Below are two devotionals I wrote regarding the subject of false teachings in the church. In today’s age of Christian Relativism, it is crucial to know how to guard yourself from false teachings. I hope these devotionals bless you.
BE ON GUARD AGAINST FALSE TEACHING
— Matthew 16:6-12
Why does Jesus use such cautious language like “be careful” and “be on guard” when talking about false teaching? It’s because false teaching has an appeal to it, especially when it is so close to the truth. The Pharisees and Sadducees were reading from the same scriptures as Jesus, yet coming up with conclusions that were contrary to the truth. Sometimes false teachings can be more dangerous when they close to the truth; and if you know nothing, you will believe anything.
Developing a healthy, biblical, theological framework will help prevent you from being deceived by false teaching. Start building your theology based on the scriptures as a whole. Develop a healthy, consistent reading plan and cover it with prayer and obedience. Read the bible book by book, verse by verse, and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding.
Heavenly Father, teach me your word. Enlighten my understanding of the scriptures, so that I can be on guard against false teachings. Help me discern the difference between truth and error so that I would choose the side of truth, in Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!
READ SCRIPTURE AS A WHOLE
The devil led him (Jesus) to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'”
Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
In context, Jesus is being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. An easy way to fall into temptation or into error is ignorance of the Word of God. Satan knows scripture. Non-Believers know scripture. The Cults know scripture… and they can all make the bible say whatever they want it to. The key to discerning the truth of God’s Word is reading scripture as a whole. Meaning, the whole of scripture (the entire bible) is more important than the sum of its individual parts. You can’t pick and choose random scriptures out of context to prove a point. If you have a good understanding of what the bible teaches as a whole, it will be very difficult to be led into error or false teachings.
Don’t take a text out of context and make it a pretext. Read the Bible from contents to maps (cover to cover; Genesis to Revelation), and pray that God will give understanding so that you can rightly divide the word of truth. Don’t allow the enemy to take you captive by false teachings and vain philosophies.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for making your word accessible, and for giving me your Holy Spirit to teach me. I pray that as I read your word, you would give me understanding so that I could be someone who rightly divides the Word of Truth. I ask that you give me clarity on the truth so that I could recognize and flee from false doctrines and traditions of men who distort what your word teaches. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!