Sunday, December 30, 2012

Theological math

Add

The preaching of the true word of God always pierces hearts.

"So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:41)

Subtract

However, taking away from that word will bring condemnation to those who subtract from it:

"and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." (Revelation 22:19)

Multiply

We love God's word so much we share it, not sparingly but liberally. To His own glory, the Lord multiplies what is needed in the sower so they can return and multiply their doing good again and again--

"He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness." (2 Corinthians 9:10)

Barnes Notes explains, "Multiply your seed sown - Greatly increase your means of doing good; make the result of all your benefactions so to abound that you may have the means of doing good again, and on a larger scale, as the seed sown in the earth is so increased that the farmer may have the means of sowing more abundantly again."

Divide

But make no mistake, proclamation of, living by, and protecting the word will bring division. Doctrine DOES divide.

"Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." (Luke 12:51)

In efforts not to have "division" but a (false) unity based on a watered down version of the Gospel, you really have nothing. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, said Billy Preston.

John MacArthur on doctrine dividing, from his sermon A Call for Discernment: "When you don’t even lay down clear doctrine at the level of the Gospel, where are you going to go from there? And the cry is, as one man said to me when my book on The Gospel According to Jesus came out, he said, “Your book is divisive!” You want to know something? He’s right. He’s right. Want to know something else? Doctrine divides. People say, “Oh doctrine divides ... doctrine divides.” I say, “Amen, preach it, doctrine divides.” You know what it does? It confronts error. It separates true from false. It makes judgments. Today’s climate, however, of unity in the priority of relationships, that’s not tolerable."

Yes, but many are tolerating it. And this is what he said will happen--

"You know, I believe...I believe that when evangelicals are willing to depreciate doctrine and when they're willing to set aside unpopular convictions, and when they're willing to stay silent on biblical teaching that offends people in error and sin, opposition will disappear and we could all get together. I believe that. I could start a unity movement...eliminate doctrine, set aside unpopular convictions, don't say anything that offends and we'll all get together. That isn't any surprise. But you know some other things are going to disappear too along with doctrine, like truth, conviction, discernment, righteousness, holiness, discipline, true love and spiritual maturity. They're all gone too and then God will disappear, Ichabod. That price is too high. That will produce a church victimized by hell's deceptions."

He preached that 21 years ago and it has come to pass. People too afraid of division fail to add to and multiply God's love.

I pray you are not in a church victimized by hell's deceptions, but are in a church that adds to its numbers because of faithful hearts multiplying His love in fellowship.

But here is the new math of God's kingdom: His infinitely extravagant grace! There is no counting it and no end to it. Praise the Lord that His grace and mercies fall on us every day. I can't add the number of times I've been a grateful recipient of it.

"Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite." (Psalm 147:5)

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." (Philippians 3:8)

1 comment:

  1. I agree. What unites true Christians-true unity is far greater than what divides us. Actually,People who TURN away from sound Doctrine are the divisive ones,,, not those who remain Loyal to it.

    Even Jesus was very divisive with the truth. He did not come to bring peace but a Sword...

    btw, Jesus said, "my doctrine is not mine, but his who sent me"-John 7:16 KJV
    Great article Elizabeth and you're an articulate writer, thanks

    ReplyDelete

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