Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life.
There are many believers who believe in certain doctrines and they try to make a verse say what they want it to say to back up their ignorance of the Word of GOD. These are the types of individuals who pick up a subject and then they look for scriptures to back-up what they believe when it should be just the opposite.
We should learn what the verses and passages say and teach us first, then we should allow the Word of GOD to dictate to us the correct interpretation of the passage. In this way, we don’t use the Bible or misquote the Bible and take it out of the context to back up what we claim to believe.
Taking Scriptures out of context is probably the number one reason for problems of interpretation. Most believers do not study the Isagogics or the historical settings of a passage and therefore miss out on the correct interpretation.
Most believers are either ignorant of the principle of ICE because they have learned the doctrine and have rejected it. Or they have not learned because they have rejected the guidance and direction of GOD the Holy Spirit.
Now, there are two very important blessings and assignments that GOD the Holy Spirit which offers every believer after salvation so that they have the opportunity to grow in grace and knowledge and become a “winner believer”.
The two blessings or gifts are:
1) Being assigned to a certain Pastor.
2) Being assigned to a certain local assembly.
In fact, I could prove to you doctrinally that these two blessings are actually more important than any other blessings that our LORD has graced us out with including:
- a) The right man and the right woman; 1CO 7:17.
- b) The right job; ECC 9:9.
- c) The right children; PSA 127:3.
- d) The right friends; PRO 17:17.
There are some great gifts from the LORD to us, but we will never really be truly thankful or appreciate them or even enjoy them until we see them as gifts from our LORD who truly loves us unconditionally.
Remember what our LORD said and taught about the doctrinal principles concerning “gifts.”
- What is our LORD’s attitude when it comes to gifts and giving?
ROM 11:29, for the gifts and the calling of GOD are irrevocable.
2CO 9:15, “Thanks be to GOD for His indescribable gift!”
JAM 1:17, Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
- Now, let me ask all of you who are listening another question; how many of you desire to be the best employer or employee?
- The Bible teaches that you can find the right job or your niche in life is also a gift from above, for both believer and unbeliever. ECC 9:9, Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life, and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.
- How many of you desire to be the best children?
- If you do, here’s some doctrinal advice; the Bible teaches that children are a gift from the LORD; PSA 127:3, Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.
- How many of you desire to be the best friend a person could have?
The Bible teaches that you can in PRO 17:17 when Solomon said, “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”
Now, not only are these right blessings from the LORD but I am sure that there are other right blessings that I have not mentioned that are also given to believers who love the Word of GOD.
All of these principles I gave you reveal a believer’s heart and the desire that GOD’s people experience the heart of GOD in blessing us.
These are the type of believers that the apostle John warned us about in 1JO 4:1 where he said; “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from GOD; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
In fact, this is what impressed the apostle Paul and the believers in Thessalonica. ACT 17:10-12, And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more nobleminded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
Now, these believers were known as the Bereans and also were known to be more nobleminded. They were more noble because they received the word of GOD with great eagerness and zeal, and they also examined the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things that the apostle Paul was teaching were so.
In fact, in many of the Churches were known because of the faithfulness of prominent Greek women and men. Therefore, if a believer desires what the Bible really says, one of the most important principles that lead to the correct interpretation is the principle of ICE.
One of the questions that should stimulate your curiosity is why did the LORD teach HIS disciples such a controversial subject which really is about divine discipline and suffering for blessing? I believe our LORD was preparing His disciples to always be ready to give others answers to the questions they may have concerning why they believe what they believe.
As the Apostle Peter said in 1PE 3:15, Sanctify Christ as LORD in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
All of us should be alert to the fact that there are always individuals who distort passages like JOH 15:2 which says that “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
In JOH 15:6, they also distort the verse when it says that “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Every believer is in union with Christ and is perfect in their position but not in their condition. Now, there is conviction by GOD the Holy Spirit, which is legitimate, but condemnation is not. This brings us to Holy Spirit conviction verses satanic condemnation which is always a crossroads as to which way we will go.
Holy Spirit conviction always gives us a way out in which the grace of GOD is magnified and reconciliation is the goal of GOD the Holy Spirit. Whereas satanic accusations condemn a person and has no way out except satanic condemnation. It is the Spirit verses Satan.
Conviction verses condemnation. It is life spiritually or death experientially. Now, even though our lives will be judged according to the word of GOD, it is an evaluation of our works not condemnation for our sins.
Let me give you a few passages that make this clear.
First of all, we have our LORD’s word on the type of judgment we will face; JOH 7:24, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Notice that there is such a principle called a righteous judgment.
In JOH 3:17, the LORD Jesus Christ addresses the subject of judgment when we read “For GOD did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”
Also, in JOH 5:22, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,”
Then we have JOH 12:47-48, “I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
Even when our LORD had to judge us which was really His way of evaluating the lifestyle that we live; He did so with grace and honor motivated by agape love.
Look at JOH 8:15-16, our LORD said: “You people [in context the Pharisees] judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and He who sent Me.”
Of course, most of you have heard these passages throughout the Word of GOD and when we are told that we are “in Christ” that is our position and not our condition. Therefore, our position in Christ guarantees that there is no condemnation for any of us who have been saved. ROM 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Look how clear the apostle Paul gets right to the point; ROM 8:38-39, For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of GOD, which is in Christ Jesus our LORD.
I love how Jude deals with this subject in JUD 1:24-25, Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only GOD our Savior, through Jesus Christ our LORD, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
What a great doctrinal principle backed up by the “Divine Promises” from GOD; 1JO 3:1-2, See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of GOD; and such we are. For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of GOD, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
Now, our LORD is seated at the right hand of the Father and we share everything that HE has and everything that HE is ROM 8:29. For remember that GOD the Father is at work in us and that is why ROM 8:29 says: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren;”
Let me give you some examples of these blessings we have “in Christ.”
- Christ is absolute righteousness. 2CO 5:21.
- Christ is elected, we share His election. EPH 1:4.
- Christ has a destiny; we share His destiny. EPH 1:5.
- Christ is the Son, we are in union with Christ. We share HIS sonship; 2TI 2:1.
- Christ is the heir; we share HIS heirship. ROM 8:16-17.
- Christ is sanctified, we share HIS sanctification. 1CO 1:2.
- Christ is a King; we share His kingdom. 2PE 1:11.
- Christ is the High Priest; we share HIS Priesthood. HEB 10:10-14.