Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stuff Debates Are Made Of

I must begin this post by truly apologizing to readers of this blog for the confusing thread of "dialogue" on my last post "Stuff False Doctrines Are Made Of". While I try to be fair, as not to immediately dismiss another's perception, I absolutely must commit this blog to clarity and as the keeper of this blog, there will be times when I will shut down all dialogue to preserve the integrity of this blog. This is not to say that I will delete or moderate comments I simply don't like, if that was true, a lot of comments posted here wouldn't be posted. :) I welcome all to comment as they wish, with respect of course, and I expect all those commenting to extend the same courtesy to me as well.

God is NOT the Author of confusion, and I cannot allow the devil to use inconsequential issues or subjects to divert from the Glory of the Living God IN or WITH this blog... for such is the stuff debates are created.

With that said, we must recognize some (for he has many) of his (devil's) tactics. Turning our focus to the book of Titus, I encourage everyone to read the whole book for themselves, but I will start with this scripture:

Paul exhorts the Believer to "hold fast to sound doctrine", this absolutely must be in place as a foundation for the Believer:

"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able
by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

For
there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the
circumcision" Titus 1:9-10

When we have SOUND (as opposed to unsound) doctrine, the teachings of God we do not:

"Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments
of men
, that turn from the truth."



While there are alot of Jewish references here in this book, Paul speaks in reference of a certain type of people, not necessarily those who kept Jewish customs. For example "specially they of the circumcision" was in reference to those who believed in and promoted "salvation by works (performance) and not by faith". Please refer to Romans 4:11-13 for further clarification. In this light, such people are legalistic, focusing on physical attributes and performance for righteousness with God, as opposed to righteousness by Faith alone.

According to Paul "they of the circumcision" display these characteristics:

"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being
abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:14

But we are to:

"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine" Titus 2:1

And...

"In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing
uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Sound speech, that cannot be
condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil
thing to say of you" Titus 2:7-8


Because...

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us, that he might
redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous
of good works.

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with
all authority. Let no man despise thee
." Titus 2:11-15

We are also to:

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness
unto all men.

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient,
deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, and hating one another.

But after that the kindness and love of
God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Not by works of righteousness which
we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Which he shed on us
abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

That being justified by his
grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm
constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain
good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and
strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."
Titus 3:2-9


Author's Note:
Let me clarify that the Holy Spirit should always be the Believer's guidance in discernment of scripture and in dialogue with others. 1 John 2:27
However, my focus is on the edification of the Believer in encouragement of Faith and by scripture. Not to determine where one's faith lies, as such is God's business.
He alone is the discerner of hearts.

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."--Hebrews 4:12






5 comments:

  1. It's a real challenge for "commenters" to stick to the topic at hand, especially if they have a topic that is near and dear to their hearts. I think you struck a good balance between allowing divergent opinions and insisting that the divergence did not go on too long. I always found it interesting that, when Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days, when He first began His ministry, Satan came at him with scripture. It was "real" scripture--but the meaning had been twisted by taking it out of context; just like what you were saying on your last discussion. Jesus did not try to argue with him. He just quoted scripture back--just correctly this time. Hmmmm.....

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  2. For the most part: very well said.

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  3. Oh no, not what I said...what the Word said....

    Praise, Honor and Glory to the Lord of Hosts Almighty...

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  4. Soulandsubstance,

    You bring up a good point regarding the time Christ spent in the wilderness...

    I haven't looked at it from that angle...

    Thank you for your kind words. My husband has a name for me... he calls me a "Legal Eagle" :)

    God Bless :)

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  5. I just ran across an excellent, concise statement about the authority of Scripture, from the following site: http://apostlespen.org/
    (I added bold type to the phrases I thought were particularly important,) and I will comment on why, at the end.

    On the Authority of Scripture:

    We believe in the Divine inspiration and authority of the 66 books of the Holy Bible as the complete canon of God's testimony to mankind. We are committed to esteeming Scripture as the very Word of God, inerrant in its original form. We do not accept any doctrine which contradicts Scripture.

    We understand that there are many practices and doctrines that are considered orthodox which do not contradict the Scripture, but which are not directly addressed in His Word. We are committed to giving liberty in the belief and practice of these teachings, but we will endeavor to maintain the simplicity of the biblical testimony and its stated practices as we are given grace to perceive them. We do not accept any spiritual experience as having its source in the Holy Sprit that does not have a precedent in Scripture. We do not accept any revelation, vision, dream, prophecy or discernment as truth which contradicts Scripture, or cannot be verified by it. We do not believe that any other writings have the same authority as the canon of Scripture.


    I think these paragraphs are important (particular the parts in bold) because of how our human nature can be deceived. It is too easy to let reason, emotion, and Satan influence our thoughts. If it happened to the "greats" of the Bible, it can happen to us. Consider these scripture passages, for example:
    (1)1 Chronicles 21:1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.
    (2) Matthew 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

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