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Archive for the ‘Truth’ Category

The Principle of Restoration in the Battle for Truth

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Introduction

This subject deals with attitude. Neither restoration nor maintenance of the church of Christ is possible apart from the proper and wholesome attitude toward Truth. Paul wrote of the crucial importance of one's attitude toward the Truth:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 The. 2:10–12).

Notice that twice in this remarkable passage Paul emphasized the importance of proper attitude toward the Truth in the phrases, received not the love of the truth and believed not the truth. The sentence upon those possessing such blasphemous attitudes is manifold: (1) deception through unrighteousness, (2) belief of error (i.e., "strong delusion," "a lie"), (3) taking pleasure in unrighteousness, and, at last, (4) perishing, being lost, and damned.

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Strong and Fully Armed

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Introduction

A recurring metaphor in the New Testament likens the church to a spiritual army and its members to soldiers (Phi. 2:25; 1 The. 5:8; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:3–4; 4:7; et al.). God’s people are engaged in spiritual combat (2 Cor. 10:4; 1 Tim. 1:18). Paul gives us the most concentrated description of the soldier-army-battle figure in Ephesians 6:10–18. His opening exhortation is so powerful that it takes on the character of a command: “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might” (v. 10). This context is so familiar to so many that some may have overlooked and neglected the great practical force of it. It is surely worth revisiting.

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Grapes of Thorns?

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In the process of warning about the grave dangers of listening to false prophets, Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Mat. 7:15–16). Jesus made a spiritual application of this general, axiomatic principle, which has been in effect from the creation: Each form of life reproduces after its own kind and only after its own kind (Gen. 1:11–12).

The apostle Paul stated it succinctly: “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7), again applying the principle to a spiritual issue. Just as briars do not produce grapes, nor thistles figs, monkeys do not come from snake “seeds,” and men do not come from monkey “seeds.” God placed the power of life in the seed of each kind and species.

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Fickle Subjectivism

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Brief Articles page.]

Our times are characterized by religious convictions based solely upon feelings and experiences. This phenomenon has always been a trademark of Pentecostalism, but it now infects and affects all of the sects (and not a few brethren, as well). Multitudes of religionists trust their eternal destiny to no more than what they like or their feelings. Mormons profess to believe in Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon because they prayed about it and God confirmed it by a “burning in their breasts.” Some describe a “better-felt-than-told” sensation that told them to go to a certain street corner and do this or that. All such things are only as “certain” as the feelings, emotions, and moods of those who “testify” about them. Perhaps only the weather is more fickle than human feelings and emotions.

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Denominationalism—Its Causes, Contradictions, Consequences, and Cures

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Manuscripts page.]

Introduction

The Apple Online Dictionary defines the religious connotation of denomination as “a recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church.” The honest and perceptive student of Scripture realizes that Christianity in the days of the apostles was vastly different from the maze of today’s conflicting, confused, and convoluted denominational structure commonly called “denominationalism.” An unknown (but appreciated) author has given us the following incisive description of denominationalism:

A denomination is a religious body with extra-Biblical peculiarities distinguishing it from the church revealed in the Bible. It is utterly impossible for any denomination to exist without men believing something, doing something, being something, saying something, or having something that is not in the Word of God. All denominations teach more or less of what is in the Bible. However, the things they teach that are in the Bible do not make them denominations, but the things they teach that are not in the Bible.

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