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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 86

The Advent Part 78

Now that we’ve outlined the four things in which we ought to continue steadfastly, the four things which are required of every believer in order for them to have a healthy spiritual man, I want to backtrack, if only briefly and discuss these four things with the requisite thoroughness something of such import demands.

The first thing that all those who had been filled with the Holy Spirit continued steadfastly in was the apostles’ doctrine. Granted, it would be a unique and humbling experience to sit at the feet of one such as Peter, or Matthew, or John and hear their doctrine firsthand, but seeing as we are about two thousand years too late we can still remain steadfast in their doctrine by reading the Word of God.

Often times we overlook the simple blessing of having access to the Word of God so readily and so immediately. There has never been a generation in the history of the world, nor has there been a nation anywhere in the world that has had such availability and abundance of the Word of God, yet there has never been a nation or a generation that has so readily dismissed and marginalized it either.

There are those who realize the importance of the Word in their lives, who realize that it is the pure milk that helps us to grow spiritually, and as such go to great lengths to come into possession of a Bible, or even some handwritten scriptures. One of the few possessions I have that I prize is a handwritten Bible an old brother insisted that I take and keep when I brought him a large print Bible as a gift some years ago. It is large and unwieldy, the pages are brittle with age, the writing faded, and the binding has seen better days, but I have it in my office in Romania to remind me of the fact that some went to great lengths to have something that I take for granted at times. It had taken this brother the better part of six years to write the Bible by hand, and he had done this during the communist oppression Romania, my homeland, was under for some forty five years.

Since the entire congregation only had only had one Bible, the pastor had decided to carefully cut away the pages, put them in plastic, and each time the congregation got together they would give the page they had read or memorized to another brother, and receive a different one in return. It humbles me to this day, realizing what some have had to go through just to get their hands on the Word of God, just to hear the words of life spoken to them, and it likewise saddens me how little regard so many have for the Bible today.

We must realize how truly precious the Word of God is, and when we come to this realization we will treat it with the requisite respect and esteem.

1 Peter 2:1-3, “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

The Word of God is food for the believer; it is the spiritual succor we require in order to grow. If indeed we have tasted that the Lord is gracious, then we will find our delight in His word, we will hunger for more of Him, and desire to know Him more intimately with each passing day.

Do not squander the opportunity you have to read the Word of God, to know it and let it feed your soul, because the mere fact that you can hold a Bible in your hand today is a blessing and a grace not all the followers of Jesus have.

The Word of God is the foundation upon which the household of faith sits; it is the foundation upon which the Temple of God stands here on earth.

It is the Word of God that is the barometer for healthy teaching, it is the Word of God that is the barometer for healthy doctrine, and if a given teaching or doctrine is outside the Word or contradicts it, it is not for the consumption of the children of God.

1 Timothy 6:3-5, “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”

So those who come with new teaching and new doctrine that is not according to godliness, are not enlightened, they’re not thinking outside the box, they’re not rediscovering Jesus, they’re not making God more accessible to the world by bringing Him down to their level, they are proud, knowing nothing, of corrupt minds, and destitute of truth. The words Paul used to describe men who do not consent to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who do not teach doctrine according to godliness are by no means gentle or kind. The words Paul uses are in fact quite harsh, but he does so to make a point, and the point is this: do not give heed to those who would present you with another Jesus, do not give heed to those who do not consent to the words of Christ, but rather, withdraw yourself from such individuals because they are destitute of truth, and their only purpose in godliness is material gain.

No, the wolves that roam about denying the words of Jesus, or presenting Him as some sort of money fairy rather than Lord and King are not harmless, they are not inoffensive, they are men destitute of truth who seek to deceive the sheep of God’s household.

1 Timothy 6:20-21, “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it, some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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