Pt. 2 Ch. 1. Is Christ Truly God: The Doctrines That Divide By Erwin Lutzer (NKJV)
October 4, 2018
There are people all over the world who believe they are Christians in a more generic sense. I have had conversations with so-called Christians who have the notion that Christ (God) is in the birds, He is in the trees, the ocean and the fish, the plants and bugs. In fact, He is in everything and everybody. So then, there is no need for repentance or the forgiveness of sins, because we are all already children of God. Where do people get such outlandish ideas? I am of the opinion that they get it from the Bible. Practically every religion has extracted bits and pieces from the Bible and incorporated them into all sorts of movements. Up until I received The LORD Jesus into my heart about 38 years ago, I had similar ideas about God. When a Christian would attempt to tell me about the love of God, my response was always the same, “I have my own thing with God so I don’t need yours.” I declared myself to be a know it all; unfortunately, my spiritual tank was on E.
There had been many times in my life I would feel a need for God’s help, especially when a girl dumped me. On the other hand, I did not want to get involved in a local church. In my neck of the woods, those people appeared to be insane. I am just being honest, that’s how it looked to my juvenile eyes. Therefore, whenever I felt down and out, I would pick up a bible and try reading it. Of course, I truly did not understand any of it. I would just read into it what I wanted it to say. Little did I know that I was practicing something that I now understand as eisegesis. Eisegesis means, to read into the text what you want it to say or your own preconceived interpretation. While its counterpart is exegesis, i.e. reading out or drawing out from the text what it actually says.
The concept of using scripture to interpret scripture was foreign to me, as it is to millions of people all over the world. This is why a person could read (Colossians 3: 9 “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all”), and completely overlook verses 9-10, because it only makes sense to the Born Again spirit. However, verse 11 sounds like Christ is in everyone. That, in essence, is the New Age movement. In order to grasp the God-breathed Word of God, you must be born of that same Spirit. Take a moment now and read John 3: 1-10. Jesus said that “God is Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Notice the upper case Spirit compared to the lowercase spirit. The lower case is in reference to the person, or worshiper. In the same book, He said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). The phrase “gives life” is the Greek word zōopoieō, Strong’s number G2227 meaning>2d) “of the spirit, quickening as respects the spirit, endued with new and greater powers of life 3) metaphorically, of seeds quickened into life, i.e. germinating, springing up, growing.”
Therefore, it is imperative that there must be a change in the person who studies the Bible. Personally, I don’t like to use the word ‘read’ when it comes to the Bible. One must study The Word of God, not just read it. A regenerated spirit can only receive revelation knowledge from The Spirit of God. Also, take into account the fact that His words are Spirit and they give life. If you only read The Word, you are wasting your time, because not only should the person change in spirit, there must also be a method.
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
On pg. 24 par., Lutzer said, “Theology has always been important, but never more so than today. Unwittingly, the church is imbibing old heresies without recognizing it. That’s why we must return to the early councils of the church. They were convened to clarify doctrine, to pinpoint heresy, and to give a rationale for Christian beliefs. Given the popular widespread misconceptions of Christianity, it is time we returned to the basics. If we don’t, thousands of people who believe they are Christians will discover in the day of judgment that they were misled.”
John 7:17 “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”
Bottom line, this is the reason that there are so many rivers of doctrine flowing in different directions. Church leaders have bypassed the words “If anyone wills to do His will”, and went straight to doctrine. Therefore, the result is error, heresies, and Doctrines That Divide. To be continued…