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1. To do the Father's will / God's will, not to do his own will
2. To fulfill the law, not to abolish it
3. To be a light / a truth-bearer / to preach [the truth]
4. To preach peace, but not to bring peace...
5. ...but to bring division/hostility
6. ...also to judge/bring fire
7. ...to destroy sin and the devil's work
8. To die, but to give life
NOTE: To fully appreciate the significance of any specific verse, the context of that verse should be carefully examined. Scripture has much more to say on this topic... other verses just don't happen to have the phrase, "I came" (etc.), which we are looking at, in this study.
Dennis Hinks © 1998
A certain false religion (a cult) was going door-to-door, looking for potential adherents. Eventually they came to my door and asked me if I knew why Jesus came to the earth.
Of course, I knew that they weren't asking because they seriously wanted to find out. Rather, they wanted to pick a certain verse from the Bible, isolate it from all the others that give reasons for Jesus' coming, tear it out of context, and connect it with a different verse on a different topic, also torn out of context.
I told them I'd be happy to discuss the issue, if they first let me look in the Bible and see what it said. I told them I'd look for every verse I could find, that made a direct statement about their question. I'd look for sentences that contained the phrase, "I came..." (with Jesus speaking), "he came..." (with someone else speaking), any other similar passages. Also, I'd use a computer Bible program, so it would give me all the verses that used those phrases, rather than selecting ones that might fit someone's bias or preplanned agenda (and ignoring any other verses that might exist).
They weren't happy with that idea, but what could they say? Should they tell me that they didn't want me to look in the Bible? If they said that, then they couldn't pose as "students of the Bible"! So they agreed and came back the following week.
Needless to say, they were even less happy when I showed them these verses, for many of them said the opposite of what they wanted me to believe. They tried to steer the conversation their way, and I agreed to study another concept - it might have been something about the "kingdom of God." But eventually they lost interest and decided to look for someone who was more willing to see things their way!
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So what does this all prove? If you are willing to put the Word of God above the teachings of people, then God can even use the "attacks" of false teachers to accomplish good in your life!
This isn't the first time I've benefited from this type of "confrontation." Down through the years, I've learned some rather valuable lessons, related to several other concepts (or doctrines) taught in the Bible, because of such people. (It's sad that such an outcome wasn't their intent.)
Dennis Hinks © 2004