Friday May 25, 2018
Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - Our home with Christ in the word “abide” - the word and the Spirit in you; not lies.
In Him (2:6) - walk as He walked
In light (2:10) - loves his brother
The word (2:14) and the baptism of the Spirit (2:27) abides in us.
The first one is a claim of a consistent lifestyle. The second is a fact of the one who loves his brother. The word and the Spirit abiding are also stated as facts; the abiding word to the consistent learner, and the abiding Spirit to all believers.
It is a fact that the Spirit abides in every believer and His ministry to the believer is ever present. It is also a fact that the word will abide in every believer who is on a consistent diet of the word of God as a humble learner.
The home of the Lord is full of the word of God.
1JO 2:24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning (the doctrines you heard at the start over the falsehoods that came later). If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
This is the first time John uses “abide” as a command - be sure that the sound doctrines of the word of God remain in you.
The beginning doctrines are the foundational doctrines of the person and work of Christ, the gospel, and the gifts given to every believer. The doctrines of the Trinity, Christology, Soteriology, as well as the church and Israel were plainly and clearly taught in the beginning of the church. I believe that this happened so fast, and the truth spread so rapidly, that Satan was found scrambling to catch up so that he might refute it in his usual way, twisting the truth into deception.
It is the practice of Satan to alter the existing truth and not to invent something completely different. In the Garden he doesn’t deny the existence of God or that God had directly spoken to the man and woman. He simply twisted what God said into a lie.
As Satan scrambled to catch up to the doctrines of Christ and the church, he initially hit the church with Judaism from Jews who were sure that Christianity was nothing more than a false sect of Judaism. This wouldn’t suffice in the long run, but it would at least do something at the start. After this initial attack, soon after, came the heresy of Gnosticism, which would greedily and stealthily thread its lying fingers throughout the churches for centuries.
Over this, false doctrines came among the believers in the Roman province of Asia, what is now the country of Turkey. It is to these Christians that John addresses his first epistle.
It would benefit us to know how this occurred in that place, because the same method has been used by the kingdom of darkness in our own nation.
The liars alter the truth about:
The person of Jesus Christ, the doctrines of salvation, creation, resurrection, and the doctrines of election and predestination, while appealing to intellect, pride, current trends, and current culture.
Every doctrine is open to attack, but what the devil is after is to alter your view, or your world-view. If he can alter your view of the truth concerning origin, meaning, morality, and destiny, then he can really upset your love, power, peace, and joy. The most effective attacks are upon the person of Christ and His work on Calvary. Close in effectiveness is to attack the way in which we view our lives, how they are to be lived and conducted, meaning our behavior, our motivation, our work that God has so graciously given to each one of us.
The intellectual activity of the cities of Asia could not leave the gospel unaffected. Among the Jews of the province - especially in Asian Phrygia, Lydia, and Galatia - there is ample contemporary evidence of syncretism in life and thought, of the fusion of the ancestral beliefs and the practices of the Jews with features from the old ethnic religions of Asia Minor and from more recent mystery cults and philosophical trends that were flowing into the Roman Empire.
Asia Minor: On Paul’s third missionary journey he stated to the elders of Ephesus that met him in Mileta:
"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
ACT 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
ACT 20:29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
ACT 20:30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
ACT 20:31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.”
He closes his message to them with the foundation of Christ that will reveal every false teacher.
ACT 20:35 "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
The false teachers do not seek to give, but to receive.
Antiochus III settled 2000 Jewish families in Phrygia and Lydia around 200 B.C. By the beginning of the church, many of these Jews had syncretized their ancestral beliefs with the religions of the area. The Phrygians worshipped the mother goddess Cybele. Yet, we find Jews from Phrygia in Jerusalem at the Feast of Pentecost when the church began. They would have brought the gospel of Christ back to their own country.
Not long after Paul entered Phrygia and Galatia with Barnabas on his first missionary journey and with Silas and Timothy on his second, the falsehood of this Judaism mixed with pagan mystery worship infiltrated the churches in this area, and many believers were spun around.
When Paul wrote Colossians around 60 AD, the early Gnosticism (Judaism mixed with pagan religions and mystery cults of the area) had already invaded the church.
COL 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
This is so evident in the letter to the Colossians that theologically it is called the Colossian heresy.
COL 2:16 Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day —
COL 2:17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
COL 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,
COL 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
COL 2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,
COL 2:21 "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"
COL 2:22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using) — in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
COL 2:23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
This falsehood of a manmade religion composed of Judaism and pagan mystery religion claimed to be freedom, but it was a call to return to the bondage that Christ had delivered us from - pride, conceit, and self-righteousness. It was heralded as a way of salvation while proclaiming that Christ didn’t do enough to secure our salvation.
The basis of the heresy, as with all heresies, is that man can do something to elevate himself. The base of it all is the pride of man and his self-conceit. How could pride and self-conceit have any power over the flesh? Asceticism does not bring power, only Christ has power. False worship and false doctrines do not have power, only Christ has power.
If man does not see himself as a sinner in need of grace that only Christ could provide, he will have no power over fleshly indulgence.
Only our reliance upon Christ can free us from bondage. Redemption is just that, freedom from the bondage that all of us were born into. As saved people who are righteous, we continue to depend upon Christ. His life, His way, and His truth are what we obediently follow, and so we depend solely upon Him.
COL 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
COL 2:7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
The Gnostic heresy that began in Asia swelled to a landslide.
You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me,