“That is Not the Way You Learned Christ”

Basharat Shahid, a Muslim apologist from Lahore Pakistan, is a modern example of the type of “pagan” Paul speaks of in Ephesians 4:17-24:
“Now in the Lord I insist and protest that you must give up living like pagans; for their purposes are futile, their intelligence is darkened, they are estranged from the life of God by the ignorance which their dullness of heart has produced in them–men who have recklessly abandoned themselves to sensuality, with a lust for the business of impurity in every shape and form. That is not how you have understood the meaning of Christ (for it is Christ whom you have been taught, it is in Christ that you have been instructed–the real Christ who is in Jesus); you must lay aside the old nature which crumbles to ruin under the passions of moral deceit, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, putting on the new nature, that divine pattern which has been created in the upright and pious character of the Truth.”
And I must apologize to you followers on Facebook, for allowing him to come into a group called “UP and OUT”, praying that I have not violated 2 John 10,11:
 
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine (the doctrine that Christ as come in the flesh as Jesus), receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2 John 10,11)
Basharat Shahid makes false claims of new knowledge but it is as old as the pagans Paul was writing about in Ephesians 4:17-24; he promotes sexism, monotheism and a new theism and philosophy, but in the final analysis when you dig through the trash and disguises, he is just another Muslim Apologists along the line of Aisha Khan and Dr Zakir Naik, an Indian who is being paid by Saudi Arabia to provide guidance on classical Islam and it would be interesting to know what connections Shahid has. They deny the Divinity of Christ and the Trinity, accepting Christ as a prophet a little lower than Mohammed.
We Learn Christ.
Oh what a challenge to learning, to Learn Christ. I love books; I love learning; I love this book The Bible above all books. The joke is my household for years has been that I invented “Continuing Education”. But how all learning pales in comparison to the worthy challenge to learn Christ. Notice that most of the time we learn subjects, and to a certain extent that is true about Christ, but mainly in the learning of Christ we are learning a person. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ!
Speaking of learning of subjects, in the course of study called “The Theory of Learning” or “The Theory of Education”, we are told that there are four levels of learning: (1) first is rote or root memory–where you simply memorize material, and we do a lot of that in the memorization of Scriptures; (2) the second is learning by example, we see a teacher or a role model and we do things the way that person does them, and I think most of us would acquire that by far the largest percentage of learning takes place by example; (3) the third level of learning and this is more difficult than memory or example is trial and error–it takes more time and more patience to learn by attempting to do then correcting positively or negatively the response; and (4) the highest level of learning is called problem solving which does not equate to mathematics or science or engineering, but it a more creative application of something we learned applied to a situation that we have never encountered. The standard example is of the monkey in a cage that sees a stick in the cage with him and a banana that is out of his reach, putting two and two together to se the stick to reach the banana.
Now, certainly I am not calling anyone monkeys this morning; and certainly humans are more capable of problem solving learning than this. Neither do I this morning advocate biological evolution, stating that the way you evolved from a monkey to a human was by problem solving. I do believe in a sort of evolution which is more a social evolution or moral and ethical evolution, and why I believe that so strongly is because it is evident in the world and in the Bible that the opposite exists–a de-evolution and downward spiral of morality, ethics, and character. You see this de-evolution of humanity in Romans 1 and you see it in the text for WE LEARN CHRIST, Ephesians 4:17-24.
“Now in the Lord I insist and protest that you must give up living like pagans; for their purposes are futile, their intelligence is darkened, they are estranged from the life of God by the ignorance which their dullness of heart has produced in them–men who have recklessly abandoned themselves to sensuality, with a lust for the business of impurity in every shape and form. That is not how you have understood the meaning of Christ (for it is Christ whom you have been taught, it is in Christ that you have been instructed–the real Christ who is in Jesus); you must lay aside the old nature which crumbles to ruin under the passions of moral deceit, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, putting on the new nature, that divine pattern which has been created in the upright and pious character of the Truth.” (Ephesians 4:17-24)
1. Let us briefly do a little exegesis of these seven verses before we compare the Learning of Christ from this passage with the four levels of learning.
(1). First of all Paul writes that I insist and protest that you give up living like the pagans around you. I am not sure how tolerant our listeners are today toward a preaching that like Paul “insists” and “protests”. If there were tolerant I would insist and protest that you not live like the people around you. After segregation from God, the inevitability of an abandonment to sensuality, lust, and impurity in every shape and form takes place.
(2). Paul recoils from this obvious De-evolution: This is not the Way that You Learned Christ. The horrible thing that we realize here is that Christ can be learned in the wrong fashion. It is jumping ahead somewhat to the theories of learning as applied to learning Christ, but if you took for an example some person who claimed to be a Christian but who in their heart was committed to the world, that is one wrong way to learn Christ.
(3). Paul knew that they had been instructed in the real Christ which was Jesus of Nazareth. At that time and today, there are many other Christs generally called anti-Christs. And Paul told the Christians at Galatia that if any come preaching another Christ or another gospel or another spirit. let them be accursed. And although it is jumping ahead into the Doctrine of Christ, the Apostle John dealt with the same problem in 2 John 7-11.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine (the doctrine that Christ as come in the flesh as Jesus), receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2 John 10,11)
(4). You must Lay Aside Your Old Nature Which Belonged to Your Former Course of Life. This starts getting into some of the details of how you really learned Christ if you learned Christ properly. When you believed in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God–that is believed with your heart–you were born again with a new nature. This, of course, is called regeneration; and with this new inward life came a corresponding life style–called a course-here.
Once again we will get into it later as we progress from Learning Christ to Preaching Christ, but baptism is such an adequate portrayal of the both the change of heart and change of life. It symbolizes with immersion into the water the death and burial of Christ, and then the coming up out of the water the resurrection of Christ. Likewise it portrays what has already happened in the Christian life when they have believed and been regenerated; that is, they are buried by baptism with Christ–the old sins and life are buried, and they are raised to walk in a newness of life. But more about that later. We continue with Ephesians 4:17-24 and exactly what it is to learn Christ properly, and seeking the wisdom of God and committing us cares to Christ, we find the solution.

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