Category: Bible

Unity in Division


By Bob Picard, Pastor of God’s Grace Bible Church, Millbury, Massachusetts
info@godsgracebc.org www.godsgracebc.org

Unity and Community, Community and Unity:  These are popular buzzwords in “Christianity Today.”  I’m referring to the “church” in general, not the magazine, though the magazine is actually an accurate depiction of Christianity today.

There is true unity in only the Lord Jesus Christ.  Yet, this true unity actually creates division.  But, “Bob, that is absolutely oxymoronic!” Let me explain, in the next few minutes, why it’s not.  It is a Biblical fact.

True unity is focused on one Book – the BIBLE!

I still enjoy singing the old children’s song, “The Bible.”

“The B I B L E, Yes, that’s the book for me.  I stand ALONE on the Word of God, the B I B L E (now, everyone shout) the BIBLE!”

The B.I.B.L.E.

Come on now.  You still love to hear, and sing, this little ditty!  But, is your church, or you yourself, practicing this Truth, which is plain, and simple, enough that even a small child can understand it?

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 3:15 KJV

Young Pastor Timothy was exhorted by the Apostle Paul to stick with the Scriptures (and, he did not have the entire canon available to him at the time).  It is the Scriptures which make one wise unto Salvation…

This Salvation is not actually about saving faith, or justification..  It is faith in Jesus Christ – Him, and His work of redemption alone, that initially makes one positionally saved, also known as “justification,’ or being declared righteous by God.  “Unto Salvation,” here in 2 Timothy 3:15, encapsulates progressive sanctification and glorification.  Sanctification being how we live our lives while on this earth.  Glorification is the final state of being when we, as Christians, receive a new, glorious body – like Christ’s.  

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. [3] And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. – 1 John 3:2-3 KJV

Justification and Glorification are completely finished works.  They are guaranteed by Jesus.  Sanctification is everything in between the two. Having this future hope is what sanctifies, or purifies the Believer.  The only way for the Believer to grow in this sanctification is through the written Word of God.  That’s why it is important for the “church” to hold up the Bible, rather than any other thing, as the way of sanctification.

Much more can be said about this topic, but we’ll save that for another time.

Much of today’s church has turned away from the B I B L E, and turned to anything, and everything, except for the Bible.  The Bible unfortunately serves as mere window dressing in order to support the traditions and philosophies being promoted. 

Again, much more can be said about this topic, but we’ll also save that for another time.

This is nothing new.  It has been happening since the beginning of the Church began.  Paul warned the Ephesian elders:

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:27-31)

Things have only regressed since Paul spoke those words of warning.  Satan has caused division in the church by relegating the Holy Scriptures to a lower place of importance in the life of the church, as well as that of the believer.  Once the Bible is no longer of utmost importance the “church” is already divided.

Right from the start the Bible has been questioned.  Extra-Biblical sources have been “found” to discredit the Bible.  Yet, the Bible Stands!

The Bible stands like a rock undaunted

’Mid the raging storms of time;

Its pages burn with the truth eternal,

And they glow with a light sublime.

Refrain:

The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,

It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;

I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,

For the Bible stands.

The Bible stands like a mountain tow’ring

Far above the works of men;

Its truth by none ever was refuted,

And destroy it they never can.

The Bible stands and it will forever,

When the world has passed away;

By inspiration it has been given,

All its precepts I will obey.

The Bible stands every test we give it,

For its Author is divine;

By grace alone I expect to live it,

And to prove and to make it mine.

The “old doctrines” have all but disappeared.  They have been replaced by new.  Or, they are bathed in modern nuances, thus hiding real Scriptural Truth.  You will find many churches, and teachers, promoting a watered down message, using books by popular authors, rather than opening the BIBLE. More often than not these popular authors have learned from other popular authors, who had learned from other popular authors, who had already departed from the Scriptures. .  And, so on, and so on, and so on…  Their message has changed, similar to the old game of “Telephone.” Yet, they will call themselves Bible Believing Christians. 

You ask, “What can I do?”  As a Bible Believing Christian you actually have the responsibility to test everything you see, read, and hear, to the Word of God.  False teachers so often become false teachers because they are never challenged Scripturally, so they have a market for their ideas.  We must be as the Bereans today, and test everything according to the Scriptures:

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11)

This is just one area in which division has come to the church.  In future articles we’ll be looking at other areas of division that mask themselves as unity.

KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD


by Bob Picard, Pastor, God’s Grace Bible Church

There are many different ideas in the church today regarding the question, “How can I know the will of God?” Can you find the will of God by taking a “so called” spiritual gifts inventory? The short, and simple, answer is an emphatic, “No!”

You, and those around you, will begin to know your gifts, as you study, and grow in the grace of the Lord. CBD products can be bring a lot of good effects for your health, in this link https://ridzeal.com/why-cbd-gummy-bears-good-for-chronic-pain/ you can find some of the benefits from CBD

Another method of finding the will of God that is so prominent in Christianity today is that your dreams and desires can be answered by God. One common mantra of this movement is, “You have to dream God sized dreams in order for God to do His will.” This also is a false view, which really is the opposite of the true will of God

There are some that say that you must have “audacious,” or “adventurous” faith in order to know the will of God.

These things all sound like plausible arguments to the untrained new convert. Yet, trying to accomplish them is actually an impossible task.

The will of God, simply, is found by a consistent reading, studying and application of the Word of God, with the help of the Holy Spirit. In short; there are no magical shortcuts in determining His will. Simply put; when a Believer practices what is taught through the Word, he, or she, will begin to know what to do.

One of the first ways (along with reading, studying and applying) to know His will is church attendance. It’s amazing how many people are looking for a quick answer to knowing the will of God, yet they will not darken the doors of a local assembly. How can someone be in search of His will without partaking in the most basic tenet of the believer’s life? Dare I say it? But, would the same people miss their favorite television program, or sporting event? I’m just saying…

Secondly: How about the seemingly mundane things of everyday life?

I was on a missions trip to the Yucatan, in Mexico. At one of the village church buildings I noticed that their was litter strewn about the area in front of the building. I recommended (through an interpreter) to an elder of the church, that someone needed to clean the mess up. At first he was rather annoyed. But then later, in church service, he thanked me for pointing that out. You see; no one needs a specific “calling” from the Lord when it comes to normal, everyday things. Those everyday things, and how they are handled, show that one is growing in God’s will.

Another thing to think of is this: If you are employed, do your job as unto the Lord. When you carry out your job as the will of God, you are actually ministering to others. This is the will of God. If you are a husband, be a good husband. A wife? Be a good wife. A parent? Be a good parent. Attend to those everyday things as they were a vocation from the Lord. Do you know what? They are.

Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians sums it up:

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

I emphasize “study to be quiet” for a reason. It all comes down to growing in the Word of God. As a Christian does these things, he will become more confident in knowing the Lord, and His will. It is never God’s will to do anything which contradicts His written word. Sadly, I have heard people say that it is the Lord’s will to do things which I can not even mention here. The reason they “believe” that it is God’s will is because they do not believe that the Bible is THE source for knowing the will of God. Thus, their authority comes from things that are changeable. Ascribing truth to other authorities will simply lead to confusion, and deception.

Sadly, this is happening…

There is much ministry going on in many “churches,” but sadly, the Bible, rightly divided, is left out in the cold, and leaving believers out in the cold as well. So many movements are happening in the professing church, but the best movement we can strive for is to BRING THE BIBLE BACK INTO THE CHURCH!

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; 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 4:1-4)

In short; the life of a believer and the life of the church really needs to have their basis founded upon the Word of God – the sixty-six Books of the Bible, which have been preserved for us as the sole source of authority for doctrine. Trust it!