When Paul wrote his letter to the church at Galatia he reminded them that there were those who came into their midst with ulterior motives. In this case there were Jews feigning Christianity in an effort to bring the Gentile Christians into subjection to the Mosaic Law. But Paul says, “we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:5).
Since the earliest days of the church this tactic of false teachers sneaking into the church in order to subvert the gospel of Christ has been a problem. The problem then, as it is now, is that far too many congregations did not stand, as did Paul and the church at Galatia.
Paul warned the elders of Ephesus that heinous wolves would come into their midst, not sparing the flock. Even from the eldership men rise up, teaching false doctrines and drawing away disciples after themselves (Acts 20:28-30). Paul even stated that elders must be able to hold fast to the faithful word he had been taught, “that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:9-11).
Paul also told Timothy that if a man, “consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness,” and that “from such withdraw thyself” (1 Tim. 6:3-5).
Most of the problems we face in the church today are because leaders have not followed the commands of God to stop those who preach and teach false doctrines and for the church to withdraw themselves from the same. Likewise we have failed to follow the good example of Paul and the brethren at Galatia to not, even for a moment, give these false teachers an audience to spew forth their heresy.
If we do indeed love the truth, the church, God, the souls of men, and our own souls we will start doing what we have failed to do in the past and turn the tide on the digressive movements in the church and society. Be Faithful! — Tim Dooley
Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.
Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).