Monday, August 15, 2016

Handling People who add to the Gospel

I had someone send me a text this morning, and I wanted to write about it, because it was a very interesting question.

Question: "Isn't there a Scripture that says, "Avoid men who would teach you the law?"

Answer:  Depends what they are teaching about the Law.
Two mathematical equations:
1. Trusting Jesus + X= Justification, being declared righteous, reconciles you to God
If X is necessary to add to faith in order to be saved, then that person is wrong.
Here is what Scripture says about that person-
A. 2 Corinthians 11:1- Paul preached one husband to us, Jesus.
B. Galatians 1, in fact the whole book of Galatians deals with this problem.
C. Galatians 3:10
Paul had a constant battle with this with, what he called, the Judaisers.  They taught Jesus + X. Here is what Paul says, when Peter started to get sucked into the pull of their teaching, like the tracking beam of the Death Star, Paul harshly confronted Peter- Galatians 2:11-13.
D. We are justified, made right, reconciled to God through FAITH and not through LAW (Torah)- Romans 3-5. Not through circumcision or even what has through tradition replaced circumcision- namely water baptism. We are saved through faith, from first to last.  From first to last, the equation for salvation is Faith in Jesus. He is the door, he is the gate, he is the way, he is the truth, he is the life, he is the living water, he is God's Messiah.

2. Trusting Jesus = Justification, being delcared righteous, reconciles you to God+
we obey the Law in order to worship God.
I see no problem with this.
A. Paul did this, He followed the Law after conversion to Christ.
-Acts 18:18- Paul took a Nazarite vow
-Acts 21:24-26 Paul and some men responded to Jews who complained that Paul taught to turn away from the Law of Moses- Paul did something to show them that he was living in obedience to the Law.  He even showed them by fulfilling his Nazarite vow and taking part in the purification rites.
-Acts 25:8 Paul kept the Law, as a believer.
-2 Timothy 3:16 Paul teaches us that the Law is very useful.

B. Gentiles were told to uphold some of the Law in practice. Acts 15:1-35- The Jerusalem Council taught that Goyim (Gentiles) were to keep elements of the Law. In fact, there are parts of the Law, that if we do not obey them, show a stubborn or ignorant heart against the Lord. We are taught not to eat food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. Doing these will not untie our salvation, but will grieve the Lord, and hurt the faith of Jewish people whom the Lord loves, plus other things.

C. Hayesod (A Messianic Jewish community) invites people to follow the Law out of worship, not as a means of salvation.

D. If someone teaches the Law, this is noble, as long as it is not taught as a means of salvation.  Who wouldn't want someone to teach us not to murder, steal, worship idols, etc...?

E. Ray VanderLaan is a Christian Rabbi.  Ray loves God's Law (Torah). But he is grieved when he hears that people teach the law as a means of salvation.  He practices much of the Law, but does not depend on the Law to make him right with God.

Who should we not eat with?
1. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (cf. Psalm 1)- If someone claims to be a believer but is immoral, greedy, swindler, idolaterer, sexually immoral, a drunk or slanderer. Do not even eat with such a person.
The first question that comes to my mind is, "How is that loving?" However, the purpose of this is to judge them.  To show them that this is wrong, in the hopes that they repent.  Often today, people will not respond to this, rather they will "feel judged" and find a more liberal group that does not uphold the umbrella of the word.  However, this will not excuse them from being judged by Jesus and the Father.  Better to be judged by men than to be judged by God!
2. 2 John 7-10 the person in context here is the gnostic.  But certainly, there is a cultural thing here, namely that to eat with someone or to invite them into your house was to show approval, and was to provide for them, strengthening them.
The gnostic taught that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh.

Why shouldn't we eat with them? To show them that they are wrong.  In the hopes that God will show them mercy leading to repentance.

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