And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42 )
That which separates the truth from a mere religion is that the truth concerns a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. This may seem a trite and worn out phrase, but it is true that salvation is a Person, not a doctrine. The longer I preach, the more I see the importance this distinction.
There are doubtless many who would find fault with such a generalization saying that one cannot preach without preaching doctrine. In this they would be correct, for doctrine is simply teaching. I would be impossible to preach the Person without preaching doctrine. However, it is quite easy to preach doctrine and never preach the Person.
Allow me to illustrate: Truth is, in some ways like a jigsaw puzzle. A jigsaw puzzle is made of many parts, each one important. The puzzle could not be complete if any individual part were missing. Yet, we all realize that the value of such a puzzle does not lie in the individual pieces, but in the image that is made when all these pieces are joined together in their proper relationship. Even though an unassembled jigsaw puzzle contains the very same materials and pieces as an assembled one, we recognize that there is a great difference between the two: the assembled puzzle gives us an image, a picture to enjoy. An unassembled puzzle is just a box of cardboard pieces.
The truth of God is similar: It is made of many parts, each one important. Yet the value of these parts lies not in themselves, but in the image they create when “assembled” through preaching. All the doctrines of the Scriptures are pieces of a Divine “puzzle” which, when assembled, provide us with an image of the Lord Jesus. One may emphasise the various individual “pieces” of this puzzle, and become quite expert in them, and never see the image which they were designed to create. As the Lord said to the Pharisees:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39) Continue reading
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Let it be clearly established that we who believe are justified by grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone,without the works of the law.The Lord Jesus Christ earned and obtained justification for all his people by his obedience to God as our Representative and by his sin-atoning death as our Substitute (Heb. 9:12; Rom. 4:25). We were legally reconciled to God in justification by the death of his Son (Rom.5:10). Justification is also an act of God’s free grace (Rom. 3:24) Continue reading
“Who first coined the saying ‘A camel is a horse designed by a committee’? I don’t know, but I expect it was the same person who said ‘An elephant is a mouse designed to government specifications’.” (1)
This bit of trivia induces laughter. However, French philosopher Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) applied this saying to truth. It developed into the creed for our culture today.
He declared that truth results as a product of a consensus of values. His declaration fostered a revolution in the nature and formulation of truth claims. Now, culture believes that all claims of truth develop within a group or culture, not from an objective standard. Ironically, no standard converted into the standard.
Cultural Truth Claims
Baudrillard’s theory developed into today’s benchmark for truth claims with far reaching effects. It brings us to the following conclusions:
- the rejection of any objective standard for determining truth claims;
- the belief of many interpretations of “truth”, i.e., every group and culture possesses its own “truth”; and
- the rejection of any one explanation of life as THE truth.
Text: Romans 1:1-7, 16-17
Subject: Paul’s Definition of the Gospel
Date: Sunday Morning – April 23 , 2000 (The Audio is dated 2/2/2014 )
Tape # V-79a
Reading: Romans 1:1-17
Should you go to the street corner of any city in this country and ask those who passed by, or stand upon the doorsteps of almost any church building and ask folks as they left the church house this morning, “What is the gospel?” you would get a different answer from almost every person. Almost all people define the gospel by their own experiences, thoughts, and emotions, by their church creed, or by an opinion handed down to them by someone else. The vast majority of men and women are not terribly dogmatic about what the gospel is, and acknowledge that one person’s opinion, or one churches teaching is really as good as another.
However, if you open the Word of God, you will very quickly discover that this blessed Book everywhere asserts that there is only one gospel, and that every rival gospel is a false gospel. Granted, the gospel is called by many different names in the New Testament.
- The Gospel of God
- The Gospel of the Kingdom
- The Gospel of Christ
- The Gospel of the Grace of God
- The Gospel of Peace
- The Glorious Gospel of Christ
- The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God
Still, there is but one gospel, one gospel which we must believe, if we would be saved. All other gospels are false gospels and, therefore, no gospel at all. The Apostle Paul tells us plainly that all who preach a false gospel are false prophets, and all who believe a false gospel are damned by the gospel they believe. Continue reading
Nog nooit in die geskiedenis het ‘n uitvinder of ontwerper van valse leringe hom bekeer tot die Christendom nie – ‘n sonde van daardie aard is veels te groot, want dit is die opperste vorm van godslastering en dit is ‘n sonde teen die Heilige Gees. Dit is juis waarom God toelaat dat uitvinders en ontwerpers van valse leringe se harte en sinne verhard word. Dienooreenkomstig word die woorde van Jes 6:9,10 vervul: En Hy het gespreek: Gaan sê aan hierdie volk: Hoor altyddeur, maar verstaan nie, en sien altyddeur, maar bemerk nie. Maak die hart van hierdie volk vet en maak hulle ore swaar en bestryk hulle oë, sodat hulle nie sien met hul oë en met hul ore nie hoor en hul hart nie verstaan nie, en hulle hul nie bekeer en gesond word nie.
Die Here Jesus het geen hoe priester ooit omskep en tot bekering gebring nie, maar hulle dissipels is wel omskep – mense soos Nikodemus, Josef, Paulus en ander soos hulle. Die profete van ouds het geen valse profeet ooit omskep na die Christendom nie. Selfs kon Paulus nooit enige valse profeet na die waarheid en lig van die Here Jesus Christus toe lei nie, maar hy het toepaslike aanwysings gegee: Aan ‘n man wat partyskap verwek, moet jy jou onttrek ná die eerste en tweede vermaning, wetende dat so iemand op ‘n verkeerde pad is en sonde doen en selfveroordeeld staan (Titus 3:10,11).
Dus kon selfs die heilige dokters nooit ‘n meester van kettery omskep het nie, nie omdat hulle Continue reading
The conversion of an inventor of false doctrine has never yet been heard of; for a sin such as this is too great, because it blasphemes God’s Word and sins against the Holy Ghost. This is why God lets inventors of false doctrine become hardened. Accordingly, the word of Is. 6:9 is fulfilled: With seeing eyes you shall not see, and with hearing ears you shall not hear; for the heart of this people is hardened. Continue reading