Remain Steadfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Remain Steadfast

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

"Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes." 2 Timothy 1:13-15

This Scripture has always saddened me. It is just almost inconceivable that so many people whom Paul brought the Gospel to would later turn away from him. Paul is sharing his pain with young Timothy and makes the situation more personal when he names two brothers who had formerly worked the harvest with them.

 It begs the question, - why? Why did the brethren in Asia Minor leave this beloved Apostle of Jesus? Just how did it happen? Did they succumb to doubt? Were they enticed by the pleasures of the world and give in to the pulls of the flesh? Or were they infiltrated by false brethren and false teachers who drew them away through heretical teachings? For the most part, the last answer was the obvious reason - false teachers, -"Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me."

Later in this letter Paul warns of other false teachers by name and reminds Timothy that the reason that he stands in the faith is because he followed his teaching. He also exhorts the young Evangelist to, -"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth."

We learn by this that the Word of truth can be handled wrongly. At the end of his second letter Peter warned the Church that the "unlearned" and "untaught" distort the teachings of Paul. He referred to them as lawless men who cause the brethren to stray from the original apostolic teachings.

Since the true faith was delivered to the Church by the Apostles of Jesus, it is necessary to study carefully what they taught the new converts. In order to lead brethren away from their teachings they first had to discredit the Apostles.

 This is what had happened to Paul. In his own words he was accused of teaching grace without works and of stealing from the offerings of the Church. As we see from 3 John, a personal letter to Gaius, John was not accepted by some in the Church and that those who received him or his teachings were put out of the Church by Diotrephes who had gained power in the Church. There is no doubt that Diotrephes was claiming that John was a false teacher while extolling himself as being a true minister of God.

Amazing! Also inconceivable that this could happen to the last of the original Apostles of Christ.

Somebody moved. Somebody failed to remain steadfast. Was it Paul and John, or was it many of the congregations? These congregations remained in name Churches of God but not in belief and deed. It should serve as a warning to the Church today because these heresies didnít fade away but are still with us today. We too must prove all things and contend earnestly for the Apostolic teachings to remain steadfast in the true faith.

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries