About a year ago, I left the Charismatic church I fellowship with because of my exposure to Reformed Theology. I have been church shopping for a while now looking for a Reformed congregation to fellowship with. Finally, by divine providence, I found one I have attended for about 6months or more. I now hope to be admitted into membership and one of the requirements for admittance into membership is to go through a Baptismal/Discipleship class.
Today, I picked the material to be used for the classes and I am thinking to myself: “I am not a new convert. I don’t need to go through all of these”.
First lesson to be taught: Sin.
Sigh! I can preach on sin, trace its origin and establish its universality. I can explain original sin and total depravity. I can quote all the quotable Scriptures that refer to the origins of sin in the Bible. I can explain the fall in Genesis 3. David’s prayer in Psalm 51, with specific reference to verse 5 is at my finger tip. How about Romans 3:23? Easy! I can define sin as contained in the Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 14 “Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God a. [a]. Lev. 5:17; Jas. 4:17; I John 3:4”
In fact I have written many articles which points to my understanding of sin. Let me share with you a few of these articles. The Dangers Of Sin,Christ Our Sin Bearer and Depart From Me…A Sinful Man. You see I know my way around the doctrine of sin.
Lesson chapter two to be undertaken is Salvation.
Again, I know what Salvation is. I don’t need to be taken through lessons about salvation or so I think. With my understanding of sin, I equally have a good understanding of the requirement for salvation. I can indeed preach on salvation and I have actually written a number of articles on salvation. Permit me to share a few with you: Born Again Into The Kingdom Of God,
Salvation By Grace Alone Through Faith Alone, Our Ways Are Not God’s Ways , The Gospel, Grace And Work , The Water Of Life and True Discipleship: A Call To Follow Christ.
Sin and Salvation are just two of the many lessons I already know which I am to take in this class.
But as I ponder these things, I am reminded of Jesus’ answer to John The Baptist when He approached him for baptism. John tried persuading Jesus otherwise (John 3:13) but Jesus answered; “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (John 3:14).
If you have read up to this point, you might have already diagnosed a heart of pride. I won’t debate that at all. Probably, it is another reason I must take this class; the presence of pride in my heart. As Paul will say, “Knowledge puffs up…[and] If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. ” (1Corinthians 8:1-2). The truth is, my understanding of these things and any other Christian doctrine I know must not become a hindrance to my receiving further instruction on those subjects. I don’t know it all. And my circumstance, i.e. moving from one church to the other demands I obey the laid down procedures of becoming a member of a local assembly, a necessity if one identifies with the Universal body of Christ.
Finally, maybe, I might be an Apollos, an eloquent man and competent in Scripture and yet I need to be called aside by a Priscilla and Aquila and explained to more accurately the way of God (Acts 18:24-28).
Could this be pride?
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?(Romans 7:24).