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#57059 Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:37 AM
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There are types of people who profess to be in Christ; those who are truly in Him and those who are not in Him. This has always been the situation since the beginning of Christianity, and the false professors are the hypocrites who will inevitably manifest that they do not truly believe by apostatizing (leaving or departing) from their false profession, for only those truly reborn (saved) never cease their profession in the Christian walk. Hypocrites are those whom the Lord Jesus said that “this people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me” (never reborn - Mat 15:8).

The difference between true and false professors is important to identify, and is why the Lord said “the tree is known by his fruit” (Mat 12:33). One of the primary functions of Scripture is to teach believers how to identify those who nominally profess to believe, which eventually show itself outwardly by their lifestyle. Those who are not truly saved always give up, and those truly saved never give up; and this is seen in the parable of the sower in which only one of the examples presented is saved.

When Scripture speaks of those falling away, departing, etc., it refers to false professors who never continue professing to be living in the faith (not falling from the faith but from their false profession of it), because it requires the Spirit creating one in rebirth to be saved and remain. One of the reasons why many people practice false professions (many unaware it’s false until later) is to attempt to ease their conscience by and outward show so that they will be accepted, as guilt always attempts to seek self-justification.

Continuing in professing Christianity does not produce salvation but shows one is saved, for only one who is saved will continue without ceasing. Inwardly we are assured by the Sprit that we are saved (Rom 8:16); outwardly we will manifest this by God’s love for one another (Jhn 13:35). Not our natural love which is to others in the same degree we love ourselves (Mat 22:39), but in the love we have of Christ to others (Jhn 13:34), as this is what makes love to others a “new command.”

I believe one important reason why there are false professors is to outwardly affirm the true professors, just as the Tree of Knowledge was to affirm God’s holiness via contrast of good and evil (He wants us to know His holiness); and as the wheat and the tares bear resemblance when young, they can be distinguished when the ears of grain begin to show in the wheat.


The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS
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Departure from the faith is of two aspects; doctrine and praxis (life). It can be one or the other or in many cases both, for wrong doctrine leads to wrong living. But not all false professors are identifiable for their counterfeit profession is just that... counterfeit. Like a counterfeit $20 bill, it looks nearly identical to the real thing and it is often very difficult to see the difference. This is one of the most pressing responsibilities of the Elders of the Church; to examine those seeking membership to determine whether or not one's profession is credible according to the teaching of Scripture.


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Pilgrim #57063 Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Departure from the faith is of two aspects; doctrine and praxis (life). It can be one or the other or in many cases both, for wrong doctrine leads to wrong living. But not all false professors are identifiable for their counterfeit profession is just that... counterfeit. Like a counterfeit $20 bill, it looks nearly identical to the real thing and it is often very difficult to see the difference. This is one of the most pressing responsibilities of the Elders of the Church; to examine those seeking membership to determine whether or not one's profession is credible according to the teaching of Scripture.
Amen, I agree, quite a task if all have enough time together to learn each other enough for adequate discernment. One truth is certain, hypocrites will manifest themselves out (Num 32:23), because they cannot produce true fruit.


The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS
Pilgrim #57065 Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
This is one of the most pressing responsibilities of the Elders of the Church; to examine those seeking membership to determine whether or not one's profession is credible according to the teaching of Scripture.

Indeed, but also to watch over the pastors' teaching to make sure they keep to the true faith as well as the other members. The saying that false doctrine has its roots in the study of pastors and theology professors is true. False teaching can start with something so small that few notice it. At least in our denomination, I think this is where the problem lies - the Elders are not always serious about these matters.

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Johan #57068 Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:12 AM
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AMEN! The overwhelming majority of heresies which have assaulted the Church has come from Professor/Teachers and Pastors of the Church. Rarely does heresy enter the Church via a 'lowly member'. But members should be biblically literate through their own diligence to study the Word, for this is what Christ expects of all His true children. It is how a Christian grows in grace and offers true spiritual worship to God. Additionally, it is the membership of the Church which should be keeping watch on the Elders to hold them accountable for sound doctrine and purity of life. It isn't just "pastors" that often err but Elders since a pastor is an Elder. There is only one office of Elder, contrary to what the Continental Reformed and Presbyterian polity teaches; Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders which they falsely defend saying there are 3 offices in the church which correspond to the 3 'offices' of Christ; Prophet, Priest and King. Scripture only knows of one office of Elder, within which there is equality of responsibility and authority. Some are given to the public preaching of the Word, but ALL Elders are to be teachers of the Word as Paul clearly states in the list of qualifications for the office. (1Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9) Thus, there is a mutual responsibility of EVERY professing believer, regardless of what role they have in the Church to keep the Church pure, as much as possible. Unfortunately, even when betrayers of the faith are exposed and charged, in some denominations those who are given the authority to deal with such individuals are no less corrupt than the one who is charged and thus proper discipline is rarely executed. The common "sheep" knows far better what is right and wrong and what should be done in such matters, but they are not given any means to deal with the offenders. So, unfortunately but with biblical warrant, they should depart from that local assembly and in more severe cases from the denomination itself for judgment is upon them.

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2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (ASV) 14 Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, 18 And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
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1 Peter 4:12-19 (ASV) 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: 13 but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy. 14 If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed [are ye]; because the [Spirit] of glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you. 15 For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men's matters: 16 but if [a man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name. 17 For the time [is come] for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if [it begin] first at us, what [shall be] the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? 19 Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator.


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NetChaplain #57069 Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:13 PM
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The thing that seemed to give the PCA a big hard push back to it's roots at the last General Assembly was the overwhelming number of "Ruling Elders" (that is, non-professionals) that have had enough of the highly-super-educated-and wise-far-beyond-us-mere-mortals clergy (so-called "Teaching Elders") whose great worldly wisdom has led to a bunch of "woke" crud creeping in.

Robin #57070 Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Robin
The thing that seemed to give the PCA a big hard push back to it's roots at the last General Assembly was the overwhelming number of "Ruling Elders" (that is, non-professionals) that have had enough of the highly-super-educated-and wise-far-beyond-us-mere-mortals clergy (so-called "Teaching Elders") whose great worldly wisdom has led to a bunch of "woke" crud creeping in.
Hi, and appreciate the reply!


The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS

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