MORNING MEDITATION

“Believe In The Son Of God…!”

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“Believe In The Son Of God…”!(I Jn. 5:3-10).
Two words we would want for us as MM followers to be clarified on: exegesis and heresy.
In simple language exegesis is reading meaning out of a text; and conversation too. Heresy has always been understood as “belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.
It is often not enough to ask, “What does the Scriptures say about this?, and go on to use it as a standard for the issue or situation on the ground. Most times it is more important to to complement the above question with, “Why does the Scriptures say what it says?”
We do exegesis on a daily basis in ordinary conversations. Before answering an ordinary conversational question from one person, you ask yourself questions like, “Why is he asking? What does he intend to do with the answer? Does he already know the true answer? Etc.” These are questions that facilitate exegesis.
What passes for faithfulness to the Scriptures and remaining only in the Scriptures has often led to dangerous unintended consequences.
Unintended consequences likely become heresies in themselves.
A young minister observed in his new parish that the parishioners were taking a lot of “odontol” or “afofo” – locally brewed dry gin. The young minister decided to preach on the health risk posed by taking odontol. In the course of preaching he poured a half full glass of odontol. He took a life earthworm and put it inside the glass of odontol. The worm died instantly. To his surprise his listeners were overjoyed. When he asked to know why, they told him they never knew that odontol was also a worm killer. They told him they can now give it even to children when they are suspected to have worms.
You see how an illustration gone wrong produces a dangerous unintended consequence!
The Christians read or listened to the minister and misunderstood him. Exegesis is a background check that is helpful to understand Scriptures better, thus helping in curbing heretical fanaticism that passes for holiness!
The early Church faced one of the most dangerous heresies that came to be known as Gnosticism. The central teaching of the gnostics was that “spirit is entirely good and matter entirely evil.” The gnostics denied the humanity of Christ. Some said Christ merely seemed to have a body, while others of them said that the divine Christ joined Jesus at his baptism and left him before he died. We cannot elaborate on gnostic beliefs here, but suffice to say as you read John’s letter, know that these were the false teachers he was battling against. We can better understand when John emphasises that Jesus Christ came by water and blood and not by water alone. This is a truth revealed by the Holy Spirit which false teachers cannot comprehend. Water, blood and the Spirit are in agreement as they testify to the Sonship of Christ and his combined humanity and divinity all through his earthly life.
Children of God who believe this obey God. The love of God is to obey his commands which are not burdensome. Once you are born in Christ you overcome the spirit of resistance to the things of God.
There is just one way of being an overcomer: He that overcomes the world is “only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” And “anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. “
From the time of John’s writing to this present time different kinds of heresies have arisen. Liberal Christianity aggravates heresies by giving a latitude to multiple interpretations, giving heresy the comfortable definition if “contested interpretation. In which case the question arises: What is the measuring rod for determining heresy and by who?
The answer is simple though. The answer is found in Scriptures as Scriptures interprets Scriptures. That is why the likes of John could confidently challenge the false teachers of their time.
As for us we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and we also believe in him. What about you?
Always use the Scriptures as a background check to any new teaching!
Prayer: Spirit Divine, help me daily to overcome the world. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.

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