Athanasius – The Cost of Knowing God

July 23, 2016 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

Jesus warned us, there is great cost involved for those who would know God. He said they hated him and they will hate us. When we seek to follow and obey him with uncompromised fidelity there is a price to be paid. Athanasius is a leading figure in church history. He paid a high price for defending theological orthodoxy.

Athanasius lived from 295 – 373 AD. He led the doctrinal struggle to define God as a Trinitarian being, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Athanasius spent his life defending and articulating the Doctrine of the Trinity. Once he assumed leadership of his church, Athanasius was exiled five times for his stance on the Trinity. While in prison for the third time he was viciously tortured. The members of his congregation were executed because they refused to deny the Trinity.

We benefit from the loyalty of Athanasius to the TRUTH by drawing these lessons from his life and ministry:

1. Defending and explaining doctrine is for the sake of the gospel and our everlasting joy.

2. Joyful courage is the calling of a faithful shepherd and faithful people.

3. Loving Christ includes loving true propositions about Christ.

4. A widespread and long-held doctrinal difference among Christians does not mean that the difference is insignificant or that we should not seek to persuade toward the truth and seek agreement.

5. Pastors should not aim to preach only in categories of thought that can be readily understood by this generation. Rather, we should also aim at creating biblical categories of thought that are not present.

The struggle that Athanasius engaged is known in church history as the Arian Controversy. Arius taught that Jesus Christ was a created being rather than being co-equal with the Father, having no beginning and no end as the writer of the book of Hebrews declares (Heb. 7:17). Jesus Christ is a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, had no beginning and has no end.

Here is a warning for all pastors. Do not adapt doctrine “to the seekers,”. Do not dumb down biblical language for the sake of contextualization. Be committed to “the pilgrim principle of confrontation”. In many obvious ways, the lessons of the 4th century have not been learned by pastors today. Stand and declare Sound Doctrine!

What price are you willing to pay for the glorious privilege of Knowing God?

Comments are closed.