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Thoughts on Paul on Christian Instruction

September 4, 2006

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Tim 2:25-26

Paul exhorts Timothy to help those who oppose themselves to unhitch their wagon from the fallen star that plants bad doctrine in the mind and heart. Bad doctrine, more insidious than none, opposes God because it opposes truth; it opposes the self-interest of the one holding it; it upholds only the devil. No person of or desirous of faith does this deliberately; self-opposition is self-deception. Deceit is a lie, and a lie is a sin. Thus, Paul’s surprising (to me) use of “repentance” with respect to acknowledging of the truth avers the necessity of repentance for the sin of erroneous belief. The self must be extricated from deception and from the conundrum of operating against its own interest while it is actually feigning a true interest–and true self-interest is a true saving interest. Clearly it can not unwind itself when it cannot see the peril of its own contortion. Only God’s Spirit can extricate the self from its bonds of deception, and his modality of extrication is the preaching of the truth. So Paul is instructing Timothy that it is upon preaching correct doctrine that the soul relies for preservation through knowledge of the truth.

“But there are so many interpretations!” bellow our antinomian friends. Yes, and what is wrong with them simply being wrong? I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe there is one true Spirit of God and that his illumination is not diversified according to receivers’ temperaments. The purveyors of diversification are “the malicious craft of Satan and the prevalent power and rage of mankind.” (Works of John Owen, Vol. 4, p. 24.) Owen actually is referring here to the suppression of the Scriptures, but ultimately falsification and obliteration by diversification are forms of suppression.

Those who cannot endure the joyful bond of faith to the Absolute are in captivity, and worse, look up at the sky from their pit and think they are free. How dreadfully joyless and wasteful to settle for such a grim substitute. They share their faith of opposition with others who embrace it to displace other self-deceptions, at least for a while. The alarm went off more than four centuries ago, and some people just need to keep hitting Snooze.

1 comments:

Victorbravo said…
And some people have unplugged the alarm altogether. It messes with their guitar riffs and detracts from the beat.
11:29 AM  
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