First Things First

Matzos - unleavened bread

NO LEAVEN PLEASE!

Galatians 5:9 (AMP)

A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump (it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church).

I think the way the Amplified translation expands on this verse is spot on and we should pay serious attention to it. I believe what this verse is saying is that the tiniest inclination to error in your theology will lead to wrong thinking and wrong understanding and that will totally pervert the whole conception of your faith. In other words, wrong theology will negatively impact your Christian walk and the way in which you view your heavenly Father and that is serious! For example, if you don’t understand who your heavenly Father is, you will never know who you are in Christ and who He is in you, and neither will you know what you have as a child of God. For example, every time you mess up, you think that God turns His back on you, turns a deaf ear, the heavens become brass or God locks the door to His throne room when He sees you coming, then you will live an insecure, heart-broken and fearful Christian life. I know this because I have the t-shirt and I used to wear it. You will also live a Christian walk where you will be constantly focused on your behaviour and your performance which results in living a self-focused, inward-focused life which makes you conscious of your wrong doings – you become sin-conscious instead of righteousness conscious. You will become what I call a ‘rollercoaster Christian’ – up one day and down the next! You will grovel your way back into the throne room apologizing and constantly begging for forgiveness not understanding that you are already a forgiven child of God. Wrong foundations in your theology is like that leaven which will lead you to have a shaky relationship with your heavenly Father and a weak faith. It is not his relationship with you that will be shaky, but your relationship with him that will be shaky.

Sometimes I think Christians need to go back to the basics, the foundations of their faith and un-do a lot of wrong teaching, wrong understanding and wrong thinking and just start again. It’s like peeling away the layers of an onion until you get down to the simple core and then build again with truths that will establish a strong foundation which will result in victorious living.
In theology, there is something called the ‘Law of First Things’ or the ‘Law of First Mention’.

According to the Biblical Research Study Group, the Law of First Mention means the following: ‘The Law of First Mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. When we thus see the first appearance, which is usually in the simplest form, we can then examine the doctrine in other portions of the Word that were given later. We shall see that the fundamental concept in the first occurrence remains dominant as a rule, and colours all later additions to that doctrine. In view of this fact, it becomes imperative that we understand the Law of First Mention. Therefore, the only proper way to study or investigate anything is to begin with the simple and go to the complex; to start with the fundamental, basic principle and then to develop the subject in its complexities.’

Having incorporated the above definition of the ‘Law of First Mention’ in this post, I want to stress at this point that the Gospel is very simple and I believe that for too long man has managed to complicate it. Therefore, it is my intention to sow simple truths onto the ground of your hearts – simple, yet profoundly deep and powerful and then develop these truths as we go along. So, let’s start with first things first.

Read on: FIRST THINGS FIRST

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