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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Are we contending for the faith, or merely being contentious

I fear many believers today, especially those who are yet young and unlearned in the things of Christ, are confused between "contending for the faith," and merely being "contentious." With the coming of these latter days we shall see perilous times (2 Tim 3), and with those perils the increase of false teachers, false doctrine and scoffers. Many shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables (2Tim.4). And some shall even depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of Devils (1Tim.4). These shall be very perilous times and requires a faith, courage and strength not of our own. To trust in the flesh or in the power of our own strength, shall certainly lead to our own spiritual demise and ruin. This is one major reason why the Apostle Paul, when speaking of the office of a bishop (pastor), warns the novice (beginner, new to the faith) against seeking such an office. For he is in danger of "being lifted up with pride and falling into the condemnation of the devil (1 Tim.3)." And yet, the danger of being lifted up with pride is not limited to the novice. Many older and more learned believers are also in danger of being lifted up by their own pride. Pride of their knowledge of God, or the spiritual insight God has graciously granted them. Pride of years or knowledge of scripture truths.
Satan is a master of disguises and unequal in his ability to deceive and trick even the oldest saint. If the man after God's own heart was not spared (David), nor the strongest man alive (Samson) no match for Satan's evil devices, then surely, to be "sober minded, watchful and praying" is a duty which every true believer must be vigilant in. Being prideful of possessing certain knowledge of God's truths can be just as detrimental and destructive as ignorance of God's truths. The believer must ever strive to maintain a humble and contrite spirit when approaching (but especially in declaring) God's divine truths. God's truths in the mouth of a prideful man is more Satan's advocate than his adversary.

"Who is sufficient for these things? Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given." (2 Cor. 2:16 / Eph.3:8)

Herein lies the true spirit which must accompany the knowledge of God. For,"its upon this man God looks, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at God's Word" (Isa.66:2). And it is the Spirit of God who is the author of this humble and contrite spirit. The courage and boldness we must possess to proclaim God's truths in a world that lieth in wickedness, is not of our own. But, must be drawn from the "strength of the Lord and the power of His might (Eph.6)." God's truths proclaimed in boldness by a vessel of humility and meekness is the greatest weapon against error, false doctrines and Satan's wiles.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

May God grant wisdom and grace, as "earthen vessels," that we might "boldly" Proclaim the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ!