“He (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:6-9.
Sometimes I wonder how many actually read their Bible. I do not mean this to be rude but sadly, I feel like many learn their doctrines from the commandments of men. I remember when I first accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour I would be so confused when people who had been Christians for a long time wouldn’t do what the Bible said to do but what they wanted to do. Please don’t misunderstand, I had and have a very special group of ladies that are still dear to my heart who took me under their wing and would always point me to the Word of God for understanding. They did not have to explain it to me because they knew the Holy Spirit would guide me into all Truths.
Then I began to step out a little and the world seemed strange. When a more “mature Christian” would tell me something and I would inquire what the Word of God said about that particular situation they would reply “Yea, but…”. If I heard “yea, but…” once, I heard it a thousand times. Don’t misunderstand, did I stumble and fall at times? Absolutely. Do I still fail the Lord? Regrettably, yes. Praise be to God, when I did fall I didn’t have religion standing between me and My Jesus. There was no program to complete for my forgiveness, no ceremony or ritual to overcome my sin. Just a simple prayer and a repentive heart restored fellowship with my Lord. As I held His Hand, Jesus guided me and guides me through this pilgrim land each and every day.
Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 29:13, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men:”.
There remains an entire world out there who call themselves “Christians” but are spiritually devoid. They have no discernment of the Word of God because they don’t even know the Word of God, their doctrines have been taught by men. The few scriptures they do know are taken out of context and are twisted for their own presumptuous lusts. They acquiesce mentally to God’s plan for their Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ but do not care to partake in His plan for Sanctification through continued faith in Jesus Christ. They have man made doctrines for the sanctification process. Their doctrines to overcome our sin nature are the very doctrines that invoke our sin nature – rules and regulations (12 steps, 40 days, 100 days, etc., etc.). We cannot overcome our sin nature, saved or unsaved, through man’s doctrine. There is only ONE way to have dominion over our sin nature and that is through faith in Jesus Christ and what He did on Calvary’s Cross. We are saved by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus, lest any man should boast…man’s doctrines do not save us nor do they sanctify us. Faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ allows the Holy Spirit dominion in our hearts. It is only when the Holy Spirit is on the throne of our hearts that our sin nature is isolated.
Again, I do not say these things disparagingly but out of concern for the souls whose heart is far from God; the ones who draw near to God with their mouth, honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. They are spiritually devoid and blind. Their doctrines have been learned by the precept of men.
Regrettably, if you do not see this it is because you are in it. The doctrines of man have hindered your ability to appreciate or understand spiritual warnings. When our faith is directed to the precepts of our religion and we accept these as Biblical truths, our heart is removed from God’s Truth and placed in man’s truth. The Holy Spirit is no longer guiding us into all Truths but man is guiding us into man’s truth. Our sin nature is back on it’s throne in our heart and will often manifest itself in the religious man as self righteousness and pride.
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:5-8.
The religious enthusiasm seen by so many in the world today is man’s religious doctrines acting in fellowship with the world. We no longer come out from among them and be ye separate but join them in hopes to win them. This is not God’s plan of redemption but man’s plan to fill the pews. Do not take my word for any of this. Pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes to any false doctrine you may be sitting under and He will show you. Seek the Lord and you will find Him. Seek religion and you will find it as well. – Donna Clark Warren