Heresy; February 25, 2023

2 John 1:9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

We don’t often think about how spiritually dangerous it was in the time before the canon of the New Testament was settled. People were going around teaching all sorts of weird things. That’s why the apostles had to write so many letters. A comparable situation exists today in China and perhaps some other countries that experience persecution, because a lack of Bibles forces people to depend on word-of-mouth, and that is obviously not always reliable. Heresies in the West, in contrast, exist in spite of the Bible, often directly denying its validity. A heresy of ignorance seems much more excusable! Current “rewrites” of the Bible, seeking to make it “gender neutral,” are an example in point. The thing is, the devil is a liar who hates the truth, (John 8:44) because he knows that God’s truth sets people free, (John 8:32) and he wants to keep people enslaved to sin. We aren’t saved through theology but through faith, (Ephesians 2:8-9) but what we believe makes a huge difference. America, for example, has an abundant supply of Bibles, but the average person on the street is woefully ignorant of what the Bible actually says. They think that various pious-sounding proverbs, like “God helps those who help themselves,” are in the Bible when they aren’t, and they fail to realize that the Bible speaks directly to some of their personal issues they think God doesn’t care about. That has been a problem throughout history, all the way back when any Scriptures were hand-copied, and most people were illiterate anyway. That’s why the Psalmist said, very wisely, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11) It is when God’s truth becomes embedded in us that we are protected against the devil’s lies.

Having had the huge blessing of being raised in a home that knew and loved the Bible, when I was introduced to the Charismatic Movement I recognized immediately that it was Biblical. I’m also thankful to say that I have had little difficulty recognizing various aberrations that have circulated. Human pride and greed will always generate heresies. That said, it would be conceit indeed to think that I have total truth, that all mysteries are open before me. I’ve got to be humbly learning all the time, however and through whomever the Lord wants to teach me. Going back to my father’s catch-phrase, “Give all you know of yourself to all you know of Christ,” I need to keep learning more of my Lord, even as I discover more about myself, and I need to keep my commitment current and complete. I have been gifted and privileged to teach, but I’ve got to remember that just because I say something doesn’t make it so. It is what God says that is Truth. I am to seek to let Him speak through me, without distortion, and I am to be obedient to what He says, even if He says it through me.

Father, thank You for Your truth that indeed sets us free. Help me walk in Your truth, Your light, consistently so that it may flow through me unhindered, lighting the way for others and defeating the plans of darkness, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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