Test Every Wind of Doctrine

Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 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.

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

In Preparation for Ministry

God has given to his church pastors and teachers and elders, etc. for the equipping (literally preparing, equipping, and perfecting) of the saints of God for the work of the ministry – the ministry which we are all to be doing. But he has also given us each other to exhort, urge, and encourage one another to walk in holiness and in righteousness, and to not walk in sin, but to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant) to maturity in Christ Jesus, our Lord, as we speak the truth in love, one to the other.

[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]

And we need this, but this is not being done much today at all. And this is needed, not only for our spiritual growth and maturity, and so that we do not walk in sin, but also so that we are not led astray by all sorts of winds of doctrines. For many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are indeed being tossed to and fro by many waves (influences), and they are being carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. For not many pastors these days are teaching the truth.

Now I am not saying that they are not teaching any truth, but not many are teaching the full truth of the gospel but they are wandering off to follow after the doctrines and philosophies of other humans. Many are blending truth and lies together, either because they are teaching the Scriptures out of context and are thus making them say what they do not say, or they are following the teachings of other humans in place of the Scriptures or to interpret the Scriptures for them, which can be dangerous if not tested.

Winds of Doctrine

Now these various winds of doctrine are many, and this is why the Scriptures stress that we test everything we hear, read, or think we see, not just against the Scriptures, in context, but in prayer, and against what we know of God’s divine character and will for our lives. For just because something is not mentioned in Scripture it does not make it wrong. But if it is contrary to the teachings of Scripture (in context), and if it goes against God’s divine will and purpose for our lives, then we should not follow it.

And this is why the Lord has me stressing that we need to know the truth of what the Scriptures teach so that we are following the truth and not the lies. For many people, some of them very trusting and naïve, are being led astray, and they are not following the truth, or at least in part they are not following the truth, but they are believing lies. And some of those lies are deadly because they are leading them to believe that they do not have to repent of their sins and obey the Lord, so the lies are leading them to hell.

And this is why you will see me repeating the message of the gospel of our salvation over again, because not many people are teaching the truth of the gospel. For the truth says that by faith in Jesus we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For Jesus died to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we would now become slaves of God and of his righteousness.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2]

Tossed To and Fro

Now, if you think with me for a moment about the writings of Paul, there were two main themes in his teaching which had to do with two main areas where the people of God were being led astray. I have already touched on the most critical area in the church today, and that is the teaching that says that God does not require repentance and obedience for salvation. He surely does because that is what the Scriptures teach. They teach that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

But there is another area of concern that Paul stressed often which is still an issue today, and perhaps because it has resurged in importance in our day and age. And that is that there were Judaizers who were trying to convince Christians, primarily Gentile Christians, that they had to be more like Jews, and that they had to follow some of the Jewish customs, and that they had to follow some of the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, and dietary laws and restrictions, including that they had to be circumcised.

Now, I am no expert in this field, so I am only going to speak of what I know and understand, but I have sat through presentations by Jews in Christian churches where they were convincing Christians to be more like Jews and to follow Jewish customs and ceremonies, as though that was going to make them closer to God. And I hear some of this being taught out of books written by Jews who are purportedly converted to Christianity, and many Christians are buying into this, almost in a worshipful way, I believe.

So, what did Paul have to say about this? Plenty! And so I am going to share some of what Paul (and John) taught on this subject, and I would ask that you please take this to the Lord in prayer. I am not against Jews. I am not against any people. But I am against lies being taught in the church in the name of truth which are leading people to follow after these various winds of doctrine, and which are taking many sincere Christians off course, thinking that what they are following is of God.

What the Scriptures Teach

Okay, the first thing we need to understand is that God spoke his promises to Abraham and to his seed, but “He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as one would in referring to many, but rather as in referring to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ” (Galatians 3:16). In other words, Jesus Christ is the promised seed of Abraham through whom all nations are being blessed. So when Jesus came, and he died for our sins, he fulfilled that promise. And all those who follow Jesus with their lives are also heirs of that promise.

Next, we need to understand that when Jesus was crucified on that cross for our sins, he made both Jew and Gentile one by faith in Jesus Christ. Yes, Jewish people still exist, but God has only one people who are his, and they are only those of genuine faith in Jesus Christ, whether we are Jew or Gentile by birth. We are only children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. For Jesus created in himself one new man in place of the two that he might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross (Ephesians 2:11-18).

And then we need to understand that the Scriptures teach that not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring. For it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. And if we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Romans 9:4-8; Galatians 3:26-29).

And then Paul, in explaining to the Christians why they are not to be following the Jews and their customs and ceremonies, he told them that Hagar, who was the slave woman, corresponds to the city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.

Therefore, we who believe in Jesus are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman (Galatians 4:22-31). So we are to get rid of the slave woman and her son, meaning we are not to follow the Jews and their customs. We are not to become more like Jews. But we are to become more like Jesus. And whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ is the antichrist (1 John 2:22). So any Jew who denies that Jesus is the Christ is antichrist. So, the point here is, don’t follow Jews and their customs. Follow Jesus Christ.

Let the Lower Lights Be Burning

By Philip P. Bliss, 1871

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy,
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

Dark the night of sin has settled,
Loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.

Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Caution: This link may contain ads

2 thoughts on “Test Every Wind of Doctrine

  1. Sue, there are so many winds of false doctrine, it’s hard to know where to start. Rather than argue with individuals, I find myself writing and praying over specific blog posts, knowing they will be seen by whomever God wants to speak to through them. I have at least one coming up that will no doubt offend a lot of people, but I will back up what I say with ample Scripture – IN CONTEXT – and pray that some will have their eyes opened.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Annie. You start with the ones the Lord lays on your heart and then you let him give you the words he wants you to say, yes! And you back it up with Scripture. Essential! Thank you for sharing that with me. I appreciate it. Always good to hear from you, my friend. Love you! Sue


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s