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Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart

Last night our church had our Titus 2 get-together.  It is hard to get a large group of ladies together regularly because someone is bound to have a conflict.  I had several who could not attend ask me to post the Titus 2 teaching or else email them the notes. I’ve broken the study into more easily posted parts.

I have been working on a series called Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart based on the verses in Romans 12:2 and Ephesians 4:22-24.

Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)

22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart

 

Since this is Titus 2 let’s look at the verses that it is based on.  My “Baby” wanted to know when we will finish Titus 2 and what we are going to study next.  He thinks we’ve spent too long (years) on these verses.  I told him we would never finish.

Titus 2:3-5 (ESV)

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,

4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,

5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

I’m not sure that implementing Titus 2:3-5 should necessarily look like one “older” woman teaching a group of “younger” ladies.  That is an area I’m still studying and working through.  But I am sure that it does entail more than just skills like cooking and caring for children.  Those skills are more suited to individual instruction anyway.  Why do I think “Titus 2” entails more than just skills?  Because verse 3 says “teach what is good” and then verse 5 ends with so “that the word of God may not be reviled” or in some versions “blasphemed.”  Most of us aren’t going to blaspheme by our cooking and housekeeping, maybe, but doubtful.  We blaspheme by our lives.

Also notice that back in verse 1 of Titus 2 it begins with Paul’s instruction to Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine”.  We as women don’t pay much attention to this verse because it is Paul instructing Titus as a pastor.  But it does apply to us also.

Titus 2:1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

If you’ve worked with horses you will understand the term “sound” here.  Sound means healthy.  A horse is sound when it is not hindered in gait, fully healthy in its legs, able to do all it was intended to do.  Is your doctrine sound, healthy and good, does it enable you to glorify God in all you do?

The expressions “sound doctrine” in verse 1 and “teacher of good things” in verse 3 are actually more closely related then you might think.

sound doctrine” is healthy teaching or instruction – didaskalia

teacher of good things” is teacher of the right – kalodidaskalos

Notice from the Greek base word we get our word didactic, which means:

1. Intended to instruct. Or   2. Morally instructive.

Both of the Greek words encompass teaching good or healthy things.  Healthy doesn’t mean in a nutrition sort of way but in the sense used in Matthew 6:22, a spiritual sense:

Matthew 6:22-23 (ESV)

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,

23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

So as women we are to teach what accords with sound doctrine and teach what is good so that God’s Word is not blasphemed.  Those go together.  They can’t be separated; sound doctrine is good and if it is good it is sound doctrine. 

Next we will look at Do Women, Wives and Mothers Really Even Need Doctrine?


For the full series of posts in order click below:

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Do Women, Wives and Mothers Really Even Need Doctrine?

We as women, wives, mothers, daughters don’t really need to worry about doctrine, right? Doctrine is for preachers and those in Seminary.  Doctrine is what the men sit and discuss after church while we clean up.  We, as women, don’t have time or the need to discuss doctrine.

Or do we?

Not sure?

Ever heard these ideas or even thought them yourself?

Doctrine is something that we should leave up to the men to learn; there is no point in my trying to understand such deep subjects.

It would be usurping male authority for us to focus on things like doctrine when we have homes to manage and children to raise.

Doctrine isn’t practical; we as women need the real, nitty-gritty, everyday stuff.

Evangelism is more important than Doctrine. {This point got a lot of discussion because several ladies have heard this used recently.  Evangelism is very important but without the right doctrine you just may end up evangelizing people to be very good Mormons or Catholics.  Right Biblical Doctrine matters.}

There isn’t enough time to spare for studying Biblical doctrine when there are meals to cook, diapers to change, and school to teach.

Some of us may have even been in churches that have taught us to not “worry our pretty little heads about such deep matters” leave the serious Bible Study up to the men “as God intended it.”

 

First we will look at why doctrine is important for women no matter what stage in life they find themselves in.  Next we’ll look at what the Bible says about doctrine.  Then after that we will look at some Biblical examples of women depending on correct doctrine.

Now you may be wondering, oh, no, here she goes off into the five Solas, the points of Calvinism or transubstantiation…..

No, I’m not going there, although you might find each of those to be very valuable areas of doctrine to study, at some point. We’ll start off with areas that impact our lives and my hope is to get each one of you so excited about studying God’s Word that it will seem to be all you can talk about and that it will affect the way you live your life each day.  To create a burning fire that you can’t hold in just like Jeremiah.  This is Jeremiah speaking of his talking about God.

Jeremiah 20:9 If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.


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Doctrine?

All this talk of doctrine, so what exactly is doctrine?

Doctrine is any teaching or set of beliefs.

Generally though in the Church, doctrine is the teaching of Scriptures.  That can range from as simple as “Jesus Loves Me” to end times, eschatology, and everything in between.  So you can see there is a wide range of depth from simple to deep.  If you’ve ever taught a preschooler “Jesus Loves Me” then you’ve taught doctrine.  Nevertheless, it is very important to have right doctrine.  Doctrine also explains the meaning of the words we use in church such as salvation, regeneration, repentance.   The doctrine we at NCBC espouse for Salvation is different from the doctrine of the Mormon Church, even if we both use the same word Salvation. { see http://www.contenderministries.org/mormonism/know.php  Don’t really know anything about this site beyond this one page which explains Salvation in Mormonism.  So use caution.} If we don’t understand the differences we can’t effectively communicate with them.  Doctrine is necessary in order to have a right view of God.

A.W. Tozer said in The Knowledge of the Holy:

It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate.”

According to John MacArthur:

Doctrine matters. What you believe about God, the gospel, the nature of man, and every major truth addressed in Scripture filters down to every area of your life. You and I will never rise above our view of God and our understanding of His Word.

Joshua Harris in Why We Need Doctrine:

Doctrine can never take the place of Jesus himself, but we can’t know him and relate to him in the right way without doctrine. This is because doctrine not only tells us what God has done but what his actions mean to us.

Often though we don’t realize how important doctrine is because we don’t recognize doctrine when we hear it or even think it.  Everyone, absolutely everyone, even an atheist, has doctrine as the foundation to their thinking and living.  Every culture has at its core doctrine. That is why “culture” is not morally neutral. The real question is what doctrine? Biblical doctrine or Satan’s doctrine?  There aren’t any other doctrines.

1 John 3:10 (ESV) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

 

Oh, we can label Satan’s doctrine by many different labels.  You’ll recognize these.

False doctrine

Worldliness

Feminism

Humanism

Socialism

Communism

Notice how many end in –ism?   What does –ism mean?  A distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice.

But most doctrines aren’t so clearly labeled for us.  Wouldn’t that make things so much easier if they were?  Such that if when you read or heard an idea, up would pop a banner “This is Feminism“, “This is Socialism” or “This is of Satan”.  However, those are the easy ones to recognize.  The hard ones are those that you’ve been raised with or learned through out life.  Or even those that you hear as an adult and you think, “You know that does make sense, I see that, I see how that can be.”  Some of us have been taught false doctrine even in seemingly sound churches.  When we fill our minds and renew them each day we will get to the point where what I call “red flags” will pop up when you hear false doctrine.  Filling our minds with right doctrine along with the leading of the Holy Spirit will help us to see the false doctrine.

My mother was a single mom who had divorced several times.  Growing up there was a picture on our wall.  The picture said “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”  The picture showed a fish riding a bike.  Cute right?  She thought so.  But she didn’t realize she was teaching doctrine.  What doctrine?  The doctrine of Feminism.

It is very easy to be swayed by false doctrine by spending too much time with it.  How do we spend too much time with false doctrine?  Media of all kinds is one of today’s most insidious means of spreading false doctrine.  The music we hear, the books we read, the movies we watch and the TV we watch all impart doctrine.  Even the internet imparts doctrine?  Take a guess at whose doctrine is most easily found? ….  Satan’s.

Vance Havner said:

It is possible to fraternize with unbelievers until false doctrine becomes less and less objectionable.

If you have children or grandchildren are they spending time hearing Satan’s doctrine in their media choices?  At their activities away from you?  With their friends?

John Stott said:

Good conduct arises out of good doctrine.

 

1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) Do not be deceived:  “Bad company ruins good morals.”

 

Are you hearing Satan’s doctrine so regularly such that you are becoming desensitized to it?

Everyone’s heard the frog analogy where you cannot put a frog in boiling water because it will jump out but you can put a frog in cool water and gradually turn up the heat and it will stay right there.  We do the same things to ourselves, maybe a movie or TV show has one instance of using the Lord’s name in vain and then a few weeks later the next movie might only have two or three objectionable words.  Before you know it we have become desensitized and we don’t even notice them unless some else points them out to us.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series

 


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So How Does Doctrine Impact Our Lives?

So how does doctrine impact our lives in ways we may not even imagine?

Listen to these examples of bad doctrine:  {We didn’t cover this section very well at the Titus 2 meeting because it generated lots of discussion.  Plan to go over these in the future in more depth.}

  • I just have poor self-esteem.  (Our esteem or self-worth comes from Christ and not from ourselves, if we have poor self-esteem we are actually thinking too highly of ourselves and too lowly of Christ.)
  • That is just being a two-year old, a teenager, a pregnant moma or a senior adult.  (Excusing sin due to one’s station in life.)
  • We aren’t responsible for our child’s Salvation or even we are responsible for our child’s Salvation.  (God is Sovereign and while we are responsible for our training of our children and our obedience to God’s Word, God is not going to withhold Salvation or grant Salvation depending on us as a parent jumping through the right hoops at the right time.)
  • I can’t help it if that hurt my feelings.  (Feelings are a choice; we can choose to overlook an offense.)
  • If moma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.  (Selfishness is a sin, even in momas.)
  • I just can’t forgive myself.  (Who are we to pretend to have higher standards than God? If He says He will forgive all your sins, then why can’t you?)
  • If only ….  (Discontentment.)
  • Depression runs in my family, I just can’t help it.  (We are not slaves to our up-bringing.  We can, through the Lord’s help, overcome our sinful tendency to focus on ourselves.)
  •  I would never do that ….  (Self-righteous judgement.)
  •  I’ll work on being the Proverbs 31 woman when the Lord gives me a husband and children.  (We should strive daily to implement all the Lords commands and instructions despite our circumstances.)
  •  I need a new  ….  (We should be content with our food, clothing and shelter, all else is wants, not needs.)
  •  I didn’t deserve to be treated like that.  (We don’t deserve anything but judgement.)
  • There’s no hope.  (There is always hope as long as you are a believer.  If you are not a believer than the Lord will give you a hope and a future when you seek Him with all your heart.)

 

All of these statements are affected by doctrine.  They are all evidences of Satan’s doctrine, worldly doctrine, false doctrine, bad doctrine; whatever label you want to give it.  But the Bible has the answers to all of these.  God’s Word is sufficient for all godliness and for all living.  It was written for our instruction.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

 

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, …

 

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

 

God has provided all we need to be trained in righteousness, to be thoroughly equipped for all good works, which we were foreordained for according to Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Everything for life and godliness.  So if God has provided abundantly all we need to know, why then do we struggle with false doctrine?  Well, of course, the simple answer is sin, any new believer, or even one of our children, can answer that.  But really, why is false doctrine so embedded in the life of everyone, even those of us in the church?


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series

 


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Why Do Women Often Fall Prey to False Doctrine?

There is a clear Biblical answer why women often fall prey to false doctrine but it isn’t gonna make you feel better about it.  Actually it is painful to think about.  This is Paul writing to Timothy about issues in the church

I’m going share two verses from a multitude of translations just so you can get the full effect and meaning.

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. ESV

 

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. KJV

 

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,

7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. NKJV

 

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,

7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. NIV

 

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.

7 [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. AMP

 

Weak, silly, gullible, weak-willed, weak-natured, spiritually dwarfed women.

Literally the Greek translation is “little women” and it isn’t talking about size.

Ouch!


For the full series of posts in order click below:

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Points to Ponder About the Importance of Doctrine

1. Do you recognize any doctrine which affects your thinking that is contrary to Scripture?

 

2. How might your doctrine be affected by outside influences such as media choices or friends?

 

3. Are your children or grandchildren being affected by false doctrine in their media, friends or activities?

 

4. Do you recognize false doctrine when you hear it? Do you feel uneasy about things you hear but can’t quite point out the problem?

 

5. Think about how the following verses may or may not apply to you. Are you a weak woman when it comes to Biblical doctrine?

2 Tim 3:6-7
6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. ESV

 

6. How are you strengthening yourself to stand against those who want to creep in and capture you and your family? Have you barred the front door while the back door stands open? How might you have unintentionally invited them in?

 


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Silly Weak-Natured Spiritually Dwarfed Women

Silly Weak-Natured Spiritually Dwarfed Women

We started the discussion on Doctrine and Renewing the Attitudes of Our Heart with Titus 2:3-5 and we left off with 2 Timothy 3:6-7 which I posted in several versions.  Here are two of them again.

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. ESV

 

2 Tim 3:6-7

6 For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.

7 [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. AMP

 

Remember those weak, silly, gullible, weak-willed, weak-natured, spiritually dwarfed women we talked about? Hope you’ve had some time to think about these verses over the past month.  None of us would want the Lord to call us any of those names.

Paul seems rather harsh here, but Paul’s writings are inspired by God.  That is what God told him to write.  However, many women have issues with Paul.  I’ve even heard women in the church bad mouth Paul saying he hated women while the preacher just let it slide by.  Paul doesn’t hate women.  Paul has equally harsh things to say about men.  Just women tend to let their emotions cloud everything they hear.  In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul even commends Timothy’s mother and grandmother for their teaching of Timothy as a child.

2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

So we need to strive to not be weak women but commendable like Timothy’s mother and grandmother.  We need to not let ourselves be taken captive by false doctrine.

So who creeps into households to make captives?

All we have to do is look backwards to see to whom Paul is referring.

2 Timothy 3:2-5 (ESV)

2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,

4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.  Avoid such people.

Paul then says in verse 6 that among the above listed people are those who worm their way into homes to make captive weak women.

2 Timothy 3: 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

Most of those descriptions in 2 Timothy 3:2-4 are very easy to understand.

Lovers of self

Lovers of money

Proud

Arrogant

Abusive

Disobedient to their parents

Ungrateful

Unholy

Heartless,

Unappeasable, (greedy, Ravenous, like teenage boys at supper time…)

Slanderous,

Without self-control,

Brutal,

Not loving good,

Treacherous,

Reckless,

Swollen with conceit,

Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god,

These are those who worm their way into households capturing weak women.

 


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Appearance of Godliness But Denying Its Power

We could probably all name someone who fits each description in 2 Timothy 3:2-4.  There are many, many unbelieving people who live lives exhibiting such sin.  They need the gospel yet we aren’t to judge them.  We can’t expect Unbelievers to live as Believers should.  We are told not to judge unbelievers in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, God will judge them.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (ESV)

12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

We are to share the hope of the gospel with unbelievers.

Yet we are told to judge those in the church.

1 Corinthians 5:12b Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

Not only judge, but to even purge the evil person from among us.  Who might that be? Paul tells us about some evil people in Timothy 3.

Let us look at 2 Timothy 3 verse 5, it adds a little different twist to who the people in verses 2-4 are.

2 Timothy 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.  Avoid such people.

That is a tough concept.  Appearance of godliness without the power.  What does that mean?  These people appear for all intents and purposes to be very godly.  That means they fulfill the religious expectations placed on them.  They may be part of a church. They may be baptized. They appear to serve the Lord.  Yet there is still a lack; a lack of power.   They are hollow shell “Christians” who will easily break under pressure.  Just like those hollow Chocolate Easter Bunnies there is nothing to them and they crack under pressure.

When a man is a Christian in name only, and not in reality–in outward things only, and not in his inward feelings–in profession only, and not in practice–when his Christianity in short is a mere matter of form, or fashion, or custom, without any influence on his heart or life- -in such a case as this the man has what I call a “formal religion.”  He possesses indeed the “form,” or shell, or surface of religion, but he does not possess its substance or its “power.”

Formal religion pleases the natural laziness of man.  It attaches an excessive importance to that which is the easiest part of Christianity- -the shell and the form.  Man likes this.  He hates exertion in religion.  He wants something which will not meddle with his conscience and inner life.  Only leave his conscience alone, and, it will want to do works or actions.  Formalism seems to open a wider gate, and a more easy way to heaven.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) in FORMALISM.

 

Now let us look again at those people described in 2 Timothy 3:2-4, that whole list is people who are maybe in the church appearing godly and yet without the power.  It could include anyone of us sitting here.  They look good on the outside but inside are rotten hollow corpses.  Since they have an appearance of godliness then it would appear that the sinful characteristics listed in verses 2-4 are not real blatant such that you would instantly see them.  They may even be the more hidden sins of the heart which often are only revealed during stress or sometimes in their speech.  Yet generally they appear godly.

They are like the scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked.

Matthew 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Matthew 23:27-28

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.

28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

They look clean on the outside but the inside is full of filth.

Who is the ultimate example of this?

Judas Iscariot.  Often children think that Judas was some monster, that he was this obviously horrible person.  But that is false he wasn’t obviously horrible and deceiving.  He appeared to be godly. He was one of twelve chosen by Jesus to be one of his disciples.  Judas went out with the disciples casting out demons and healing people (Matthew 10:5-8).  Judas was so apparently “godly” that the disciples trusted him with the money bag (John 13:29).  The disciples weren’t even concerned when Judas left during the last supper.  Yet we see that Judas was lacking in true godliness.

We aren’t left having no clue who are the true Christians and who are the fakes.  We are told you will recognize them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-23

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.

18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.

19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’

23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

There will be those who have a form of godliness who are eager to lead you astray if you will let them. They often seem so nice and holy in the process of leading others astray.  To guard against being made captive to false doctrine you must fill your heart with true Biblical Doctrine so that you can recognize the false doctrine.

We are to be like the Bereans and examine everything we hear in light of Scripture.

Acts 17:10-12 (ESV)

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.
11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.

Don’t take anything that you are taught without examining it according to Scripture.  Don’t take anything I’ve said without examining to see if it is correct.  Don’t take anything a pastor says, not even a MacArthur, Piper or Sproul, without examining it to see if it is correct according to Scripture.  Paul even tells the Galatian church to examine his teaching and make sure he isn’t teaching a different gospel from previously.

Galatians 1: 6-9

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

So if an Angel was to appear right here and tell us that all religions lead to Christ as long as the person is sincere, that would be contrary to Scripture and we are to reject it even if from an Angel.


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Creeps Creeping In

These people who have an appearance of Godliness without the Power (2 Timothy 3:5) creep in.  They don’t come boldly teaching false doctrine but they creep into households.  They come in the back door.

2 Timothy 3:6-7 (ESV)

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Paul also warns the Galatians of these false brothers slipping in secretly to try to pervert the truth.

Galatians 2:4-5 (ESV)

4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Paul isn’t the only one warning about those who creep in to distort the truth. Peter also warns about them.

2 Peter 2:1 (ESV) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Jude warns about them also.

Jude 4 (ESV) For certain people have crept in unnoticed  who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert  the grace of our God into sensuality and  deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

We cannot let our guard down for an instant.  They are out to capture weak women.  Capture is used in the sense of leading away captives like the Israelites to Babylon.  Like slaves.

We are to make every thought captive to Christ and are not to allow ourselves to be carried away captive by peddlers of false doctrine.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 (ESV)

5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

2 Peter 3:17 (ESV) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

Colossians 2:8 (ESV) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

Today though we don’t have to have these false teachers physically come into our homes to take us captive, see we often invite them in through the TV or through the books we read or even the music we hear.  We let images and ideas in through seemingly innocuous, (harmless), means such as media.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we can handle peddlers of false doctrine as long as they are not physically present.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Weak Women Taken Captive

2 Timothy 3:6-7 (ESV)

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

“Weak women” – gunaikária – this word is hard to arrive at exactly what Paul is referring to here because this word is only used in this passage of the Bible.  An Englishman’s search won’t reveal any other usage.  So we since we can’t find other verses to explain this passage we will have to look closer at what this verse itself tells us about the weak women.

Weak women are “burdened with sins”.  Burdened here means heaped up, piled up or loaded up.  If you went through the Pilgrim’s Progress Bible study with us previously you would remember how Christian was carrying a burden through the beginning of the book. But upon obtaining salvation Christian’s burden rolled away into the empty tomb and was seen no more.  Then we discussed how Christian’s burden wasn’t just his sin, because others sinned and didn’t carry around burdens.   Christian’s burden was the guilt of his sins which weighed on him.  As believers we aren’t to be carrying a burden of sin guilt around with us.  We are to repent and seek forgiveness for our sins.  Then we are to live as forgiven and thankful children.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

We lay aside our burdens and trust in Christ who has finished the work of Salvation for us.

Psalms 32:1-5 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

 

1 John 1:9 (ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

 

Not only are “weak women” burdened by sin, they are also led astray by various passions – tossed to and fro by every idle wind of doctrine.

Ephesians 4:14 (ESV)  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

“Weak women” are always learning and never arriving at the truth.  They are always seeking the newest and best way to live.  You know that miraculous home management program so that you can get everything done with minimal effort.  The newest homeschool curriculum which will teach the children everything in 10 easy steps or maybe it is the “oldies but goodies”, going back to the curriculum our founding fathers used for their children.  The church even often offers up quite a selection of fads to choose from.

The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life

Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth am I Here For?

“Weak women” are not content with doing the hard work that being godly, raising children, homeschooling, teaching, working or even Bible study requires.   They will latch onto every new fad that comes along.

Godliness in 10 easy steps.

Wheat grass juice will cure your every ill.

The Magic Step to flat abs.

Always learning but never arriving at truth – MacArthur doesn’t mince words here speaking of “weak women”.

Sin and lack of discernment neutralized their ability to apprehend God’s truth. If they have been reared in the church, they are especially susceptible to ideas that purport to be Christian. But their ignorance of Scripture and their sinful living make them utterly undiscerning and defenseless against unbiblical and ungodly precepts. They are continually learning about everything except the knowledge of the truth. Because legalism deals only in outward performance, it is very attractive. Many such women, and men as well, are glad to find a way that promises to make them right with God simply by adhering to certain outward forms and conforming to certain behavioral standards.

John MacArthur, in 2 Timothy Commentary

What is the truth?  Of course, it is God’s Word.  Always learning about “Christianity” but never actually learning from Scripture.  Some churches are like that now themselves.  Always studying all kinds of books but never really studying the Bible.  Looking for the “magic” Bible verse that will answer all your questions.

What is the “knowledge of the truth”?  Knowing the Bible would be the average person’s first response.  Yet we have an even better explanation in the Bible.  Paul uses this phrase repeatedly in his epistles.

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV)

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

 

Titus 1:1 (ESV) Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

 

Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV)

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Charles Spurgeon on “Knowledge of the Truth”

It is the truth which saves. Jesus Christ is the truth: the whole testimony of God about Christ is the truth. The work of the Holy Ghost in the heart is to work in us the truth.”

Knowledge of the Truth isn’t just knowledge of some truth or knowledge of some doctrine; it is personal life changing knowledge of the salvation of Jesus Christ.

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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