Bulletin archives (2009-13)

Bulletin archives (2009-13)

Standing for Nothing has Consequences

I remember hearing a lyric to a song on the radio that went, “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything.” This line immediately made me think of what the apostle Paul told the brethren at Ephesus, “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).

Who likes to be deceived, especially when it comes to Biblical teaching? The sad reality is, many people are deceived, and we need to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. But the question we have is, how can we prevent it from happening? The Lord has provided many helps, but we will just focus on the ones we find in the verse we just quoted by Paul.

First: Grow up

The first thing the apostle told the saints was, “be not children.” God’s people need to grow up, meaning they need to increase their faith (2 Peter 3:18). Even though Christians are God’s children, in this text, it is talking about maturity. Those who never get grounded will remain a babe and as such, are vulnerable, not being able to discern between good and evil (Hebrews 5:13-14). The goal of every convert ought to be to desire the milk as a babe, but get off the milk and onto the meat as soon as possible (Hebrews 5:12).

Second: Don’t believe everything you hear

The Ephesian church was told not to be carried away with every wind of doctrine. It’s one thing to be trusting, it’s another matter when it is done to a fault. God's people are commanded to test the spirits to see whether they are of God (1 John 4:1). There shouldn’t be a tossing about, going back and forth, when there is only the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). There are many teachings that sound Biblical, but they don’t have a scripture to stand on. When people say things like, “Baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace” or “Cleanliness is next to godliness” and “Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and you will be saved,” they are words that sound scriptural, but they are not.

Third: Remember that religious teachers are just men

Again, in Ephesians 4:14, Paul stated that saints were not to be tossed about by the trickery and cunning craftiness of men. Such people often get away with what they do because people hold them up above others. To give anyone a blind allegiance is a recipe for disaster. Just because someone says they are a teacher of God’s word, he must be held to the standard — the word of God (1 Peter 4:11). The mere fact that Paul told these brethren not to fall for their teachings, is proof that such men can be opposed — regardless of their position. Even the apostle Peter couldn’t rest on the fact he was an apostle, when Paul rebuked him for his sinful behavior (Galatians 2:11). Men might want to be elevated, but if we allow that to happen, the fault is ours.

Fourth: Know that you can have victory

The mere fact that these brethren were given instructions as to what they should not allow, is evidence that it can be prevented. Why tell someone not to be tossed about, if it has to happen? Falling away doesn’t have to happen. As Jesus pointed out, we can know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:32). Truth be known, if someone is teaching error, you can correct them (Acts 18:26-28), and if they don’t change, you can walk away from them. Remember, we can resist the devil (James 4:7). Let us all heed these words in Ephesians 4:14, and not be children and carried about with every wind of doctrine.

How Can I Be Saved?
Hear - Romans 10:17
Believe - Hebrews 11:6
Repent - Acts 2:38
Confess - Romans 10:9
Be Baptized - 1 Peter 3:21
Live Faithfully - Revelation 2:10

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