Posted by: SandreS | September 28, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 21

Depart from Religious Iniquity

… And, let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity (2:19).

Now a sobering instruction comes from Paul. What is the “iniquity” that Paul is talking about? Is it just iniquity in general? Or, does the context lead us to a certain type of iniquity?

We will see that the next verse will provide for us the context from which to answer this important question. Paul’s answer is that we who name the name of Christ should depart from religious iniquity!

Paul must have had in mind the parallel passage of Numbers 16:5, 26, when he wrote of the believer’s departing from iniquity! Take a moment to read it.

And he [Moses] spoke unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, “Even tomorrow the LORD will show who are His, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto Him: even him whom He has chosen will He cause to come near unto Him …” And he [Moses] spoke unto the congregation, saying, “Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins (Numbers 16:5, 26).

Korah opposed the authority of Moses, and with his persuasive “gainsayings” (Jude 1:11) established a competing “tabernacle” in the wilderness.

Moses, as you know, was God’s divinely appointed messenger to Israel. Korah established an imitation of the real thing, even to the point of delusion. So it is with Christendom: it withstands Paul, God’s divinely appointed messenger for the Body of Christ. It too is an imitation of the real thing. The real thing is the ecclesia, the Body of Christ; yet Christendom presents its own versions of “church” to the point of delusion.

While it is “social” and “moral” “iniquity” with which religion is so obsessed and will try to avoid, the believer has been called to depart from the religious iniquity. Jesus was “a friend of publicans and sinners,” and it was religious leaders that he called a “generation of vipers.”

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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