As I do on occasion, I am pasting in this post my personal comments from the local announcements being read in my congregations during services. Take care, and have a great Sabbath!
Today (Friday), I had the chance to meet with a man and his wife who had expressed interest in attending church with us in St. Louis. Things came to a halt rather quickly, however, when they learned that we do believe that Jesus is God – that is, that we believe that Jesus, the Son, and God, the Father, are two persons in one God – the God Family. Essentially, the husband sat on one particular verse and his understanding of it, and would not consider what other verses had to say on the matter. He acknowledged that the other verses seemed to contradict his understanding, and he agreed that there must be some resolution to the “contradictions” that he did not understand, since “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Yet he simply could not see that the resolution that evaded him was for him to be willing to let go of his personal interpretation of that one Scripture and to allow God’s Word to show him the entire picture.
Still, the couple was very kind, and the visit was a very pleasant one. In fact, for various reasons I would not be surprised if I heard from them in the future, and I would very much look forward to meeting with them again. But the visit did make me think of a number of things…
• Mr. Millich once said that one of the quickest paths to heresy was to take a single verse out of the Bible, and build a belief on that lone verse, allowing it to dictate to us what the rest of the Bible is saying. (This violates the principle of Isaiah 28:9-10.)
• Also, what stubborn “personal doctrine” might each of us, in our own way, be holding on to? It’s one thing to have a different idea. It’s quite another thing to grip that “personal doctrine” and to hold on to it so tightly that, should the need arise, God cannot find any space to slip the truth in between our clenched fingers. Many claim that they must be right, due to the tremendous amount of research they have done on the matter – not realizing that many have done just as much if not more research and have drawn different conclusions. Why is their research somehow better?
• And finally, should the need arise could each of us defend our beliefs from Scripture? Could we borrow someone else’s Bible and prove our beliefs to them from their own Bible – without our own margin notes, etc.? It may be harder for you than you would think! As we progress in our Bible study series on the fundamental beliefs of the Church of God we will cover many of these beliefs, but don’t feel like you have to wait on me! Let us all make sure that we are “feeding on Christ” as Mr. Meredith so often exhorts us, and doing as Paul exhorts in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 – proving all things, and holding fast that which is good.
Jude tells us to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered (Jude 3) – and doing that means, among other things, being able to prove our beliefs from God’s infallible word.