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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

July 11, 2014

Sanctified by Truth

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

If you ask the average Christian what is the most important thing for a Christian, you might hear that love is the only thing that matters. After all, Jesus' disciples are to be recognized by their love for one another (John 13:34-35). Yes, that is true. But love is not the only characteristic of Jesus' disciples.

Christians are to be sanctified (set apart) by the Truth (John 17:17). Both love and Truth are identifying signs of true Christians. The Truth – Jesus' true teachings – is revealed through God's word and not via old legends, Jewish traditions or human reasoning about Christ and the Bible, as used by some Christians.

Christ is the Word, the "logos" or spokesman of God (John 1:1-3, 14). "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son . . . through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2). In other words, als "God with us" (Matthew 1:23), Jesus was the personified Bible.

How important is the doctrine of Christ? The apostle John writes: "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him" (2 John 1:9-10).

"This doctrine" is the doctrine of Christ, the Truth He taught – not various ideas that reflect human reasoning or Greek of Jewish tradition.

A doctrine is a singular truth of God's word that serves to illuminate God's will and His great plan. Therefore it cannot be seen by itself as some isolated religious or philosophical idea that might be used against other biblical teachings (John 10:35). On the contrary, it is part of the big picture revealed by the Bible, the faith for which we are to contend (Jude 1:3).

The apostle Paul emphasized that "there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:4-5). One faith: a belief system consisting of harmonious teachings, a single Truth, believed and practiced by Jesus' disciples. Each individual doctrine serves to complement that belief system and illuminate God's great plan. Any doctrine that doesn't do that is most likely a teaching influenced by human reasoning.

The fact that Jesus' disciples are to be set apart by the Truth also means that they are not deceived by the false teachings influenced by human reasoning that characterize much of today's Christianity. Among those false viewpoints is the belief that "love is all you need" if you are a Christian.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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