mercies come also to me, O LORD-- Your salvation according to Your word.
So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, For I trust in Your
Jude 3-4: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints
Ephesians 5:11: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
2 Peter 2:1-2: But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
We are instructed to defend the faith in response to those who challenge the Bible, Jesus and the gospel. We are to be prepared to give a satisfying explanation to those of other religions. This is true apologetics, to give an answer to everyone-those who are in other religious systems or those that we call cults that have different teachings on Jesus, the gospel and the way of salvation. Many claim they are the practicing true Christianity and do not adhere to the core doctrines of the faith but instead disbelieve or distort them. The immense growth of these other religions and cults are due to the churches inadequacy to explain and defend the faith publicly to prevent those from joining these groups. Being able to define and defend the Bible correctly goes hand in hand with successful evangelism.
Since these other positions are often presented in the public medium by various means, we believe it is necessary that we counter their positions publicly as well. The Bible calls this contending for the faith (Jude 4).
Real believers do not allow those who speak falsely about Jesus or the gospel to go unchallenged. they are to be corrected, especially for the sake of others that are listening that may be influenced in their false teaching.
John wrote "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 1:4). Jesus said "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)
Our main purpose is to give Christians information that will equip them to protect themselves from false teaching and teachers that prey on the innocent and unwary. By doing this we encourage others to stand true to the Word of God against a growing apostasy.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).
One of the names of the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.) God is called the God of truth, God hates lies and liars who connive, that are thieves, and manipulate others to their own ends these are idolaters.
Psalm 31:5 (Isaiah 65:16) tells us our God is known as the God of truth, Psalm 33:4 tells us all His work is done in truth. John introduced Jesus as being full of grace and truth. The truth is very important to God. His word was delivered to mankind for us to have absolutes in instruction on how to live and walk in relationship with God.
Defending the faith is not just to be to those outside the church but also inside the church, this is part of apologetics, it is called polemics. 2 Ti m. 4:2-3: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.
Sometimes it is necessary to name the people that teach contrary to the Bible. There are numerous examples where a biblical writer "named names" in order to identify aberrant teaching and to warn others about those who taught it. Those who promote another Gospel, another Jesus must be challenged with the truth of the word.
Titus 1:13: "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith."
We are not to ignore these men and allow them to continue to spread falsehood and spiritually destroy many lives. To watch our spiritual family being misled is negligence, and is the absence of true compassion. True love is not silent when people are being misled, hurt or abused. We are our brothers keeper (Jms.5). If there were more teachers who spoke out on this we would have less deception and more honest fellowship with one another and our love and trust for one another would increase.
We have numerous examples of identifying people and their characteristics starting with John the Baptist. He called both the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) that came out to hear him a generation of Vipers (snakes) (Matt. 3:7). Jesus was the epitome of love and yet He offended people by telling them the truth. Jesus publicly condemned the religious leaders as the blind leading the blind, calling them hypocrites several times, whitewashed tombs containing dead mens bones (Matthew 15:14, 23:27). Jesus told Nicodemus The Teacher of Israel that he did not know about spiritual matters. After He resurrected He even called his own disciples unbelieving fools and slow of heart. Jesus also commends the church in Ephesus for testing self-proclaimed "apostles" whom he calls liars (Revelation 2:2).
The apostles are our example to know how to handle matters like these. Paul wrote in Phil. 3:16-17 let us walk by the same rule let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. Paul used himself and the other apostles as physical examples, and what we see are servants, caring not about their reputation, but for the truth and love of the brethren.
Peter named Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8) and he exposed the way of Balaam (II Pet.2: 15). Paul named Hymenaeus and Alexander (1Tim. 1:20), Phygelus and Hermogenes (2Tim. 1:15), Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17), Alexander the metalworker (2 Tim. 4:14), Paul had some strong words for the sorcerer El'ymas (Acts 13:10). Paul in correcting the Galatians told them they began in Gods grace and right doctrine; he then asked in Galatians 2:4-5, how they were bewitched by the law (Gal 5:12). because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
The apostle John named Diotrephes (3 Jn. 9) as one to stay away from. John writes that Christ commended the church in Ephesus for "hating" the deeds of the Nicolaitans" (Revelation 2:6). He writes the words of Jesus who is angry that the church in Pergamum for allowing false doctrine to be taught. He like Peter exposed the doctrine of Balaam and repeats the warning of the Nicolaitens which Jesus hates (Rev.2: 6, 14).. The apostle John writes the words of Christ who is angry with the church in Thyatira for letting the false prophetess Jezebel to lead the people astray (Revelation 2:20).
If they did not name names they certainly named the teachings. Jude spoke out against the teaching in the church of Cain, Balaam, and Korah describing them as "greed" and "gainsaying" and pronouncing, "Woe unto them!" (Jude 11).
No one enjoys this part of ministry but it is a necessary for protecting the sheep. When the integrity and purity of the gospel is at stake, we have no choice when it comes to the matter of exposing error and naming names. Paul even named Peter publicly. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed...But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? (Gal.2: 11-14). The issue revolved around salvation by the law or by grace, something he would not keep silent about.
It is right to expose error and to name those who are teaching error. Faithful messengers will warn the sheep of heresy, and when needed identify them by name. unfaithful ones protect them! Many do understand that when they have loyalty to blatant false teachers and prophets and defend them they condemn themselves. Prov 17:15: He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD."
1 Cor .5:12-13 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."
As the giant Goliath mocked Israel, David, who would be the future king stepped out in faith to challenge him to silence his mockery. As we defend the faith we do not fight physically against flesh and blood (Eph.6) but enter into a spiritual battle for peoples souls by reaching their minds and heart through explaining the gospel. We must always keep the person soul in mind as we try to make sense of the word and its meaning. at the same time
Paul warns Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! (Philippians 3:2), as Jesus told us not to give what is holy to the dogs nor cast your pearls before swine, so they do not turn on you. We are to identify those who mock and warn them. Proverbs 9:8-9: Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Our attitude is to save and restore: 2 Timothy 2:24-26: And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth , and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will."
Heresy is not limited to only the Trinity or Salvation, it is anything that is contrary to sound doctrine. Heresy is when one lays truth alongside their error as 2 Peter states. From the Greek word pareisago: meaning to lead in aside, to introduce surreptitiously, to privately bring in. When one says the right thing on a subject one day and then another time the opposite, that makes them a false teacher because they are inconsistent in their doctrine. Heresy-hairesis: means disunion, division from the truth. They willfully change its context; reinterpret the Scripture to introduce another new meaning to make themselves different or unique.
Anyone that leads people beyond the Scripture, instead of correctly explaining what is contained in it is being spiritually destructive to himself and others who listen to him. A good teacher can be easily identified as: holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict (Titus 1:9). We are told to Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine(1 Timothy 4:16).
The Bible says the Spiritual man judges all things- if you do not judge teaching you are proving that you are not a spiritual man. But a babe or child with little knowledge. We are to test and judge teaching to know whom to listen to (1 Cor.11:18-19). It is a matter of spiritual safety for ourselves and loved ones which is important in these last days. It is not wrong to openly challenge false or wrong teachings by the Bible, this is something God approves for us to do? The Apostle Paul writes: "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all discernment (judgment) that you may approve things that are excellent in God's sight.
Our love should extend from ourselves to others, we should have the heart and the knowledge to minister to those who struggle and are led astray.
James 5:19-20: Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
May we be filled with the Spirit and be bold and courageous as they were in the early church to reach other religions and those who are in error inside the church.