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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Five Major Heresies in the Church: Arianism

by David Chadwick

Understanding the heresies of the Christian faith strengthens our theological muscles. If you’ve spent any time at Moments of Hope Church lately, you’ve heard us talk about what we call the “Core 4”: Scripture, Theology, Wholeness, and Outreach.

These are 4 spiritual food groups, if you will, that we believe develop mature believers. Too much of one thing over another creates an unhealthy imbalance. Understanding heresies will help you to develop a strong theology.

Today’s heresy is Arianism. It’s probably the longest standing heresy. It was dealt with repeatedly over several centuries. Its name came from an Egyptian priest who introduced it in the 4th century.

The belief of Arianism is this – while Jesus was the son of God, he was not eternal, nor was he divine like the Father. Nor was he the same nature as God the Father.

So, who was Jesus to those who support this heresy? He was a holy man. A good moral philosopher. An interesting and insightful teacher. He was fully man, but not fully God.

See, what heresy does is that it allows the church to weigh false teaching against what has commonly been held by the church. Though a mystery, the Incarnation holds that Jesus was fully man and fully divine at the same time. Conceived by the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Remember Philippians 2:5-11 from yesterday? The same argument applies here. He suffered as a man, yet was fully God. He lived as a man, yet was fully God. This is the clear teaching in the Scripture. For example, look at Thomas when he finally saw the resurrected Jesus. He fell to his knees and worshiped him. Note that Jesus received the worship and didn’t correct him! Also bookmark John 1:1-2, John 1:14, Colossians 1:15-20 and so many other verses.

Don’t be deceived by teachings that have historically been labeled heretical. Build strong theological muscles that allow you to stand in faith in the midst of wrong thinking.

Always remember: Sound doctrine produces a sound mind!

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