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Article 2020-08 Converts or Disciples?

Chapter 63:

Introduction

Sects with anti-Christian teaching seek to creep into the church, but members must know that whoever continues to sin knowingly and willfully may lose his salvation. Therefore, Jesus never told us to make converts, but disciples of all nations. Some mission fields show that un-discipled converts may resist Christian living more than pagans do. Finally, Paul says that there are no ‘elite Christians’: all are made perfect in Christ.

Scripture reference

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ … My purpose is … that they may have the full riches of complete understanding … in order that they may know … Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 1:28; 2:2,3)

The story

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul combats the teaching of ‘gnosticism’: a mixture of old paganism and Jewish sectarism with a Christian veneer. It taught that knowledge, superior to that of other believers, could be received through revelation, when one lived frugally, sticking to the law and certain days of celebration. Its general thought was that evil dwelt only in the body, not in the spirit, and that the body could sin without affecting the spirit. In fact, the more one sinned, the more one experienced grace and forgiveness.

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