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So What do We Do?

Paul doesn’t leave us here as weak women, but he tells us what to do. Follow his teaching of Scripture.  Scripture is able to make you wise for Salvation through faith in Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

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.

 

We are to follow the teaching of Paul and the Scripture to keep ourselves from being weak women taken captive by false teaching.

Next month we will look more specifically at what God’s Word says about doctrine.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Points to Ponder about Weak Women and Creeping Creeps

1. What characteristics listed in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 are issues which you struggle with?

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.

 

 

2. Have you known people who appeared godly and yet broke and revealed they were just hollow shelled “Christians” who had an appearance of godliness without the power?

 

 

3. Have you known false teachers in the church (even the church at large) who have tried to take away the weak with false teaching? What are some ways in which you guard yourself and your family from falling for these false teachers?

 

 

4. Are you a “weak woman” tossed about by every wind of doctrine that comes your way?

 

 

5. What are some false doctrines that you have fallen far? Are there other false doctrines that you’ve recognized and were able to spot the false teaching by being Berean?

 

 

6. What doctrines do you see a need for more Biblical understanding and teaching on?

 

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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What Does God’s Word Say About Doctrine?

Last month in studying doctrine we left off with Paul’s solution to being taken captive to false doctrine in 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

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.

Paul commends Timothy for following his teaching.  Then he encourages Timothy to continue in all he has learned.  Finally Paul wraps up with the two of the most memorized verses about the Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Then in the next chapter Paul commends Timothy again about sound doctrine.  You think Paul thinks sound doctrine is important?

1 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV)

6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

 

Timothy not only has been learning directly from Paul but he learned from the sacred writings, meaning our Old Testament, from his childhood.  Even the Old Testament is able to make us “wise for salvation through faith” verse 15.

While the word Doctrine is not used much in the Old Testament, there are several other names for doctrine.

Truth

Psalms 25:5 (ESV) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalms 119:160 (ESV) The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Precepts

Psalms 119:93 (ESV) I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Teaching

Proverbs 4:2 (ESV) for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.

Instruction

Proverbs 19:20 (ESV) Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Statutes

Ezra 7:10 (ESV) For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Those are just a sampling of the verses in the Old Testament concerning doctrine.  There are many, many more to be found in the New Testament along with warnings against falling for different doctrines.

 



For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Warnings About Different Doctrines

The New Testament is full of warnings to not fall for different doctrines.

Romans 16:17 (ESV) I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

 

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.

 

Hebrews 13:9 (ESV)  Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.

 

We are warned to not teach other doctrines.

1 Timothy 1:3 (ESV) As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine,

 

Titus 1:10-11 (ESV)

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.

11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.

 

We are warned to not listen to those who do teach different doctrines.

1 Timothy 6:3-4a (ESV)

3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,
4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.

 

We are to handle God’s Word carefully.

2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker  who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

 

Our church leaders are to be able to teach sound doctrine.  In speaking of elders, Paul says they are to be able to teach sound doctrine.

Titus 1:9 (ESV) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

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

 

Our lives are to adorn God’s doctrine.  That is an interesting concept – adorn.

Titus 2:10 (ESV) not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Our lives should shine before others and be a reflection of our Lord. (Matthew 5:16)  We are to shine as lights in a dark world.  (Phil 2:15)  That is how we can adorn God’s Word.

Can you think of other ways?

 

We are to mature beyond the basics.

Hebrews 6:1 (ESV) Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Never should we be content in remaining stationary in our faith.  We should strive for more and more maturity.

 

All manner of sin is contrary to sound doctrine.

1 Timothy 1:8-11 (ESV)

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,
10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series

 


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Perspicuity

Some people get intimidated when they hear other people discussing doctrine or theology.  You do not have to have a Bible degree in order to understand Biblical Doctrine.

Perspicuity is a word that is not found in the Bible, just like the word Trinity, but the concept is throughout the Bible.  Acts 17:11 supports the concept of perspicuity.  Speaking of the Bereans Luke says:

Acts 17:11 (ESV) 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.

Perspicuity of Scripture is the belief that everything pertaining to salvation and godliness is understandable to the common man when the Lord opens his eyes.  While the word perspicuity may be new to you, most of us do actually believe in Perspicuity of Scripture.  Unlike Roman Catholics most Protestants believe that we can read and study the Bible ourselves without the need of a priest or preacher to interpret it to us.

Charles Hodge wrote that:

“Protestants hold that the Bible, being addressed to the people, is sufficiently perspicuous to be understood by them, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and that they are entitled and bound to search the Scripture, and to judge for themselves what is its true meaning.”

Because of Perspicuity of Scripture:

Scripture imparts understanding to the simple.

Psalms 119:130 (ESV) The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Scripture serves as a light to uncover the darkness.

Psalms 119:105 (ESV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Scripture explains Salvation.

2 Timothy 3:15 (ESV) and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Parents can teach Scripture to their children.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV)

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Children can understand Scripture.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Because of Perspicuity of Scripture we at NCBC want our children to worship with us and to glean from every teaching of God’s Word.  Children grasp much more than we give them credit for.

Scripture is the test for all beliefs.

Acts 17:11 (ESV) 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.

However perspicuity does not mean that every portion of Scripture is equally understandable.  Even Peter had trouble understanding Paul.

2 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV)

15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Perspicuity does not mean we do not need teachers (1 Tim 3:2) but it does mean we can and should test everything we hear. (Acts 17:11, 1 Thess 5:21)

Even 1 Corinthians 2:14 does not mean Scripture is too hard for laymen.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

This verse doesn’t mean that Scripture is too hard or unclear but it means it will only truly be understood when the Holy Spirit reveals the spiritual nature of the Scriptures.  That doesn’t happen instantly, often you will read and read a passage and then much later find the Holy Spirit has really revealed the truth even when you thought you understood before.

Perspicuity also means that we as individuals are personally responsible for maturing our faith through Scripture and the Holy Spirit.  We cannot blame the church, our parents, or others for our failure to examine the Scriptures daily to see what is true. (Acts 17:11)


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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But So What?

All this discussion about Biblical doctrine does no good if we do not take what we learn and apply it to our lives.  We have several times in the NT when sound teaching and doctrine are said to lead to godliness.

1 Timothy 6:3 (ESV) If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,

Teaching that accords with godliness.

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,

Knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness.

All the doctrine and knowledge in the world will do us no good unless it brings us to godliness.  Our Biblical knowledge should be conforming us to the image of Christ.

Romans 8:29 (ESV) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

If we are not seeing noticeable growth in our lives and becoming more Christ like we are not applying the doctrine we learn to our lives.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)

7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Godliness is of value in every way for our present and for our future.  We are to be training ourselves for godliness.  Training – gumnazo – same root as our gymnasium, it means to train or exercise.  Training and exercising aren’t easy.  They take hard work.  We need to work at applying the doctrine we do learn to our lives so we can become more godly and Christ like.

 



For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Points to Ponder on Doctrine in the Scriptures

1. Do you know more OT verses concerning doctrine? (Hint – Psalm 119)

 

 

2. With so many NT warnings about falling for false doctrine we as believers need to be ever alert to false doctrine. What are some ways that false doctrine can easily infiltrate our lives without us being aware?

 

 

3. Is your life adorning the gospel and doctrine of the Lord? Can you think of folks whose lives adorn the gospel?

 

 

4. Is the idea of Perspicuity of Scripture new to you? Do you find that freeing to know that Scripture is written for the common man and even the simple can grasp and understand enough for Salvation?

 

 

5. How has studying the Scripture changed the godliness in your life? Have you seen growth in maturity and in godliness over the last few months? Are you growing or stagnating?


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Adorn the Doctrine of God

Last month in looking at the verses about Doctrine in the New Testament we discussed for a moment the verses in Titus 2:9-10.

Titus 2:9-10 (ESV)

9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

While we discussed the phrase “adorn the doctrine of God”, we didn’t look very deeply into what that really means.  So let’s go back and look more closely at what exactly that phrase means.  We can give our own ideas and suggestions but unless we really look at what the Bible says we may be just sharing our fallen human opinions.

Our natural inclination when we think of “adorn the Doctrine” is to think of what we can do to make God’s doctrine more appealing to unbelievers.   However, in studying this phrase I came to the realization that we don’t do anything to “adorn” beyond put off our old self and let the Lord adorn us. Thus we then reflect back to others our adornment from the Lord.  We can’t make the perfect doctrine of God more appealing to others, but we sure can make it less appealing.  God’s Doctrine will remain just as beautiful, perfect and effective no matter what our lives are like.  However, we as believers are to “adorn” the doctrine with our character.  Sorta like a frame displaying a wonderful picture or the spot light on the picture.  We aren’t the picture nor should we doctor up or edit the picture – just display the perfect picture.

There are many different directions we could go in order to study what “adorn the doctrine of God” means, but I’m going to start with the context of the passage it is found in – Titus 2:1-10.

Titus 2:1-10 (ESV)

1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
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.
6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,
8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Now if you are like my kids, you might would say ‘oh, no, not that passage again’.  We all know it so well and not only that but we’ve covered it some over the past few months.  But look with me again and see what I’ve learn just recently.

We started looking at this Titus 2 passage when we were looking at sound doctrine.

Titus 2:1 – “Sound doctrine”

Titus 2:3 – “Teach what is good”

Titus 2:7-8 – “In your teaching show integrity, dignity and sound speech”

Paul is very clear to Titus about how important it is to teach sound doctrine.  Even in chapter 1 Paul is stressing sound doctrine.

Titus 1:9 (ESV) … be able to give instruction in sound doctrine …

 


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Why Must We Teach Sound Doctrine?

Why must we teach sound doctrine? Paul answers it for us in the same passage of Titus 2:1-10.

Titus 2:5 … that the word of God may not be reviled.

Titus 2:8 (ESV) and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Titus 2:10 (ESV) not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

The verses in Titus 2:5 and Titus 2:8 are both given in the negative in that sound doctrine is necessary so that God’s Word is not reviled, condemned or spoken evil of.  Yet in Titus 2:10 the same idea is given in a positive sense – adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

We are often guilty of breaking up these verses in Titus 2:1-10 into the component parts and saying this applies to women and that applies to men.  I’ve been guilty of that myself.  If you were to see my Bible program right here you would see my highlighting.  Green for general principles, pink for instructions to women and blue for instructions to men, makes sense to me.

But if we do that then we could easily just ignore Titus 2:9-10 because those verses were written to slaves, right?

Nevertheless, we can’t be so fast to dismiss a passage as not applying to us.  There are several different reasons we need to focus on this passage even for women.

Employee / Employer

This is the usual manner in which Titus 2:9-10 is studied.  It is hard to deny the correlation between master / slave and employer / employee.  While we in today’s USA think we do not have to worry about slavery, we can’t go around naïvely thinking that the Bible was written just to us in our time period or that slavery may not ever affect us.  There are people all through the world who deal with slavery.  Nevertheless, in the employer / employee relationship we do have much more freedom and choice in the matter than with slavery, yet with freedom comes much responsibility.  So yes, this passage does apply to us in our work.

Character Qualities

The character qualities in Titus 2:1-10 apply to all believers.   This is an interesting study all on its own.  But here are just a couple of examples.

Sober-minded

 Titus 2:2 (ESV) Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

But we find a verse elsewhere in one of Paul’s letters that show women are to be sober-minded.

1 Timothy 3:11 (ESV) Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.

So see sober-mindedness applies to both men and women.

Dignified

Titus 2:2 (ESV) Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

Remember that verse in 1 Timothy also said women must be dignified.

1 Timothy 3:11 (ESV) Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.

Notice how dignified applies to all believers male and female alike.  Thus we can’t just negate the passage that refers to slaves as not applying to us.

The character qualities in Titus 2:1-10 really apply across the board to each believer.  The specifics in how they are displayed maybe different but the actual character qualities are the same.

 

Slaves of Christ

We as believers are slaves of Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:22 (ESV) For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.

Ephesians 6:5-8 (ESV)

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

The word in verse 5 translated slaves is the same word in verse 6 translated servants and also the same word in verse 8 translated as slave.  For some reason servant is often used instead of the more accurate slave.  MacArthur suggests that it was a translation cover-up due to the negative connotations to the word slave.  An interesting book to read concerning believers as slaves to Christ is John MacArthur’s book  Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

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What Can We Learn About “Adorn” From the Bible?

Titus 2:9-10 (ESV)

9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,

10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

 

Titus 2:10 (NIV) and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

 

Titus  2:10 (AMP) Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior.

 

The phrase “adorn the doctrine of God” doesn’t appear anywhere else just like that so we have to break it apart even more.

“Doctrine of God our Savior” is very easily understood.  We’ve already studied what is meant by doctrine which is teaching or instruction – teaching of God our Savior.  God our Savior also expressly points out that Jesus Christ, our Savior, is God.  No point debating that – it is clear.

The word for adorn is Kosmeo which is often translated as adorn, garnish or trim.  Any idea what word we get from this Greek word?

Cosmetic

Kosmos is also a related word meaning “orderly arraignment” and is used often for world.

We can look up the other uses of the word Kosmeo in the Bible to get a broader meaning of the word.

 

Put in Order

Matthew 12:44 (ESV) Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.

Luke 11:25 (ESV) And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.

Decorate

Matthew 23:29-30 (ESV)

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,

30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

Trimmed – to remove excess, make neat or to tidy

Matthew 25:7 (ESV) Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

Adorn is the most common usage.

Luke 21:5-6 (ESV)

5 And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,

6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

 

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (ESV)

8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

1 Peter 3:5-6 (ESV)

5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands,

6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

 

Revelation 21:2 (ESV) And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 

Revelation 21:19-20 (ESV)

19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

 

So are we as believers are to put in order, decorate, trim and adorn the Gospel of the Lord?  That sorta implies we are to fix it up or make it look better than it does.  I don’t think so.

As we will see with the next few sections our adorning is not something we add to the Doctrine or the Gospel; it is our goal to not allow our manner of life to detract from it.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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