What if Church Teachings Do Matter?

It is very popular today for people who profess to believe in Jesus Christ to say that what a particular church teaches does not really matter. Many people believe that it does not matter whether a church is a Lutheran church, a Baptist church, a Methodist church, or a community church, or a church of Christ. Many think that believing that Jesus is the Christ is all that really matters.

While many believe this, what does God have to say?

But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema (Galatians 1:8-9).

The word “anathema” here means one that is accursed. According to Paul, those who preach any other gospel than the original Gospel will be going to hell if they do not repent and change their ways!

Many think that the “Gospel” that Paul talks about involve the “basics” of the faith, and the “basics” only. Those “basics” are the belief that God is One in Three Persons, that Jesus is the Son of God and God the Son, that He was raised from the dead on the third day, and that salvation can only be found through Jesus. It is certainly true that these “basics” are very important and we must agree on them if we want to be followers of Christ and to receive salvation (cf. 2 John 1:7-11). But the letter to the Galatians makes it clear that the “Gospel” of which Paul speaks is much more than this!

Paul’s letter to the Galatians makes it clear that there were false teachers going around to the various churches in Galatia teaching the Gentile Christians that they needed to be circumcised and follow the Law of Moses (Galatians 3:3-4, 4:8-11, 5:1-5). This was the “other gospel,” the idea that the Gentiles needed to also follow the Law of Moses. According to Paul, those who taught these things were accursed– and those who accepted them were cut off from the grace of God in Christ (Galatians 1:6-9, 5:1-5)!

As far as we can tell, the “Judaizing” teachers in Galatia believed that God is One in Three Persons, that Jesus is the Son of God and God the Son, that He was raised on the third day, and that He is now Lord. According to many today, they should be accepted since they are “fellow Christians.” Yet Paul says that they are accursed!

We mention all of this to ask a very important question:

If those teaching that circumcision was necessary were accursed, what about those who teach various doctrines not found in the Bible today?

This question can take many different forms. For instance, if accepting circumcision is in debt to keep the whole Law and are separated from Christ (Galatians 5:1-5), what about those who still believe that the Law is binding today? Or, if binding circumcision was a “false gospel,” what about the belief that one should pray the “sinner’s prayer” to be saved, a prayer never mentioned in the Bible, when the Bible clearly shows that one should be baptized (Acts 2:37-38)? Likewise, if believing that following the Law on top of being a Christian was sinful, what about believing that God does everything and people can do nothing for their salvation?

We could make this parallel with many other doctrines and beliefs in various churches. The letter to the Galatians makes it clear that doctrine does matter. The Bible shows that some people will go to hell because of what they taught (Galatians 5:19-21)!

We do not say these things because we want people to go to hell– far, far from it! Friend, we do not want anyone to go to hell, including you. That is why we talk about these things. We do not want anyone to be deceived into believing that doctrine does not matter and that one church is as good as another!

But, you may ask, doesn’t God want us to be one? Absolutely! As it is written,

“Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me” (John 17:20-21).

Jesus’ prayer makes it clear that God wants those who believe in Him to be one. But the Bible makes it clear that the unity of believers must be real unity, not the “unity in (doctrinal) diversity” that so many promote today. Consider what Paul tells us:

Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10).

This is the type of unity God desires– the same unity that exists between the Father and the Son. We are one in Christ when we have the same mind and the same judgment– when we teach and believe in the same truths!

This does not mean that we must all be the exact same people! God expects different people to be in His church doing different things and using different abilities, just like our bodies are made up of different parts doing different things (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). People of different races, languages, and ethnicities can and should all be part of the church (Galatians 3:28). There may even be differences of opinion on matters of liberty– things regarding which God has not shown concern (cf. Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8).

Yet even though the church may be made up of different people from different backgrounds, whatever God has spoken in the New Testament, they must all accept it, believe it, and promote it (Romans 1:16, Galatians 1:6-9). Please remember that what a church teaches does matter, and if a church is not teaching God’s truth as revealed in the New Testament, it is a false church teaching a false gospel. If they do not change their ways, they will end up accursed!

Friend, we encourage you to think about these things, study the Scriptures, pray to God, and consider whether what has been said is true. We also encourage you to seek out a church of Christ near you, where you can find a group of Christians who are seeking to follow God according to His Word and His Word only, not accepting the creeds or traditions of men as authoritative. We look forward to encouraging you in your walk with Christ!

  1. Amory Dixon

    Share this Bible Study with others…

    I am a born again Christian who wants to share the truth about the breath of God. If you answer these five questions, you are going to understand that we are not born sinners, because God is sinless.

    1.- Is the breath of God (eternal souls), which gives us life, contaminated with sin?
    Before answering, remember the following Scriptures:
    a.- Job 33:4 says: “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
    b.- Isaiah 42:5 teaches: “Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein”
    c.- Psalms 33:6 teaches: “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
    d.- Psalm 100:3 teaches that God has made us, and not we ourselves.
    e.- Jeremiah 1:5 (God is speaking) “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you….”.
    f.- Psalm 139:13 teaches that God formed my inward parts; and God covered me in my mother’s womb”.
    g.- John 1:3 teaches: All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
    If you answer “No”, then I ask: Are we born sinners if the breath of God, which gives us life, is not contaminated with sin?
    2.- Why does the Bible teach in Ezekiel 18:4 that all souls belong to God, and that the soul who sins shall die (will be separated from God), if we are “supposedly” born sinners?
    3.- Did Jesus lie when He said that the Kingdom of God belongs to little children, knowing that sin cannot enter Heaven? Matthew 19:14
    Deuteronomy 1:39 teaches: Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
    AFTER ADAM AND EVE SINNED:
    Genesis 3:22 teaches: And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.
    4.- Why did Jesus use the word “AGAIN” in John 3, when he said “you must be born AGAIN”, instead of saying: You must be born spiritually? What requirements have to be met to “be born again”?…. Firstly, you have to be spiritually dead (Galatians 2:1). And secondly, you must have been spiritually alive. Otherwise the Bible wouldn’t use the word “again” if a person had never been spiritually alive. It would simply use the words “spiritually born”…………….. Can I say: Kevin is going to drive a truck AGAIN if KEVIN has never driven a truck?
    Some people translate the word “AGAIN” as “being born from above”, but by Nicodemus´ answer it cannot mean that, since he understood to return to his mother´s womb, and be born a second time (John 3:4). Furthermore, Galatians 4: 9 translates that word as “again” (when it says …. you desire to be enslaved all over again?)Nicodemus understood that Jesus was speaking about the flesh, but Jesus told him that He was speaking of spiritual things – “You must be born again,” he said.
    5.- Are our names written in the Book of Life at birth? Revelation 3:5 ; Exodus 32:33…… If you answer “Yes” (the names are written in the Book of Life at birth), then I ask: Why is it called the Book of Life, if we are supposed to be born spiritually dead?…… If you answer “No” to the question , then I ask: Whose names are going to be blotted out from the Book of Life, if the names written in it when receiving Christ cannot be erased?
    Let us put the two Scriptures together (Revelation 3:5 and Exodus 32:33): “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels…. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” ………… THEN our names are written in the Book of Life!

    The Bible teaches that little children do not know the difference between “good and bad” in Deuteronomy 1:39. In other words, they have not committed any sin yet — they belong to God (Matthew 19:14). Ezekiel 18:4 teaches: “….. The soul who sins will die.”

    “Being born in sin” (Psalm 51:5) means that we (eternal souls) are born in a body contaminated with sin. And after we break the Law (1-John 3:4), we become sinners (Ezekiel 18:4). Ezekiel 18:4 teaches: “….. The soul who sins will die.”.
    “Being born sinners” means that the breath of God, which gives us life (eternal souls), is contaminated with sin.

    Blessings
    Amory Dixon
    —-
    Biblical difference between
    “Being born in sin” and “Being born a sinner”

    1.- Can the breath of God, which gives us life (eternal souls), be contaminated with sin?
    Job 33:4 says: “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
    There is no way the breath of God could be polluted with sin! I believe we (eternal souls) are born in a body contaminated by nature (Psalm 51:5 says: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin, my mother conceived me.”). We inherit sin through the flesh (Romans 5:12), but the soul cannot be born sinful (Job 33:4, Ezekiel 18:4).

    2.- The Bible defines SIN as follows:
    1-John 3:4 says: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law”. To say that we are born sinners contradicts this biblical definition.

    3.- The Bible teaches the following about SIN:
    Romans 5:19 says: “For as by one man’s disobedience “many” were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall “many” be made righteous.”
    The Greek word “many” is the same in both cases, made sinners and made righteous. If someone said that “the many” means “all”, that is to say … by the disobedience of a man “all” were constituted sinners “, then I would say: If “the many” means ALL, the second part of the verse would say that “by the obedience of one ALL will be made righteous.” If this were true, then…. Why preach the Gospel of Salvation if all will be supposedly saved?

    4.- Little children go to Heaven because they are not yet sinners
    (Deuteronomy 1:39; 2-Samuel 12:23). Romans 6:23 teaches that the wages of sin is death (separation from God). If Jesus said that babies (little children) (Matthew 19:14) go to Heaven is more than for simple “Innocence” or “Mercy”, since sin has a price and must be paid (Romans 6:23). This principle is taught in Leviticus 4:2-14, which says that when a person sins by mistake, he/she had to offer an offering to the Lord for his/her sin.
    Deuteronomy 1:39 teaches: Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
    AFTER ADAM AND EVE SINNED:
    Genesis 3:22 teaches: And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.

    5.- Jesus spoke of being spiritually born again. But to be born again, one must be spiritually dead, and secondly have been spiritually alive.
    In John 3, Jesus said that it was necessary “to be born again”. That Greek word is used only three times in the Bible.
    Some people translate the word as “being born from above”, but by Nicodemus´ answer it cannot mean that, since he understood to return to his mother´s womb, and be born a second time (John 3:4). Furthermore, Galatians 4: 9 translates that word as “again” (when it says …. you desire to be enslaved all over again?) Nicodemus understood that Jesus was speaking about the flesh, but Jesus told him that He was speaking of spiritual things – “You must be born again,” he said.

    Now, I ask myself: What requirements have to be met to “be born again”?
    Firstly, you have to be spiritually dead (Galatians 2:1). And secondly, you must have been spiritually alive. Otherwise the Bible wouldn’t use the word “again” if a person had never been spiritually alive. It would simply use the words “spiritually born”.

    6.- By Nature children of wrath.
    Ephesians 2:3 says: “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
    Is this Scripture talking about the soul or the body? Nature in this verse is the Greek word fisis that means growing by germination – natural production (lineal descendant), genius or natural disposition, natural, human nature. In its verb form is the word fuo which means germinate or grow (sprout, produce) – literal or figurative: sprout, be born.
    What grows in the mother´s womb? The soul or the body? The answer is “the body”.

    7.- Nobody is going to go to Hell for Adam’s sin.
    Each person is responsible for their own sins. (Revelation 20:12 says: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.)

    8.- ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY
    Romans 3:12 says: They are all gone out of the way, they are together unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    The Greek word “Out of the way” can also be translated as “deviate”, “turn away”; in other words the Scripture is saying that at a given time “All were on the way”. The Scripture doesn´t say that we are all born out of the way.
    Deuteronomy 1:39 says: Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.
    God´s sovereignty:
    – Sanctified before birth.
    Jeremiah 1:5 says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
    – The wicked get contaminated in their mother´s womb, and they have a known future.
    Psalm 58:3 says: The wicked are estranged from the womb;These who speak lies go astray from birth.
    Proverbs 16:4 says: The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.

    9.- I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.
    To say that we are born spiritually dead doesn´t answer the questions about Revelation 3:5 (He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.)
    Is every human being´s name written in the Book of Life when he/she is born? (with the exception of Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8)
    If we answer “Yes” (the names are written in the Book of Life at birth), then I ask: Why is it called the Book of Life, if we are supposed to be born spiritually dead? Furthermore, if we answer that our names are written in the Book of Life, and supposedly we are born sinners, then when our names are erased from the Book of Life we would lose our salvation.
    If we answer “No” to the question, then I ask: Whose names are going to be blotted out from the Book of Life, if the names written in it when receiving Christ cannot be erased?
    Now, if we are born “no sinners”, we can conclude that those who sin and don’t receive Jesus as the Savior of their souls, then they will be lost forever in Hell, when their names are blotted out from the Book of Life.

    QUESTION:
    How do children learn to sin if they are not by nature sinners?
    Answer:
    Children sin in a similar way as Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. He was tempted and sinned. Once he was defiled with sin, he lied, and committed any kind of sin. After Adam, unmistakably people sin, because Romans 7:18 says: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.”

    Some people say that the blood of Christ covers their sins, but one may ask: Where in the Bible is that Scripture written? The Bible teaches: Revelation 22:18 “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book”

    QUESTION:
    Why does the Bible call the fruit of the womb “a blessing” if we are supposedly born sinners?
    Answer:
    Psalm 127:3 says: “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”

    QUESTION:
    That the majority of orthodox, biblical and conservative theologians (L.S. Chafer, Strong, Bancroft, Scoffield, Dixon, Towns, Willmington, Ironside, Rice, Evans,… to mention a few) teach that to be born with the sinful, fallen, destitute nature of the flesh… does it mean that this is the same as being born with the soul contaminated by sin?
    Answer:
    One thing is the flesh and another is the soul. Jesus said in John 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” And Paul said in Romans 7:24 and 8:6: “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of his death?…….. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

    QUESTION:
    Why don’t children need to be taught to sin?
    Answer:
    Because we (eternal souls) are born in a polluted body, as the Scripture says in Romans 7:17: “So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”

    QUESTION:
    When we confess our sins to God (1 John 1: 9), does God cleanse our souls from all evil, or our bodies?
    Answer:
    Our souls, since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God … (1 Corinthians 15:50)

    QUESTION:
    But the Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)?
    Answer:
    Amen! But…. it doesn’t say that all are born sinners, but all have sinned.
    To understand the words “all have SINNED” we have to remember….
    1) the definition of sin given by God: “…: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1-John 3:4)….
    2) Little children DO NOT KNOW the difference between good and evil (Deut. 1:39) …..
    3) The kingdom of God belongs to little children — taught by Jesus (Matthew 19:14) ….
    The word ALL (all have SINNED) in Romans 3:23 means: Each and every one of those who knows the difference between good and evil.

    NOTICE:
    Romans 8: 3 teaches us that Christ was born in the likeness of sinful flesh just like us, but He NEVER sinned. (The word likeness is the same used in Philippians 2: 7 which says that Christ was made in the likeness of men). Romans 8: 3 says that Jesus Christ was born IN A SINFUL FLESH (100% man), but even though he was tempted like us He never sinned — God cannot be tempted by evil (100% God). God the Father did not give ANY ADVANTAGE to His Son – He was born just like us, in a sinful flesh.

    Hebrews 2:14 – 18
    Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the [c]descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

    Hebrews 4:15
    For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

    —-
    “Being born in sin” (Psalm 51:5) means that we (eternal souls) are born in a body contaminated with sin. And after we break the Law (1-John 3:4), we become sinners (Ezekiel 18:4).

    “Being born sinners” means that the breath of God, which gives us life (eternal souls), is contaminated with sin.
    ————————–

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