1 John – Testing to Know – Test 8

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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.)

denominationsNo matter.

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”.

Study

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!)
  • CartoonA 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.
  • us-vs-themDiscussion 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.


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19 thoughts on “1 John – Testing to Know – Test 8

  1. God’s word is the only standard. Spirit is the teacher. If you don’t have the Spirit you are not His. This is a good Series as John said, “These things (the tests) have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” Jesus is the Truth and the life! He said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” and that you must be born of the Spirit from above cf: John 3. Paul said, “… Christ died for our sins, was buried, and raised up on the third day according to the scriptures…” The Gospel! Do not turn from the teaching you believed, whereby you received the Spirit unto a Gospel that is no gospel at all.

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  2. I left a “ Missouri Synod” Lutheran local assembly because the pastor confirmed, when I asked, that they believe in baptismal regeneration. I understand baptismal regeneration to mean God renews your spirit or regenerates your spirit at the time of baptism and consequently you become a new creation. Is that belief part of the Good News or Gospel of Christ?

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      1. I’m asking questions in light of your list of denominations

        This is a partial quote of yours above

        “if you confessed Christ as Lord and Savior”…..

        If someone in the above denominations confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, would any of the denominations to your knowledge believe being Lord didn’t mean Lord of their will?

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  3. Do any of those denominations listed have a different God or different Jesus but yet appear to be abiding in the doctrine of Christ.

    2 John 1:9-11
    Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. The one abiding in the doctrine of Christ, this one has the Father and the Son.

    10 ¶ If anyone comes to you and does not bear this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, and do not speak a greeting to him.

    11 For the one speaking a greeting shares in his evil works.

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    1. Good question. I tend to delegate denominations to a lower level of importance. Denominations, for the most part, are religious organizational structures that feed on life.
      I sometimes consider them to be an unnecessary burden, but I am open to be corrected.

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      1. Good thought ! Consequently,The real test would be; Do they believe the Gospel? I would assume the next question is what the Gospel that needs to be believed that defines the true believer.

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      2. You know I’m becoming convinced that the body of Christ is incredibly diverse and spread amongst many, if not all denominations. Almost like He want His body to be a witness everywhere, and not pocketed in one style or method or group…..

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    2. If any of the denomination’s or their congregates listed above believed that Jesus Christ was not Lord over their will after confessing him as Lord and Savior, what would that reveal?

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      1. I agree it isn’t the Gospel of Christ John 17:3 …. knowing The True God and Jesus Christ is everlasting life.
        If the one confessing Him as Lord and Savior doesn’t believe He is Lord of man’s will, then, He is not your Lord at all and you do not have everlasting life. That is why believing in “ free will” means you are still lost. Consequently, the denominations and congregates on the list that hold to a belief in free will are trusting in a false gospel and are believing that salvation is not solely in the Sovereign hands of God; but in the hands of man who makes the difference between Heaven and hell.

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      2. 1 Corinthians 2:14
        14 But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

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      3. Amen, yet Paul is referring to spiritual truth for the church in this passage if i recall.
        I guess my question is – can the natural man can admit his lostness to God, reaching out to Jesus as Savior?

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      4. If a person is Sovereignly regenerated, John 3:3-8, he would be part of the called ones by God, His assembly and no longer a natural man with a dead spirit. To realize your are lost, which is repentance, comes with regeneration. John 10:26

        26 But you do not believe, for you are not of My sheep, even as I said to you.

        These unbelieving persons above were not generated by God because they were not his unconditionally chosen sheep

        27 My sheep hear My voice (generated by God) John 1:12-13, and I know them, and they follow Me.

        A person falls into 1 of 2 categories the regenerate or the unregenerate both by the Sovereign will of God

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