Friday, April 21, 2023
“Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13 KJV).
Once, a beloved family member told me, “We have our doctrinal differences.” I replied to this Christian (albeit denominational) man, “Show me the verses that prove my position is wrong.” More than 10 years later, he has yet to supply me with so much as a single Bible reference, for he is comfortable with his imperfect theology and refuses dispensational Bible study!
Truly, we should always be open to correction, fine-tuning what we believe (either adjusting our beliefs so they are clearer or throwing them out entirely if they are completely wrong). In this life, we will not get everything correct, but we should make every effort to learn and master the purest doctrine we can. It all depends on our willingness to let go of long-held traditions of men. That means we might even have to admit our parents were wrong, our family religion is erroneous, and what we heard and believed all our lives was false. Surely, this is devastating, but it is far more beneficial that we acknowledge the blunders now instead of ignoring them out of pride, obstinacy, and denial—and then suffering the damaging consequences well into the future when it is too late to change!
Saul of Tarsus was a rabbinical scholar, leading his nation Israel in its campaign against Jesus Christ and His Little Flock of believers in early Acts. For example, read Acts 7:58, Acts 8:1-3, Acts 9:1-2, Acts 22:3-5, Acts 26:9-11, Galatians 1:13-14, Philippians 3:6, and today’s Scripture. “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2). In other words, the Apostle Paul confessed, “Yes, I once used the Hebrew Bible to teach error. That is no longer true, for now I am a saved man, growing in the truth of Bible verses, moving from immaturity into adulthood.” See the course of his development laid out in Philippians 3:1-21. May we follow him as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)!