I want to invite you out to our Sunday afternoon services from 3- 4:30 pm.
True Holiness Christian University offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, and DD’s in Systematic Theology!
Coming soon also will be an 8 Week Series titled, The Holy Spirit/Ghost – What it is, What it Ain’t and How to Get it the Bible Way.
We were warned 2,000 years ago.
What is new from the pulpit has become more important than expositional teaching on what God has written. Because of this emphasis, many do not know how to identify error, nor have a clue on what to do about it. Because of this lack of conveying doctrine to the assembly, we also find people that believe they can be Christian without the confines of doctrine. They like the moral teaching and higher ethics Jesus offers, they will emulate Jesus but they do not find it necessary to do it by the book. Jesus becomes their mentor and helps reinforce their views of what they think is right in life.
Paul wrote to young Timothy who was trained in the Jewish Scriptures since his youth. 2 Timothy 4:3-5: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
Paul spoke prophetically bout that that “time” which should be apparent to all has come. They “will not endure sound doctrine.” They will NOT put up with those who teach correctly. Why? Because they have a need to scratch their ears with something new (like the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill). They intentionally turn from hearing the truth and appoint teachers that will speak (scratch) to what their itch (desire) dictates.
Some in the Church that have been persuaded not to sit under sound Bible teaching that will awaken them. More pulpit time is devoted to storytelling, jokes and illustrations (stories- fables and myths) than the exposition of the word. The sheep’s diet consists more of entertainment, with music, skits and dances with sermons that are like drinking warm milk that will only help them go to sleep.
But didn’t Jesus teach numerous of stories? Jesus only started to speak stories and parables because the nation of Israel rejected him as the Messiah. He did not start off his ministry with stories but with explaining the meaning of the Scripture from which they had strayed from. He often stated “have you not read,” “it is written,” “For I say to you,” etc. Once Israel’s leadership had blasphemed the Holy Spirit Jesus would almost always have a parable to accompany His teaching. It was not a good thing but a judgment in which He hid the spiritual meaning of the story from those who did not have ears to hear and made it more clear to those who were following the truth.
Of course Bible verses are still used in these sermons (mostly principles), but these are an added content to a message that is not based on or out of the Scripture. This changes the whole substance of the message. The more alienated we are to Scripture teaching of verse upon verse the more we become susceptible to trends. We wait for the newest idea, the newest method that will help enhance our spirituality. We are convinced what worked before does not work for today. We need something different, fresh for our times; the people, fashions and culture have changed. New books, new seminars on the newest concepts. We are excited thinking where is God taking the church. The fact is, it is not God taking us anywhere, He has been pointing to where He has always been and where He wants us to be, in the WORD.
Paul wrote to Titus, a Greek convert who he appointed to set elders in the churches established in Crete.
“Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).
He likewise mentions in Philippians 2:15-16: “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
The Greek word for holding fast is epecho, it means to hold upon, i.e. to retain; to pay attention to. In Titus 1:9 when Paul mentions “holding fast the faithful word” the Greek word is antechomai – it is more active and intense, it means to hold oneself opposite to, or against, hold back, withstand, to keep oneself directly opposite to anyone, hold to him firmly, cleave to, paying heed to him (the Lord by His word).
Holding fast the word is someone who is Bible based, sound in his understanding of what the Scripture says and does not say. He understands what God has said as God’s word is living and active today just as it was when it was spoken or written.
“As he has been taught” the Greek means “According to the teaching.” Meaning they received the truth for some time and are trained up in it. There are some people that know the truth, but need encouragement to continue in it, others are ignorant and unintentionally oppose it. Then there are some who intentionally align themselves AGAINST the truth with full knowledge they are not esteeming God’s written word.
Titus is told, “Exhort” (convict)- who? Those who contradict the word- the gainsayers (v.10). They are to actively refute the objections and defend the truth.
If you are firm in your belief of the doctrines of the Christian faith, you can be relied on to maintain and defend those doctrines. You can be expected to withstand those in opposition because you have become familiar and digested the faithful word.
2 Thess. 2:15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, (holding fast) and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” Hold or stand fast is the Greek word steko, a perfect tense meaning to be stationary, to persevere: in other words we are not to be moved. Those who continue in sound doctrine have not moved from what they were taught, it is those who do not teach sound doctrine that have moved from where they once were.
Convince- Greek (elengchein) “convict.” We are to both exhort and to convince those who contradict. To persuade them and bring them over to God’s correct view by using kind exhortation, and by instruction that will convince them they are wrong and this is what is meant. We convince by the truth and we know they are of us if they are willing to hear and seek the truth. However, if they do not listen and are contentious then we must take the next step.
By “Sound” doctrine (Greek: hugiaino) means healthy, like the saying, “sound advice,” to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine). A church becomes unhealthy not because the gifts are not being used but because of no sound doctrine being consistently taught. This is our problem today. To be healthy means we are growing to maturity, we are growing in love, in grace, not being dysfunctional. If you are sound in doctrine the gifts will flow out correctly. When we see people have an unbalanced obsession with healing, miracles and rigorously pursue experiences it is because they have not been taught sound doctrine. They have neglected to train themselves in godliness that sound doctrine produces.
“The Faithful word” are the true doctrines. This means that we are to hold this, in opposition to those who would wrest it away, and in opposition to all false teachers we would encounter.
Titus 1:10 “For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision” Paul calls them unruly- rebellious people, deceivers. These are those that do not receive the sound doctrine, and are not willing to submit to the authority of Scripture. They are ruled by their own opinions, not Christ.
The fundamentals doctrines are simple and plain. These are the ABC’s of Christianity; the 1-2-3’s of math. These are the things we use daily in our lives, and to witness to others. But there are some deep things that are for our personal spiritual growth (that would be like algebra), these we may never use in speaking to others. Notice that even Peter says of Paul’s writings that some things are hard to understand. Not everything is simple. Yet Peter cautions us to not be removed and deceived by wicked men who have become teachers that do not understand these things in Scripture.
Before I do I want to give you a few warm up scriptures that will help to bring this key one to light. Till next week,