WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
DOES it matter what one believes, so long as he is sincere?
"God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
NOTE.—Doctrine affects the life. Truth leads to life and God; error to death and destruction. No one would think of saying it matters not what god one worships, so long as he is sincere, any more than he would think of saying it matters not what one eats or drinks, so long as he relishes what he eats and drinks; or what road he travels, so long as he thinks he is on the right road. Sincerity is a virtue; but it is not the test of sound doctrine. God wills that we shall know the truth, and He has made provision whereby we may know what is truth.
Did Joshua think it immaterial what god Israel served?
"Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity arid in truth: and put away the gods which your- fathers served on the, other side of the flood and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lard." Joshua 24:14, 15.
NOTE.—The influence of all idolatrous worship is degrading. (See Romans 1:21-32; Numbers 15; 1 Corinthians 10:20; 1 John 5:21.) What advice was given to Timothy while preparing for the gospel ministry? "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doc- trine. . . . Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine." 1 Tim- othy 4:13-16. What solemn charge was given him concerning his public work? "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appeai-ing and His kingdom; Preach the word; . . . reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuflering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:1, 2. 123
What similar instruction was given to Titus?
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:" "in all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shew- ing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity." Titus 2:1, 7.
WARNING AGAINST FALSE DOCTRINES
Of what kind of doctrines should we beware?
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." Ephesians 4:14. (See also Hebrews 13:9.)
What is a "wind of doctrine"?
"And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them." Jeremiah 5:13.
NOTE.—Calling a doctrine a wind of doctrine does not make it such. That is a wind of doctrine which is not sustained by the Word. of God.
What danger attends the teaching of false doctrine?
"Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrec- tion is past already; and overthrow the faith of some." 2 Timothy 2:18.
What kind of worship results from false teaching?
"But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the com- mandments of men." Matthew 15:9.
By what doctrines are some to be misled in the last days?
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doc- trines of devils." 1 Timothy 4:1. (See 2 Peter 2:1.)
To what would men turn their ears?
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doc- trine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
THE TEST OF TRUE AND FALSE
How may we determine the truthfulness of any doctrine? "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
By what should we test, or prove, all doctrine?
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.
NOTE.—The Bible is the test of all doctrine. Whatever does not harmonize and square with this, is not to be received. "There is but one standard of the everlastingly right and the everlastingly wrong, and that is the Bible."— T. DE WITT TALMACE.
For what is all scripture profitable?
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine." 2 Timothy 3:16.
What will sound doctrine enable the faithful teacher to do?
"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." Titus 1:9.
OUR PERSONAL ATTITUDE TOWARD TRUTH
Who are the disciples of Jesus, and what gracious work does the truth do for those who receive it?
"If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32.
Through what are they to be sanctified?
"Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth." John 17:17.
Can we close our ears to truth, and remain innocent before God?
"He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." Proverbs 28:9.
What did Christ say of those who will to do God's will?
"If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God, or whether I speak from Myself." John 7:17, R.V. (See also Psalms 25:9; John 8:12.)
RESULTS OF OUR CHOICE
What will God allow to came to those who reject truth?
"Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
What fate awaits blind teachers and their followers?
"Let them alone: they be. blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Matthew 15:14.
To whom will the gates of the heavenly city finally be opened? "Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in." Isaiah 26:2. (See also Revelation 22:14.)
TRUTH is the gem for which we seek, 0 tell us where shall it be found! For this we search, and pray, and weep, That truth may in our hearts abound.
We want the truth on every point. We want it all to practice by; Do thou, 0 Lord, our eyes anoint With a fresh unction from on high.
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