Summary: We need to be on guard against the schemes of the Devil, who would have us mix other faith practices with the Christian faith.
Islington Baptist Church May 20, 2001
Series: Why follow Jesus and not any other religion, philosophy, or way
Key texts for this week: I Corinthians 6:12-13; 10:23; II Corinthians 6:14-18,
Ephesians 4:15-5-20, I Timothy 4:16, Romans 6:11-23, Galatians 1, Revelations 2:12-16
Base text: Ephesians 6:11
As the followers of Jesus Christ we must make sure we don’t mix any other faith practices with the Christian faith
For the past 4 weeks we have been considering the following question: Why follow Jesus and not any other religion, system, philosophy, or way?
It’s a question the Bible calls us to be prepared to answer at any time; for as I Peter 3:15 says “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
In short, a person ought to follow Jesus because
1. He’s the only way to the Father
2. His sinless and perfect life qualifies him to declare the way to the Father. In addition to this, his sinless and perfect life alone qualifies him to offer atonement for sin.
3. He offers a better way of salvation
4. He is the true God, He is Lord
These are the reasons we have considered in our studies but there are other reasons too:
1. His historical resurrection from the dead sets him apart and provides a solid reason for following him. (which we examined on Easter Sunday)
2. His miracles are superior
3. A superior Holy book—the Bible
The bottom line is: There is no one like Jesus. He is the incomparable Jesus. Every examination proves him to be the true God and only Savior. He must be followed and all others rejected.
Today I want to close out our series by emphasizing this point: As the followers of Jesus Christ we must ensure that we take care not to mix any other faith practices with the Christian faith.
This is a very important point because we have for the last month been considering why a person ought to follow Jesus and not any other religion, philosophy, or way. It has been conclusively shown that Jesus is the one to be followed.
Having established all this What sense would it make for us as Christians to commit to following Jesus and then mix into our faith, practices and beliefs that derive from the false religions and ways that we have considered? This is called syncretism. Syncretism is all about a mixing of other faith and philosophy practices and beliefs into the Christian faith.
The early church struggled with this as Galatians 1 and Rev. 2:12-16 indicates
I. We must strive to keep our faith and practice pure and undefiled by the evil practices and philosophies of the other religions and ways that surround us. Many scriptures address this…
In Ephesians 4-5 we are exhorted to: not give the Devil a foothold in our lives, put off our old self with is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, live as children of light and to find our what pleases God. We are to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness.
In I Timothy 4:16 we are told to watch our life and doctrine closely