THE AIM OF THE CLASS: SOUND INSTRUCTION
A. One of the goals of this class will be to establish you in a sound instruction, stemming from an accurate and Biblical worldview. However, accurate knowledge or understanding is not our aim, just like it wasn’t the goal for Jesus nor the Apostles that men should simply know the truth.
19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? (Jam 2:19-20 NASB)
B. The Pharisees were experts in the truth. In spite of the many perversions, the Pharisees really had right understanding of the promise in the Scriptures during Jesus’ day. Although they the Scripture is clear that the hope that was derived from the Scriptures was accurate.
14 … I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. (Act 24:14-15 NIV)
C. However, the testimony that we have of the Pharisees is that you can have all of the key doctrines in order, and yet not allow entrance to the Spirit of Truth to transform the inward parts. At the end of the day, it is not sound doctrine that Jesus is looking for it is truth in the heart.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. (Psa 51:6 NASB)
6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. (Mar 7:6 NASB)
13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” 14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. (Luk 16:13-15 NASB)
D. Inward truth is ultimately measured by humility and love being formed in the heart. Believing the truth does not guarantee humility of heart, and so it must be the measuring rod to which all truth is held. We don’t ever stop pursuing the truth or sound instruction, but we understand that the knowledge of the truth is not going to aid anyone on the day when we stand before the Son of Man.
2 …”But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. (Isa 66:2 NASB)
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. (1Cr 4:5 NASB)
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:16 NASB)
E. Sound instruction ought to lead us to a lifestyle of pursuing righteousness, humility, and love. While the Lord is primarily looking at the heart of man, the primary witness either in favor or against us will be how we walk out righteousness in this age. Walking out righteousness will be measured by our works of righteousness and by our words.
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. … 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Mat 6:1, 3-4 NASB)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2Cr 5:10 NASB)
12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. (Rev 22:12 NASB)
36 “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. (Mat 12:36 NASB)
F. Thus, the aim of all of our instruction must be to walk out the truth in a lifestyle of righteousness with the primary goal being the working of humility, love, and Godliness in the inward parts.
1 A Psalm of David. O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; (Psa 15:1-3 NASB)
G. It is possible to have right doctrine and even works of righteousness and yet have wickedness in the heart. However, humility in the inward parts can only come through walking out the truth through a lifestyle of righteousness with the aim being to work righteousness into the heart. So, sound instruction (i.e. right hope) should lead us to a lifestyle of embracing humility and righteousness (i.e. the cross) with the aim of having truth formed in the inward parts.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. (Mat 23:27 NASB)
9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luk 18:9-14 NASB)
H. The fruit of the process of having the affections and values of our hearts conformed to the truth inside is that the Father releases the joy of the Holy Spirit into our hearts to anchor us with perseverance in a lifestyle of walking out the cross.
9 “YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.” (Hbr 1:9 NASB)