OPPOSING ONESELF (Part Two)

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Friday, October 14, 2005
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; As noted previously Paul here describes some who "oppose themselves," i.e., they are by their opposition to truth and consistency their own foe. Remember that heresy is marked by self-contradiction; the heretick by his own doctrine is "condemned of himself" (Tit 3:11). "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee..." (Luk 19:22), said Jesus. It has been sagely observed that "A" cannot be "non-A" in the same place and time, and things that are different (especially things that are opposites) cannot be the same. To hold a thing as true while simultaneously and knowingly holding the exact opposite of that thing as equally true is not indicative of openmindedness or superior intellect, it is indicative of insanity or wilful ignorance. As we consider some more examples of self-contradicting beliefs, it is with the gentle recognition that not all who affirm such beliefs do so with knowledgeable intent and, if God be pleased to do so, may He especially bless such with "repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." Example: Many who confess Christ today reject the doctrine of God's sovereign election of only some to eternal life, to wit, that from the foundation of the world God looked upon mankind as in a fallen state of sin and of His will alone chose some unto the cleansing blood of Christ and eternal glory, leaving the rest in their state of condemnation. A common argument that is raised against this God-glorifying Biblical doctrine is that such an action on God's part would be unjust---God would never be so discriminating in His favor. Curiously, oftentimes the very same Christians (especially Fundamentalists) also hold that God has singled out the Jewish people (i.e, the fleshly descendants of Abraham, the political entity of Israel and/or adherents to Judaism) as the objects of His particular, discriminating favor unto eternal glory. Some of these even hold that whereas Gentiles must receive Jesus Christ as Lord in order to secure eternal life, He does not require this of Jews---He will save them to eternal glory because they are His chosen people (racially, politically or religiously). So which is true: does God show discriminating favor to some men to the exclusion of others or does He never do so? This is very confusing and "...God is not the author of confusion" (1Co 14:33). But if one realizes that 1) God certainly reserves the right to show mercy unto only some sinners (Rom 9:10-15) as evidenced also by the simple fact that no salvation is provided for angels that sinned (Heb 2:14 c/w 2Pe 2:4 & Jude 1:6), and 2) His elective choice of sinful men unto being born of God and heirs of salvation is emphatically not of their will, works or pedigree (Rom 9:16 c/w Joh 1:12-13 & 2Ti 1:9), and 3) one's natural relationship to Abraham (one's 'Jewishness') is a very unreliable barometer of eternal life (Ishmael and Esau were sons of Abraham but not of God, Rom 9:10-16 c/w Gal 4:29-30, see also Luk 3:8 c/w Luk 16:23-24 & Joh 8:37-47), and 4) the only circumcision that really matters is the one that Christ performs inwardly, not that which man performs outwardly (Rom 2:28-29 c/w Phil 3:2-3 & Col 2:11), then the confusion is more likely to disappear (along with one's aspirations to be a popular modern-day radio or television preacher). Example: It is commonly proclaimed today by some who confess Christ (again, especially in the camp of Fundamentalism) that all matters of faith and practice are determined solely by the infallible, inerrant word of God: the inspired Scriptures. Sadly, though, many who make this noble claim do not even really believe that they have such a thing. If put to the test, they generally believe that all they have is a flawed Bible full of scholar's best guesses as to what the original inspired Scriptures once said. To show this, consider the following quote from "New Testament Survey; A Syllabus" by Daniel Krusich. page 6 (a standard work among fundamentalists): "II.The Extent of Inspiration. A) Only the original text of the OT and the NT are inspired. B)No copies made from the originals were inspired. C)No translations were inspired. D)Although we do not possess the originals, scholars say that we have copies which are very close to them. No important doctrine is affected because of this fact." Perhaps a good question to inject here would be, "If scholars do not have the originals, how do they know that the copies they have are very close to them?" Now it stands to reason that if only the original text of the Scripture was inspired and that we do not possess the originals, then we do not have an inspired Scripture. How does one measure all faith and practice by the inerrant, inspired Scripture which one does not have? This is all so outrageous that it could almost generate ridicule, but perhaps it would be more godly to "comfort the feebleminded" (1Th 5:14). This is very confusing and "...God is not the author of confusion" (1Co 14:33). However, if one reckons that God is able and willing to preserve His inspired Scripture through 1) copies (Deu 17:18-20 c/w Pro 25:1), for the inspired Scripture to which Paul commended Timothy was obviously not the original autograph (2Ti 3:15-16) nor was that which the Bereans searched (Acts 17:11), and 2) translations, for was not the Hebrew O.T. translated often when quoted in the inspired Greek N.T. and did not the Holy Spirit translate the word into many languages simultaneously in Acts 2:4-12?, then confusion would begin to be displaced by clarity. One might be able to stand before God's people and with consistency, authority and conviction say, "Thus saith the Lord...." More to come, Lord willing....

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