Verse 1 Tim 4:6 “If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.”
Dear CBC Family,
One of the most difficult questions about God is, “Why would He allow physical afflictions and emotional scars to occur?” Paul answers this question when he explains that infirmities are God’s mark of ownership and the means of giving us more grace so that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Just as a rancher places a brand on a cow so that its ownership is undisputed, God allows scars and defects to remind us that we belong to Him. In Galatians 6:17, Paul stated, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The Greek word for mark is “stigma” meaning a sign of ownership. God “brands” all His children as the book of Hebrews so clearly puts it Heb 12:5-8 “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”
There are many more reasons for suffering and affliction than just the above, such as suffering causes us to long for heaven and not love the world. Suffering shows the reality of the truth of God’s word when it says the wages of sin is death. Suffering frees us of the power of the flesh. Suffering is an opportunity to demonstrate that His grace is sufficient and that His strength is perfected in weakness. The point I’m making is that God has only ever had one Son without sin, but has never had a single one without suffering. In our day suffering seems to be a “sign” of God’s hand against you, not for you. This same attitude was common in Corinth thus the false apostles said Paul was not of God due to his afflictions.
Join us this weekend as we continue to have our minds transformed into understanding the true ways of the Lord. We will look at verses 4-15 and continue to explore the true from the false. As I mentioned to you this last weekend the reason that God is so vehemently opposed to false teaching and teachers is because it is taking the Lord’s name in vain and causing others to do so.
Several have asked for more information on the third commandment of Exodus 20:7 so I will reiterate it here again so we are all on the same page. The commandment states Ex 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” This commandment is not about saying OMG or anything like that. The Hebrew word “take” is literally “carry”. The word “vain” means “deceptive destructive idolatrous ruin.” It was used for idolatry but, more importantly, for the false prophets and ones who spoke falsely about God. This commandment is the only one God says the offender will not be acquitted of.
This commandment is repeated in Dt 5:11 with the subsequent use of the word “vain” used again in verse 20 of that chapter translated as “false witness”. Thus you see clearly that this sin, which is major to God, is simply carrying His name into false teaching. The false teacher misrepresents God and His word. They claim God wants you to do ______. It may be subtle but it is damning none the less. I hope you can see how serious this is and why the Bible addresses it in every single New Testament book with the exception of Philemon. The trick of the false teacher is to use stories to divert the affection off of God and onto themselves to pull people from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. The solution to this matter is to “contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.”
I harp on this a lot because I love you and I know where false teaching leads people. Do you ever watch shows from the 50s? Everyone in them smoked cigarettes. They all didn’t see any issue with it since “everyone thinks it is okay”. Then comes the 1970s where they all start dying of lung cancer and now everyone knows smoking is deadly. We are in the 1950s of doctrinal error today where no one sees a problem with it but I can assure you that death is coming from it. Listen to God’s word 2 Peter 2:1-10:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.”
As you can see God will judge the false teachers along with those who possess a false faith. This is why, if you love people, that you contend for the truth. A false gospel cannot save, but only leaves a person deceived into thinking they are right with God.
Dear one, join in this fight for today is the day of salvation.