Thursday, April 24, 2014

Heretics abound

Don't be fooled, lest your faith be foiled...

You'll always be able to identify a heretic; that is, if you want to test the spirits. They circumvent or supplant the sufficiency of Christ Jesus in some way. Some appear as those who tell you that you have to be a better person, meaning you don't necessarily need Jesus; you just need to do better or do good. Some will make themselves apparent by telling you that you need to add to Jesus (you know, Jesus plus _________ = righteousness); not true...Jesus alone is anyone's only hope of righteousness; if we are not hidden in Christ alone, we are not safe. Some will give a false view of Jesus; they'll make it seem just enough like Jesus that a person is fooled. Solo Christo. In Christ alone. That's it. Heretics appear quite often as liberalists who say there is no need to go so far as to come to Jesus. Heretics appear quite often as legalists who say, "Great, you have Jesus, but you also need ____________."

Don't be confused! Don't be fooled! We must have faith, but that faith must be directed at the right object! When Abram believed God, God counted Abram's belief was counted as righteousness (see Genesis 15). In like manner, our faith MUST be in Jesus, and in Jesus alone!

Study John 5. Find out what causes Jesus to condemn the religious, and, frankly, the non-religious. Read it for yourself. Jesus's condemnation boils down to the fact that people did not want the glory of God because they wanted glory from each other see John 5, vss. 40 and 44 in particular). Jesus's conclusion is that we want to create a savior of our own liking rather than receiving Him as THE Savior; we want to make a messiah in our likeness rather than becoming the likeness of the Messiah the Father sent. What I mean to say clearly is that we either receive the real Jesus and thus real salvation or we receive an imitation and have imitation salvation, which saves no person.

True, true, true it is to say IF we have Jesus there will be certain things natural to His filling us. True. What are those things? I'd say start basic by starting with what Jesus said are those things that would prove a person is a disciple of His (check John 8:31-32, 13:34-35 and 15:8). I'd next look to things that are HIS CHARACTER and NATURE more than I'd look to our gifting (see Romans 8:28-29 and Galatians 5:22-25). Jesus is always going to work IN us His character, and that will be more of His priority than working through us His work. It is natural for one who is seeking to BE like Christ to DO like Christ. Sometimes, people do their version of the work of Christ while being devoid of the Spirit of Christ, and to those, one day, Jesus will say, "Depart from me, I don't know you." (see Matthew 7)

Don't be fooled, lest your faith be foiled!

We cannot be good enough. Don't fall for liberalism.
Every path is not equal. Don't fall for relativism.
The answer is not in us. Don't fall for humanism.
To add to Jesus is to make a false Jesus. Don't fall for legalism.
God is real. Don't fall for atheism.
He can be known in many ways, and experienced in Christ Jesus. Don't fall for agnosticism.
Don't think God is in all things. Don't fall for pantheism.

Believe the Gospel. Believe on Jesus.
Live the Gospel. Live the dying of the old life and receiving of new life.
Obey Jesus. Let His life come up through your very on life; let your muscles and bones and tongue be His!

Believe the Gospel! Don't believe A Gospel, but THE Gospel of Jesus, the Christ.

The Apostle Paul would say, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough." (Galatians 1:8 and 2 Corinthians 11:4 ESV)

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