Guarding Sound Faith By Unmasking Old Lies
As we open to Acts 20:17, may I remind you of an old truth? "There is nothing new under the Sun", that's what God's Word said three thousand years ago by Solomon (Ecclesiastes 1:9). When it comes to the state of Christ's Church, that truth is very helpful.
Satan has just one old playbook. His lies and tricks are old, have been used repeatedly through the centuries, and are all clear to spot. Each generation of believers faces very new and real attacks of these very old and familiar lies and deceptions. For years I have reminded you of Satan's original pack of deceptive lies in Genesis 3. They are still with us. Remember the tools Satan used in the Garden of Eden-
Doubt God's Word: "Hath God said" (An attack on whether God has even spoken);
Doubt God's Plan: "ye shall not surely die" (An attack on the Penal Substitutionary Atonement-only those who will trust in the perfect death of God's Substitute will be saved).
Doubt God's Authority over Life: "your eyes shall be opened" (An attack on Biblical Epistemology-whether God's Word is the source of truth to live life God's way.)
Here is a summary of these four main religious groups of the day, all of whom claimed to believe and follow God's Word in Christ's day.
1. Essenes: The most unique Bible believers of Christ's day were the Essenes. These men spent most of their time either copying or discussing the Scriptures. They produced the world famous Dead Sea Scrolls-discovered by accident in 1947. Essenes sought no contact with culture nor influence on society; and are not specifically mentioned in the New Testament.
Today, we have modern Bible believers who share the Essenes emphasis that the goal in life is to stay as far away from any known sin or sinner as we possibly can.
2. Pharisees: The most influential of all the mainstream Bible believers of Christ's day were opposite of the Essenes. Pharisees were the very public, very influential, and very self-seeking. Though possibly even more exclusive than the Essenes, Pharisees could be found everywhere in the Jewish Society of Christ's day. Jesus exposed them as doing "all their deeds to be noticed by men..." (Matt. 23:5-7).
Today, we have modern Bible believers who share the Pharisees emphasis that the teachings of their revered teachers have become more authoritative than the Bible.
3. Zealots: The least spiritual and most fervent of the mainstream Bible believers were the Zealots. Focused completely on political activism, blatant nationalism, and even violence, the Zealots were dominated with capturing their culture and society, with what they perceived were God's goals.
Today, we have modern Bible believers who share the Zealots emphasis and spend their lives trying to plug all the holes in the moral dike of American culture, and hold back the tsunami of sin in the world.
4. Sadducees: Finally, the most powerful group of mainstream Bible believers were the ultraliberals called the Sadducees. They cared little for religion, especially doctrine, and denied the existence of angels, the resurrection, and most things supernatural (Acts 23:6-8). They believed in extreme human autonomy and in the unlimited freedom of the will.
Today, we have modern Bible believers who share the Sadducees emphasis that we can't be dogmatic about anything in God's Word, and everything is valid and to be considered.
To continue reading this message please copy and paste this URL into your browser bar: http://www.dtbm.org/sermon/guarding-sound-faith-by-unmasking-old-lies/