Colossians 2:6-7, “As you therefore have received Christ …, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith”
2 Peter 2:1, “There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord”.
I believe the basic Bible truths contained in God's Eternal and Precious Word are universal and without limitation as to time, culture, or continent. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). While writing this devotional for today the Spirit led me to 3 John. In this one-chapter epistle of 3 John, the important word “truth” is a key word in the apostle John’s vocabulary, occurring more in his writing than in those of any other New Testament author. So, we must ask what is truth? John’s very first mention of truth was in relation to Jesus Christ, whose glory he had beheld in His incarnation as “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) In fact, Christ himself claimed, “I am … the truth” (John 14:6). Then He also said, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). “And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6). So, how would you answer the following questions?
(1) Did Jesus ever sin?
(2) Was Jesus resurrected?
(3) Do all religions teach the same basic ideas?
According to George Barna and Mark Hatch in their book Boiling Point, may people who call themselves Christians have a hard time with questions like the ones listed above? When Barna and Hatch surveyed professing believers, one-fourth said Jesus committed sins, one-third said He did not rise from the dead, and one-third said all religions are basically the same. My brethren, these are very troubling statistics, for they truly reveal a serious lack of Biblical understanding in our world today. The answers to the questions above are concepts that are clearly defined in Scripture and are foundational to the truth of the gospel. So, what can we do to make sure that we are “established in the faith”? (Colossians 2:7). First, we must dedicate ourselves to reading and studying the Bible. Second, we should seek the help of godly pastors, teachers and dependable resources. Third, we must ask God to lead us to truth and to keep us from error. As God’s people, we must love the truth, look for the truth, and live by the truth. We must be like the Bereans who searched the Scriptures to see if what was being taught is found in God’s Eternal Word, to be the truth.
The story has been told of a New York City couple who received through the mail two tickets to a Broadway musical. Oddly, the gift arrived without a note, and they wondered who had sent it. But they attended the show and enjoyed it immensely. However, returning to their apartment, they discovered that the bedroom had been ransacked. Valuable furs and jewels were missing. On the pillow was this simple note, “Now you know.” My brethren, like that nameless thief, a false teacher knows what people want and appeals to their desires (2 Peter 2). He doesn’t wear a lapel pin to warn of his lies, but he comes disguised as a representative of the truth. He claims he will enrich lives, but those who follow him often learn at a high cost that they have been deceived. However, Jesus is a teacher we can trust completely. He offers us the gift of eternal life because He truly loves us. Accepting His gift of salvation is the first step in protecting ourselves from the deceptive gifts that false teachers offer. But even believers in Christ can be deceived by false teaching. That’s why God’s Word exhorts us to:
(1) Study the Scriptures (1 Peter 2:2),
(2) Test what we hear (1 John 4:1),
(3) Grow in the faith (2 Peter 1:5-9), and
(4) Knowing from the Bible what the true gospel is.
God doesn’t ask us to believe the absurd, but He does demand that we believe what He says in the Bible. Even when we don’t fully comprehend God’s ways, we can rely on the truth of His Eternal Word wherein He promises to change our lives when we put our trust in Him. And when we do, we won’t suddenly discover that our spiritual life has been ransacked.
If you know the truth, you can discern what’s false.