Friday, October 19, 2007
"TAKE HEED THEREFORE UNTO YOURSELVES"
Take Heed Therefore Unto Yourselves (Acts 20:28)
Throughout its history, the New Testament church has been attacked by Satan through such wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29-30). They always speak “perverse things, to draw away disciples after them,” and they do not care how it affects the people of God as long as they get their way – “not sparing the flock.” Their heresies come in many forms, always disguised as truth. Some of the more popular perversions are:
LEGALISM – A legalist is one who supposes salvation, or some part of it, is based on his attempts to keep the law. He will not preach that Christ’s blood and righteousness imputed ALONE is the ground of sinners being accepted before God. He must add something he does by God’s enablement or something God does within him as forming some part of the ground of his salvation. (Luke 18:9-11)
GNOSTICISM – “Gnosticism” comes from a Greek word meaning “knowing ones”. A Gnostic is one who boasts superior knowledge. He claims to see deeper and beyond what others can discern. His supposed knowledge is either beyond or opposed to God’s revealed Word in Christ. (1 John 4:1-3)
MYSTICISM - A mystic is one who looks within himself to find righteousness, holiness, peace, and assurance. He majors on the subjective, the inward, the unexplainable, all based on emotions and experience, not on the Word of God in Christ. (Colossians 1:18)
ELITISM – An elitist sets himself up as judge over the hearts of others. He has revelations and knowledge about the salvation of others that are beyond the Word of God in Christ. His goal is to gather a circle of people unto himself so that he can think and judge for them. (3 John 9-10)
As the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, we must take heed, watch, and beware of such heresies, or any teaching, that avoids, denies, or confuses the clear teaching of salvation by God’s grace in Christ Jesus and based on His finished work alone.
By Bill Parker