Berean Lamp Devotional - Ownership of the Truth?
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10).
Jesus is the Truth. In Him alone is all the knowledge of God. Some Christians not only believe the truth can be fully know here on earth, but that they have ownership of it. Correct doctrine is important, but what happens when people believe their doctrine is the truth to the point they withhold brotherly love to Believers who do not fully agree with them?
Paul declared we are known by the Truth, but we do not fully know Him yet, for “we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:1b-3), “for we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). Here Paul compares a Believer’s reasoning to a child’s understanding.
Does this mean we should sacrifice all doctrine or accept any doctrine for the sake of “love?” Of course not! There is no room for doctrine that perverts the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for Paul says, “if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8) and this is the Gospel: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36), for “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
Paul warns against complicating the simplicity of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3-4), but we vain mortals try to take ownership of the truth by promoting our piece of the “truth”—doctrines that create divisions across the Church. It is this pride that is wounded by other Believers who, like us, believe they also have ownership of truth, when in fact it is God who has ownership of all Believers in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we lose love for our Brother over this, we risk a greater sin: “Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10b), for “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:2-9; 13). Let us defend the simplicity of the Gospel with all diligence, devoting ourselves to brotherly love towards all Believers in all humility. Amen.