by John E. Werhan
One of the blessings of living on the plains is wind. The wind that sweeps over the plains powerfully influences every aspect of life. Wind can be a positive as well as a negative.
In our area, we are not plagued with smog, but on the other hand the destructive nature of wind can be devastating.
There are also times when an individual can observe some unique things influenced by the wind. Most of us have had to deal with the plastic shopping bags used at retail stores. Many times I have observed these bags soaring on the currents of wind. At times they were so high that they were barely visible. But most of the time these bags are caught in trees or barbwire fences.
Soaring on the wind, these bags are beautiful but when they come in contact with a barbwire fence, they become shredded and torn to pieces. The effect of the wind on these bags can begin in the positive and end in the negative. This illustration was used by Paul in explaining how individuals can be “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).
People can soar in God’s truth but because of negative influences can end up being caught in the barbwire of apostasy and be destroyed.
In the Ephesians letter, the apostle Paul encouraged Christians “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).
Since they were Christians, they were to manifest, “…all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
Paul wrote, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Then he reminded them of the blessed gift of grace they had received (Ephesians 4:7-10).
Paul then explains the blessings of their faithful walk:
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:14-16).
It is sad that from the inception of Christianity, Satan has used false doctrine to carry individuals to destruction. As Paul noted this is done by “the trickery of men and by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”
Throughout the New Testament, warnings are given concerning false doctrine and false teachers. It is imperative that every person “seek God’s truth” and reject “false doctrine”. Don’t find yourself caught on the barbwire of false doctrine, but seek to soar in God’s truth.
John preachers for the The Northeast church of Christ in Sentinel, Oklahoma.
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