Hi and welcome once again to “Abounding Grace” as we continue our study of what it means to be established in grace. At this time we are discussing being free from legalism and I said that we are to guard against three ugly and subtle adversaries that can creep into a grace orientated fellowship. The first of these adversaries is doctrinal heresy. The word “heresy” in the Bible simply means, “an opinion.” Many of the doctrines circulating in today’s churches are merely opinions, not based upon the Word of God. When Paul went to Berea and ministered we find we find a group of people with a bit of sense:
Acts.17:11. (Amp) Now these [Jews] were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
My dear friends we don’t just accept any teaching into our hearts as truth, it doesn’t matter who the minister is, man is a fallible creature, so for your own good search the scripture to see if it so. People who express teachings not taught in the Scriptures are guilty of spreading heresy. There are sincere people in every church, who attempt to help others by offering unsought advice. Unfortunately, much of this advice is heresy. Let us now continue with a look at ecclesiastical harassment.
Gal.2:1-6. (Mess) Fourteen years after that first visit, Barnabas and I went up to Jerusalem and took Titus with us. I went to clarify with them what had been revealed to me. At that time I placed before them exactly what I was preaching to the non-Jews. I did this in private with the leaders, those held in esteem by the church, so that our concern would not become a controversial public issue, marred by ethnic tensions, exposing my years of work to denigration and endangering my present ministry. Significantly, Titus, non-Jewish though he was, was not required to be circumcised. While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude. We didn’t give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you. As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn’t concern me. God isn’t impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. And of course these leaders were able to add nothing to the message I had been preaching.
The word ecclesiastical comes from the Greek word ‘ekklēsiastikos’, and means “an assembly of citizens”, harassment comes in all forms and shapes but has the same objective and that is to control restrict and reduce the lives of free Christians. Legalists, known as Judaizers, who professed Jesus yet sought to place gentile converts under the requirements of the Mosaic Law, had prompted this meeting after spying on the Galatians freedom and this same form of legalism is at work to-day, it can come from the leadership of a church or from the people themselves. Remember that you are free, to make up your own mind on matters pertaining to your walk with Jesus.
Thank you for joining me and trust you have been blessed. Go in the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Share the Word of Grace and spread the fragrance of His love everywhere.
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life then I want to give you an opportunity to receive the grace that God is offering you to-day, by praying the following prayer and receiving your salvation by faith you can enter into covenant with God the Father through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus:
“Father, it is written in Your Word that if I confess with my mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in my heart that You have raised Him from dead, I shall be saved. Therefore, Father, I confess that Jesus is my Lord. I make Him Lord of my life right now. I believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead. I renounce my past life with Satan. “I thank You for forgiving me of all my sin. Jesus is now my Lord, and I am a new creation. Old things have passed away. Now all things become new in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
For further words of Cheer click on the link: http://theinvisablechurch.wordpress.com/