Friday, November 29, 2013
“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).
Before attending a grace Bible conference today, I will briefly discuss what such gatherings are all about.
The Apostle Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus (modern-day western Turkey). According to chapter 1 (verses 3-11), he charged Timothy to address a major doctrinal issue—legalism. Today’s Scripture communicates some of Paul’s instructions to Timothy until he could come and personally assist Timothy in Ephesus.
Timothy was to pay attention to three specific areas of ministry, and today’s Scripture lists them: “reading,” “exhortation,” and “doctrine.” When we Pauline dispensationalists (or “grace believers”) assemble, we do so to read and study God’s Word God’s way, to encourage one another to study and believe God’s Word God’s way, and to uphold and proclaim the doctrine that we learn when we study God’s Word God’s way.
Stated another way, we fellowship around three basic ideas that guard us against the errors in Ephesus (the same threats to our Christian lives today):
- FINAL AUTHORITY: We believe in the inerrancy and authority of the King James Bible—God’s preserved Word for us as English-speaking people.
- SOUL SALVATION: We believe in the sufficiency of the Gospel of the Grace of God—that Jesus Christ died and shed His sinless blood to pay for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
- DAILY LIVING: We believe in the validity of the grace life—the doctrines of grace and their resultant manner of living that the ascended and glorified Jesus Christ first committed to the Apostle Paul (found in his epistles, Romans through Philemon).
We do not rely on the modern English “bible” versions for reading. We do not trust in works-religion for soul salvation from sins and hell. We do not believe in legalism (Mosaic law-keeping) as the operating system for the Christian life.
In short, we seek God’s approval, not a denomination’s approval.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJB
NOTE: I plan on video-recording the aforementioned grace Bible conference and uploading the footage to our YouTube channel. Updates will follow in the coming weeks.