Unadulterated - No Lies, No Guesses, No Opinions

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, September 12, 2013 0 comments

One of the things I’ve noticed about myself, about some of my colleagues, and about humans in general over the last several years is that we don’t like to be without an answer. This is especially the case when we are in the position that we feel the answer is expected, whether that pressure is put on us by ourselves or by others. As I was traveling to the place I was the guest preacher this morning, I saw a sign on the side of a building just off the highway that read “Christ is the answer”. Almost immediately I was asking myself, “But what is the question”? Christ certainly is not the answer to every question in the world. However, he is the solution to our fleeting problems of this world, and he should be the answer to all questions related to the church, God’s Word, and our faith.

The difficulty that we face is that we love for things to be crystal clear, black and white. But not everything related to the church, His Word, and our faith is neatly packaged for us. So, what do we do when we need an answer and it’s not obvious? Well that, my friends, is the turning point when our faith either remains unadulterated or becomes impure. For some, the answers they do find in Scripture still are not obvious because they don’t seem to jive with what seems right to them, so they make up lies and declare them as truths. For others, the pressure to come up with answers forces them to guess based on limited knowledge or experience. And then there are those who simply value their own abilities to reason above seeking Christ, so they declare their opinions.

I believe that, to remain unadulterated, we must be willing to do away with lies, guesses, and opinions. We must be willing to accept that sometimes, there is no clear answer we can give others, except to encourage them to seek the Holy Spirit’s counsel through a relationship with Christ. Jesus Christ is the “Word that became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Even when things appear to be confusing in the written Word, the Holy Spirit is more than able to shed light on the truth. But, while there will be those times that an answer is not clear, there will also be times when all one has to do is search the Scriptures to find the truth. As believers, we must be knowledgeable in the Word so that we are prepared for questions. We must not leave this responsibility solely to “educated” teachers, for we never know when someone who is searching might approach one of us with a difficult situation looking for answers found in the written Word.

Speaking of the Word, one passage that has really been jumping out at me lately is found in 2 Timothy 4:1-5. You may not know this, but 2 Timothy is widely considered by scholars to be the final letter written by the Apostle Paul shortly before his execution in a Roman prison. There is certainly language to support that theory. “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (4:6-7). What is eye-opening for me is what Paul chose to talk about in his final words before leaving this earth. He could have chosen anything that would be important to the faith of Timothy and the church he would be entrusted to lead. But at the forefront of Paul’s mind was what he considered to be the most critical issue for the church of that time, and I think we can all agree it’s still the most critical issue today. He tells Timothy to “preach the Word”, to be “prepared in season and out of season”, and to do so “with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). He then explains that “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, (but) to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (v. 3).

Friends, we are certainly in such a time right now. One look at what is going on both in our culture and in our churches will tell you that. Many who call themselves Christians have even chosen to believe what their “itching ears want to hear” and have lost their faith in the truth found in the Word. The charge to Timothy is the same charge for us. Paul encourages him, and you, to “keep your head in all situations”, rather than turn away from the truth and toward “myths” as others will do (vv. 4-5). In other words, Paul’s charge to Timothy and to those of us who would come after him is to keep a faith that is unadulterated, not polluted by the myths we want to believe or the false teachings of others. I’ll say it again: For this to happen, we MUST know both the written Word and what it is like to be in relationship with the Word that became flesh. We must make sure we are neither the ones teaching lies, guesses, and opinions, nor the ones believing and perpetuating them. If we keep this charge, we will continue to proclaim the unadulterated truth to the world and will bring those that desire it to a relationship with Jesus.