Newsletter #301 - November 2003 - By Shepherds Chapel - http://www.shepherdschapel.com/
There is a Greek word which Paul often utilized that means "place out in the open sunlight and judge it under the light of truth". If what is judged is good, it is good, and if it is bad, it is bad. We are going to study how this word applies to what is being preached today. I want you to learn how to place what is being taught in the open sunlight and by what criteria you should judge, or discern, the preaching. Christ is the light. He is also the Living Word. Judge preaching according to His Word. Open you Bible to Philippians.
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
As your knowledge increases, you are better able to discern good from bad. Don't let anyone make a fool of you. Increase your knowledge of the Word. That is how you distinguish between truth and falsehood.
Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
The word "sincere" in this verse is "eilikrines" (i-lik-ree-nace'), and it means "judged by sunlight". Open things up and let the sun shine in. Make judgments based on what you know as fact. If you do otherwise, you will be like a reed shaken in the wind.
Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. 12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
They threw Paul in prison for teaching Christ. Do you think that bothered Paul? Not one little bit. He knew the significance of letting what he taught be judged by sunlight.
Philippians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
It was well known that Paul was in prison for teaching Christ, not for murder or theft.
Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
If you're willing to let what you say be judged by sunlight, you have nothing to fear. Be bold. Right always wins. Your heavenly Father sees to that.
Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
Don't preach Christ of envy, strife or contention. We have one enemy, even Satan. That enemy dearly loves to see the brethren beating up on each other. Teach the Word in good will to the edification of your brethren.
Philippians 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
Those who were teaching Christ of love knew Paul was in prison for teaching the gospel in truth.
Philippians 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Paul was happy that the Word was going forth. It didn't matter some criticized him. He was willing to open up what he was teaching and to be judged by sunlight. You do the same. Turn with me to 2 Peter.
2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
The word "pure" in this verse is "eilikrines" in the Greek language. Peter was another one that wasn't afraid to have his preaching judged by sunlight. He is encouraging the brethren to judge his words by God's Word.
2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
Focus on the Word of God not the words of men. The scoffers want you to listen to their deceitful words.
2 Peter 3:4 And saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
Peter is about to answer the scoffers.
2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
The scoffers said, "all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation". Peter tells them they are ignorant of Satan's rebellion and overthrow. Down came the firmament and flooded the earth, and we aren't talking about the flood of Noah's time. God shook the earth.
2 Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
At the end of this earth age, the ungodly will be destroyed. The scoffers didn't understand the 3 ages. They weren't listening to the prophets or apostles.
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The millennium is 1,000 years. The millennium is the Lord's day. It will occur in this generation.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The scoffers think God has forgotten His promise. He hasn't; however, He is patient. You see friends, He has a lot of children that must come through this earth age in the flesh before the millennium begins. He hopes all will come to repentance and suffer the 2nd death at the end of the millennium. Everyone will be judged by sunlight then. Let's continue our study in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
A little sin in the body soon spreads throughout the body. A little truth also spreads throughout the whole body. Focus your attention on spreading truth.
1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
Therefore we can be sinners, as we all are, and upon repentance we are clean and pure, because He paid the price. Christ became our Passover.
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The word "sincerity" in this verse is a form of your Greek word which means "let the sunshine judge". Let the sunshine judge what is being taught. Let God's Word judge what is being taught. Turn with me to 2 Corinthians. Paul didn't have an easy time. He was roughed up for the gospel on more than one occasion.
2 Corinthians 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
Paul is letting the people know not to expect a "bed of roses" when teaching the gospel. There were times when Paul thought they were going to die.
2 Corinthians 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
When you've done all that you are able to do, turn it over to God. Put your trust in God, not yourself.
2 Corinthians 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us;
You have nothing to worry about, when you put your trust in God. He can handle that which we can't. If you are serving Father, He will never let you down.
2 Corinthians 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
Have you ever felt the prayers of others on your behalf? Paul is thanking them for their prayers.
2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
Here, in the word "sincerity", we find a form of our Greek word which means "to open it up and let the sunshine judge it". Judge what is being said by the Word of God, not fleshly wisdom. True wisdom comes from our Heavenly Father.
2 Corinthians 1:13 For we write none other things unto you, that what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;
What Paul has written to the was the Word of God. That is all they were going to receive from him. God's Word is all that you need even up to the very end.
2 Corinthians 1:14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our's in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Not everyone shared the truth Paul shared with them. Paul knew his responsibility was to only teach truth. What others did with it was their choice. In conclusion turn with me to 2 Corinthians 2:14.
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, Which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
As long as you are in Christ, you will triumph. I've read the end of the Book. We win! Your knowledge of His Word ascends to heaven as a sweat savour.
2 Corinthians 2:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
Who is qualified for this task? You are, as long as you stay in the Word.
2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
In the word "sincerity" in this verse we find again a form of the Greek word which means "let the sunshine judge". When you hear someone teaching God's Word, open it up, and let the sunshine of God's truth judge what is being said. You don't have to judge. Let God's Word judge. You must always be willing to have what you teach judged by the same standards.
In His service,