Before becoming a stay at home mom I was a high school history of the Bible teacher. I was shocked at the lack of basic knowledge teenagers from even devoutly Christian homes possessed. I am afraid that many of us in the American church today have shifted from a belief system founded on doctrine and knowledge to one of emotion and feeling. Of course God created us with the capacity to know and worship Him in spirit and in truth, but we must be careful not to trade the study of Scripture and doctrine for a faith dependant on “feeling the Spirit”. Neither should we simply assume principles and ideas to be true without being well versed in Scripture ourselves.
The only way to truly be grounded enough in our faith to stand firm against false doctrine is to obediently live the principles in our own lives, especially through troubled times. As John MacArthur says, “Now… assurance… comes from living it out... You receive the truth in your mind, your will is strengthened, it manifests itself in obedient love to others, and the result is a settled conviction that this is true. And so, behavior has a great deal to do with nailing down. Every good deed, every act of love drives another nail into your assurance.” When we have experienced the true treasure of Christ in our own lives, we will begin to treasure His teachings and more fully live out the truths of Scripture. Then we are less likely to be deluded by persuasive arguments from smooth talkers who seem to “know their stuff” more than we know ours.
The phrase “good discipline” (τάξιν) implies an orderly military formation. Despite the attack, the believers at Colossae were holding together in a solid front, neither breaking rank nor defecting. At times when our faith is tested or we are confused by persuasive arguments it is vitally important to have comrades with us in the battle who can instruct and uphold us.
Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ.
- Ephesians 4:14-15
- Ephesians 4:14-15