Hinging On Heresy – What A Sword
►Wednesday evening at Gospel Light featured an inspiring music special. Brenda D. and Derek M. harmonized beautifully to sing “I Call Him Lord”. Playing piano during the offering was Dan P. and playing during the invitation was Michael G. We thank God for the many talented musicians that help lead us in worship.
►Many prayer requests came from the congregation and were added to those on the prayer list. Pastor Vince Giardino asked Kevin S. to the pulpit to lead us in prayer.
►Details concerning upcoming debate between Reformed Theology and Bible Baptists were given. Pastor Scott Strobel (FBBC) and our pastor had recently met in Lockport to discuss plans. The debate will occur 1 hour after the conclusion of the Men’s Prayer Breakfast on June 12th and is open to all.Our evening saw Pastor add a twist to our Cult series of presentations by speaking about the instrument by which to dissect cults – the Bible. Our key verses were Eph 4:11-16. In them we see the Apostle Paul giving instructions and knowledge to the officers of the church and giving encouragement to the church body. Paul says to “be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” Eph 4:14. In the fulness of Christ, we need to be strong, growing up into Christ in all things, and guarding against “the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” Eph 4:14-15. The church is the body of Christ, with Christ as the head. Paul wrote that from Christ, the whole body is “fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth” Eph 4:16. Pastor Giardino explained that through the knowledge of the Son of God (Eph 4:13) is that perfect unity of the church obtained. (Refer also to Eph 2:19-21, where Paul wrote that “the household of God” is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord”.)
Pastor Giardino warned what would happen if the church did not have good teachers and used a wrong bible (i.e. “rubber sword” as Pastor calls them). The true inspired Word of God is required to get the knowledge needed to grow up into Christ. Without this, a church will not be tightly fit, the body will be disjointed and will be wide open to the “sleight of man”, deception, and wrong doctrine. It is in this environment that cults are born.Not only can the Word of God dissect cults, but it is a discerner of of men. “The bible can read you”, Pastor Giardino said. The basis for this part of Pastor’s message was Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Pastor G. defined “piercing” as “going down deep … down to the very essence” of a man. Why is the Word so sharp? That sharpness is essential to process of salvation.
We were told that, before we were redeemed, we were bond servants to Satan. Pastor used 1 Pet 1:18-19 to remind us that we were bought back by “the precious blood of Christ”. “If you have not been saved, your souls and spirit are together”, Pastor explained. “You need an operation”, he said, “one much deeper than man can perform”. When we are saved, an operation takes place that pierces down to our very essence, “dividing asunder” our soul and spirit (Heb 4:12). This is the “mechanics of being saved”, Pastor Giardino revealed, where the piercing of the gospel sanctifies us and preserves us blameless (1 Thess 5:23). This also is “the faith of the operation of God” written of in Col 2:12.
“Who’s power are we under?” our preacher asked. Before we were saved, we “were by nature the children of wrath” and “children of disobedience” Eph 2:2-3. When a child becomes of age, when a child realizes good and evil, he/she becomes an indentured servant of Satan. But we are now “quickened” by the scalpel of God, Pastor said, becoming a saved, adopted child of God. We now “walk as children of light” Eph 5:8. We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” 1 Pet 1:5.
Pastor Giardino emphasized that it is not enough to be saved. We must also be nourished by the Word, that “may grow up into him in all things” Eph 4:15. We need to grow “in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” Eph 4:13. If we don’t do this, Pastor warned that we will be “spiritual midgets”, prone to wrong doctrine or the wrong church. He further stressed that in a true church, the true Word of God is preached.