“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” – 1 Timothy 1:1-2
When beginning a great work it helps to go back to the beginning of other great works and movements. Paul begins his instructions to Timothy by reminding all who read his letter of the authority he receives from God and Jesus.
When we make God and Christ the cornerstone of a community of believers, its foundations are on solid footings. When we lay any other foundation, the structure will eventually collapse.
With his authority linked to God and Christ, Paul addresses his purpose for writing. “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.”
Timothy, and thus we, are urged to stay in the body of believers with whom God has placed us. We are commanded to confront false doctrines in humility. We are commanded to love at all times.
But what are we to do when false doctrines become the defining message of a church and denomination?
The goal of our faith is a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere belief in God’s words, but what are we to do when those we count as brothers and sisters in the faith abandon purity, sound doctrine and turn to meaningless talk? What are we to do when those in spiritual authority over us declare themselves teachers of the law, but show by their actions they do not believe God’s law to be good, right, and holy? What are we to do when those in positions of leadership confidently affirm the Holy Spirit is leading them to promote strange doctrines?
If you believe God’s law is good if one uses it properly . . .
If you believe all of God’s law is good and reflects his character of love . . .
If you believe Jesus Christ embodies all of God’s law, lived as a man and fulfilled all the law without breaking one command . . .
If you believe that when all of God’s law and all the words of those who wrote under the authority of the Holy Spirit reflect the rich love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. . .
If you believe that in Christ you are set free from sin . . .
Then we invite you to join with us as we seek to love and honor God and our neighbor with a love that liberates.