Deuteronomy (The Pyrrhonist Bible Book 5)

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A broken tooth meant that a prospector needed to keep digging. A second test involved scraping the rock on a piece of white stone, such as ceramic. In either case, a miner relied on tests to authenticate his finds—both his fortune and his future depended on the results. Spiritual riches are promised at every turn. New programs, new philosophies, new parachurch ministries—each glitters a little bit more than the last, promising better results and bigger returns.

If they fail the test, we should discard them and warn others also. As Christians, we should be careful to do the same. Katecho means to hold so as to avoid relinquishing something. Hold fast is in the present imperative where the present tense denotes that the holding fast Paul commands is not an isolated action, but is rather to be the believer's settled rule and continuing practice. Keep clinging to what is good!

Embrace it wholeheartedly. Take possession of it! And keep doing this all your Christian life. In some contexts katecho means to prevent the doing of something or cause to be ineffective. The idea can be to hold back, suppress or restrain as in Ro note In 2Th , 7 the Antichrist is actively being prevented from exercising power and so he is restrained or checked. Katecho mean to keep within limits in a confining manner Genesis , Romans note.

Katecho was a technical term used to emphasize the necessity of adhering or holding firmly to beliefs, convictions, tradition or sound doctrine See these uses below - Luke 8. Luke And when day came, He departed and went to a lonely place; and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep to detain, to hold Him back, to retain Him from going away from them. Luke and he who invited you both shall come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. Acts And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while at the same time they were loosening the ropes of the rudders, and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they were heading for the beach.

Comment : Here katecho is used by Luke as a nautical technical term to hold one's course toward, to head for, or to steer for - "they began to hold the ship steadily for the beach".

Comment : Unregenerate men, at enmity with God, always going astray from His will, actively suppress the fact that there is a supreme Being with divine attributes to Whom worship and obedience are due, truth which all men can discern by observing Creation, which demands a Creator to answer for its existence. They continually hold this truth down in the sense that they refuse to acknowledge its moral implications, and consequently continue on in their sin. Romans note But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound , so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

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Though materially Paul had nothing, in spiritual terms he was possessing everything - a good perspective for all of us alien believers and short timers to have! Philemon whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel;.

Hebrews note but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. Hebrews note For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. Comment : The nautical use of holding fast to one's course gives us a vivid picture of what the writer of Hebrews is saying in Heb and this passage. The point is that If the Hebrews would hold their course "like a ship", steadfastly along the lines of their present profession, that would demonstrate that they were saved.

If they veered away from that course, that would show that they never had been saved, but that their profession of Messiah had been, not one of the heart but of the head. Be careful! This does not in any way say they merited or earned their salvation by their own efforts to hold fast. True believers hold fast only because of the One Who holds them on course! It is all of grace! Hebrews note Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful Comment : Katecho speaks here of a firm hold which masters that which is held.

Spurgeon's note. Which is in accordance with reason and the word of God; which is adapted to promote the salvation of the soul and the welfare of society. This is just as much a duty as it is to "prove all things. A man who has applied the proper tests, and has found out what is truth, is bound to embrace it and to hold it fast. He is not at liberty to throw it away, as if it were valueless; or to treat truth and falsehood alike.

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  8. It is a duty which he owes to himself and to God, to adhere to it firmly, and to suffer the loss of all things rather than to abandon it. There are few more important rules in the New Testament than the one in this passage. It shows what is the true nature of Christianity, and it is a rule whose practical value cannot but be felt constantly in our lives. Other religions require their votaries to receive everything upon trust; Christianity asks us to examine everything.

    Error, superstition, bigotry, and fanaticism attempt to repress free discussion, by saying that there are certain things which are too sacred in their nature, or which have been too long held, or which are sanctioned by too many great and holy names, to permit their being subjected to the scrutiny of common eyes, or to be handled by common hands. In opposition to all this, Christianity requires us to examine everything --no matter by whom held; by what councils ordained; by what venerableness of antiquity sustained; or by what sacredness it may be invested.

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    We are to receive no opinion: until we are convinced that it is true; we are to be subjected to no pains or penalties for not believing what we do not perceive to be true; we are to be prohibited from examining no opinion which our fellow-men regard as true, and which they seek to make others believe. No popular current in favour of any doctrine; no influence which name and rank and learning can give it, is to commend it to us as certainly worthy of our belief. By whomsoever held, we are to examine it freely before we embrace it; but when we are convinced that it is true, it is to be held, no matter what current or popular opinion or prejudice may be against it; no matter what ridicule may be poured upon it; and no matter though the belief of it may require us to die a martyr's death.

    The Christian's faith is not based on credulity, but on sound evidence see note 1 Peter This exhortation applies to both doctrine and practice, especially as taught and tested by Scripture. Good kalos does not refer to that which is superficial or cosmetic but to what is genuinely and inherently good, righteous, noble, and excellent. Kalos then describes that which is inherently excellent or intrinsically good, providing some special or superior benefit.

    Kalos is good with emphasis on that which is beautiful, handsome, excellent, surpassing, precious, commendable, admirable. Milligan writes that kalos is used of genuine as opposed to counterfeit coin "and is very appropriate here to denote the goodness which passes muster in view of the testing process just spoken of". The idea of good is that it denotes the intrinsic value of what has been tested and is to be accepted like a coin that is found to be genuine.

    In classical Greek kalos was originally used to describe that which outwardly beautiful. Other secular uses of kalos referred to the usefulness of something such as a fair haven, a fair wind or that which was auspicious such as sacrifices. Kalos referred to that which was "morally beautiful" or noble and hence virtue was called "the good" to kalon.

    The New Testament uses of kalos are similar to the secular Greek -- outwardly fair, as the stones of the temple Lk ; well adapted to its purpose, as salt "salt is good " Mk ; competent for an office, as deacons " good servant of Christ Jesus" 1Ti ; a steward "serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God", 1Peter note ; a good soldier 2Ti note ; expedient, wholesome "it is better for you to enter life crippled" Mk , 45, 47 ; morally good, noble, as works "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works" Mt note ; conscience "we are sure that we have a good conscience", He note.

    The phrase it is good , i. In the Septuagint LXX kalos is the most commonly used word for good as opposed to evil e. Kalos describes good fruit Mt , a good tree Mt and good ground Mt This command to examine and hold fast to the good is in the context of not despising prophetic utterances. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor present tense - as your habitual practice what is evil; cling present tense - as your habitual practice to what is good.

    In the context of Romans 12, the key to finding and following what is good is in not being As we separate ourselves from the things of the world and saturate ourselves with the Word of God, the things that are good will more and more replace the things that are evil. This is same principle the writer of Hebrews alluded to when he wrote that Songs and hymns are excellent, but let us not become "songbook Christians".

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    Men wrote the songs but God wrote the Bible. A maturing Christian must be a Biblically saturated Christian. Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. Agents-in-training make a thorough study of the genuine bills--not the phonies--so that they can spot the fake currency immediately because of its contrast to the real thing. The child of God can learn a lesson from this.

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    While it is helpful to study false religions and be fully aware of their dangerous dogmas, the best defense against such error is to be so familiar with God's Word that whenever we encounter error, we will spot it at once and won't fall for it. Today many are being led astray because they don't recognize how they are being deceived. For example, if a person isn't solidly grounded in the teaching of salvation by grace, he may swallow the line of the legalists who inject human works into the matter of being saved.

    If he is not well instructed about the person of Christ, he might accept the error of those who deny the Savior's deity. A thorough knowledge of essential biblical doctrines is the only way to detect counterfeits. Let's be diligent in our study of the Word of God. Then, instead of falling into error, we will stand firmly on the truth. Lord, grant us wisdom to discern The truth You have made known, And may we not believe one word Beyond what You have shown. THESE are very astonishing words to address to a community of new converts.

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    We might have expected that the Apostle would be careful to give them precise and detailed instructions, plain and solemn warnings, encouraging assurances of Divine approval, but hardly that he should bid them take account of their own experiences, and train themselves in the difficult and risky art of self-direction. We might have expected that this earliest Epistle of St. Paul would point out clearly the manner in which controversies might be quickly and finally closed by reference to some authoritative tribunal; that it would have stated the constitution of the Christian Church in plain language, which should leave no loophole for schismatical casuistry; that it would set out in unambiguous language the powers of the Christian clergy, and the manner in which those powers were to be exercised.

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    Of all this, however, we find nothing. Paul refers in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. But, further, there appears to have been on the part of those early Christians a very natural desire to prophesy—to speak out, in the presence of others, their own impressions or experiences of the spiritual life. A new prospect, transcendent in its beauty and glory, had been opened up to them by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In the freshness of their new hopes and new joys, they were eager to make known to one another, with unregulated fervour even in their religious assemblies, their individual experience of the love of God in Christ Jesus their Lord. There would, however, be some among the Christian converts, some of the less enthusiastic and more sober-minded, who would both dislike and distrust such utterances.

    There were in them, no doubt, elements of exaggeration, dangers of self-seeking and of unreality, of presumption and pride; and these were not of God, but of the evil one.

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