Monday, October 3, 2011

How the teaching of Balaam works

"No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:9-10

John wrote the letter of 1John largely to address a teaching of Balaam that was rampant in that day---Gnosticism. In general, a teaching of Balaam refers to any false teaching that appeals to the flesh by saying God somehow condones, tolerates or is non judgmental about sin for whatever reason.

John refutes this false teaching in several ways in his letter. In the above verse, he says that the word of God by which we were born again remains in us, like a seed that germinates and flowers. Or said another way, as we enter the gate of salvation by receiving the gospel of Jesus, we see that God's word is not only a gate but also a way for our hearts to walk...a way that says, among other things, "Be ye perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect."

When a believer sins, it should not be downplayed or glossed over with one of the many sin-friendly teachings of Balaam. Our sins must be confessed and repented of because our fellowship is with a holy God in the light of his holy word, under the holy blood of His holy Son. (1Jn 1:7-2:2)

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