Here at church, we are currently working through a study on the fact that we are secure in Christ. As part of this study, I am currently teaching on our redemption that is “in Christ”. As part of the word study for this lesson I looked at all uses of the word redemption and its variants. When I got to the word “redeeming” I noticed neither two uses of the word in the NT is in relation to our salvation. These two instances are actually used to relate a very important admonition to us, the body of Christ. Both of these instances actually deal with how we as Christians relate to the insane world around us. Yes, I said insane. If you don’t agree, you are not very informed. Your freedoms as a Christian and as an American are under attack at an unprecedented and unbelievable rate. I digress….. Ephesians 5:16 tells us as Christians that we must be redeeming the time” Time is probably your most valuable asset. Outside of your salvation, time is the commodity you as a Christian MUST “redeem” (ransom, purchase back) from the world around you. The world around you is presently evil. The world around you has thousands of things to put your time into bondage. This is exactly why Paul’s second use of the word also refers to “redeeming the time” – Col 4:5. Why? We MUST walk in wisdom as we navigate this world. God’s will is that we would be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Church today is a scary place to find truth. Today I googled the question: “Examples of people in the Bible that lost their salvation” Very interesting search indeed. What I noticed is that even the people arguing the position I hold CANNOT articulate correct doctrine about eternal security. Confusion about eternal security in Christianity is completely about the lack of rightly dividing the scriptures. The FEW denominations that do believe in eternal security CANNOT properly support their position. John 10 is not about us, or our salvation in this age. I’ll return to the point. Many of us must start redeeming our time. Many of us must start setting some things aside to make room for proper study. Many of us must decide that our kids don’t need to participate in multiple sports. Many of us must decide that the TV is not actually that important. We are given a limited amount of time in this life to come to a knowledge of the truth. Our knowledge matters. What information we gain during this lifetime matters. Let me be clear. I do not study every night. I have hobbies. I have responsibilities outside my church, as do you. I even watch TV sometimes. But I understand this: You will make time to do the things you really want to do. We must ransom some of our time that this world finds uses for and make a decision to accomplish something for the Lord. I’m not trying to pick on you. I’m trying to help you understand that the knowledge you gain here on earth directly correlates to reward at the judgment seat of Christ. No, I’m not talking about “crowns”. I am talking about the responsibility you will be given at that time. Redeem some of that time for the Redeemer and you will be FOREVER grateful you did. Paul’s gospel matters. (Rom 2:16)
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
II Tim 2:24-26
I hope you will consider a few things our Apostle Paul has to say here in his correspondence to Timothy. In these verses Paul instructs teachers to be gentle, patient, meek, and not apt to strive. This is excellent advice. There is a balance to shoot for in instructing others. The balance is to speak the truth “in love.” The balance is to be bold in our stand and in the doctrine we are held accountable to teach by our Apostle and thus Jesus our Savior but yet loving. What I really want you to consider in these verses is the description Paul gives to those Timothy will be teaching. Paul’s description is as pertinent today as it was the day it was penned. Paul tells Timothy that he will be teaching those that “oppose themselves.” I’m sure you have heard the phrase “We are our own worst enemy” Pay close attention to the context of these people that oppose themselves. They are in the snare of the Devil who takes them captive at will. I would challenge you to think about this warning and admonition by Paul. Those that oppose themselves need what Timothy has. Timothy has learned and is supposed to share what Paul taught him. Timothy is also to teach other men this Pauline doctrine so it can be handed down. Churches today are devoid of Paul’s doctrine. Christians today live day by day within the confounds of their “church language.” They utter the slogan phrases as they were taught Sunday after Sunday ignoring the plain and clear divisions scripture teachers us. This church language we all learned and still struggle to clear from our heads is exactly what causes us to oppose ourselves. The tradition we learned from preaching, hymns and praise and worship songs specifically works against a proper understanding of scripture. Satan has used the church itself to hinder Christians at every step, opposing themselves daily through bad doctrine. I implore you to pay more attention to this doctrine that will keep you from being taken by Satan “at his will.” By spending so little time in Paul’s books, Christians are setting themselves up for failure on a daily basis and literally allowing Satan to mislead them. A smart animal can detect where the trapper has been by noticing the scent left behind, the leaves disturbed in and unnatural way, or things that don’t appear to be normal. A Christian grounded and settled in Paul’s doctrine for today can be prepared for Satan’s snares by the knowledge gained by applying scripture as scripture itself instructs us. According to Paul it is possible for them to “recover themselves.” The requirements are to change your mind about what the truth is. Here are the two choices of truth you have: scripture alone, or scripture as taught through man’s agenda. There is a huge difference between these two options. If you cannot believe EVERY VERSE in EVERY CHAPTER in EVERY BOOK exactly AS WRITTEN in scripture then you are trusting in a man’s agenda. Please don’t go on opposing yourself. Paul wrote 13 books to you specifically about recognizing Satan’s snares. Won’t you study them?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul