There Must Be Heresies – I Corinthians 11:19

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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It has been my privilege to serve on different boards in ministries that recognize the distinctiveness of the Dispensation of Grace and the ministry of the Apostle Paul. Another board member once casually remarked what a blessing it had been for several years to enjoy sweet unity free of controversy and divisive doctrines. Then he said, “But we must be vigilant, because it seems like every few years, Satan sends some kind of doctrinal problem that threatens the integrity of our message, and the harmony of our fellowship.”

In most Christian circles, dangerous doctrines seem to regularly arise. Though it may be surprising to many, these instances are actually necessary. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For there must be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (I Corinthians 11:19). The word “heresies” means a disunion, sect, or party. This implies a division that separates those in error from those who are maintaining proper doctrine. These divisive heresies often come from unexpected sources. Paul warned the elders at the church at Ephesus: “…also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them…” (Acts 20: 30). Therefore, all the leaders were to be vigilant to protect sound doctrine in their assembly. Leaders of local churches must be ones who are “holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9). However, every believer has the responsibility to not be “…tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive…” (Ephesians 4:14). Instead, we must be wise enough to compare what all teachers promote with the Scriptures to see “…whether those things were [or are] so” (Acts 17:11). Historically, many stubbornly persist in doctrinal error out of foolish loyalty to men, and seem to willingly embrace whatever error their leader teaches. However, some can be rescued by sound doctrine when their primary loyalty is to God’s truth. Moreover, those who do stand consistently true and capable in the Word of God are manifest, or “approved,” by sound doctrine and behavior that “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:10).

Believer, don’t despair when division over doctrinal issues comes. These heresies must come to expose those in error and distinguish those who are standing for God’s truth.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."