Shun All Religious Traditions Contradictory to
Rightly Divided and Exegeted Scriptures!
By Pastor George D. Cutler
Grace Gospel Ministry
Faithfully informed minds of God’s people contemplate their entrance into numerous manifested functions constituting unique testimony of the Body of Christ, assembling together to exhibit God’s eternal workings. The roots of such glorious conveyances of Divine Testimonies defy centuries of the elect’s obvious shortcomings in displaying faithlessness; of which is undeniably attributable to human depravity and scriptural ignorance. The underlined culprit in this regard is reflective in entrenched humanly oriented traditions and institutions, which are more concerned with their formalities of religiosities than they are about adhering to the dictates of the Grace Covenant Scriptures. Consequently, most gatherings for worship and study are encumbered with the illusions of commemorations for out of sync dispensational fitting hallmarks of traditions, as their directives for functioning.
Contrariwise, the Grace Covenantal Scriptures are not laden with the embellishments of ceremonial trappings and symbols, as such have never been a central part of their life and commitment appeals, which rely solely on abstract principles. The recipient of God’s grace convergence of the illumination and commitment of service defines the sacredness of ones call, which unquestionably prompts reflection on faithfully abiding in the priceless volume of dispensational Grace Doctrines. These are indeed genuine roles of testimonials in the Body of Christ, as distinguished from the driving impulse behind most testimonials; engendering orthodoxy in lieu of sound scriptural logicality. Unfortunately, motivation to embrace the truth for truth’s sake alone …to give voice to the essence of Christ in the fullest possible sense is rare indeed.
In the greater sense, particular forms of historical testimonials have been shaped by confrontations of documented physical trial bases at best. This supposedly mirrors responses to this age in rearticulating specific diversities of covenantal testimonial experiences in a pointed way ……..so as to associate today’s life challenges in the view of these formats by fully relying on documented responses to those historical challenges. As a result, most of today’s testimonies are characterized by these type pointed distinctions wherein all of life challenging exercises are viewed in drawing boundaries where the particular forces of traditional “deliverance claims” supposedly heightens the contrast between true and false faith. The shaping of these beliefs of testimonials’ structures are intended to foist the identities and designs of this day as ever remaining sacred occasions of relevant attestation for all to consider ……not as the central role of abstract principles in structuring the identity of genuinely living in Christ …………but actually in contradiction to such.
II Thessalonians 2:15 states, “So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions, which you were taught whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” In the Doctrines of Grace in general, the basic concern is always to stand fast in the truth and function in the greater encouragement to continue in them firm and unmoved, in comprehending that its recipients thereby were chosen in eternity unto salvation and manifested in time. The internalization of the truth exudes the enjoyment of the glory of Christ in which such truths may be called parado,seij (pahr·ahth·os·ees) rendered “traditions,” i.e., that which are delivered over or taught; as this implies that they are delivered from one to another ………to the churches of Christ. Thence, such are called the “form of doctrine” delivered in conveyance of the faith once delivered to the saints, as they that received them, faithfully delivered them. The terms of conduct and behavior, both in the church and the world, even all the directive for the Body of Christ, are under obligation to be emphatically taught. I Thessalonians 4:2 states, “for you have known what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” Such are those directives of faith and love, as they relate to the worship and service of God, for the abiding ones of Christ's house, in their behavior one towards another as well as their conduct in the world. Such were delivered to them, not as from themselves or by their own authority but in His name and by His authority as ordered by Him!
The commission of the ministry then is to teach all things whatsoever the message of the Mystery commands. In this sense, it is imperative to know these commands, as to what they are and the obligation they engender to regard them very highly. The reason or argument to engage them in obedience incites the version for rendering paraggeli,aj (pahr·ahy·yehl·ee·ahs), "commands" or “instructive directives.” These are such as under the direction of Christ and through the guidance of His Spirit and are not the traditions of men or the rudiments of the world but what has been received by "our" word, more definitively Paul’s epistles. Thus, doctrines, ordinances and directives of disciplines in identification were communicated both by word of mouth and by writings afterwards. What is delivered in the ministry of the word to the churches in the present dispensation are the standing rule of faith and practice even when such countenance contradicts the written traditions of the orthodox institutions and what is taught in them, Hence, what is received in this manner becomes what is to be laid hold on, retained and never let go ……neither with respect to doctrine or practice.
The roots of grace are basically integral to the founding and operational functioning of scriptural institutions. The very idea of the rightly divided scriptural directives controlling the operations of ministering was resisted even in Paul’s era and has remained controversial through the centuries. This lack of knowledgeableness of God’s Word demonstrates need for scripturally educated operational ministries. It does bode well to scrutinize the orthodox structures that have been long established as the pattern for operations in ministering endeavors. The decline of those adhering strictly to the directives of the Grace Covenant has to be the most celebrated embarrassment to spiritual educational ministering efforts. Those truths that are established for the purpose of developing scripturally informed ministers are adversely impacted by orthodox systems immensely loyal to their traditional institutions and thus unwilling to surrender their misperceived “successful” identities and structures.
It is very important to bring together the threads of scriptural aspiration left untied by so many, as they seek to accommodate the whims of either traditional orthodoxy and/or modern day trends. The functionality of God’s people must not be enclave to orthodox theology solely on the basis of such having been established as to what is proper through the centuries in ministering. The inaugural standards and directives of godly functioning are exclusively the product of that which was delivered from God to His elect as their privileged spiritual pathway in operational functioning. In presenting God’s vision for a uniquely scriptural institution, such draws strictly from the deep rootage of what is identified as the "wisdom,” which was imparted to the Apostle Paul by revelation of the Mystery (Ephesians 3:1-14; Colossians 1:23-29). The influence of these conveyances surely exerts more powerfully, the moral and ministerial impact than the towering formalities of institutionalism and traditionalism. Ardently believed traditions of faith, even though they may be clearly articulated and endowed with institutional authority ……………are not necessarily Scripture-wise, permeative to the establishment of their authenticity.
Such must be scrutinized and weightily addressed …….not as uncertain responses to God’s directives but as that which are certain of rectitude (correct in judgment or procedure) in pointing toward the scriptural vision for spiritual education, which is open at some level to all the elect, regardless of their educational preparation or non-preparation. Actually, it is the Holy Spirit who enables comprehension rather than those that are privy to the strenuous programs of exceptional preparation offered by the religious affiliations, which are firmly rooted in binding all those that abide therein. Their “confessions” of doctrinal principles emphasize the basis of inciting concern for what is erroneously foisted descriptively as the volumes of “conventional truth” of God’s Word. The central pole and most critical role of “scriptural truth” lies in bringing the Grace Covenant’s Abstract of Principles to digestible form for internalization in the mindset of God’s people. This is best served by education though studies that are directed to and governed by regulative confessions of faith purely in the Grace Covenantal sense. What can be learned and embraced in a strictly traditional sense is for the most part antithetical to what should be internalized strictly in the scriptural sense.
In this light, nothing can be relied upon as encompassing the truth other that what is evidenced in the conveyances of the Grace Covenant Scriptures. This is of course considered revolutionary in the sense of rejecting many centuries of servitude to the orthodoxies that are regimented as essential for walking in the avenue of enlightened godliness. However, what is true must be gauged by what is scriptural. Colossians 2:8 states: “See to it that no one shall make a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ.” This verse warns against the various forms of false teachings, in admonishing: “see to it” i.e., take heed and be on guard against those preying on God’s people utilizing false teachings. Note that the Greek participle sulagwgw/n (see·lah·gog·on) rendered “make a prey of” is derived from two Greek words literally denoting to lead away as prey, take one a captive or carry off as spoil. Here, it can be noted that humanistic philosophies are very effective means of accomplishing this by subtly stirring mankind’s depraved nature, which readily embraces human wisdom and the speculative gnostic philosophies. Gnosticism emphasizes that everything emancipates from matter through knowledge, which is undoubtedly a very destructive philosophy. The Apostle John obviously had this same type of error in mind in divers’ conveyances of his first epistle.
Characteristically, another result of false teaching engenders kenh/j avpa,thj (kehn·ees ahp·aht·ees) rendered “empty deceit.” The adjective kenh/j (kehn·ees) rendered “empty” denotes that which is nothing, void, vain and hollow and the noun kenh/j (ahp·aht·ees) rendered “deceit” denotes deceitfulness, delusion or to beguile, which exudes the effectiveness of what false teachers offer and in the final analysis, boils down to absolutely nothing. Those who followed their teachings, with their lofty promises, end up being deceived and deluded with hollow nothingness, i.e., the unsatisfying emptiness of deceptive religio-philosophical promises, encompassing their inability to meet spiritual needs. The sum total of all this adds up to a deceptive pie-in-the-sky delusion, a big zero, nothing! Note that the human philosophy engendering empty deceit is according to the traditions of men. Again, the Greek noun para,dosin (pahr·ahth·os·een) rendered “traditions” is derived from two Greek words literally denoting to give beside, give over or hand down; representing what the natural mind of man, in its fallen state, has accumulated in the process of time. Throughout the ages, as also in the present day, mankind has been more meticulous about keeping the traditions of men than the commandments of God (Colossians 2:22; Titus 1:14; Mark 7:8-13).
The enlightenment of God’s Word imbues separation from all those engulfed in the traditions of men; as such are freed from them and controlled only by the Rightly Divided and Exegeted Scriptures (Galatians 1:10-14). In stark contrast to the Grace Scriptures, philosophy and empty deceit are according to the rudiments of the world. The Greek noun stoicei/a (stee·khee·ah) rendered “rudiments” conveys the idea of the basic physical elements, first principles or mundane elements associated with religious systems, which references the aspects of things based upon human traditions and worldly rudiments. Note that such are not according to Christ. The preposition kata (kaht·ah) rendered “according to” denotes conforming to, agreeing with or being in harmony with. When used with the negative particle, as in this instance, the thought is that nothing in such conforms to, agrees with or harmonizes ……..as neither these messages nor methods are in accord with the directives of Christ. The clear mandate embraces truth and wisdom of the Gospel of Grace (Ephesians 3:2-9; I Corinthians 15:1-4); engendering explicit orders as to the methods to use and become involved in, thus shunning philosophies and deceptive schemes, while abiding in the Grace Covenants Scriptures therein ………in season, out of season (II Timothy 2:2; 4:2).
Religious traditionalism impose the figure of a stalwart defender of theological and ecclesiastical standards, which argue for the so-called "necessity and importance of creeds and confessions” in their religiosities. Such considerations appear to be their great designs for establishing in all ages that such are the depository, guardian and witness of biblical truth. This same conviction, to this day, drives those who deliberate and propose abstract of principles based strictly upon institutionalized confessions, which are merely their contrived revisions adopted in revised forms by traditionalist associations. Unfortunately, such greatly influence orthodox Christendom in its views of doctrinal teachings and practices and detail the principles, which guide the majority of its conventional thinking. In stark contrast to this, the Grace Covenantal abstract of principles are: 1) a complete exhibition of the doctrines of grace, 2) the directives that convey clearly and distinctly the practices that should be prevalent among God’s people, 3) principles that embrace no doctrines or practices other than those that are gleaned exclusively from that which are addressed to the Grace Church and 4) the explications that clarify the originating process and underline the incredible unity that is in Christ.
The directives to the members of the Body of Christ comprise that which are certain and undivided on "the doctrines of grace" and matters which do not threaten unity of the Scriptures. It is solely this Volume of Truth that avoids the so-called “confessions” dealing with issues relating to the landmark controversies in particular that invoke questions of rites and ritualism of baptisms, etc., as well as alien immersions into the contested terrains regarding the numerous open and close communications among God’s people. This Truth projects integrity of the Scriptures’ witness of the doctrines of grace, thus exuding their essential particularities. Indeed, the Abstract of Principles immersed in the Eternal Doctrines of Grace remains the powerful testimony of the scriptural heritage that is genuinely evangelical, reformed, biblical and glorious. When the eternal plan, purpose and will of God are brought forth as the fundamental laws and positions stipulating the fundamental principles of the Gospel, as subscribed to His elect, such are indicative of His concurrence in their correctness as the epitome of Divine Truth.
In this light, it is the imperative duty of the scripturally informed to militate against any profession that doctrinally violates such truth, even in spite of criticism for confronting such in love. In this spirit, every enlightened member of the Body of Christ should freely affixed their efforts to the internalization of the grace message, i.e., to this specific “confession of faith.” Solidly proclaiming that these conveyances are the exclusive “Abstracts," will always be a guarantee to the surety of God’s Word, as the conviction against any perversion from its original intent. It must be comprehended that the Grace Covenant was designed to be compact, but without obscurity or any weakness in explicating to the fullest extent of its directives. I Thessalonians 2:13 states, “because of this also, we do give thanks to God continually that having received the word of hearing from us of God, you accepted, not the word of man but as it is truly the word of God, who also does work in you, believing.” This conveyance is versed in consideration that the status of the addressees are as the results of their election of God (I Thessalonians 1:4). In this sense, ones effectual calling is prelude to ones reception of the word of God, as expressed in having and receiving it as the effectual operation owing to the goodness and grace of God therefore.
This entrance of engaging God’s Word considers the influence and effect it has upon all its recipients without guile, flattery, covetousness or any sinister view, with all integrity, labor, diligence, affection and tenderness. Note the rendering “that having received the word of hearing from us of God, you accepted.” Here, the Greek phrase paralabo,ntej lo,gon avkoh/j parV h`mw/n tou/ qeou/ evde,xasqe (pahr·ahl·ah·von·dehs log·on ahk·o·ees too Theh·oo eh·theh·xahs·theh) rendered "having received the word of hearing of God, you accepted," is what was heard and received by its recipients. It is called the Word of God because God is the author of it. It comes from Him and is ministered by His authority and is that which is given by His inspiration and His grace, in having been chosen, redeemed, justified, pardoned, adopted and regenerated in eternal life through the Decree of His will in eternity. This is the exclusive matter that is purposed for the comfort of His people, as it is heard and received unto understandings, spiritually and thus experientially into their minds. Hence, to assent to the truth of it, so as to believe in what is revealed in it; is to love it with joy. Those privileged to receive it, do so gladly with meekness and readiness and become engrafted in bringing forth fruit in the like manner of which it is received.
The truth is never received as the words of men, which is at its best, fallacious and deceitful, and at its least, dubious and uncertain. Such is not to be depended on nor received as wise because it is clothed with the wisdom, eloquence and oratory of men. Such is destitute, in that its reliance is upon the credit and authority of men. Contrariwise, Truth is the Word of God and is always agreeably to the perfection of His nature and the bearings of His Divine Authority. They that received it do so with much assurance and certainty, as the infallible truth, inviolably adhered to without any alteration, i.e., without adding to it or taking from it. Its directives are to be held in the greatest esteem, reverence and never to be departed from. The manner in which it is received, effectually works in what is believed. The essence of the effectual workings refers to God, as indeed it must be attributed to Him, accomplishing His purpose through His word. Thus, the sense is that God works by and in His word and His word only effectually works, as it comes in His power. The power of God unto salvation to them believing (those caused to) encompasses His Divine Decree, powerfully and effectually working to the quickening of the enlightening of darkened minds, the unstopping of deaf ears, the softening of hard hearts, producing faith which works by His love, encouraging in hope, delivering from the bondage of the depraved nature. In this sense, the process of comforting the hearts of God’s people under afflictions and trials is never accomplishable through Religious traditionalism.
All articles of Truth must begin with the essence of the Holy Spirit affirming them as the basis of their scriptural conformance to God; in graciously and freely revealing Himself to His elect. The first premise must be that all the Scriptures are inspired by God and are sufficient, certain and authoritative. Their certainty bears witness to the perfection and unblemished truthfulness of God's revelations through His written Word. Hence, the abstractness of them in the Grace Covenant is bold in testifying that the God who has spoken is none other than One sovereign Lord and creator of the entire universe; infinite in His divine perfection as the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things. Furthermore, God is revealed in the form of three Divine manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who is without division of nature, essence or being. Those who voice either ancient or modern assaults upon the integrity of this illumination will find no consistency of Truth elsewhere.
The manifestation of God’s Decree encumbers all things that “come to pass” and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events." There is no other comprehensive witness to the actuality of Divine providence authentically. Hence, God is not inert, inactive or ineffectual, in that the adequacy of Divine sovereignty is beyond the limited understanding of so-called human freedom. The bottom line is that God is God and His sovereignty is unchallengeable. In this light, the abstractness of the Grace Covenant Scriptures testifies to the “pure” grace aspect of election as God's eternal choice of some persons into everlasting life …….not because of some seen or unforeseen merit in them but through His mere grace and mercy in Christ! There could never be a more eloquent affirmation of God's saving purpose other than election. This directly illuminates human sin through “the fall,” whereby human beings were manifested as “created” in the image of God, as innocent (not free from sin), thus transgressors against the command of God and in essence, testimony of their imperfection and ungodliness!
All of mankind is manifestly the inheritors of the sinful nature of corruption, i.e., being wholly opposed to God and principled righteousness, as therein is the condemnation. Hence, all the exhibitions of transgressions facilitate that none are capable of moral actions without direct intervention from God. This intervention, in testimony of Jesus Christ, the divinely appointed Mediator, manifestly took on human form, yet without sin, "suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. This same Jesus was buried, rose again the third day and ascended to His Father, from whose right hand He "ever lives to make intercession for His people" (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25) and beyond all this, He alone is the Mediator and Sovereign of the Universe. In essence, God's purpose in salvation was actualized in eternal regeneration, whereby in the sphere of time, manifested sinful hearts of His elect, wholly opposed to God of themselves, are quickened and enlightened "spiritually," as the work of God's free and special grace alone. Therein are the abstract points of salvation rather than the doctrines of repentance of individual sins ………responding by the so-called means of "evangelical grace;" so that with “sorrow, detestation of sin and self-abhorrence,” some seek to "walk before God so as to please Him in all things."
God’s infusion of illuminating faith is then …….manifestly believing on His authority in the Gospel of Grace concerning Christ, in solely accepting and resting on Him alone as identification of eternal justification and life. This is the divine gift wrought by the Holy Spirit to those unworthy and of themselves, i.e., on their own part, unable to conjure faith to believe, unaided by the Holy Spirit. Those “who have trusted in Christ by faith,” are not then justified and acquitted before God through the satisfaction that Christ has made ……based upon their consentience to such. Contrariwise, such enactment was "not for anything wrought in them or done by them but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ’s death in Eternity ……as opposed to them “receiving and resting on Him." Thereof (in Eternity) came sanctification, by which the redeemed received their status of “sons of God, heirs of God and joint-partakers of that which belongs to Christ.” Those that are misperceived to be granted divine strength so as to “press after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands," are simply those whom God eternally redeemed in Christ. Hence, they "will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace but are certainly preserved to the end. Even though they may manifestly fall, they are " who, in the power of God are being guarded, through faith, unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:5; ).
Successively, the Abstract of Principles both affirms in Eternity and manifests in time, Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church and therein the possessor of all needful authority for administering order, discipline and worship, which He before appointed. Hence, ceremonial rites of baptism, whether by immersion or sprinkling, “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” or “Jesus’ Name” …...as the enactment of entrance into the Church, the Body of Christ, is a moot operation in the present Dispensation of Grace. At best, it depicts earthly identification; howbeit fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ and remission of sin are fully accomplished in ones eternal placement in Christ before creation (Ephesians 1:4-6). Also, ones so-called consecration unto God through the ceremonial rites of the Lord's Supper as the Church's ordinance of commemoration of Christ's death, in depicting "a bond, pledge and renewal of ones communion with Him; of the Lord's Day as a regular observance of worship of liberty or of conscience ……... are not issues, which are to be entrusted as fully abiding or contained in these practices. Subjugation to traditions of institutions constituting so-termed “Abstracts of Confessions” exudes very sparse spiritual return to the “Abstract Principles of Grace.” On the surface, such may seem “lawful” but scripture-wise they are not for the most part, “spiritually expedient,” i.e., the inherited, priceless and grace-filled testimony to the Gospel of Grace and Eternal Truths revealed in the Grace Covenant Scriptures.
The eternally decreed works of Christ are not in essence evinced in the so-termed “Creeds of Christendom.” Although these so-called “principles of faith” may be in the assessment of many an indispensable traditional classic, as defined and labeled as the confession of faith for public convictions, they do not accurately portray the epitome of spiritual truth. Even as these forms of words are orthodoxly viewed and regarded by their framers as setting forth with authority certain articles of belief for salvation or at least as necessary for “the well-being of the Christian Church;" they do not in any sense adequately describe the purpose of framing the scriptural “Abstract of Principles.” Therefore, they are not genuinely conveyed in true testimony of the “essential doctrines necessary to salvation” or anything else essential to the well-being of the Body of Christ. The operative convictions revealed in their “Abstracts” and in the testimonies of those who frame these “confessions” or so-called “truths” are often confronted by numerous errors of doctrinal depositories and ever changing worldly compromises.
These traditional insurgencies are embellished in orthodoxy and voiced in the breath as “evangelical truth,” whereas anything that does not fit in this mode is considered heterodoxy or heresy. This vocabulary is boldly utilized by such individuals, as their perceived certainty of such claims of the “reality of divine revelation so necessity in orthodox teachings.” Their advocacy of them are taken with such deadly seriousness that no apology is offered for stipulating these unscriptural doctrinal dogmas or for demanding unyielding theological fidelity to such. In fact, what is specifically aimed in critical sight is sentiment for the inevitable precursor of eliminating “heresy,” whereas these doctrines are merely speculations with technical distinctions of logomachies (controversies marked by verbiage). Unfortunately, there is essentially theological indifference to the relevancy of authenticity, wherein traditionalist minimalism and doctrinal denominationalism is the main focus or sentiment. These robust, full-orbed dogmas constitute their faith from beginning to end as such are construed by them to establish the “rightful course.”
In this sense, these are the establishments of the so-called essential doctrines, which are merely their “critical philosophies” that continually spread from orthodox institution to institution, in adapting to the infusion of transcendental type characterizations. Such deleterious establishments are considered to secure their faith, whereas their reliance upon the unseen “abstractness” of scriptural spirituality continually wavers. This interjects a crisis in scriptural doctrines as such is compared in approaching and determining “confessions of faith” as necessary and instrumental safeguards against the errors of atrophy (arrested scriptural development). Purely scriptural authenticity argues for that which is based upon the principles and practices sanctioned by the authority of the Scriptures rather than the whims and popularity of the masses. Only what is scripturally sanctioned imbues assurance of the truth, which is committed and fulfilled in accordance with ministering in the vein of distinguishing truth from error, thus embracing the former and rejecting the latter.
In II Timothy 3:7, it states, “always learning and never able to come unto a perfect knowledge of the truth.” Note that the Greek adverb pa,ntote (pahn·dot·eh) rendered “always” denotes at all times, ever or perpetually. The Greek participle manqa,nonta (mahn·thahn·on·dah) rendered “learning” denotes for one to always be acquiring knowledge, gaining information and being instructed. This verse speaks of learning, which results from either teaching or experience (Romans 16:17; Philippians 4:11). The statement here most likely applies to the corrupting knowledge of what was being taught by apostate captors, as well as the debauching information gained through these unfortunate experiences. Hence, this passage clearly conveys that for one to be merely involved in the process of learning is not necessarily a good end in itself, as the wrong kind of learning will produce detrimental results. Thus the cogitation is that even though some are always learning, they are “never able to come unto a perfect knowledge of the truth.” The adverb mhde,pote (mee·thehp·ot·eh) rendered “never” denotes that not once, not at any time or not ever will such ones come unto a perfect knowledge of the Truth. Note that the Greek noun evpi,gnwsin (ehp·eeg·no·seen) rendered “perfect knowledge” is always scripturally used to convey the idea of a full, complete and mature knowledge.
This passage pleads with God’s people not to be ignorant of the Truth for the Body of Christ, the Church (Romans 11:25; I Corinthians 10:1; 12:1; II Corinthians 1:8), which transcends a partial knowledge of the Truth unto a perfect knowledge of it, for it is impossible for one to get a right perspective of God’s purpose for the present Grace Dispensation apart from knowing all the Truth pertaining to it. Here, the key word in this verse is avlhqei,aj (ahl·ee·thee·ahs) rendered “truth.” This Greek noun has been constantly utilized with multiplied meanings but in this context is best demonstrated by the observance of its usage in: II Corinthians 13:8, “for we are not able to do anything against the truth but on behalf of the truth,” in Galatians 2:5, “in order that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you,” in Galatians 2:14, “but when I saw that they did not walk correctly with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before all,” and in Ephesians 1:13, “and you having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in which also having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise.” Hence, these passages clearly connote the word “Truth” with reference to the Gospel of the Grace of God that was committed unto the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:24; Colossians 1:5). Truth for the present church age (Grace) is the special revelation given to the Apostle Paul by Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12), which he often refers to as “my Gospel” (Romans 16:25) and “the Mystery” (Ephesians 3:2-9). In this light, none are “never able to come unto a “perfect knowledge” of it, according to Hebrews 6:6, especially as such persist in rebellion through their orthodox traditional religious institutions.
Therein is where genuine scriptural institutionalism stands before God and before the certainty of solid ground and that which is of surety. Short of this, no confession is a safeguard to God’s people and no denominational dogma or philosophy owes itself to genuine professions. Denominations in general situate themselves as the trustees responsible for their doctrinal positions; hence the entire history of creeds has proved the difficulty within them of “correcting the errors of perversions of the Word of God.” The professions of most orthodox sentiments are known and approved by religious institutionalism thus no charges of heresy are brought against them, as there is not even a whisper of the peculiar notions, which they hold. However, there are scriptural refutations and charges that point out their formularies, which they hold ex animo (sincerely from their heart), wherein they teach their worldly imports as truth to their patrons at large. Simply put, it must be understood that what may be known as truth in these traditionally established ministries are merely what has been instructed to them void of any rightly divided scriptural basis.
In this light, traditionalist orthodoxy exercises full sympathy with the necessities of these religious institutions and look with confidence and affection to the framers who come forth from them. Hence, these theological institutions portray themselves as ordained by God to bear the unique responsibility to protect the integrity of the (their) Gospel” and its professions that emit mixed and public attestation to their so-called “confessions of faith.” In this, they aver not to “infringe the rights of no man,” as their aim “secures the rights of those who have been established instrumentality for the production of sound ministry.” Their view is that it is no hardship to those who are taught such to be called upon to embrace the declaration of their principles, for there are no fields of usefulness open elsewhere to any man, who need accept their call and conscientious co-sign to their formularies. Yet those abiding in these ministries do not bear the greatest burden of accountability, which should be to the Scriptures rather than to their denominations, in that the former addresses and condemns the traditionalist mindset.
The Scriptures indeed denote such confessions of faith as assaults upon the freedom of the conscience’s full dependence upon the merits of Christ’s righteousness and eternal workings and as such, threatened at all times the total focus of one faith. Those that occupy as such in the theological institutions function in the vein of the destruction of their “total dependency of faith." It is this single error that usually commences the actual heresies that have ever blighted the ministry, for such has not owed its existence to the essence of power and ability associated with the eternal Grace doctrines. The founders and accommodators of the orthodox institutions were painfully and solemnly aware of the history of heresy, which included a parade of doctrinal deviations, yet they are determined to safeguard the institutions that they have established, in so far as human accommodations suffice. It is as if they know nothing of the present age scriptural directives, as they forge ahead in their radical revisionist theologies of process philosophical, mythological and logical positivism. These are the doctrinal principles that have thoroughly facilitated the various patterns of compromises and deviations that have marked the checkered history of the institutionalized Church and its skewed testimony of the truth. These variances have been foisted as the radical “enlightenment and revolution” that are viewed as enough to challenge those under its auspices to be held to a standard higher than that required of the authoritative rightly divided Grace Covenant Scriptures.
Colossians 4:6 states “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how it is necessary to answer each one.” Here, the Greek word lo,goj (log·os) rendered “speech” denotes the words, talk, conversations and teachings that are to pa,ntote (pahn·dot·eh) rendered “always,” at all times, be in grace, i.e., in the sphere of grace. Hence, the directives of instructions, and practices of functionalities and operations should be in the sphere of the Grace of God and of conveying the Gospel of the Mystery. Grace teaching in the ministry should always be the medium through which the fountain of Scripture truth is to flow ……….whose declarations are more than the opinions of any man. All should mold their conceptions to the doctrines of the Grace Scriptures, as they manifest what is more requisite. No difference, however slight, no peculiar sentiments, however speculative is more allowable as agreement with these standards should be exact. Declarations of them should be based upon no mental reservation, upon no private understanding with those who immediately invest into orthodoxy but their articles are to be taught as they are distinctly versed. One should be able to say from ones knowledge of the Word of God that one knows these articles to be an exact summary of the truth therein contained.
Genuine faith is solely operational in the Grace Covenantal Abstract of Principles and God to whom such testify. This revealed Word, rightly divided, is exclusively the Holy Scripture, whose Abstract is a sacred contract and confession for those who are caused to internalize its teachings and affix their signatures to its text and their conscience to its intention. God’s people should pledge to teach and live "in accordance with and not contrary to" its exclusive precepts. The traditional Religious Abstracts are scripturally foreign and have been imposed upon God’s people merely by institutionalism. The charter of their existence and license are to teach ministries where their purpose and hearts are bent toward common confessions in religiosities. In certain sectors of theological education, confessionalism is assumed and charged to be authentically annexed to an ancient era when the Church claimed and proclaimed objective truth on the basis of “divine revelation.” Sound doctrinal Grace scriptural directives are identified as the "collapse of the house of orthodox authority." Hence, all confessions, creeds, doctrines, truth-claims, supernaturalism, theism and commands are swept away by the acids of the rightly divided scriptural incommodity (source of truthful inconvenience).
The traditional orthodox institutions of today function and operate as though they are unaware of the currents of so-called “modern knowledge.” This is not so because simply they do not understand the challenges of a relativistic and secular age, where all issues of truth and meaning are automatically privatized and politicized, and not because they are unaware of the hermeneutics of suspicion, but precisely because their faith in God is voluble (easily rolling or turning), in that they do not scripturally perceive His truth as unchanged and unchanging. Their motive should not be to seek false refuge in the antiquarian past, which is supposedly absolved of all its faults and blemishes but to keep the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Ephesians 1:15, 18; 4:12; Jude 1:3). Contrariwise, they allay and comfort their fears in foundational-ism and human positivism or authoritarianism instead of reverencing God and His divine assessments. Neither in this sense should any be tested by an Abstract upon its arrival or departure from its established orthodoxy but by the framework of its expectations and assurances of confessional parameters in the Grace Covenantal Scriptures.
The Grace Covenant Abstract is most fundamental in centering on the framework within, which is what one should exclusively expect to receive of the instructions in directives for spiritual education. All pledges of convictions and confessions must be formed strictly in the mode of scriptural spirituality. This fact must be thoroughly established before entering into ministering because the calling is gladly, heartily and with consecrated commitment so highly esteemed; the cause of Christ is best served by investing totally in Him. Hence, such deserves the utmost respect, affection and dedicated attention. This Abstract is the exclusive charter to teach and live as the standard of confessional commitments. Genuine confessional committed institutions do not exude but expose the full array of the modern variants of thoughts related to the course of physicality. Also, these options are not value-neutral but their standard of assessment is found within the parameters of the Grace scriptural Abstract. In this charter is found the platform for true spiritual academic excellence, where all fields of doctrinarism are submitted to the most rigorous and analytical study. Therein is found the standard for confessional fidelity to the Grace covenantal Scriptures rather than the traditional institutions and denominations; for their fields of study and research are conducted by those who have established their own confessional commitments, which are made plain and evident for their constituency to study and learn.
Thus, the importance and impact of the Grace Abstract of Principles reaches much farther, as the Church in the present Grace age has arrived at a critical moment; for the denominations once marked by at least an intense theological commitment and a demonstrable theological consensus have seen even their doctrinal unity pass into a so-called “pragmatic consciousness.” In this sense, the entire lot of Christendom are in danger of losing all traces of scripturally theological grammar and more seriously by far, of forfeiting all inferences of Grace theological inheritance. This crisis indeed far outweighs the controversial identifications, marked as the symptoms rather than the root causes. Unabashedly, today’s ministries are in danger of becoming God's most unembarrassed pragmatists, in being much more enamored with statistics than being invested with scripturally correct substance. The Grace Abstract of Principles exude constant reminder of the great responsibility that they bear to the Scriptures, whose name (Christ Jesus) they so proudly bear as their own.
Those internalizing these precious truths bear the collective responsibility of calling to themselves the genuine doctrinal inheritance. This is of course, the true reformation and renewal that only the sovereignty of God can accomplish, but nevertheless, the informed must strive to be acceptable and usable instruments of that renewal. The Grace Abstract of Principles represent a clarion call to start with conviction rather than mere action. It cries out, "don't just do anything …...stand in the principled vein of Grace!" This action reverses the conventional wisdom of the world and places the emphasis where it rightly belongs. Unfortunately, most of God’s people are currently much more feverishly concerned with doing what is popularly accepted rather than with strictly abiding in the Truth, thus genuine scriptural conformity is in jeopardy. In stark contrast to blindly abiding in the comfort of the familiarity afforded in orthodoxy, God’s people must shun al of the unscriptural religious traditions, which may in fact accommodate the denominational activities founded upon doctrinal commandments but they do not fare true for the directives to the Grace Church in the present age at any level ….nor of the local assemblies.
The Grace Covenantal message is very critical for the effectiveness of present day scriptural education. Mature development of spiritual lives can never be measured and properly assessed in terms of mere religious activities and statistics. The view of eternity assesses and judges success most closely ………not on the basis of how many converts are marshaled, how many ministers are trained, how many books are printed or how many structures are built but on whether such abided faithfully in the spiritual strata of Christ Jesus. The purely social, political and even orthodox issues are eternally irrelevant, even though they may be valid markers of traditionally successful institutionalism. But there is a prior question: Do the institutions and those who abide in them stand correctly in God's Truth ………...and in doing so withstand the embarrassment of being alienated from the masses? The answer to this question is amply conveyed in quoting the humble confidence of Martin Luther, as he defied most of the traditional religiosities of his day ….”Here we stand; we can do no other, God help us.”
Accordingly, genuine spirituality begins and stands on the sacred grounds of purely Grace Covenantal scriptural conformity, which engenders one drinking from wells that humanity can not dig and living in the sphere (in Christ) that humanity can not build. Therein are truly abiding the God-centered ministries, which are drawn to study and embrace the God-centered confessions, which are directed in implementing the God-centered administration (Grace Dispensation) of fellow-servants dedicated to the purposes for which the genuine Grace institution stands. The Grace Covenantal Scriptures commend its confessors to study and its students to confess that all members of the hallowed community of the Body of Christ are focused eternally in Him and to each other. Therein is laid the foundation and godly motive in every task of functionality, which realistically exudes contending for the faith and caring for each other.
Those that are so caused to …………… will study, learn, teach and serve in the vein of the spiritual eternal unseen stratum, hence depicting what is the true communion of the consecrated servants of God. Nothing in the mode of the religious traditional doctrinal seminars, recital rooms, lecture halls, etc., as are offered by institutionalized orthodoxy, as authentications of God’s word and directions, can suffice, as long as such run counter to the rightly divided and exegeted Scriptures. Hence, in this light, the prayer of the informed must be: “may God grant His elect in the present Church age to engage in prioritizing the contemplation of the Mysteries of God's Heavenly wisdom with ever increasing devotion to God's glory and edification of the Body of Christ. Short of this, none of God’s people can realistically reside in the absolute fellowship of knowing and communing in the joys of “in Christ.”
Accordingly, God’s people in the Present Grace age must abide in the foundation of truth rather than the formalities of tradition. Hence, genuinely structured godly living engenders conformity to the instructions and directives outlaid in conveying the operations and functionality of the elect in the Body of Christ; as solely strangers and sojourners in the presently manifested terrain of creation in time on Earth ……in view of their actualized status of having been made citizens with the saints and members of the family of God in the Heavenlies in Christ Jesus. Thus, it is strictly in this sense that God’s People must Shun All Religious Traditions Contradictory to Rightly Divided and Exegeted Scriptures!