Standing at the white board with my marker held in midair I scrambled to understand just what it was that he was asking. Was this pastor really asking what I thought he was? We had just unpacked Romans 5:1-5 together on the board and sought to apply biblical interpretation tools to understand the text. Though we completed our task, this man was still fixated on verses one and two. There are moments in life where time seems to stand still. This was certainly one of them.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
His question still rings in my mind even as I write. “What would you say to someone who has been teaching this passage wrong for the last 15 years?” As I searched his face I knew he wasn’t “asking for a friend.” His face revealed that this was a personal matter. For the first time in his life he understood the Gospel. There was overwhelming joy mixed with trepidation. Joy at the incredible discovery while at the same time alarm with the realization that for years he had been teaching a false gospel. He was thinking of those he had taught. He was thinking about the implications. He was horrified.
Does your pastor teach the Truth? Have you ever questioned that fact? We often take this for granted. Yet sadly, in the Majority World most believers do not know that they are listening to false teaching. With very low levels of literacy and education many Christians are not equipped to know the difference. They’re at the mercy of whatever teacher they decide to follow. The majority of pastoral leaders who are teaching falsehood do not realize it. They are not teaching with a desire to deceive. They are teaching what they believe to be true. It is common to find a pastoral leader teaching heresy and falsehood. There are two primary reasons for this reality. A lack of formal training for pastoral leaders and a lack of solid written resources.
I witnessed a miracle that day as the Truth of God’s Word penetrated this pastors’ heart. He understood the inadequacy of his own good works and his desperate need for forgiveness. I watched as he not only received grace and forgiveness for his past sin but also as he understood how the Gospel applied to his unintentional false teaching. “Do enough good works and God will accept you” is what he had taught. Now he declares with the Apostle Paul,
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
For this pastor, not only did he come to a saving understanding of the Gospel but also his church members as well! His church has begun to grow, his leaders are in the community sharing the Gospel, and they are planting churches in other communities. When you partner with Chosen People you make this work possible. We are seeing lives, churches, and communities transformed by the impact of God’s Word correctly understood and taught! You are an integral part of what we do. Without your help none of this would be possible. Would you consider becoming a financial partner with us in this transformational work?
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