Essential vs. Non-Essential

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Essential vs. Non-Essential

Postby NetChaplain » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:57 pm

Many biblical doctrines are misunderstood because of the way Scripture can appear to support numerous opposing views within Soteriology. This is because nearly any false teaching can be supported on partial Scripture, but truth is supported on the whole of it (Hermeneutics—Scripture interpreting Scripture).

As you may know, in Soteriology there are essential and non-essential scriptural doctrines concerning the impartation of Grace (receiving salvation), i.e. believing that salvation is only through Christ is essential doctrine for receiving salvation; believing O.S.A.S. (once saved always saved—which I believe Scripture supports) is non-essential for receiving salvation. We are all aware there is a multitude of Christians who have numerous opposing beliefs within non-essential doctrine, but it is within essential doctrine that unification is established in the "Household of God" (Eph 2:19).

Essential doctrine establishes faith and non-essential doctrine establishes growth in faith. Therefore, Christians who unknowingly believe in the false non-essential and disbelieve in the true non-essential will be deficient in much "comfort of the Scriptures" (Rom 15:4), resulting in being "weak in the faith" (Rom 14:1).

Weakness in the faith refers to misunderstanding, being ignorant of, or disbelieving in a scriptural doctrine, in which case impedes one from using it for learning and encouragement. Paul's indication of one being "weak in the faith" in Romans 14 was in similar reference to what Peter encountered in his "Joppa" vision (Acts 10:14, 15), which indicates that Peter was ignorant at that time (the Lord was revealing this for the first time) that in the "New Covenant" dispensation, the ordinances which were against the eating of certain animals was "taken away" (Heb 10:9; 1 Tim 4:4, 5; Matt 15:11), which Peter eventually learned that He was also referring to the receiving of the Gentiles.

This example of Peter's is analogous to any unlearned true scriptural doctrine and if the believer is unaware of it, the teaching cannot be received and utilized. All Christians will be "caught up together" at the same time, “to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:17) and the only historical difference between them will have been the unnecessary "besetting" from the "weight" which believers did not "lay aside" (Heb 12:1), which resulted from not being as encouraged (Heb 3:13) and learned (2 Tim 3:16) as they could have been.

False doctrine weakens faith, resulting in leaving the believer often "fighting" and "beating the air" (1 Cor 9:26); but it is not “possible” to “deceive the very elect” (Matt 24:24). Not finding truth results from not seeking it (Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9).
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS
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