The Gospel-Driven Church
Text: Acts 20:17-38 | Listen to Message
Guarding God’s Truth
Imagine you live in a small, primitive village in the middle of nowhere. The life and health of your village depend on the clean water drawn from a single well. Recently – whether due to mischief or sabotage – the well has begun filling up with rocks, making it difficult to access the water. But the situation is even more dire, as it’s come to your attention that someone is trying to poison your well.
How do you think you’d react to these existential threats in order to protect your source of life-giving water?
You’d probably appoint trustworthy, vigilant people to guard the well around the clock, wouldn’t you?
But let’s suppose you discovered that somehow your well had been poisoned anyway. Maybe it was an inside job. Or maybe the attack came from that rival village that’s been trying to drive you off your land for years. All you know is you’ve tested the water and it’s tainted with something that’s going to lead to disease and possibly even death.
What would you do? Would you sneak away to another village to get clean water for just your family? Or would you sound an alarm, warning everyone?
This is an illustration of theology and church life. There’s something the Bible calls sound doctrine. It’s the healthy, life-giving, true teachings of God and His Story, centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Hearing and believing this is like drinking from a pristine well. But there are people and things that would poison this theology – maybe deliberately, maybe unwittingly – by adding something harmful, or taking away something necessary, or altering its composition altogether.
Knowing this, God commands the Church to guard His family by guarding the well from which they drink. The Church must appoint godly overseers who will be on the alert, always eager to nourish themselves and others with the true Gospel of grace.
If pastors observe dangerous theological error in what their people are being led to consume, they must sound an alarm and expose the error. While some are sure to label this exposure as “judgmental, intolerant, or unloving,” it is none of those things to guard the health of those God has entrusted to your care.