interrupt end this series “Sound Biblical Doctrine vs. Man-Made Doctrine” because in my time of studying the Word (both Old Testament and New Testament) for this series, I’ve realized through our Father’s glorious love, grace and patience the series was initiated as a response to a blogger and NOT as a response to God’s guidance.**
I’ve struggled with frustration, indignation and down-right anger at those who are distorting the Word of God for their own personal benefit or agenda. My frustration led me away from the ‘HOPE and PEACE’ of the Truth. The only truth is God’s Divine plan for reconciling sinful men/women to Himself through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross at Calvary. So, I am simplifying my posts (keeping it simple Streim) from here on out.
I am not a prophet, nor a preacher, nor a leader… so I’ll leave the heavy “doctrinal” stuff to them; BUT I won’t shy away at all from the Truth of God’s Word. I see the greatest failure in today’s Christianity is the average Sunday morning pew sitter is not making time to feed on the Word! If you are not dependent upon God’s Word for your spiritual relationship and growth with the Lord Jesus and our Father, something or someone else is more than willing to fill that need. Beware fellow adopted brethren, we have an enemy who lurks around just waiting to be that something or someone!
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Matthew 24: 4-5
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.” Mark 13:3-6
“ And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.” Luke 21:8
I suggest that these passages be read in context, in a ‘reliable’ version/translation of the Holy Bible. If you are a born-again (changed from within), bought with a great price (the blood of the Lamb of God) adopted child of the Father (through His grace), you are given the indwelling presence if His Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that discerns all things, including the Word of Truth, when you ask in the name of Jesus for the glory of God! ( John 3: 3-7; 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 12:11; Romans 8:15 and 23; Acts 2:38 and 4:31; Ephesians 5:9; Matthew 7:7 and 11; Matthew 21:22 and 24; 1 John 5:14-16)
( here’s a piece of what I was going to post for ‘grace’ doctrine–maybe it will be insightful to some one)
In this time when all sound Bible/Christian beliefs are under attack in one way or another, it’s expected that “God’s grace toward man” would be challenged. In my last post, I gave the definition of God’s grace toward man. I believe God’s grace toward mankind is 100% UNMERITED. Why? Because there is nothing that we as sin-filled creatures could ever do that is deserving of the LORD God’s favor. In the Old Testament, the LORD God gave Moses the ‘law’ for people to live by, however even the most favored men in the Old Testament (for example King David) couldn’t follow every dotted ‘i’ and crossed ‘t’ of the law. John 1:16-17 says ” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Yes, Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth which is how we are able ONLY to receive it through Him.
Because not one person born could or would completely follow the law, there was a void between God and man. This void is beyond our comprehension, because the LORD God said ” my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways…” (Isaiah 55:8-9) But in all His love for man, despite their sinful, desperately wicked hearts and hatred of Him; He gave us forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus Christ–His only begotten Son on the cross! It’s a ‘gift of grace’ available to anyone and everyone who chooses to “accept” it for themselves. You see as with any gift, it the person chooses not to accept, then it’s NOT theirs! Is that too simple for some of my more theological readers. If so, remember what Jesus said about children… ” unless we become like little children we can not see the kingdom of heaven…”. Jesus Christ was grace personified!
A well-known Christian martyr of 19th century theology, Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke these words in one of his famous writings “The Cost Of Discipleship” “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” and “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We are fighting today for costly grace.”
He wrote this in the 1920’s. Here, nearly 100 years later, blood bought adopted children of the LORD God are still contending for ‘costly grace’ and standing up for what they know to be true. Let each of us examine ourselves. Are we “responding to God’s guidance” and living completely in Him or being deceived because we are “responding to men”. ** May you be blessed each morning anew when you start your day with the Word and prayer. Now that’s the breakfast of spiritual champions. ♥Streim