by Grant Swart
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
When the life of a person is effectually saved by the Grace of God, that salvation which is freely received by faith, it is inevitable that the person will perform differently in his life and good works will necessarily follow. The faithful servant knows that those good works are certainly not in order to earn or maintain salvation, but rather are a natural result of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Those who believe in God, must take care to consider their good works and also take the opportunities that come their way in the run of day to day living, to do those good works. Worthy and righteous good works will be because of the love in the heart of the saved believer. In this regard let us also consider the difference between a deserved question and a deserved answer, when even our best deeds are filthy. (Isaiah 64:6).
We should strive to identify and avoid negatively charged, contentious and foolish questions. We easily ignore the influence of our own ever present pride, when we make subtle distinctions or vain inquiries, which after consideration, are rather intentionally divisive or hurtful. There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and salvation is by the same Means in our modern times as it was 50, 500 and 5000 years ago. Jesus Christ alone provides that salvation today, as it was yesterday, and as it will be in all the tomorrows. The requirements for that salvation have never and will never change. That which was described as sin in the oldest forms of Scripture has not become righteous as a result of changes in societal perceptions or acceptable norms.
Therefore, by posing a question which alludes to a novel way of thinking about the Gospel or the meaning of Scripture, we will necessarily be challenging sound existing doctrine, which alone remains edifying. Many are not be pleased to admit this and do not accept it, but it nevertheless remains an undeniable truth that biblically correct doctrine is not a developing science, and is utterly uninfluenced by the passage of time or societal changes. No matter how trivial we may wish to regard some matters of sin, or how fervently we wish to question the validity of sound doctrine, when it is the Holy Spirit who leads our conscience, we will know to avoid asking certain questions, or to avoid answering them.
2 Timothy 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
Often we are warned against starting or even partaking in disputes of religious nature. It far more important, overwhelmingly so, to believe and experience the truth, than to seek to question, improve, disprove or alter it with our fanciful reasoning. If we feel compelled to pose questions, let us try to do so with edification of ourselves or others foremost in mind, rather than asking the question with the motive of persecuting or disproving another persons’ error in understanding. Who, other than ourselves, could reap glory from a contentious attitude?
It is only by the grace of God who provides salvation, that anyone will come to understand and maybe even more importantly, accept the Truth. When discernment is absent in our questions, we can intentionally or indiscriminately challenge the Truth, or the faith of those who hold to the Truth. Similarly, we can just as easily prove to be divisive or hurtful, if we answer certain questions which do not deserve answers. Sometimes we may be fully aware of the correct answers in our heart, but the weakness and limitations of our words may prove inadequate or even misleading to those who ask. Let us therefore always try to ask worthy questions, and provide prayerfully considered answers to deserving questions.
The gift of the internet and digital media at our disposal provides great ease and global exposure to the questions and answers of believers and unbelievers alike. Let our motivation for asking questions and likewise our decisions to give answers, particularly on matters regarding the Faith, be to the Glory of Him who provides the only meaningful Truth.