Guarding Healthy Faith in a Sick World
Nothing is as precious as the faith we have in God, His Word, and Christ's work for us. That is why Paul sat to write the young church planting pastor named Titus, serving on the island of Crete. Paul's world was hostile to the truth of God; and Paul warned that days to come would increasingly be filled with false teachings about God, and false doctrines.
II Timothy 4:2-3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
Paul stressed a growing wave of spiritual deception, false doctrines, and strong delusion that surrounded false teachers. Paul continued this theme and even went so far as to warn the elders at Ephesus that the wolves were at the doors and soon would be attacking the church as soon as Paul left (Acts 20). He warned Timothy and all pastors after him (II Timothy 1:14), to guard the teaching of truth, and even described the false doctrines that were taught as deadly and destructive as cancer or gangrene (II Timothy 2:16-18).
That is why our look at the 4th element of a grace-energized disciple of Christ as described in Titus 2—men who are sound in faith, is so timely.
Titus 2:1-2 " But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience"; NKJV
The Fundamentals of "The Faith"
At the end of days, truth is under attack and lies will abound. Believers who are not grounded in healthy doctrine will suffer shipwreck, tossed about on the rocks of doubt and despair, wasting their lives and feeling hopeless.
That is why Jesus said watch out for false teachers and counterfeit religion. When faced with a similar situation at the turn of the century, evangelicals produced a work called the FUNDAMENTALS in 1909-1915. The writers read like a Who's Who of Christianity of the day: R.A. Torrey [of Biola], B.B. Warfield [of Westminster Seminary], J.C. Ryle [devotional writer], G. Campbell Morgan [an expositor pastor], C.I. Scofield [of the study Bible], James M. Gray [MBI], A.T. Pierson [devotional writer] and so on.
These men distilled down the fundamental beliefs that distinguish a true believer from a false or counterfeit one. They boiled down all theology into seven essentials. They then presented and explained these seven doctrines in a multi-volume set of books called "The Fundamentals". Here is a summary of their work into seven essentials that if not guarded can lead one towards shipwreck.
1. INSPIRATION: The Inspiration and Reliable Historicity of the Bible.
2. CREATION: The error of Evolutionism and Darwinism.
3. DOCTRINE: The naming of the cults errors [Jehovah Witness, Mormonism, Christian Science, Spiritism, etc.].
4. DEPRAVITY: The reality of sin.
5. SUBSTITUTION: Biblical salvation by faith through the grace of God.
6. IMPUTATION: The errors of Roman Catholicism.
7. CHRISTOLOGY: The Deity, the substitutionary, vicarious death Christ on the cross, His resurrection, and the personal visible Return of Christ.
We who live in the start of the 21st Century are facing a crisis in the Church: Biblical illiteracy and incomplete Biblical discipleship. That makes it imperative that we see that there is a critical need to preserve God's word.
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