEACHERS TWIST THE TRUTH TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION:

    "And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures."  (2 Peter 3:15-16).

    The word "twist," is translated from the Greek word "strebloó," meaning "properly, 'to twist, causing torture'; (figuratively) to twist (pervert) language."  Peter uses the word to suggest that the ignorant and unlearned twist the writings of Paul to force them to say something that they do not. (used only in 2 Pet 3:16) (Strong's Concordance).  [The noun-form (streblē) literally refers to an instrument of torture ("a winch"). Hence 4761 /streblóō ("twist, wrest") implies "to torture; put to the rack," i.e. to twist or dislocate (like limbs on a torture rack).]  To twist, turn awry (Herodotus); to torture, put to the rack.  Metaphorically, to pervert, of one who wrests or tortures language to a false sense, 2 Peter 3:16. (Thayer's Greek Lexicon).

    This is precisely what many false teachers do with the Scriptures (they twist them for their own convenience) when they refuse to accept it as truth.  They literally turn awry the Scriptures on the "instrument of torture" until it says what they want it to say.  Such instruments of torture are merely their preconceived dogmas, notions, and creeds that they have invented to minimize man's responsibility, accountability, and lawlessness.

    Consider the following sacred Scriptures which they love to twist:

    • Genesis 3:6-19
    Though the text speaks of Adam and Eve's sin and the consequences of their sin, these verses do not imply that Adam fell into a state of depravity and moral disability just because he committed one sin.  Of course, when one sins, he immediately "falls" from God's favor or grace.
    "Behold, Jehovah’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear."  (Isaiah 59:1-2).  

    The truth is that the Bible never says that having sinned, one falls into a "state of sin," much less, that the result of one sin is "total depravity" or that he is utterly corrupt; and that all his descendants are born in that condition.  If I am wrong, I challenge you to show me!!

    Such dogma is the product of men who do not love the Truth, (2 Thess. 2:10).  The Word of God never alleges that because Adam sinned, he had a sinful nature.  Much less does it say that all descendants after him had inherited such a sinful nature.

    In Genesis 4 we learn of Adam's son Cain, but there's no inference whatsoever that he was born predestined to be a reprobate (a sinner who is not of the elect and predestined to damnation); having inherited a sinful nature from his father, Adam.  Furthermore, this false concept is entirely refuted by the faithfulness of Adam's other son, Abel.  According to man's invented doctrines, Abel was also born totally corrupt or depraved of all righteousness; unable to obey and serve God according to His will.  Therefore, I infer that such dogmas are pure fiction, period!

    • Genesis 8:21; Ecclesiastes 7:29: 
    "And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done."'
    "Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

    Of course, many are spiritually corrupt but notice that they voluntarily reached that condition from their youth, adding sin to more sin until they developed that sinful nature.
    • Ephesians 2:1-3:
    "And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."  
     My question is:  
    • Why were they "dead"?   
    • How did they become "by nature children of wrath"
    • Now, what is the text implying?  
    Simply that they were dead through their trespasses and sins, wherein they once walked."  They were sons of disobedience, living in the lust of their flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind. As you can see, there is nowhere in this text anything that might imply the slightest indication of a sinful nature inherited from Adam.  Now if there's one implication whatsoever, I am open to any suggestions.  Therefore, we infer that because they were children of disobedience, living and delighting in their sins, lusts of the flesh and doing the desires of their flesh and mind, they became "children of wrath."  So, the apostle Paul never blamed Adam for man's sinful nature, original sin!!  Take heed!  Paul simply blamed the Ephesians themselves for their sins and trespasses. Furthermore, out of their free will, they were able to understand the pure and simple Gospel of Christ and obey it to be saved.  Period!

    • Another text they twist is Romans 5:12 which they put on the  "instrument of torture" until it says what they want it to say:
    "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."

    They misuse this text, mistakenly concluding that this passage is teaching that everyone is born a sinner because Adam sinned.  I have to shake my head!  They're either blind to the Truth or perhaps they refuse to love the Truth for what it is.  Do they not want to see and accept Paul's explanation in the same verse:  "because all sinned."?  Explain to me, why is it then that they willfully say or teach otherwise?  Can't they see clearly that "death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned."?  

    The truth of the Scriptures cannot be clearer than this.  Therefore, the only conclusion that we can infer from Romans 5:12, about original sin, inherited sin is that:  death did not pass on to all men because of Adam but because all sinned!  Period!  And since all have sinned, we all are individually responsible for our sins and not Adam.  We cannot blame Adam for original sin or our sinful nature.  Likewise, we cannot blame God, our parents or ancestors either. We have only ourselves to blame. That simple!

    All that Paul is saying here (Romans 5:12) is that Adam was the agent or means through whom sin entered into the world.  Adam introduced sin into the world, then death (spiritual death) passed unto all men for all have sinned.  Indeed, it was Adam who introduced sin into the world then death; and that Christ, our Lord, was the agent through whom justification and life came into the world as a blessing freely available to all men.  His obedience opened the door for all men:

    Then the apostle Paul goes on to explain the subject in Romans 5:17-19,

    "For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.  For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."  (Romans 5:18-19).

    The contention of "original sin" is that condemnation came to all men unconditionally. From this Scripture then it would follow that through Christ's death on the cross that justification came to all men unconditionally (grace and the free gift of righteousness). Now, my question is:  Do these false teachers believe in universal salvation?
    1. The truth is that Adam introduced sin into the world and all of his descendants have imitated him voluntarily (Romans 3:23; 5:12).
    2. All have fallen short of the glory of God, (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God). That means they fall into condemnation.  
    3. Nobody is born a sinner.  
    4. No one has been or is condemned because of Adam’s sin.  
    5. No one is or has been convicted or condemned unconditionally.  
    6. No one is born with a sinful nature.  
    7. Such doctrines are merely Satan’s doctrines!
    • Romans 7:5-6:
    "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."

    When Paul stated: "For when we were in the flesh," he was not talking about their physical flesh. Notice that in the previous verses of  Romans 7, Paul starts out by using a marriage illustration to show his Jewish brethren their relationship to the Law and Christ.  Who else could he be talking about being "delivered from the law (the Law of Moses) to be servants of the Law of the Spirit, the Law of Christ"?  The Jews!   Therefore, "in the flesh," means when the Jews were under the Law of Moses.  Notice Paul's contrast in verse 5:  "But now we are delivered from the law. "  It means that they (the Jews under the Law of Moses) had been "in the flesh" but now have been "delivered from the law."  The Law of Moses was indeed a fleshly covenant after all.  The Jews were partakers of the old covenant as a result of their physical relationship with Abraham and through circumcision (in the flesh was a sign of acceptance, admission, membership) in the old covenant.

    The expression, "the motions of sins" or sinful passions certainly did not come through the Law of Moses. They become sinful when they lead us to break God's Law, committing lawlessness which is contrary to God's will.  And they, of course, became wicked when they violated the Law.  Our sinful passions, our lawlessness brings forth fruit unto death.

    The term, "now we are delivered from the law" is indeed a positive statement since they were no longer under the Law of Moses.  It simply means that they had died to it, and no longer had any connection to it.

    "Newness of Spirit" is the new life of the Spirit in Christ in which they "were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."  (Romans 6:4).

    Therefore, the "the oldness of the letter" was the old Law which they (the Jews) were not serving anymore but rather they were serving Christ's Law. Notice also this terminology in 2 Corinthians 3:3-6 where the "letter" refers to the letters engraved on the tables of stone, the ten commandments of the Law of Moses.

    Calvinism states that the expression, "For when we were in the flesh," means sinful nature, i.e., sin is natural to man since he has inherited it from Adam.  They seem to forget that Genesis 6:5 clearly mentions that "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."  It means that they were "totally depraved," BUT they were not born that way (sinful nature) rather "all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth."  (Gen. 6:12).

    In Romans 2:14, we are told that the "Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law." Therefore,  by nature means "habitual practice" and in that case, what was by nature was not bad but good.  Consider what  I Cor. 11:14, says "Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him."   Now, in this text nature itself is not a bad thing but the common sense of what is appropriate and decent.

    According to Calvinism man is born with a sinful nature and will have it until he dies and can obtain his glorious body in heaven.  The primary foundation of Calvinism is based on man's inability to overcome sin and live righteously.  They boldly affirm that man is born a sinner; cannot do anything to stop it and that God has to do it all for him.  Amazing!

    • Romans 7:14-25:
    "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."

    Calvinists, as well as some brethren, abuse this text by saying that Paul was describing his personal fight as a faithful Christian against the flesh.  They believe this error because they are convinced that even the Christian, the regenerated child of God, has a sinful nature.  But let us carefully examine what verse 14 is actually saying:
    "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions."

    Was Paul here speaking of himself as a Christian or believer?  Do you think that Paul as a Christian, was carnal, fleshly sold under sin?  Did he describe himself as carnal after what he had said in Romans 6?

    You see Paul was talking about the worldly-minded Jews who saw nothing in the Law but forms and ceremonies in contrast to those who were godly and faithful and pure in heart.  They seemed to have forgotten the fundamental requirements of the Law:  "Thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart."   (Deut. 6:5-6).

    Go back to verse 9 and notice that Paul is talking about when sin entered his life and caused him to die. He goes then to explain that sin, not the Law, caused his spiritual death.  In verse 9 (I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died).   Notice that Paul here is personifying sin.  Paul is describing himself as having been sold to sin as a slave.  But notice that he is talking about this as in the past, as one who was under the bondage of sin.  Since Paul was using the first person, "I am sold.., " this is where Augustine and many Calvinist commentators stumble and become contentious.  They twist this passage saying that in this Scripture, Paul is describing his own state at the time he wrote this epistle (the state of every person that Jesus has made alive, Christian).  Take heed that Paul is only speaking here about the state of an unregenerate sinner who is awakened (aroused) to the recognition of his sin and misery.  Paul uses himself as an example of an unbelieving Jew before he became a Christian.

    So at no time is Paul ever saying that he as a Christian or those who are Christians (regenerate men) that "they are carnal, fleshly and sold under sin," as if the Gospel had no effect on them.   Moreover, Paul never spoke of himself as a Christian, "wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"  (Verse 24).

    Take note that in the following verse, Paul is thanking God that through Jesus Christ, he was able to be delivered from the bondage of sin (the law of sin); the condition of the unregenerate sinner and not the redeemed, Christians.

    Therefore, in Romans 7:14-25 Paul's language does not free the sinner from his responsibility for his sins.  Paul's language in this text is figurative as is often found in the revealed Scriptures.  Often the Word of God uses negative speech to emphasize the positive one, as in the case of John 12:44.  So when Paul is using this kind of illustrated speech, saying:  "So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me," verse 18, Paul is clearly making a distinction between his flesh, his real self and the sin that dwells in him.  Paul at no time was supporting the doctrine of total depravity, being born a sinner.  So if sin is a part of our human nature, then Paul would not think of himself as distinct from sin.  Paul was merely talking here about the time when sin enters the heart of man.  "I was alive apart from the law once:  but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died," (verse 9). You see, sin enters the heart of man when he violates God's Law thus becoming responsible.  Sin then dwells in him until he is redeemed from the bondage of sin in baptism, Romans 6.

    The doctrine of total hereditary depravity wrongly teaches that we by inheritance "are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually."  This false doctrine makes it easier for its advocates to continue living in sin and unholiness, inclined to commit every sin known to man.  On the other hand, it makes it impossible for the Christians and the unrepentant to live in purity and holiness or have the desire to do righteousness.  Calvinists cannot grasp how a sinner or Christian could desire to be holy and righteous. Through the Law of God, the inner man seeks God to defeat sin in his life.  Hence, there is a warfare between the spirit and the appetites or passions of the flesh. The carnal man is a slave of sin but the Christian, because of the law of the mind, can never be sold under sin, brought into captivity to the rule of sin.

    In verses 23-25,  Paul concludes by showing the full condition of helplessness of one who is under the rule of sin, slave to sin, without Christ in his life.  One who is helpless in his desire to free himself, knowing no way of escape until he obeys Christ.  In Christ our Savior, we indeed find peace with His Father; life from spiritual death; and rest from the burden of sin.  One cannot serve God with the mind while he continues in sin.  It is absurd!  No man can serve two masters.  No one (as a Christian) can serve both the Law of God with the mind and the law of sin (continually) with the flesh at the same time.   Period!  Therefore, a Christian, the inner man of the law of the mind, dominates the flesh and its lawlessness.  The mind keeps the flesh under control thus serving the Lord as faithful servants of righteousness.
    "Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  (Romans 6:16).
    • The favorite verse of many false teachers is Psalm 51:5 to defend the erroneous doctrine of original sin, total depravity and inherited sin:
     "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me."

    Again, according to Calvinism and its false teachers, Adam's fall is the cause of man's sinful nature,i.e., man is born a sinner after that.  But the truth is that this text does not express, explicitly or implicitly, the error that they teach.  This is yet another text they put under the instrument of torture to turn and twist to say what they want it to say.  If one reads the whole chapter, he will find that there is no evidence at all of any "original sin."   It does not say, “I was brought forth in iniquity inside me.”  They refuse to acknowledge that this verse implies that David was brought forth and was born in a world of wickedness (lawlessness).  It is figurative language (hyperbole, overstatement) to emphasize the intensity of his sins… By saying “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me,” he is speaking of the prevalence of sin in the world.  He is speaking widely of the iniquities (verse 2) and sins of David, of his repentance and of his desire to obtain pardon, forgiveness from God, (verse 9).  David is not speaking of any supposed "original sin."  

    Clearly, this text is using poetic language to emphasize that one is born into a world full of sin. Compare this with Psalm 53:3:  "They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good, not even one."

    Now compare this text with Acts 2:8“each in our own language in which we were born?” Are we born speaking?  No, but we are born into a world that speaks a certain language.  

    Also, note Psalm 58:3“The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.”  Is this verse speaking in a literal or figurative sense?  Job 31:17-18 helps us with the answer:  

    Job insisted that he helped the orphan by saying, “Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb).”  

    Clearly, the phrase, “from my mother's womb,” is the same as “from my youth.”  Let us allow the Bible to speak and explain itself!!

    From birth:  
    • Isaiah 48:8:  “And you have been called a rebel from birth.”  
    • Psalm 22:10:  “You have been my God from my mother’s womb.”
    • Psalm 71:6:  “By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb.”  
    This is poetic language, figurative to give emphasis.

    So in Psalm 51, David speaks of:
    •  “my iniquities,” 
    • “my transgressions,”
    • “my sin,” 
    • “Against You, You only, I have sinned,”
    • “done what is evil in Your sight,” (“done” not “inherited").  
    All these expressions point out our free will and that David himself was responsible and guilty…


    VII.   REFUTATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN:

    The following is a refutation of the false doctrine as held by both Catholics and Protestants:

    1. Ecclesiastes 7:29:  "Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”  "They"!  This text is not saying that Adam sinned just one time and that he fell into a state of sin; with a sinful nature which is inherited by all his descendants after him.  Take heed that Adam is not called "they."  "They" means Adam's descendants that desired to commit all kind of lawlessness, perversions.  They are guilty of such lawlessness before God's eyes and cannot receive God's pardon or forgiveness if they don't repent.  They will give an account of the lawless deeds on the day of judgment. 
    2. Isaiah 59:1-2:  "Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear."  The prophet Isaiah is not talking about Adam's sin making a separation or division between our God and us BUT that our sins have hidden His face from us so that He does not hear.  The truth is that man is a sinner not because he was born a sinner or has inherited the original sin, Adam's sin (an impossible thing) BUT because he has chosen to sin voluntarily out of his own free will, period.
    3. 2 Corinthians 5:10:  "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."  On that final day of Judgment, we all are going to be judged according to our own deeds, each one of us, and not according to Adam' sin. 
    4. Romans 2:6:  "who will render to each person according to his deeds."  Whose deeds?  Ours!
    5. Romans 14:12:  "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God."
    6. Ezekiel 18:20:  "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."  The son will not bear the sin of his father, much less Adam's sin.
    7. Genesis 3:16-19, 24:  Moses portrayed the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin without making even the slightest reference to inherited guilt or depravity.
    8. Psalm 139:13:  “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.”
    9. Zechariah 12:1:  God, “forms the spirit of man within him.”
    10. Hebrews 12:9:  God is the “Father of spirits.”
    11. Acts 17:29:  We are “children of God.”


    VIII.  SIN IS NOT INHERITED; RATHER IT IS COMMITTED 
     “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.”   (I John 3:4)
    • James 4:17:  “To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  One sins when he disobeys the will of God.
    • Ezekiel 18:20:  “The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”   

    Ezekiel 18 answers the complaint of the Jews that God unjustly punished the children for the sins of the parents.  Ezekiel denies the premise of that complaint.  Each one suffered the consequences of their own sins.  No Scripture teaches that Adam’s descendants will inherit either the guilt or the corruption of their nature.  A child is not born with a sinful nature.  Every man will be judged for the sins that he himself has committed (2 Cor. 5:10).  The only consequences of the sins of Adam and Eve that we bear is physical death.  In this present world, we have no access to the fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:3; 17-19; Romans 5:17).  I don’t see why those who teach “original sin” don’t read and take note of the phrase, “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23).  Through one act of righteousness (He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, Philippians 2:8) there was the result of justification for all men, if they take advantage of the Gospel plan of salvation.   If we were to be consistent in applying Romans 5:17-19, then not only would all men be condemned unconditionally at birth in Adam, they would also be saved unconditionally forever through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ regardless of their response to His Grace and Mercy.  The twisted “reasoning” of Catholicism and Protestantism (unconditional original sin) simply says that the righteousness of the one, Jesus Christ, resulted in unconditional universal salvation.   The advocates of the “original sin” doctrine and “born with a sinful nature” simply are not consistent or they would teach unconditional universal salvation.  

    We will not be accountable for some supposed inherited sin received from our parents or Adam.  That would be very unfair.  Why?  Because,
    1. “For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  (Romans 2:6).
    2. Not according to what Adam or our parents have committed or done. “who will render to every man according to his works.”  (Romans 2:6)
    3. “So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.”  (Romans 14:12).  Where is the text that says that we will give account for the inherited sin of Adam or our parents?  
    4. “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.”  (Romans 5:12).  Notice that the apostle Paul does not place a “period” after "men"!  The phrase does not end here.  There is something else!  “for that all sinned.”  I don’t see why those who teach “original sin” don’t read and take note of this last phrase.  Why?  Because it is not convenient for them.  Because this phrase shows and points out the responsibility and accountability of man for his sin.  “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23).

    CONCLUSION:

    The study of Adam's sin has richly rewarded me because it pushed me beyond my knowledge in search of the truth on many aspects of a very troubling doctrine. I never stop marveling at just how much there is to learn from re-reading the Scriptures when one loves the Truth. It reminds me of Jesus' parable of the treasure hidden in a field which a man finds. He goes and sells all that he has to buy that field and rejoices to take possession of that treasure. That is how I often feel every time I am compelled to dig deeper into the Scriptures seeking God's treasures. I pray that you may feel the same joy.

    The doctrine of original sin, total depravity, sinful nature are false doctrines.  Those who teach such doctrines are likewise false teachers who twist the Truth of God placing it and turning it on the instrument of torture until it says what they want it to say.  All of these false doctrines are nothing but a rotten foundation upon which many other false doctrines and practices rest.  They are the result of this fundamental error or false teaching.

    These false doctrines have been invented by men to take away man's responsibility and the accountability of their lawlessness and sins before their Creator.  However, God has revealed His will in a very simple and understandable way; giving or providing man with intelligence to understand it. He has also given man many other reasons to obey His will that he may receive the resulting blessings.

    The doctrine of inherited sin is responsible for much of our lawlessness today.  Both Catholicism and Protestantism mistakenly say that man came to this condition unconditionally.  That is not what Paul is saying!

    In Philippians 2:8, Paul speaks of Christ’s work that undoes the consequences of sin:  

    Through one act of righteousness (He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, Philippians 2:8) there was the result of justification for all men, if they take advantage of the Gospel plan of salvation.   If we were to be consistent in applying Romans 5:17-19, then not only would all men be condemned unconditionally at birth in Adam, they would also be saved unconditionally forever through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ regardless of their response to His Grace and Mercy.  The twisted “reasoning” of Catholicism and Protestantism (unconditional original sin) simply says that the righteousness of the one, Jesus Christ, resulted in unconditional universal salvation.   The advocates of the “original sin” doctrine and “born with a sinful nature” simply are not consistent or they would teach unconditional universal salvation.  

    The power of God to save man is not an imaginary "enabling grace" but rather the glorious Gospel of grace of His Son (Romans 1:16).  A Gospel that all men must hear, understand and obey.  The steps of such obedience are:  hear the Gospel, believe it, repent of sins, confess Christ as the Son of God and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (being immersed in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

    My fervent prayer is that all those who have been taught error and false doctrines (which is but the invention and imagination of men to corrupt the purity and simplicity of the Gospel) may come to obey the Gospel with a humble heart that they might be saved.

    Luci



    Monday, March 14, 2016

    BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT

    “Buy the truth, and sell it not; Yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” 
    Proverbs 23:23


    What is truth?  Our former president once said, "that depends on what the definition of is is."  The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."  Jesus promised his disciples the Truth that would set them free. Let us wrestle with the questions that men raise against that truth.

    Our religious world does not want to acknowledge the importance of loving and obeying the Truth. Almost everyone who claims to be a Christian understands how important it is to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:26-27).  Yet, Satan has succeeded remarkably in leading many into false doctrine or teaching.  He has led many into believing that doctrine and teaching have nothing to do with our eternal salvation.  I often hear folks say, “It is not doctrine that matters but the way one lives that counts,” or “it matters not what one believes as long as he is sincere.”  They have not analyzed or thought out such ideas very well.  God's Truth clearly teaches that it does matter what one believes and teaches.  Consider Paul's exhortation:
    "And with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.   Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."  (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

    Indeed, many think they are walking with God in Truth but are not keeping His commandments. They ignore the fact that to walk in Truth, one must obey completely.  To walk in the Truth demands total commitment to the love of the Truth and following it.  It is not just an option, but a command from God!  It is much easier to talk about, debate, and recite (memorize) the Truth than it is to put it into practice (walking in it!).  The fact is that Truth is an essential reality.

    Clearly, many think they love the Truth, but do they genuinely love the whole Truth or just the Truth that is convenient for them?  It is vital that we love the Truth if we are to be saved and not be condemned.  Sadly, many will perish because they did not love the Truth and refused to love it.  In John 8:32 Jesus said:
    "and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    Notice that Jesus says "the Truth" and not "some truth" or "the truth that you like" or "the truth that you want to accept," and so on.  Rather, He simply says "the Truth,” that is, the absolute Truth, all the Truth and nothing else.  Alas, very few respect or revere the Truth of God (His Word, Law).  Few tremble at His Word because they do not love the Truth and are not "humble and contrite of spirit"  (Isa. 66:2).

    The purpose of this study will be to help us to love God's Truth humbly and not neglect it, holding fast to the Truth we have received (II Thess. 2:13-17; Heb. 10:23-25).

    “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)
    “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,  comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”  (II Thess. 2:13-17).

    I.   WHAT IS TRUTH?
    "Then Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.'  Pilate said to him, 'What is truth?' After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them,'I find no guilt in him.'"  (John 18:37-38).

    Our Lord Jesus confessed His high office and ministry of Truth in John 18:37-38 when Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?“  Indeed, he asked an excellent question, perhaps one of the most critical questions of all times.  But Pilate could not receive it.

    So, what is the source of Truth?  In John 1:17, we read:  
    “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
     Therefore, Christ is the source of all Truth.  

    Jesus told the Samaritan woman His father sought true worshippers who would worship Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-34).  Alas, false teachers teach a false concept of Truth, which is but the result of Satan's lies that work through sinful hearts.

    • The Truth is an essential reality:  “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
    God exists!  Furthermore, He promises an eternal reward:  heaven or hell.  In John 3:33 we read that
    “Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.”  
    God always tells the Truth!  
    "Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, 'That you may be justified in your words,  and prevail when you are judged.'"  (Romans 3:4).

    •  The Truth is the opposite of a lie:  “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:25).
    Those who are false Christs teach lies and not Truth. The apostle Paul rebukes the Corinthians for their tolerance with false teachers who were bringing them a different doctrine than they had received: 
    or if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.”  (2 Cor. 11:4).

    Everything that is not truth must be a lie.  Every statement, idea, or opinion is one or the other, truth or lie.  Consider the first lie.  God said:  “Thou shalt surely die.”  Satan, the king of lies, said, “Ye shalt not surely die.”  Notice that the difference between life and death, and between heaven and hell was just one tiny word, not!  Therefore, all words, facts, and doctrines must be proven truth (Gen. 42:16; Deut. 13:14; I Kings 17:24; Job 9:2).  No lie is of the Truth (I John 2:21).  Thus, lies are incompatible and contradictory.  The one who contradicts the Truth of God has turned from the Truth to a lie; he has gone astray from the Truth, (2 Tim. 2:18).  Period!

    Therefore, it is crucial that we know the Truth by studying, analyzing it carefully and most importantly, by not going beyond what is written.  It is the will to obey the Truth that helps one to discern Truth:  
    “If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself?”  (John 7:17).  
    It is vital that we apply ourselves to love the Truth that we might understand it and live it.  To continue in the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ is to live by His teaching or doctrine.  Let us put it into practice and not be just hearers!

    All false “Christs,” false apostles (Rev. 2:2) and false teachers and preachers (Gal. 1:8-9) are not from the Truth but the lie.  Truth teaches that there is:  
    1. One body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23).
    2. One hope (eternal life).
    3. One baptism (immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins, Eph. 4:4-6).
    Therefore, the Truth is against all human traditions, superstitions, and the many “isms” (communism, sectarianism, Catholicism, Protestantism, millennialism, Adventism, Pentecostalism, institutionalism, etc.).  All “isms” have no reality (truth) before God's eyes but are merely man-made inventions.

    We must understand that there is a significant danger in false teaching. We must watch out!  Why? Because we may lose what we have gained or accomplished:  
    “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.”  (2 John 8).  
    And one can transgress, overstepping the bounds of safety!  
    “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”  (2 John 10-11).  
    So to welcome, to encourage, to wish them well (false teachers) or even worse to spread their false teaching is to share in their wicked work.  Take heed!!

    • Christ is the Truth:  Our Lord was a man of Truth. (Matt. 22:16; John 14:6-9; 18:37; Romans 15:8; James 1:18).
    "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.'  Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.'  Jesus said to him, 'Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?'"  (John 14:6-9).

    Christ is the Truth, and the Truth is in Him.  
    “But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus”  (Eph. 4:20-21).
    • God's Word is the Truth:  
    “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17).  
    “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.”  (Psalm 119:142).  
    “You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth. (Psalm 119:151).  
    The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”  (Psalm 119:160).
    • The Gospel is the Truth:   
    "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him withthe Holy Spirit of promise."  (Eph. 1:13).  
    “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”  (James 1:18).  
    “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned.”  (2 Peter 2:2).  
    “But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.”  (Gal. 2:5).  
    "But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, 'If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?'" (Galatians 2:14).
    • The Doctrine of Christ is the Truth:  
    "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.  (2 John 9-11)
    Indeed, many false teachers have the wrong concept of Christ and His doctrine.  As a result of this, they fail to obey the commands of walking in truth and love.  They likewise go beyond what is written. Notice what Paul told the Corinthians:  
    “Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond ththings which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other.”  (I Cor. 4:6).
    • The New Testament is the Truth: 
    “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.”  (John 16:13).  
    The Holy Spirit reveals the Truth:
     “It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.”  (I John 5:7).  

    The Holy Spirit has already revealed all the Truth.  Hence, the New Testament is “all the Truth.”  Lest we forget, the source of all Truth is Christ and not the church. 


    II.   LOVING THE TRUTH:

    All those who possess the excellent characteristics of God will strongly love the Truth.  God's Word is Truth, (John 17:17) and we must thirst, hunger and long for it “like newborn babies”  so that we may grow in respect to salvation, (1 Peter 2:2).

    1. But we must give diligent study to it that we might be able to divide the Word of Truth rightly.
    2. We must strive to understand the Truth because it is the will of God. 
    3. We must not be foolish.  (Eph. 5:17).  
    4. We must exercise our senses that we might discern between good and evil; not being tossed to and fro and carried away with doctrines of men which are but error that leads them to their destruction.  
    5. We are commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. 

    Like King Ahab in I Kings 22:16, one may pretend to love the Truth but not really want the Truth. Why?  Because when the Truth reproves, exhorts and rebukes them because of their lawless deeds and sinful habits as well as their erroneous and contradicting teachings and practices, they refuse to accept it.   They reject the Truth in matters of:

    1. Bible authority and doctrinal error:  the divine pattern of worship (i.e., the use of instrumental music in worship; institutionalism, the tithe, the Lord's Supper, etc.).  
    2. They don't accept the Truth in matters of the home.
    3. The works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:22-32); fornication, marriage, divorce, adultery (although they call it "marriage"), worldly practices, bad habits.
    4. Salvation, faith and works, grace, and discipline in the church.  
    5. In a few words, they do not want to accept the whole counsel of God in every aspect of their life.
    Hence in Acts 20:20, 27, the apostle Paul declared:
    “How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house...  for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”  

    Sadly, many times our prejudices, preconceived notions and preferences render us weak, making it difficult for us to keep and obey the whole counsel of God, the divine rules (I Tim. 5:21).

    Again in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, we have been exhorted to love the Truth because:
    “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.”

    Those who do not love the Truth behave in this manner.  They profess to love the Truth but don't really want it, rejecting it when that same Truth condemns their errors or sins.

    To love the Truth is to tremble at God's Word in awe and fear.  Few people respect and tremble at His Word because they are not humble in spirit.  They forget that the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.

    In Matthew 5:6 Jesus said,
    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”  
    We all understand what it is like to be hungry and thirsty.  We see this portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:16-17

    To hunger and thirst after righteousness means to have a strong and intense desire to know and follow righteousness.  Such righteousness is only found in the revealed Word of God, the gospel of His Son, (Romans 1:16-17).  Righteousness is indeed not found in man's own wisdom and reasoning.  It is tragic when man establishes his own righteousness, not in agreement with knowledge and the righteousness of God, (Romans 10:1-3).

    The wicked hold the Truth in unrighteousness and change the Truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:18,25).

    When one is diligently reading and studying the Gospel of Truth, he starts to learn of God's righteousness, and he will be filled.
     “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.”  (John 7:17).

    God praises and blesses those who believe, love and know the Truth, but He also condemns those who have no love for the Truth (2 Thess. 2:9-12).  Therefore, it is vital to love the Truth with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength to understand His will and be saved.
    “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (I Tim. 2:4).

    It is hard to get many to understand this principle and put it into practice.
    • Do you suppose all those who believe a lie will be condemned? 
    • How can one say, therefore, that one doctrine is as good or sound as another?  
    • Do you think that we must abide in the Truth and not go beyond it?  
    • Do you understand that false teaching is dangerous and that it is possible to lose what one has accomplished or gained?  
    • Do you suppose one can overstep the bounds of safety by transgressing? 
    • Is it a sin to encourage false teachers in their error and false teaching?  
    • Let the Word, the Truth, be your judge!!

    III.   DESPISING THE TRUTH:

    Today, many Christians reject and despise sound doctrine, preferring to go after fables and myths rather than the Truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4).  Our generation wants fables rather than Truth:  fables such as:

    • The fable of self-discovery or self-love.
    • The fable of worship that pleases the public or casual worship.
    • The fable of the freedom of those enslaved by sin.
    • The fable of letting a child discipline himself and be creative.
    • The fable of endless social programs.
    • The fable of the prosperity gospel.
    • The fable of interpretive dance, drama, and anything else to satisfy the flesh and not the Spirit. 
    Many are willing to reject the Truth, preferring lies and hating all Truth (Proverbs 20:6; 21:2; Luke 6:26; John 8:45; Gal. 4:16).  They will slander Christians to avoid all correction.  This brings to mind the Galatians who were victimized and carried away from the evident Truth to follow the heresies of the Judaizers, (Gal. 3:1).
    "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified."

    Many of us are despised because “not all have faith,”  but follow human reasoning (II Thess. 3:1-2).  Sin hardens the heart of man. Making him depart from the living God (I Tim. 4:2; Heb. 3:12-13).  Indeed, there are many powerful enemies of the Truth (John 8:40,44; Acts 13:10).  The wicked hold the Truth in unrighteousness, changing the Truth of God for a lie (Rom. 1:18,25).  Many despise the Truth and try to turn others from the Truth, claiming that God does not care:

    • Consider Cain, who thought his version of the Truth was better than that of Abel's, but it was not so (Gen. 4:1-8). 
    • Remember Nadab and Abihu, who thought that God was going to accept their strange fire, but He did not (Lev. 10:1-7).  
    • Remember Moses and Aaron, who thought that their overall obedience could allow some compromise (Numbers 20:7-13).  
    • Then there was King Saul, who justified his disobedience saying that he intended to use it for God's glory (I Samuel 15:20-23).  
    • David learned the hard way about the consequences of not heeding what  Moses had commanded as to how they were to carry the Ark of the Covenant according to God's ordinances; forgetting the due order, he killed a man (I Chronicles 15:13).  
    • Saul of Tarsus is another who thought he had the Truth but found out he did not (Acts 26:9).

    IV.   TRUTH IS NOT SUBJECTIVE BUT OBJECTIVE:

    The word “subjective” means  “of the subject” (personal, oneself).  Unfortunately, many believe that truth is whatever one wants to do or believe.  It is said, “that is the truth for her or him.” What is called “subjective truth” is produced merely by one's thinking, reasoning, or feeling.  Such a thing is not, in any sense, the Truth.  Now the word “objective” means that truth is an external object.  It is a separate entity apart from one's mind.  What one thinks does not determine the truth.  Therefore, it is vital that we study and learn what is truth accurately rather than whatever one thinks or says about it.

    Many believe that truth is not absolute.  For them, truth is whatever everyone considers to be the truth (subjective truth).  Such people contradict themselves because they affirm something as an absolute truth while they say that truth is not absolute.  My question is:  If there is no such thing as absolute truth, how is it that they can affirm as absolute truth that truth is not absolute?  

    Truth is not whatever “one believes.”  It is not true that everyone is entitled to their own way of thinking or belief.  If it is true that it does not matter what one believes in, then it does not matter what one believes or thinks.  Right?

    Truth is not relative but absolute. Therefore, absolute truth is the divine rule that governs the life of every man:
    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”  (2 Timothy 3:16).

    The Word of God plainly teaches absolute truths.  Truths such as:

    1. That everyone can learn and obey the Gospel of Christ.
    2. That Christ built His church.
    3. That those who are saved are added to the church, the body of Christ.
    4. That the church’s worship is simple and spiritual.
    5. That the Lord's Supper is every first day of the week (Sunday).
    6. That the church must not use instrumental music.
    7. That the church's offering(contribution) is not tithe.
    8. That all Christians are saints (sanctified, set apart from the world).
    9. That each Christian must live “as strangers and pilgrims,” abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
    10. That “any man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and a man who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” 
    11. That God has not called us for impurity but in holiness.
    12. That the Lord will return and the dead will rise up, and all will be changed in a moment.
    13. That the dead will be raised imperishable.
    14. That the “heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
    15. That it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.
    16. That every knee shall bow to God, and every tongue shall give praise to God.
    17. That we all will give account to Him, who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
    18. That those who reject His Son will go into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.  
    These are all absolute truths and not relative truths in any sense.  Take heed!!

    Indeed, the Truth is narrow because the Truth is the way to heaven!

    1. The Truth is narrow just as mathematics is narrow and all scientific truth is narrow.  
    2. Likewise, all historical truth is narrow.
    3. All geographical truth is narrow.  
    4. Truth does not change.
    5. It does not fluctuate.  
    Therefore, God's Truth cannot, and must not be modernized!  All that the Truth affirms about:

    • The deity of Christ.
    • The plan of salvation.
    • The church and its divine pattern of organization.
    • Holiness, righteousness, etc. cannot be modified.  
    Do we agree or not?  The Truth that the apostles taught is the ONLY TRUTH we must teach and proclaim and nothing else!!  The Truth that first-century brethren obeyed is the only Truth that all must obey today.  The Truth never changes, it is eternal.  Take heed!


    V.  THE TRUTH IS NOT ONLY POSITIVE BUT ALSO NEGATIVE:

    Today in many churches, there exists another wrong concept, although very popular, that if a preacher is to preach and teach the Truth, he has to do it under whatever terms the church or their leaders choose to do it.  All they want to hear preached or taught is about love and positive subjects or matters.  But what they refuse to acknowledge is that the Truth has to prick the heart, the conscience to be effective.  The Truth condemns all error and sinful living (lawlessness), as light exposes darkness.  The Truth is to be lived by the teachings (doctrines) of Christ.  For one to be faithful to God, one must walk in the Truth (2 John 8; 2 John 10-11).  

    The Truth is that the very Word of God (His Son) became flesh to show us how to live in holiness; in the commandments of God.

    • To follow the commandments of God is our expression of love and obedience to Him.  
    • To obey the Truth is love toward our family, church members, our enemies, and our neighbor. 
    • To love the Truth requires action. 
    • Love for the Truth and obedience go hand in hand.  
    • To know and love the Truth is to accept the Gospel of Christ and also to express it in love. 
    • When the Truth is not put into action, it is not love.  
    • If it is not love, then it is not the Truth either.  
    • To abandon love is to leave the Truth.  Period!  
    • One cannot love if one takes people beyond what is Truth.

    In Mark 16:16 Jesus said,
    “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”  
    This is a positive statement.  Right?  But read the rest of the verse:

    “but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

    This is a negative statement.  Right?

    As we read the New Testament, we find out that:

    1. Christ and the apostles not only teach the positive aspects of the Gospel but also condemn all false teaching, false religions, human traditions, hypocrisy, and all sin or lawlessness.  
    2. It also condemns all of the errors and shortcomings of the Lord's church as well (I Cor. 5; Gal. 1:2; 6-9; Rev. 2 and 3).  
    “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”  (I Peter 4:17).

    The absolute truth is that the Truth is transforming, but to transform us, it demands:

    1. A change of living.
    2. A renewal of the mind and spirit.
    3. Putting off the old self (Eph. 4:22-32). 
    4. It also requires that one leave (renounce) all error.

    VI.  THE TRUTH IS TO BE SOUGHT AND LEARNED:

    Those who love the Truth, study diligently to learn the Truth.  In Acts 17:11, we are given an example of those who searched the truth to learn the Truth:
    “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

    It is vital to read and study the Bible with all diligence to learn it:
    “Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)

    God wants and demands that all men learn the Truth.  The Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16). God Himself gave the Truth.  In 2 Peter 1:20-21, we learn “that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

    God's holy men spoke and wrote (I Cor. 2:10-13) as the Holy Spirit moved them.  Therefore, the Bible was written for all men.  Paul said,
    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  (Romans 10:17).  

    God gave us the Bible, His Truth so that we might believe (develop faith) in Him.  Without the Truth, we will be lost.

    • Jesus compared the Truth of His kingdom to a “treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”  (Matt. 13:44-46).  
    • Solomon described the hunt for Truth and wisdom as the search for a hidden treasure (Prov. 2:1-9).  
    • Do you search for Truth?  
    • Do you highly value Truth?  
    • Do you pray for Truth?  
    • Do you fight for Truth?

    The Truth is easy to learn and understand.  God does not hide Truth.  He “reveals” Truth.  Therefore:

    • The Bible is the Truth, the will of God.  
    • God wants to save us.  
    • He promises salvation to those who accept it, but condemnation to those who reject it.  
    • Why would God give us a revelation that could not be understood when the salvation of our soul is at stake?
    “Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (I Tim. 2:4).
    Think about that!!

    Jesus said,
    “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29)
    “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.  (Heb. 10:26).
    "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the Prophets,‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— '"  (John 6:44-45).

    Therefore, the Bible is understandable.  God would not give us a book that we couldn't understand. Those who believe and teach that we cannot all understand God's Truth, the Bible, alike, imply some terrible things about God and His wisdom or intelligence.  God is wise enough to have given us a book that we can diligently study and understand correctly.  The Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our pathway (Psalm 119:105).  The real problem is that many are not willing to study it with a good and honest heart! (Matt. 13:15).  May it never be so!  May we always strive to buy the Truth and sell it not!

    • But we must exalt the Truth and seek it.  
    • We must desire to know the Truth.  
    • We must handle God's Truth with honor and reverence, respecting the context of each passage and the ordinary definition of its words, that we might draw the conclusions that are Biblical according to God's will.  

    The Word of God is infallible and does not contain any errors whatsoever.  It has never been proven to be wrong and does not need to be corrected or improved to be implemented.  The Word of God is perfect as it is:
    “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”  (Psalm 19:7).  
    The Bible is the Truth!  (John 17:17).

    God's Word is sufficient and able to make us “complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”  (2 Tim. 3:17).  

    So often it is prejudice that prevents men from learning the Truth.  They prefer to judge before they investigate.  It is man's prejudice that does not allow the Bible to teach what it teaches.  If one is determined that the Bible teaches a certain doctrine, he will find such a doctrine in many texts.  Likewise, if one is determined that the Bible does not teach a certain doctrine or practice, then such a person will not do it either.  Such a person will not allow the Word of God to teach him what God wants him to learn.

    Therefore, it is crucial that we not make the same mistakes the Jews made by hardening our hearts the same way they did.  They could not understand the Truth because they had a veil over their hearts (2 Cor. 3:15).  So what was the veil?  It was their erroneous concept of the Messiah and His Kingdom.  You see, they had their own concepts and preconceived ideas. Although they heard the same Word of God, they could not understand it.  So the same is true for millions of people today who read the same Word of God, the Bible but do not understand it since they have a veil over their hearts.  They can read a Bible text a dozen times and still not understand it.  That is tragic!!

    What good does it do to know the whole Bible by memory and recite it, but not understand it because of a mental block that blinds us to its true meaning?  We must have the right and proper attitude toward the Bible.  There is no other way!

    To acquire a more in-depth knowledge of God's Word, one must diligently apply himself to his studies.  It means one must be steady, enthusiastic, and tireless.  Casual Bible-reading will not do it.  It is imperative that one show diligence and not get discouraged when searching the depths of God's Word even if he finds a passage to be difficult to understand.  Deeper knowledge of God's Word demands a lot of continual effort, but it is worth it.  I can assure you!

    True and more in-depth Bible study requires a real intention to grow to our maximum potential.  


    VI.  THE TRUTH IS TO BE TAUGHT AND DEFENDED:

    Jesus and the apostles taught and preached the Truth.
    “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you.”  (2 Thess. 3:1).

    In Jude 3, we are exhorted to defend the Truth:
    “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

    It is essential that we give a defense and confirmation of the Gospel of Truth; fighting together for the faith of the Gospel:
    “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.”  (Phil 1:27-28).
    Therefore:
    • We must always be ready to give a defense of the Truth.  (I  Peter 3:15).  
    • We cannot suppress the Truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).  
    • The church must be the pillar and support of the Truth (I Tim. 3:15).  She is not the source of Truth but the support of it.  Jesus is the source of all Truth (John 14:6).

    VII.  THE TRUTH DOES NOT FELLOWSHIP ERROR:
    • God does not fellowship with those who practice false religion (i.e., any religion besides what He has authorized in the New Testament).  
    • God cannot have fellowship with man-made religions (i.e., Catholicism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Islam, etc.).  
    • By the same token, God does not have fellowship with man-made churches (i.e., Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Catholics, Pentecostals, etc.).  
    • God wants His followers to be saved through His Truth that sets them free (John 8:32).  
    • Not just part of the Truth, which is what man-made churches offer.

    The critical question is:  Can a church or denomination that twists the plan of salvation and changes the Bible pattern for the work and worship of the church be in fellowship with God? Obviously NOT!  Why?  Because no matter how much they claim to follow the Truth in good conscience, they are still not teaching or following the Truth about God's plan of salvation as found in the New Testament.  Indeed, God is disgusted with what He sees in the vast majority of the churches in the religious world today.  He will not approve of those who depart from His Truth nor will He approve of those who have fellowship with them.  They are under His curse!  (Galatians 1:8).  When man alters the Truth of God, His Word, in some way (by adding or taking away and not being silent where the Truth must be), such person is under God's condemnation!  They are rebellious and in sin and need to repent and submit to God's will.

    Sadly, we live in times when man does not want the Truth.  The modern man resents the doctrine of Christ (II Tim. 3:1-4:4).  Men are addicted to all doctrinal error and all carnal pleasures.

    • They prefer to learn error rather than the Truth.  
    • They prefer fables and myths rather than the Truth (2 Tim. 3:7; 4:3-4).  
    • Many are false teachers who pervert the Truth, knowing nothing (I Tim. 6:3-5).  
    • Indeed, we live in times when men agree to allow anything except God's Truth!

    The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, warned us of error and false teachers that would eat like gangrene.
    "Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus."  (2 Tim. 2:17).

    These false teachers do not rightly handle the Word of Truth.  Alas, how many souls have been perverted by false teaching!   

    False doctrine grows worse and worse, eating away the soul as gangrene eats away the flesh.  God rejects both the false teacher and his followers.  In Matthew 15:14 Jesus said,
    “ Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 
    Paul also warned of those who were insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”  (Titus 1:10-11).

    Likewise, Peter said about false teachers,
    “And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”  (2 Peter 2:3)

    Thus, anyone who holds to error is condemned whether they be the instigator, promoter, or follower.  Let us take heed and not lose what we have gained!

    Sadly, there are many today who willfully and knowingly fellowship error and false teaching.  And when one points out the error, they say, “I don't believe everything my “church” teaches” or “I don't go along with all that my “church” does or teaches.”  Some have even the audacity to admit their “church” is getting farther and farther from the Truth.  My question is:
    1. Does recognizing and rejecting certain error free one from all responsibility in the matter?  
    2. Can a person close his eyes to error and be willing to stay in a group (church) that does not teach the Truth and that he knows is wrong and in error?  
    What he doesn't realize is that by partaking in error rather than exposing it, he is under condemnation. Instead, he must “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.”  (Titus 1:13-13). The same must be applied within the Lord's church when there is error being taught.  It is our obligation before God!  Therefore, one cannot continue to have fellowship with those who believe and are practicing error.  That simple!  Instead, he has the responsibility to rebuke and warn them with the Truth (2 Tim. 3:16).  Silence is dangerous!  Why?  Because by one's silence, he is approving and partaking of that which is error and thus is sinning.  As long as one is a member of any church that teaches error, he is associated with error and identified with the same.  Take heed of what Jesus said, 
    “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.”  (Matt. 15:13).  

    It means that those who fellowship error will be rooted up along with his followers in the last day. Therefore, it is vital to identify error so that one may be identified with God's faithful followers.


    VIII.  THE TRUTH IS TO BE OBEYED:

    Those who believe the Truth, obey the Truth to purify their souls.
    “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. ”  (I Peter 1:22-23).

    In Galatians 5:7, we are told to obey the Truth and not be hindered from following it.  Those who disregard and despised the Truth will bring severe judgment and delusion from God (2 Thess. 2:8-12).  Truth demands obedience to God's commandments.  Therefore, we do not have the Truth if we are walking in darkness and not keeping His commandments (I John 2:4).  

    It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord” if we do not obey the Truth and do the will of God, (Matt. 7:21).  Likewise, we must not be just hearers but doers of the Word of God (James 1:22-24).  We must also walk in the Truth (3 John 4).  So those who are not walking in the Truth of the Gospel must be rebuked (Gal. 2:14; 4:16).
    “Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?”  (Gal. 4:16)

    CONCLUSION:

    Jesus did not establish His Kingdom with the sword but rather with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  He did not use political means or fleshly tactics.  He used the straightforward preaching of the Gospel.  Jesus said that "everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”   So, are we of the Truth?  Do we love the Truth?

    It is impossible to worship God without the Truth.  Truth is fallen in the streets, and the Lord is challenging everyone to see if they care for the Truth.  Christ is the Truth, and the Word of God is the Truth.  The Gospel is the Truth.  Christ's doctrine is the Truth.  The New Testament is the Truth. Thus, there is no substitute for the Truth.  All man-made laws and traditions of all man-made churches do not work because they do not free us from sin. They cannot do or accomplish what the Truth can.

    The truth is not subjective but objective.  The Truth is not what everyone wants but what the Bible teaches.  The Truth is not relative, but absolute.  The Word of God, the Bible, teaches absolute truths, undeniable truths, and irrefutable truths:  For example, Christ is not “a god” as the Watchtower Witnesses claim but rather God is true, almighty, or omniscient.  The Truth says there is only one church and that to be saved one must be baptized for the remission of sins and so on.

    If we are indeed apostolic Christians, we are called to contend earnestly for the Truth (Jude 1:3-23). The more one loves Christ and walks in Him; the more one will love the Truth, for He is Truth.  We must prove Truth and hold that which is good (I Thess. 5:20-21).  

    The church is the pillar and ground, support of the Truth, and we must do our part to help her.  The Truth is the opposite of error; error is ignorance; compromise is rebellion (II Tim. 1:12-13).

    Those who contend for the Truth are a small minority, and we must continue to contend earnestly as those false teachers decline.  We must not compromise anything in matters of doctrine and godliness. It is vital that we obey the Truth, lest He remove our understanding and withdraw Truth.  God cannot fellowship with those who practice error, false teaching.  He has fellowship with those who walk in the Truth, the Light.  But to walk in the Light one must obey the Gospel and live it faithfully according to the New Testament pattern.  There are many out there that are teaching a different Jesus and a different Gospel.  These are but man-made churches who despise the Truth of God.  And God is very disgusted with them!  He does not approve of their departure from His Truth.

    Many in our culture are religious but are not in the right way, God's Way.  On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 devout religious people realized they needed to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.  They were religious but not right with God!  There are many like these in our culture today.  Therefore, it is crucial that we reach out to them to teach them the Truth though we cannot approve or share in their errors.

    Therefore, let us tremble at His Word with awe and fear!  Let God be true, but every man a liar.  We must never apologize for the Truth.  We must pray for God's enlightenment to understand the Truth and not be deceived (Eph. 1:15-19; 3:18; Prov. 2:1-9; Psalm 119:18, 131; Col. 4:2-4; James 1:5). We must give thanks for the Truth, the Gospel news, and our understanding of it (II Thess. 2:13-15; Romans 10:15; Psalm 119:14,111,162).  We must never despise Truth, sound doctrine but obey it if indeed we are children of Light.

    Those who love the Truth have their minds open and receive the Truth with all eagerness to learn all the counsel of God (Acts 17:11; Acts 20:20,27).  Such don't have any prejudice; the number one enemy of the Truth.  Likewise, those who love the Truth learn the Gospel of Christ, believe His Gospel, and obey His Gospel.  They love God with all their heart, repent of their sins, confess their faith in Christ and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins.  They also continue living in it faithfully, obeying the Truth (Gal. 5:7) even though the Truth might rebuke, correct, and exhort them as a sharp knife.

    In the same manner, those who love the Truth teach and defend it, because the Truth is precious to them.  They buy the Truth and sell it not because they accept it at all costs.  They will surely never wander from it (James 5:19).

    May we buy the Truth and sell it not.  May the Truth never fall in the streets.  May we never harden our hearts to the Truth because of sin in our life and error.  May we be bound to thank our God for the Truth and for saving us from condemnation and delusions.  May we always love the Truth and highly value it in our hearts as God's precious Words to us.  May we always read and study God's Word with great pleasure and zeal to come to the knowledge of the Truth.  May we never be satisfied with mediocrity when it comes to our understanding of God's Truth. Finally, may we always teach and defend the Truth to others even when everyone seems to despise Truth.


    Luci