Thursday, July 15, 2010

True Apostles

2 Corinthians 11:12 And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.

12 Ὃ δὲ ποιῶ, καὶ ποιήσω, ἵνα ἐκκόψω τὴν ἀφορμὴν τῶν θελόντων ἀφορμήν, ἵνα ἐν ᾧ καυχῶνται εὑρεθῶσιν καθὼς καὶ ἡμεῖς.

Paul is giving the Corinthians a pretty stern rebuke here in chapter 11.  In fact, it kind of seems like he uses guilt as a rhetorical tool.  That's interesting, but I find the section that this verse starts fascinating.  He is writing to them about false apostles, though the false apostles say that they are working καθὼς καὶ ἡμεῖς or "just as also us," if you want to be quite literal.

The fact is that there are some pretty grave doctrinal differences within groups that call themselves Christian.  I'm not talking about pre-mil vs. post-mil or Calvinist vs Arminian.  Those are in-house debates.  I'm talking about the nature of Jesus.  Was He fully God and fully man?  Was He the product of the Holy Spirit or did God somehow have actual relations with Mary as the Mormons teach?  Was He just a spirit man who was the first created being as the Jehovah's Witnesses teach?  Or was He fully God and fully man?

You also can get Jesus right but then get the gospel wrong.  What must we do to be saved?  Is it faith alone or is it some combination faith and then good works as the Roman Catholics teach?  We can't all be right on this because God is God and does not change.

What is the result of this?  Those nice young men in their white shirts and blue pants riding around on bikes and knocking on doors passing out The Book of Mormon are teaching a false gospel.  The Roman Catholic Church teaches a different gospel than the one I believe.  Either the Catholics are right or I (and historic Protestants) am.  We can't both be right.  Either the Catholic view of salvation will save someone or the Protestant one will.

We will get into this more in a few days when we hit Galatians 1, Lord willing.  But for now do think this through.  There is a gospel.  Many people will claim to preach it.  Some of those will actually be preaching something different.  This is why it is so vital for us to know our Bibles that we may be able to discern the truth.

1 comment:

David C Brown said...

It's so important to see the Scriptures in the authority that they have. Mormons add another book; Romanists add traditions. The Scripture gives us God's view of the way of salvation.

I've been reading about the reformation - the vital point was when the Scriptures were accepted. And in other reading about RC priests being converted - that was the vital point.

And it's there that we see, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." We can be confident in the word of God.