To Forsake or Not to Forsake
I. Why be part of a Biblical Body?
A. Purpose of being part of a Body of Christ followers (disciples): protection, education/equip, edification (support, encouragement)...
B. Babies lack defense (unskilled in truth) and well as perspective and wisdom; have unsanctified values, feelings, objectives, ambitions
C. Baby Christians know only of the grace of forgiveness, they are unacquainted with enabling grace that powers righteousness (Heb 5:11-14)
D. Disciples Learn the Truth, Live the Truth, Love others with the Truth Eph 4 (speaking the truth in love builds up the body)
E. Body provides the context for teaching to obey, modeling service, encouragement, exhortation, reproof, admonishment, rebuke,...
So that believers can develop Christlikeness (Phil 2, Eph 5), discipline themselves for godliness (1Tim 4:7), press to perfection (Heb 5)
F. Mature believers serve as models of godliness, and eventually elders, the overseers and shepherds of the folk of God’s sheep.
G. False teachers (themselves deceived) following Satan’s will try to deceive the naÃ¯ve into missing God’s will. The Body helps protect.
II Why leave a Biblically defined Body?
A. Good reasons: God subjectively reveals His will to those following His objectively revealed will, to guide in the paths of wise service (Ac 13)
B. If, after reproof and patiently seeking Biblical unity on issues, the Body is clearly revealed to be significantly unbiblical (not imperfect) Eph 4:3
C. Bad Reasons/Excuses
1. Not what used to, expected - confuse traditions or experience for what God wants = vain worship Mk 7:7
2. Never become self-denying disciples, would not recognize God worthy of sacrifice much less their lives Lk 9:23-26; 2Tim 4:20
3. Lack of Submission to Christ manifested in lack of submission to Body and unyieldedness to authority (Eph 5:21; Heb 13:17)
4. Selfishness and Self-centeredness, focus on what’s pleasing to self rather than God and others (cx Phil 2:3-5, cf Rom 15:1-2)
5. Unwillingness to learn or apply or speak truth (cx Eph 4:15,25)
6. Lack of Fruit/Victory - Fear of Sin being exposed - Parable of Sower (Mt 13, Lk 8)
7. Unbiblical objectives and (stated) motives (lack of soundmindedness in decision making) (1Thess 5:4)
8. Following emotional/transitory feelings rather than facts or faith (Faith must be based upon Revelation of God - Rom 10:17; 14:23)
9.Deceived into following Satan (via the flesh or false teachers) rather than God (2Tim 2:3:1-9; Mt 7:15; Lk 6:26; Rm 16:18; Mt 24:5,11,24; Mk 13:22; Lk 21:8; Ac 20:29-30; 2Cor 11:13-14; Gal 4:17; Eph 4:14; Col 2:8,18; 2Tim 4:3; 2Tim 2:24-26; 2Thess 2:9-12; Titus 1:9-11; Jude 1:3-19; 2Pt 2:1-22)
1Tim 4:1 the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Neil Anderson in The Bondage Breaker p 164 Appearances Can Be Deceiving “Peter (2Pt 2) goes on to reveal two ways by which we can identify false prophets and false teachers in the church...They may be antinomian, claiming that God is all love and grace so we don’t need to abide by any law...These people have a an independent spirit. They do their own thing and won’t answer to anybody.”
”Therefore just as the Holy spirit may tell us by impressions what the will of God is concerning us, so also will these spiritual enemies (deceiving spirits) tell us by impression what is their will concerning us, though not, of course, giving it their name.” Anderson p. 165
Continue 2Tim 3:10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 12 all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
Walk in the light Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
Every thought 2Cor 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Pursue 2 Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.