Dear Church Family,

I listened to a sermon this week in which the man preaching suggested something I remember my father highlighting many years ago. They both said that trained currency specialists do not study counterfeits in order to recognize counterfeits. Rather, they become so familiar with the genuine article that they then are able to point out anything that is not genuine and thereby, fake.

As we strive to live in the world while not being of the world, we are continually bombarded by imposters and delusions. And as you know, typically the most difficult to deal with are those that present themselves as and seem to be the real deal. I am not Chicken Little and I am not a conspiracy theorist (except I have heard something about there being listening devices in our cheese…). Furthermore, I really, really don’t want you to live in fear.

So, why do I bring this up? To encourage you. I want you to know that you don’t have to worry about knowing every detail of every false claim ever made. You don’t have to read book upon book in order to stay relative. You don’t have to be anxious about being taken off guard by some heresy that doesn’t even exist yet. If you will dedicate yourself to the study of the Scriptures in order that you might know God more and more fully—you will be enabled to see what is false because you will know Him who is the Truth.

But, is that all we need to thrive in godliness and be protected from the onslaughts of the evil one? No. We have been designed for community by the Triune God who has always enjoyed perfect community within the Godhead. We were made to thrive together—not alone. Church membership involves submitting oneself to the authority of a local church and the leadership of its pastor(s). This is not to make life miserable or burdensome for anyone—though it is certainly often difficult. This is God’s design for His people in order to bless us! He does this through our efforts to guard, help, love, protect, warn, correct, support, and encourage one another.

It is our love of God and our trust in His plan that draws us to one another as a local church. When we are individually faithful to seek maturity through our knowledge of God according to love, we are not only choosing the path of God’s blessing for ourselves—but for all those with whom we have covenanted together in church membership.

Thank you for loving the Bride by loving her Groom. It is a great blessing to serve you by leading you. May we be found faithful to His Word, together.

2 Peter 1:3-2:3; Ephesians 3:11-16; Colossians 1:28-29; 1 John