Wholesome Doctrine of Jesus

1 Timothy 6:3   (KJV)   3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness

We’re enjoying our lives as believers. That’s natural for people who’ve been richly given all things we need for our enjoyment. But we’re not without struggles. We have a very undesirable division going on in the beautiful body of Christ. The Lord Jesus prayed that 1 Timothy 6.3 - Wholesome Teaching of Jesuswe as the church be one as He and the Father are one. We’re still far from that reality. The issues and teachings dividing the church are disputable—non-essentials—as often referred to.

There are dangerous teachings though creeping in the church. I’m a personal witness to this. It’s rampant and it’s ongoing. The Scriptures teach us that the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus are in accordance with godliness—our Lord’s doctrine upholds godly living. But I’ve heard messages talking down on preaching about morality and good deeds. In trying to affirm the doctrine of grace—grace which we love and appreciate tremendously—they have condemned the wholesome doctrine of our Lord Jesus—godly living.

We teach godliness; other teachers consent not. Sadly, a lot of opposition comes from fellow Christian teachers. Truth is: it’s possible for believers to stray and follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:15). That’s why we’re encouraged to fight the good fight for the true faith, to hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called us… (see 1 Timothy 6:12). We don’t downplay God’s warnings: “Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good” (Titus 1:16).

God’s Word is replete with such examples of our Lord’s wholesome doctrine of godliness. Here’s just another example—just a short segment: “12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds” (Titus 2:12-14). This is our doctrine as people under grace. We don’t regret it; we don’t abhor it; we love it.

 

Be Happy for Them

Mark 14:6   (KJV)   6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

Mark 14.6 - Be Happy for ThemJesus corrected the people who were trying to trouble or criticize the woman who broke the alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it on His head. For others, there could have been a much better use for that perfume; for Jesus, what she did was commendable.

Our sincere expressions of devotion to our precious Lord will not be understood by others. That’s very much expected from the world; majority of them won’t understand our willingness to be totally broken and fully spilled out for God. The surprise comes when the misunderstanding comes from fellow believers. Worst is when they don’t only comprehend our actions, but they criticize us—especially when they do so in public, where the lost are watching.

It’s a joy for us learning from others. We welcome suggestions and differing opinions. It’s wisdom to have multitude of counselors. We can learn even from criticisms—if we can call it as such—especially the constructive, corrective, non-judgmental, and non-condemnatory kind—gentle words birthed out of love. We understand and humbly admit we’re far from perfection. We will make mistakes; we will miss blind spots. We’re grateful when others see what we fail to see.

On the other hand, sad to point out, there are self-righteous/know-it-all people—at least that’s how they esteem themselves. Instead of being irritated, annoyed, and angry with them, we pray for them. We pray for us as well. As people of grace, we pray that we will be gracious towards everyone—especially our families—in this context, our spiritual families. Obviously, we have different expressions of devotion. We may feel like there are better ways, but they may have reasons we’re not privy to. What they do may be better than our preference. And that’s our position regarding our differences: they may know something we don’t. With that, we can just be happy for their love of our Savior.

Living Faith

James 2:18   (KJV)   18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

I opted to blog a little differently today.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth James 2.18 - Living Faithwhat manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:22-25).

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14).

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:17-20).

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:22,24,26).

I rest my case.

Doubly Righteous

Revelation 19:8   (KJV)   8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Righteousness matters. We as people made holy by God are also made righteous by God. That’s the kind revelation-19-8-doubly-righteousof righteousness that’s all God’s work. We don’t have anything to do with it. When we grabbed hold of our Lord Jesus in full dependence on Him as our Savior and our Lord, He made us righteous. He gave us His righteousness, meaning, we are as righteous as He is. There is of course a different kind of righteousness, and that is, righteousness based on our deeds. We have a choice to do, think, say, and choose what’s right, good, and godly. We can walk righteously or unrighteously.

The fine, clean, white linen—the righteousness of saints is interpreted differently by Bible teachers. Some refer to that as positional righteousness—that imputed to us by God, void of any deed from us. Some believe it to be practical righteousness—the good deeds of God’s people. It could go either way, but it could be both. This is something that’s worthy of acceptance and balanced treatment.

Positional righteousness doesn’t prohibit practical righteousness. In fact, the opposite is true. As people made righteous by God, our walk ought to be righteous; our thoughts, words, deeds, and choices ought to flow from who God has made us to be. Our “doing” ought to naturally flow from our being. The tree bears its corresponding fruit. That’s why genuine Christians or impostors are known by the kind of fruit they bear. Our Father is righteous; there’s no right option but to live righteously. We understand that temptations abound and they will continue to come, but our minds are made up. Our beings have been reprogrammed; our spiritual DNA is that which is righteous. We trash and throw off everything evil, every fruit that doesn’t belong to a person made righteous. We have been made righteous, and we’ve got fruits—proofs to show it.

 

Of Faith and Works

James‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭ (KJV‬‬)   “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

There’s such a thing as dead faith; there’s such a thing as living faith.

Faith that’s not producing good deeds is a dead faith. Living faith produces good works.

We are saved by grace through faith–not by works, but we are saved by grace through faith–unto good works.