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JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN. JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” "You are entitled to your.

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Presentation on theme: "JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN. JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” "You are entitled to your."— Presentation transcript:

1 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN

2 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” "You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to "You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine" mine" "After all, we cannot understand the Bible alike" "After all, we cannot understand the Bible alike" "That's just your interpretation" "That's just your interpretation" The Implications of this Argument: 1. Men cannot understand the Bible alike. 2. Every verse has a multitude of interpretations. 3. Any interpretation is as good as any other. 4. The reason why we are divided is mankind’s basic inability to understand the Bible alike.

3 “If we cannot understand the Bible alike with reference to the organization, work, and worship of the church, how can we be sure that we can understand the Bible alike with reference to the oneness of the church, the purpose, action, and subject of baptism, the deity of Christ, or any other Bible doctrine? After all, every point is controverted by someone!” (Mike Willis, “Can we understand the Bible alike?” Truth Magazine, vol. 18, p. 390)

4 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” 2 Jn. 9-11, “Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting: 11 for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works.”

5 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” 2 Thess. 3:14, 15, “And if any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed. 15 And yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”

6 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” 1 Cor. 14:37-38, "If any one thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandments. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized." (NASV, RSV, EÜ)

7 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” Jn. 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Eph. 3:3-4, “How that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, 4 whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ.” Eph. 5:17, “Wherefore be ye not foolish, but under- stand what the will of the Lord is.”

8 God holds us accountable for understanding the Bible: Hos. 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.”Hos. 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.” Rom. 10: 1-2, “Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”Rom. 10: 1-2, “Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” 2 Thes. 2:10-12, “And with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12 that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”2 Thes. 2:10-12, “And with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12 that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

9 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION "We are continually told, and we shall hear it many more times in the future, that instrumental music is in the area of doctrine; that it is not, therefore, an issue which should disrupt fellowship. You will also find that those who are guilty of heresy and factionalism are not the users of instrumental music, but those who object to having fellowship with them.” (Alan Highers, via Ron Halbrook, “The Fellowship Question,” Truth Magazine, vol. 19, p. 91)

10 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION 1. The gospel is to be preached to the world (Mk. 16:15) and to the Christian (Rom. 1:15) and to the Christian (Rom. 1:15) 2. Doctrine is delivered to the world (Rom. 6:17) and to the Christian (Titus 2:1) Christian (Titus 2:1) 3. One obeys the gospel to be saved (2 Thes. 1:7-9), but he likewise obeys doctrine (Rom. 6:17) likewise obeys doctrine (Rom. 6:17) 4. The gospel is for Christians (Rom. 1:15), yet children of God continue in doctrine (Acts 2:42) (adapted from Alan Highers)

11 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION 2 Jn. 9-11, “Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting: 11 for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works.” Matt. 16:12, “The teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees” Rev. 2:14-15, “The teaching of Balaam….the teaching of the Nicolaitans”

12 Acts 13:6-12, “And when they had gone through the whole island unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus; who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn aside the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him, 10 and said, O full of all guile and all villany, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And imme- diately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”

13 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION III. IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS The word rendered “impute” in the KJV: "to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over" (Thayer, p. 379) Webster's definition of "impute:" "in theology, to ascribe (good or evil) to a person as coming from another." (New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, p. 918)

14 Presbyterian Albert Barnes: “I have examined all the passages (in the O.T., sw), and as the result of my exami- nation have come to the conclusion, that there is not one in which the word is used in the sense of reckoning or imput- ing to a man what does not strictly belong to him; or of charging on him what ought not to be charged on him as a matter of personal right. The word is never used to denote imputing in the sense of transferring, or of charging that on one which does not properly belong to him. The same is the case in the New Testament. The word occurs about forty times… and, in a similar signification. No doctrine of transferring, or of setting over to a man what does not properly belong to him, be it sin or holiness, can be derived, therefore, from this word.” (Barnes Notes, Commentary on Romans, Master Christian Library CD, Disk number 2)

15 Rom. 4:3-24, “…Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. 5….his faith is reckoned for righteousness. 6…. whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, 8 Blessed is the man to whom, the Lord will not reckon sin…9…To Abraham his faith was reckoned for righteous- ness. 10 How then was it reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision?…11…that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might be reckoned unto them….22...it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was reckoned unto him; 24 but for our sake also, unto whom it shall be reckoned…”

16 How is one counted or reckoned righteous? Rom. 4:6-8, “Even as David also pronounceth blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, 7 saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, And whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom, the Lord will not reckon sin.” How does the Bible teach that a Christian’s sins are forgiven? 1 Jn. 1:9; Acts 8:22

17 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION III. IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS IV. CONTINUAL CLEANSING, 1 Jn. 1:7

18 1 Jn. 1:6-2:2, “If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”

19 1 Jn. 1:7 in its context 1. 1:6: Any conviction with regards to other verses in this text cannot conflict with 1:6 by saying someone walking in sin is “cleansed” and in fellowship with God. 2. To what does “walk in the light” refer? 2 Jn. 4, “walking in truth”2 Jn. 4, “walking in truth” 2 Jn. 6, “walk after his commandments”2 Jn. 6, “walk after his commandments” 1 Jn. 2:6, “walk even as he walked”1 Jn. 2:6, “walk even as he walked” 2 Cor. 4:4, “light…of…gospel”2 Cor. 4:4, “light…of…gospel”

20 1 Jn. 1:7 in its context 1. 1:6: Any conviction with regards to other verses in this text cannot conflict with 1:6 by saying someone walking in sin is “cleansed” and in fellowship with God. 2. To what does “walk in the light” refer? 3. How is one cleansed from “all sin” in 1:7? Answer: 1:9, cp. “all unrighteousness;” Acts 8:22 4. Using 1:7 to teach that brethren in unsound churches are saved conflicts with 2:1 which says John is writing these things “that ye sin not.” 5. Does the present tense of “cleanses” in 1:7 teach that one is cleansed even as he sins? Answer: 1:9 shows that forgiveness is conditioned upon confession of sins (not confession of sinfulness).

21 1 Jn. 1:7 in its context 6. “1:7 speaks about cleansing sins of ignorance.” Answer: Where in the text is “all sin” of 1:7 limited to sins of ignorance? Cp. 1:9, “all unrighteousness” 7. 2:2 shows that Christ’s blood is continuously available for all – Christian and Non-Christian. However, it is applied conditionally to each, Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Jn. 1:9; Acts 8:22 8. Please compare 1:9 with 3:3 – Christ cannot “purify” or “cleanse” us without our efforts

22 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION III. IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS IV. CONTINUAL CLEANSING, 1 Jn. 1:7 V. ROMANS 14

23 To what have some applied Romans 14? Philip Y. Pendleton: “Instrumental music, missionary societies” (commenting on Rom. 14, Commentary on Thessalonians, Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans, pp. 525, 526) Rubel Shelley: “(differences regarding, sw) The millenni- um, the work of the Holy Spirit, church organization, instrumental music, having a glass of wine, the role of women in church leadership” ("A Call to Action," Restoration Forum, ACU, Abilene, TX, Nov. 1-3, 1995) Ed Harrell: “Matters of considerable moral and doctrinal import.” “Marriage and divorce” (Christianity Magazine, May, 1989, p. 6)

24 Romans 14 & things unauthorized or forbidden by God’s word: Is it equally right to practice or not practice things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God? (vs. 2-5) Is it equally right to practice or not practice things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God? (vs. 2-5) Is it sinful to condemn the man whopractices things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God? (v. 3) Is it sinful to condemn the man who practices things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God? (v. 3) Does God "receive" the one who practices things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God? (v. 3) Does God "receive" the one who practices things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God? (v. 3) Does the one who practices things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "stand" (versus "fall")? (v. 4) Does the one who practices things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "stand" (versus "fall")? (v. 4) Can one practice things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "to the Lord?" (v. 6) Can one practice things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "to the Lord?" (v. 6) Can one practice things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God as long as he is not an occasion of stumbling to the "weak?" (v. 13) Can one practice things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God as long as he is not an occasion of stumbling to the "weak?" (v. 13)

25 Is practicing things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "clean?" (v. 14) Is practicing things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "clean?" (v. 14) Is practicing things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "good?" (v. 16) Is practicing things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God "good?" (v. 16) Is practicing things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God included in "all things are pure?" (v. 20) Is practicing things unauthorized or forbidden by the word of God included in "all things are pure?" (v. 20) Romans 14 & things unauthorized or forbidden by God’s word:

26 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION III. IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS IV. CONTINUAL CLEANSING, 1 Jn. 1:7 V. ROMANS 14 VI. FELLOWSHIPPING THOSE WITH WRONG OR MISTAKEN BELIEFS A. One who holds a false belief but does not teach or A. One who holds a false belief but does not teach or practice it, 1 Thes. 5:14; Eph. 4:2-3 practice it, 1 Thes. 5:14; Eph. 4:2-3 B. Not all wrong beliefs lead to sin B. Not all wrong beliefs lead to sin

27 J.W. McGarvey on the young prophet of 1 Kgs. 13: "Shall we think, then, that every man who believes a lie in regard to God's will shall perish? I think not. If a blind man is guided by another blind man along a smooth road, where there is no ditch, I don't think either of them will fall into a ditch. It is only when there is a ditch in the way that they will fall into it. So, if this young prophet had been told to do almost any thing else than what he was told to do, we have no reason to think it would have been fatal. If, for example, the old prophet had said, ‘An angel sent me to tell you to get from under this tree and run for your life, and not to stop until you get home,’ the young man would have been scared, and would have run himself out of breath; but the lion would not have killed him. In like manner, I can imagine a man believing some lies in reli- gion, which, though they may injure him some, and I

28 suppose there are very few that would not, might yet fall far short of proving fatal to him....What, then, is the dis- tinction? It is to be traced out by remembering that there is only one thing that can keep men out of heaven, or keep them estranged from God in this life. That one thing is sin. Nothing else does or can stand between God and any man. If the belief of a lie, then, leads a man to commit sin, it will prove fatal unless that sin shall be forgiven. It was thus with the young prophet. The lie which he believed led him to disobey God. His disobedience was the immediate cause, while the belief of a lie was only the remote cause of his death." (Sermons, pp )

29 JUSTIFYING FELLOWSHIP WITH ERRING BRETHREN I. “WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE” II. THE GOSPEL-DOCTRINE DISTINCTION III. IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS IV. CONTINUAL CLEANSING, 1 Jn. 1:7 V. ROMANS 14 VI. FELLOWSHIPPING THOSE WITH WRONG OR MISTAKEN BELIEFS A. One who holds a false belief but does not teach or A. One who holds a false belief but does not teach or practice it, 1 Thes. 5:14; Eph. 4:2-3 practice it, 1 Thes. 5:14; Eph. 4:2-3 B. Not all wrong beliefs lead to sin B. Not all wrong beliefs lead to sin


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