Finding time to sit down and write is a bit challenging lately. Hopefully in a month I’ll have more free time on my hands. I still want to make a number of aesthetic changes to the site, but decided not to let that stop me from writing.
It is Sunday afternoon. On Sundays in particular I am very thankful for the pastor at the church I attend. He has such a heart for teaching the Bible. His verse by verse teaching is encouraging, particularly after a difficult week. I am uplifted by studying the Bible in a way nothing else can uplift me. And having tried out many churches, many of which discouraged me with the lack of focus on Scripture (or misuse of it), it is a tremendous blessing to be at this particular church for as long as the Lord allows me to be a part of it.
This morning, pastor was preaching from Ephesians 4. We only got through the first couple (of very challenging) verses: “I [Paul] therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Those are weighty commands to be sure, and ones that cannot be done unless we are walking in the Spirit. They are not things we can do in our own strength.
But I confess that I read on ahead through the entire chapter. Verse 14 particularly caught my attention: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”
Perhaps this has always been a great problem for believers, but is certainly one that distresses me about evangelical Christianity today. I am particularly curious to know what doctrines were tossing about the Ephesians. In 1 Timothy 1:20 two of the false teachers from Ephesus are mentioned (Hymenaeus and Alexander). In that passage Paul writes that they were “delivered over to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” So far I haven’t been able to find any concrete idea of what false teachings were present at that church, but I think the more important point is that in order to resist false teaching, we must know what is true (and we must cling to it and not be moved). Scripture is the only certain place to find that truth. So we must know the Bible well so that we are not deceived.