Discernment and Desire

“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” John 7:17

Hello brothers and sisters, this verse spoke volumes to me today so just wanted to share my thoughts! God’s will is discerned/desired by His people. True desire and true discernment go hand in hand. First, God’s will is to be discerned by His people. It is in His objective Word in which we refute falsehood. When preachers fail to discern true and false, they fail to warn God’s people as anything goes. Heresies and doctrines of demons are invited without caution. Such lack of discernment is poisonous and destructive. But when the Word is rightly handled, so the truth is outspoken against all falsehood. This is a must! No preacher should preach should they choose not to discern nor encourage discernment.

Second, God’s will is to be desired by His people. Those coming to know Christ are driven by a desire for His Word. In doing so ,they seek to know Him more, and desire to make Him known. Such desire God grants to His people in which they hold fast to without compromise. Therefore, through their desire for the Word, they likewise discern with the Word! For it is from God. May the saints cry, “I need Truth ”!

Through the Lens of Sola Scriptura

Scripture is no longer sufficient in the eyes of many professing Christians. It may be acknowledged and affirmed. It may be quoted and preached. But when it boils down to priority, Scripture is no longer at the top. It may be secondary or not even regarded at all. “We need more” the people cry out. But is that what it really boils down to nowadays, what the people want? Sadly, I’d have to say yes.

I believe that the greatest conflict from the church is from within not without. It’s blatantly obvious that we’ll be persecuted for our faith as the world hates Jesus first (John 15:18). But inward apostasy, that’s a whole another story. It may creep in subtlety and sincerely(Jude 4),  but it blows up overtime. It’s bad enough to see some believers who are deceived but when an entire congregation follows this along with the leaders who unapologetically preach nonsense each week?? That is when it becomes troubling.

Friends, since Scripture isn’t seen as sufficient, other influences are sought out. Imagine that! Churches being influenced by worldly means but also by heresies. Sounds preposterous I know, but we are guilty of incorporating it ourselves. For instance, the music is easily a first step. Most churches today sing songs from the most popular groups and artists of today (i.e Hillsong, Bethel, Elevation, etc). “Oh but the music is good”, they say. But just because it sounds good, doesn’t mean it is good, especially with the underlying false theology. It is a bait a switch to propagate heresy through playing the music. Moreover, it allows for the teaching to permeate the church. “If the music is good, so must the teaching” , is the justification for many people who rather go by the trend instead of the Word of God.Let us consider the following verse:

Matthew 6:22-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that darkness!

In other words, you’re influenced by what you intake spiritually. Basically, the intake changes from solid food (Scripture) to junk food (heresy). It may “feel good” in the moment, but there is no genuine growth nor discernment. That matters for us individually and corporately. And when a church is taking in darkness, then it will be consumed by it. But by God’s grace, He will separate the sheep from the goats, or the wheat from the tares. That also applies to teachers who will be judged more harshly (James 3:1). For judgment must begin in the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).

What we must get back to is the Word of God as our sufficient source (2 Timothy 3:16). Nothing else was ever needed nor will never be necessary. That is the lens that we need, one that takes in the light of God given Scripture. In doing so, we renew our minds (Rom 12:2), bear fruit (Psalm 1:3), having the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Most importantly, it is necessary in Gospel proclamation, “for faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of Christ” (Romans. 10:17). Notice how this is all based from Scripture. It is never by some outside influence. And it is definitely nothing that portrays itself as another Gospel, lest one be accursed (Gal. 1:9). Let this be the lens in which the church sees. Let this be the perspective in which the church lives/dies by. Most importantly, let this be the resource in which the church proclaims the a dying world. Sola Scriptura! Scripture alone!

 

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Theology Matters Part 2: Scripture

In my last post I spoke on the importance of theology because it helps us grow in our understanding on who God is. Today, I would like to proceed by sharing that Theology matters because it helps us improve our understanding of Scripture. In studying the Word of God, one learns that it is a unified, inspired and sufficient work. These I will elaborate in this post. First, Scripture as a unified work. The Old and New Testaments are acknowledged as one big story, both making up the unity of Scripture. Additionally, it displays the story of redemption. Sure many have heard of the cross but what about leading up to it? What about all the types and shadows seen throughout the Old Testament? Or Messianic prophecies? All of these and more find fulfillment in Christ. And because it is a unified work, it is required to understand both. Neither one is more important than the other. To overlook one for the one, renders the unity of the Bible. It is to subject the book God gave to His church to one’s desires. Friends, that is not how the Bible should be treated. Sure it is a large book, but all the more reason to study it and meditate on it. Overall, one begins to see how it is interconnected.

It is amazing how the Old and New Testaments are 400 years apart yet it come altogether. How is this possible? Let us proceed to the 2nd point,

Secondly, Scripture is an inspired work.  

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work” -2 Timothy 3:16

“For no such prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” – 2 Peter 1:21

Although written by men, Scripture has a divine touch. In doing so, it indeed becomes the Word of God because God speaks through it. You can even call it a divine dissertation as God ultimately is the author of Scripture. All other books cannot compare regardless of research or eloquence, it does not compare. In doing so, God is glorified as the Author of Scripture. And since God is the author of Scripture, we as His church should seek what our Heavenly Father/Divine Author has to say to us.

Moreover, since the Bible inspired, it is also timeless. Such truths have impacted generations upon generations as it speaks to humanity about who God is and what He has done.

Sufficiency

Lastly, theology teaches us about the sufficiency of Scripture. Going back to 2 Timothy 3:16, we recognize that Scripture is all that we need. It is a means of grace for the church to walk before God. Sadly, this is overlooked. One of the greatest attacks is that Scripture isn’t sufficiency in the eyes of many Christians who rather deviate to outside sources. They’ll say “don’t put God in a box”, yet God has established a foundation in which we can stand on, which is His Word. It is not rocket science nor ambiguous. God has already laid it out for us. Here’s something worth thinking about, since God is sufficient so must His Word! To say otherwise is to render God insufficient since His Word “isn’t enough”.