In chapter two of Colossians, the apostle Paul combats the false teachings of his day that were avowed by the Gnostics. (i.e. teachers who claimed to have mystical knowledge that had not been revealed to the Apostles) They believed in Jesus Christ, but denied His deity and contended that something more than Jesus was necessary for salvation.   As self-acclaimed possessors of so-called superior knowledge they led their disciples away from truth, and into error.

   Some have argued that the biblical record of Paul’s spiritual warfare with the Gnostics, in first century Colosse, is irrelevant today because we no longer wrestle with the false teachings of the first century.  But Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, observed, “… there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).” He was right; a close look at the philosophical landscape of our day, reveals that the lies of yesteryear continue to circumvent the globe, though often under the deceptive cover of a new label.  Today, many of the teachings of the first century Gnostics find their adherents in the camps of those who have embraced some tenet of the New Age philosophies of the 1970s and 80s which have now evolved into a smorgasbord of soul damning untruths.  They were not “new” in the 1980s, nor are the teachings they have spawned new.  They are altogether the teachings of old fashioned Humanism.

  When we are talking about the eternal souls of men, knowing the truth is of supreme importance.  Thankfully God has not left us to fend for ourselves in the quest for truth, but has given us the Bible.  If you have not discovered this miraculous book, if you are not convinced that it is from God, you probably have not read it.  Those who read the Bible with a desire to understand, soon discover that it is a source of undeniable truth, from our undeniable God.

  The New Testament warns us that any teaching that requires man to earn what God has provided freely in Christ, is a false teaching.  God describes those who have believed the lie: “In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)”


  Someone once asked, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  But what evidence would suffice?  Does the Bible enumerate such evidences?  Actually, the New Testament is replete with terms that describe the regenerate life of a believer.  The First Epistle of John (1John) is a treasure trove for such evidences!  But, before you  take a look, it is critically important to understand that salvation is not the result of these evidences, but rather, these evidences are the result of true salvation.  In other words, one does not become a Christian by simply acting like one.  Salvation is not an act, it is a work of God to produce spiritual life where there was none.

  In order to be saved, one must realize that he is lost, separated from our Holy God because of sin.  Secondly, he must desire to be saved from sin eternally, rather than live in sin, and enjoy its pleasures for a season.  Third, he must know that Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, came to earth to die on the cross, as payment of the just penalty for the sins of mankind.  Fourth, one must accept that, because He is God, Jesus rose from the dead (as witnessed by more than 500 people), that He ascended back to heaven, and that He is, even now, at the right hand of God the Father, ready to save all who will come to Him by faith.  Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)”  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… (Acts 16:31)”

 Once saved, the evidences will certainly appear.  Here is a sampling of the evidences mentioned in 1John.  According to John a true believer is one who:  Walks in the light of God (1:5-7), Has fellowship with God (1:6), Is sensitive to sin and desires to be clean (1:8-9), Keeps God’s commandments (2:3), Loves the brethren (2:9),  Holds loosely the things of the world (2:15), Maintains Christian fellowship (2:19), Confesses Christ as Lord and Savior (2:22-23), Does not sin habitually (3:5-6), Produces righteous works (3:7-8), Lives above the circumstances (4:4).  Where there is not evidence of salvation, one’s profession of faith is suspect.  “Ye must be born again! (John 3:7)”

Taken For Granted

  This common idiom describes our tendency to believe that the things we enjoy will always be available to us.  In spite of our wishful thinking, those of us who have the benefit of years, are getting used to the fact that, like it or not, things change.  As a matter of fact, it may be safe to say, “Nothing stays the same.”  For example, on an individual basis: hair styles change as the number of hairs on our heads decrease, the color of our hair changes gradually over the course of a couple of years, that is unless your’s comes in a box.  Ladies’ permanents have, for years now, proven to be quite temporary, and…  well, you get the point.

  On a national level it can be in vogue one day to fly the flag and stand at attention when the national anthem fills the air, and the next day to burn the flag and hold the patriot in contempt.  Things we love, vanish away and are often replaced with things that we despise or disdain.

  This saying, may be akin to another, “You really don’t know how to appreciate a thing until it is gone.”  It has become a favorite pastime among many my age to play Remember When…?  Examples abound:  Remember when pictures were taken of other people?  Remember when neighbor and friend were synonyms?  Remember when church parking lots were full on the Lord’s day, and restaurants and grocery stores were empty? Etc.

  Truly, the things of this earth are changing quickly, and some of our most treasured freedoms, commodities, and activities will soon be game pieces to the next generation who learns to play Remember When…?

  It seems quite sad, but take heart, there is a realm in which things do not change—the realm of God, the Bible, and the eternal.  God assures us that His ways, His plans, and His Love for His own will never change. “For I am the LORD, I change not… (Malachi 3:6)  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)”  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)”

Did You Ever Wonder…?

  • Why do we ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
  • Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?
  • Why do we recite at a play and play at a recital?

  These “oddities” of the English language put a smile on our faces.  They are taken in stride by those of us who speak the language as our native tongue, but someone trying to learn the English language might find them confusing.

  If you have spent any time with the Word of God, you have probably discovered statements that seem odd to the casual reader.  They are actually paradoxes (i.e. Seemingly self-contradictory statements that when investigated or explained …prove to be well founded and true).  Paradoxes have caused many searching souls to close the Bible and look elsewhere for answers to the most perplexing questions in life.  But God tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8).”  When you find a Bible paradox, don’t get discouraged, look more closely and think more deeply.  In time, and with prayer, you will be amazed and enlightened, as you start to understand the mind of God.

  A couple of examples are in order:  #1 The Bible teaches that the way to victory is through surrender.  One such verse is, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:6–7).”  God created us to be dependent.  When we realize how much He loves us, and surrender to His will, we will soon discover the abundant life that He affords His children. 

  #2 The scriptures tell us that in order to live, we must die.  This truth is found in many verses, but one will suffice, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)”  Life for a Christian is lived in two realms: physical and spiritual.  The more we concentrate on the one, the less significant the other becomes.  When we “put to death” the deeds of our sinful flesh (i.e. die to sin and self), we begin to soar as on eagle’s wings in the spiritual realm.