Monday 5 October 2015

Walking through "every wind of doctrine"

Ephesians 4:13-14 "Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes".

The presence of "winds of doctrine" blowing across the church and the lives of individuals is a given, as Paul writes. The question for us is; will we respond like children or with mature manhood? There are certain structural elements to every wind of doctrine as taught by Paul the apostle.

1. They toss the spiritually immature (children) to and fro by the waves. Having lived on a ship for two years I am keenly aware how strong winds stir up waves on the surface of the ocean. Likewise, winds of doctrine do the same, they stir up waves, but eventually calm is restored and the wind and waves pass.

2. The winds of doctrine are various kinds of unstable and false teachings, always based on the Bible, though they are not sound doctrine. They are devised by human cunning. Man is sinful to his core and sinful man in his sinful cunning devises false doctrines which de-stablilise the spiritually weak and immature.

3. Winds of doctrine are craftiness in deceitful schemes. I doubt that any Christian can say that they have never been carried away by deceitful schemes. Winds of doctrine may come in a guise of godliness and zeal, but they simply disturb the peace of the church.

What is the answer then as to how we respond to winds of doctrine?

Ephesians 4:1-3 "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".

Sound doctrine urges us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called ...

With all humility
With patience
Bearing with one another in love
Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Sin makes us ever so prone to be unbalanced and the devil exploits this weakness. The devil seeks to isolate us from walking in committed fellowship with the church and other Christians. Are you ensnared with winds of doctrine? Do you seek out internet teachings at the expense of solid food provided by local ministers? Are you anchored in a local congregation with other stable and mature Christians, so that when the winds of doctrine blow, you can walk through them together?

The answer to every wind of doctrine is to keep walking after the Lord Jesus, sticking to the ancient paths and the winds will cease at some stage. That is, until the next wind of doctrine blows, but by then, you will hopefully have learned how to keep on your feet, spiritually speaking that is.

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