VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH
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FIRMING UP THE FOUNDATION
We are exhorted to go on to perfection once the foundation has been lain and the principles of the doctrine of Christ are plainly made known.
Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.
Principles: arch arche ar-khay: This word appears in John 1. In the "beginning". Go on to perfection once the "first things" or the "beginnings" of the doctrine of Christ have been received.
Doctrine: logov logos log'-os : This also appears in John 1 as "the Word." In the beginning was the WORD. Logos has been defined as an account, a reckoning, the teachings and sayings, doctrine and teaching. In John 1.1 Logos is Jesus Christ himself for it says in Joh 1:14 the Word became flesh. The Word Jesus is the revelation of God to man. John Gill expounds on Christ the Logos:
but he is the word as the Son of God, as is evident from what is here attributed to him, and from the word being said to be so, as in #Joh 1:14,18 and from those places, where the word is explained by the Son, compare #1Jo 5:5,7 Mt 28:19. And is so called from his nature, being begotten of the Father; for as the word, whether silent or expressed, is the birth of the mind, the image of it, equal to it, and distinct from it; so Christ is the only begotten of the Father, the express image of his person, in all things equal to him, and a distinct person from him: and he may be so called, from some action, or actions, said of him, or ascribed to him; as that he spoke for, and on the behalf of the elect of God, in the eternal council and covenant of grace and peace; and spoke all things out of nothing, in creation; for with regard to those words so often mentioned in the history of the creation, and God said, may Jehovah the Son be called the word;[Gills Expositor, John Gill, on John 1:1]
Foundation: yemeliov themelios them-el'-ee-os. This word which of course refers to the foundation of a building, a wall, a city is used here metaphorically as the beginnings, the first principals, of a system of faith. THE FOUNDATION of our faith thus secure and well settled let us go on to perfection.
How well has the foundation been laid forth in your life?
How firmly established upon a solid foundation of truth are your beliefs?
What is faith? We are to have faith toward God.
Shall all be resurrected? Upon what basis?
How eternal is judgement? What about the doctrine of annilhation?
What are the very foundational doctrines of Christ? Can you defend his deity? His incarnation? His death? His resurrection?
In what sense did he make atonement for sin?
Upon what basis are we counted righteous?
What is the difference between sanctification and justification and does it really matter?
What is the difference between Imputation and Impartation?
The apostle by the Spirit of God informs that he has had great care to lay the foundation.
1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
The foundation is laid for those who HEAR and OBEY:
Luke 6:47-48 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mark begins his gospel with the phrase:
Mark 1:1 ¶ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Jude sought to write of the common salvation, and urged the church to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints." To contend for it -- infers that we are grounded or must be grounded in it.
Jude 3 ¶ Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Hear the apostles heart who was faithful to put into remembrance.
2 Peter 1:12-15 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
It is my heartfelt belief that we are in need today to FIRM UP these foundations, to lay them again, to SEARCH OUT the OLD PATHS. Some have crept in and are corrupting the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. Others are weak not knowing the "so great salvation" and the protection and liberation of the Truth. Discernment is unheard and unknown. When some come preaching another gospel are we equipped to RESIST it and to DENOUNCE it.
Look at how, with unquestioned acceptance, the visible church has embraced in varying degrees Liberalism, evolution, Christian Psychology, the Faith Movement, healing of memories, hypnotism, wrong views of the atonement, justification, sanctification, and the nature of Faith. Perhaps we are not equipped to even see these things.
The need to strengthen my own family in the foundational beliefs became manifest recently as we discussed a recent survey taken at the 1996 Christian Booksellers Convention. This survey asked questions that were basic to our faith. An alarming high number wrongly answered these questions. For example:
True or False:
3. Justification is the process by which I am made holy by God's Spirit
71% agreed, 26% disagreed, 3% unsure
As you can see 71% of those surveyed agreed with this question. But is this the correct answer? Justification refers to our standing with God. How are we to appear before God? With what righteousness? The righteousness that we live out in this life as we are made holy by God's Spirit? If you agree with this then you have a large company as 71% surveyed think the same. However, this is not the biblical definition of justification. Justification is our being RECKONED righteous through faith in Christ. Having HIS righteousness IMPUTED on our account. In this life we will never live HOLY enough to have the perfect righteousness God requires. This rigtheousness is ours apart from the law through faith in Christ.
Rom 3:26-28 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
We can and will cite many more scriptures as the foundation of is laid down for, "justification, which is righteousness, imputed",. The point being made now, is how something this basic, is perhaps so seldom expounded upon today that we must once again search out those old paths and lay again the First things, the principals of the doctrine of Christ.
Please check out this survey and see how you fare: http://www.alliancenet.org/radio/whi/whi.poll1996.html
If you are really brave you may want to try the following BASIC Doctrine Quiz:
This study is an introduction of what we hope to pursue and accomplish over the next several weeks of topical studies. Our goal being to go on to maturity and doing so upon a sure foundation. That we may "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints." That we will be a discerning people, and will have a basic knowledge that will aid us in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Not turning to the right or the left, not perishing for lack of knowledge of God.
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein
Next the foundational doctrine of the HOLY SCRIPTURE. Please earnestly pray for me as I work to prepare topical studies that will hopefullly benefit us all deeply as we seek together to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Scott D. Andersen
1Cor 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.