Lenten Day 25: HERESIES
Text: LUKE 11:13-23
Memory Verse: LUKE 11:23 ‘He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattareth.’
HERESIES are beliefs or opinions contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine. It can also be said to be opinions profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted.
The Christian faith derives its doctrine from the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It also teaches us that Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1 and 14); God become man.
In our text, the Pharisees saw Jesus casting out devils and were offended with him because He was getting more popular than they and worse still; He was teaching doctrines different from what they had propagated.
They claimed that they were holding on to the Law of Moses, but a cursory look at what they were teaching one would easily discover unwholesome errors not found in any law of Moses.
They were twisting the laws of Moses to their benefit. It was these twists that Jesus was correcting and as such relieved the people but caught the wrath of the Pharisees.
The Pharisees had accused him of casting out devils by the power of Belzeebub, the prince of devils. They were suggesting He was introducing a heretic way of dealing with bedeviled people.
Yet they were the true culprits of twisting doctrines to their stomach’s satisfaction. It was they who were exorcising people and Jesus called them out. So they began to plot HIS elimination.
In this discuss, the issue of heresies will be treated to discover it’s true meaning, intent and effect. Then a solution to it will also be addressed.
UNDERSTANDING HERESIES AND THEIR EFFECT
Heresies are actually religious lies set in place as a correct practice for people to live by. Heresies are inaccurate interpretations of some parts of the Bible.
These inaccuracies are then peddled as the correct way to live by. Heresies could be ignorantly received and preached, nevertheless, it doesn’t reduce the truth that they are errors.
They could also be widespread and generally accepted by many, yet this doesn’t make them correct.
To discover a heresy, we must judge whatever counsel or doctrine by the standards of what the Bible teaches.
If any counsel or doctrine runs contrary to any Scriptural doctrine, then it is heretic in nature regardless of its popularity.
The truth is that the Bible teaches us that there are two major covenants that the children of God had with Him.
The Old Covenant found mostly in the Old Testament and the New Covenant captured in the New Testament of the Bible.
It is necessary to understand these critical points in order to understand heresies clearly.
The Old Covenant came to an end by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This means that, practicing the tenets of the Old Covenant after the Blood of Jesus Christ has been shed, amounts to heresies.
This is because there is a fundamental difference in both Covenants. The Old Covenant exposed mankind as sinners but the new Covenant reveals Believers as saints.
Heresies have a very subtle yet dangerous effect on its adherents. Because doctrine in its very nature was meant to shape lives, when it is a defective one, it either produces defective saints or downright hypocrites.
This is because heresies make adherents to practice a doctrine yet when they don’t see the expected results they, therefore turn the entire thing to religion. In that condition, many will only give lip service to the said ‘doctrine’ but keep their old lifestyle.
In other cases where the heresies teach defective doctrines they produce saints with lifestyle that doesn’t resemble Christ.
For example some teachers of the ‘gospel’ have taught that masturbation is not sin. Some have also gone ahead to teach that there is neither heaven nor hell.
The effect of all these teaching is that their adherents throw caution to the wind and they live carefree lives.
They just come to church to enjoy service and feed on the heresies and live the way the so chose.
No wonder the Scripture teaches us in Matthew 7:13-14 that broad is the way and wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many will be that find it. But straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few actually find it.
DEALING WITH HERESIES
The only way to deal with heresies is to uphold the tenets of the Bible with an unwavering steadfastness. The same way to deal with lies is the way to deal with heresies.
The Bible is very clear on all its standards. If a doctrine does not align with what the Bible teaches, then it is heresy regardless of who teaches it.
The Holy Ghost speaking through Paul in Galatians 1:8-9 taught that if even an angel from heaven should come and preach another gospel asides that which is recorded as Gods words in the Bible by the Holy Ghost through Paul, let such an angel be accursed.
So to deal with heresies, teach the truth. To expose lies, release the truth. The truth has power to transform life that lies are completely devoid of.
Confine the teaching and doctrines to all that Christ taught in the Bible. This is because Jesus said in John 14:6 that he is the Way the Truth and the Life.
The Bible teaches us in Acts 4:12 that it is only in Christ Jesus that salvation is achieved. This tells us that salvation is only by the truth. Outside the truth, there is no salvation.
Heresies, regardless of how intelligent they appear, have no power to save because they are not true. They are lies.
Super Apostle Immanuel Umezeoke.