Test #8 Continuation in Truth
1 John 2:24 – 25
Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he made to us–eternal life.
You know I can’t honestly agree with John in this first phrase. Whoa – hold on before I am labeled a heretic.
These that John were writing to had heard the gospel from the apostles (who walked with the Lord) or teachers (that had walked with the Apostles). Most, if not all the hearers had been given a gospel message that was original, correct and sourced from those who walked with the Messiah.
Nowadays, I think you may agree, the gospel message is somewhat modified, and the message can be mangled. For a Bible teacher to simply refer to this passage to justify staying in the particular church affiliation that he heard the gospel in the beginning, may be a stretch.
Unless of course, John is speaking of the message abiding in us as the Spirit of God, the presence of Jesus. Not just some doctrine, which may be disfigured when we first heard it, but in hearing it, somehow we grasp Jesus by faith, (or He grasps us first, depending on your soteriology.)
In John’s world I think I am understanding that the person of Jesus is that which John may be referring to when he speaks of “what you heard from the beginning”.
Jesus call to salvation may come from an Armenian or Calvinist body, an Amillennial or Premillennial church, a Pentecostal or an Anglican fellowship. Jesus can shine through, and as He does, we need to grasp onto Him.
I have often defined a believer by the minor doctrines he believes, and yet many, I look back on, truly had the Spirit of God alive in them. I judged these dear folk to be “non-pure”. How ironic! As I judge, I am rightly to be judged.
The test here is the test of continuation in the truth.
Are you seeking the truth, even if it rubs you the wrong way. Are there passages in the Word that you “skip” because considering them might topple your doctrinal apple cart?
My of my – the apostles had their Jewish thought process tore up when they met the Jewish Messiah. Why should we consider ourselves to be without error. Our life in the Son is an experience of growth and learning. If you are not challenged in your thinking, think again. He wants us to be renewed in our thinking. (I think that is in the Bible somewhere – haha!)
My point is that if you confessed Christ as Lord and Savior in a fundamental Baptist church, considering the teaching of Pentecostals or Mennonites may help you at least understand their faith. They may have a way of looking at the Word that may enlighten you in ways that are not possible in your own “crowd”.
The fundamentals of the gospel are non-negotiable. Those secondary items that cause you concern when other believers speak of them need to be studied from the Bible, honestly considered in your faith. There have been a number of topics that I have had to face in my walk with the Lord that have scared me. Some I refused to consider for many years due to my ignorance of the topic.
May I suggest that considering other Christian faiths may assist in our own walk of faith in the following ways
- Love of the brethren will be enhanced since we can at least understand their position. True believers, though they may think differently concerning some Bible passages, are not the enemy. They may challenge your beliefs in ways that are cleansing and beneficial to your life. Your own belief system may be strengthened based on your discussion, or – heaven forbid – you may find their belief system to make more sense from the Word. (This I have experienced!)
- A broader understanding of the Word of God will allow for the mystery of the Word to become apart of your life. If you feel you fully understand the Word, repent of this arrogance. Remember that this ancient book is not a cartoon comic that we can pick up for 2 mins and understand. That is way too shallow!
- A pursuit of truth in the believers life does not require settling for the first set of doctrines provided. It is a starting point, upon which your faith is to be challenged and changed, if need be.
- Discussion with believers of other denominations and understanding of their faith systems within the Christian church may possibly break down some of the “us verses them” attitude in the Body of Christ. I am pretty sure Paul would applaud this. I need to add that this discussion, if it is to be fruitful, has to be based on the shared understanding that the Word is the authority, and not tradition, logic or emotional bias.
My friends, allow the Word to be the judge of your belief system. Letting Him rule through the Word will challenge you in your thinking and therefore in your life choices.
Continue to abide in the Son, and in doing so grow in your faith! (By the way, if’n you ain’t growin (in some manner), you ain’t in the Son!)
I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post. Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.