Orthodoxy is good, but dangerous.
DECEMBER 1, 2022
Orthodoxy is good, but dangerous. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at Acts in our study of Acts, the 18th chapter versus 12 through 17, then I dropped down to the 21st verse. And that was when Paul left Corinth after an amazingly successful ministry in Corinth. And we are looking at God’s mysterious ways. We saw that God used a lie, he used a beating, and he used a trial to bring glory to himself. Funny tools for God to use. He still uses the same tools that seem negative, but really aren’t because in the end, and if you want a commentary on the book of Revelation, an accurate one, one that should be published by every publisher, I’m going to give it to you. God wins. Or if you want to expand it, in the end, God wins. At any rate, looking at these verses, we’re looking at three observations, and I mentioned one yesterday, that observation is this. People who think that they have God figured are either liars or fools or both. God doesn’t fit into our little molds. If you worship a little God, that little God will do little things. If you worship an awesome God, a big God, then there is nothing that is little to him. Everything is the place where you can go and bring whatever it is into his presence, trusting that he knows what he’s doing. If you’ve been listening to this broadcast very long, you know that there is nobody in the universe more theologically and Biblically conservative as I am. I am politically too, but I, Jesus won’t let me talk about that on this broadcast. I am so conservative, and I’ve said it a thousand times, when Rush Limbaugh was alive, I thought he was a communist. Don’t send me letters. It’s a joke. But I am very orthodox theologically. And I’m glad for that. You know, I was a liberal theologically for a long time and I found out that that didn’t have any legs to it, when there were real problems, when there were real difficulties, when I had sinned really big, when I knew I was in trouble, my liberal God was a little God and my liberal God couldn’t help. And I finally gave up because some brothers and sisters in Christ prayed for me. Some intellectuals ate my lunch when I argued my case. And some people loved me into the kingdom. And then God started answering prayers. And that’s how I became the spiritual giant, who is talking to you. No, I didn’t. But I’ll tell you what I didn’t become, I became somebody who believes every word of the Bible, and that’s when I decided I’m not going to be a preacher, I’m going to be a Bible preacher. And I didn’t even know what the Bible said. I stayed one verse ahead of that congregation. And I still am sometimes right there staying one verse ahead of the people who listen to me teach, so I believe it all, and I’m glad of that. I’m kind of proud of it, but God has shown me that the most dangerous thing in my life is my orthodoxy. Do you know that being right is dangerous? It really is. By the way, we are right and they are wrong. Now, that’s not about everything, of course. We’re not always right politically, I’m wrong a lot politically. We’re not always right about our sociological views, always right about our cultural views. Actually, we’re not always right, but we are right about the eternal verities of the Christian faith. The Bible is true. God, a sovereign God exists. He is the Creator, the Sustainer of all that you see, that God entered time and space in the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. And the third person of the Trinity, all three persons are one. We are convicted and drawn to a reality. A reality that Jesus died for us on a cross, that he came back from the dead, that he will return and that he promises everybody who belongs to him will live forever. And that starts right now. And I could go on with a list, but I’m not going to do that. But we’re right about those things. And that dear friend is the most dangerous place you can be. There are a lot of Christian churches who think they’re the only churches around, who believe if you don’t believe exactly the way they believe. If you don’t hold to the exact doctrines or our baptized the way they’re baptized. And smile the way they smile. And read the books they read, then you can’t be saved. Now, I’m not saying they’re not saved, but I do know there will be a special soundproof room for them in heaven cause it won’t be heaven if they think anybody else is there, but as a matter of fact, it is dangerous to be right. There’s an old story about a, and it was a magazine editor who was walking in the woods, and he was reading Plato, when he came up on the place where Plato was addressing a plan and an order in the universe. And this editor said, if I could see a plan and order in things, I would be a believer. Just then, he saw a little Texas Star flower at his feet. He picked it up and he began to count the petals and there were five. Then he counted the stamens and there were five. He counted the divisions at the base of the flower, there were five of them. He multiplied the three fives to see how many chances there were of a flower being brought into existence by chance, and the odds were 125 to one. He then found another flower and saw that it was exactly the same and then multiplied 125 by itself to see how many chances there were against there being two flowers each having these exact relationships of numbers, that was 15,625 to one. And then he looked around and he saw that there were literally hundreds of little Texas Star flowers. And so, he shut up his book, picked up the little flower, kissed it and exclaimed bloom on little flower, sing on little birds, you have a God and I have a God. The God of, who made these flowers, made me. That is so good. And he is so right. He is so right. But if I’d been there and heard that explanation, I would’ve danced with him. I would’ve rejoiced with him, but I would’ve said, son, you be careful because when you see it, when you understand it, when youve got it down and you know that he’s there and that he loves you and that you belong to him, the first thing that ought to happen, is to realize that he’s God and you are not. And because you get some truth, that doesn’t mean you have all truth. And so, the first observation, and we’re going to have to look at two others, next week, but the first observation is don’t get this idea that because you’re right, you’re always right. That happens to me. You know, it happens with movie stars, you know, they play a part and it’s a good part, and then they start living the part, and then they start pontificating as if they knew better than anybody else. Now, I’m not throwing rocks at Hollywood because I’m going to bring us into the picture. It happens to us too. We get right, we get him, our lives change, and then the disease sets in. And the disease is one that says, not only am I right, I’m righter than anybody else. Not only am I right, I’m gooder than anybody else. Not only am I right, I’m better looking than anybody else. Not only am I right, I’m something else. And God is very fortunate to have me as his servant. And that’s when you get the hives cause it is just not true. And you begin to see that in this text that we’re studying. The observation is that we don’t have God figured, he’s bigger than we figure, and he’s bigger than we can figure. As long as we remember that, we can speak our true truth and speak it with power. You think about that. Amen.
And that wraps up another marvelous week of teaching from Acts, this time covering a section in Acts 18. If you missed any episodes, do drop by our digital front porch at Keylife.org to stream those, for free. Steve will be back tomorrow for Friday Q&A along with our friend Pete Alwinson. That is a pretty good time, so make sure you join us, okay? Hey, speaking of a good time, the Christmas episode of Steve Brown Etc, it’s probably our favorite show of the year, and if you’ve ever heard one, you’ll know why. No guests, honestly, not a whole lot of planning either, but a whole lot of us just hanging out, eating cookies and telling some of our favorite stories, and it’s all capped off with Steve’s one of a kind reading of the Christmas story found in Luke 2. But listen, don’t take my word for it. Get a copy of last year’s Christmas episode on CD, for free, by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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