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God, help me

April 8, 2010

to be responsible with Your Word!

Recently I have seen people I love led astray by those they trusted to teach them.  It breaks my heart and humbles me.

The Bible warns on numerous occasions against those who mislead.

Romans 16:17

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

My first concern is for my friends; to speak the truth in love, and help them learn to discern what is truth and what is false. It’s so hard to break through the cloud of confusion.

Being misled by one who practices heresy is totally avoidable. First, study the word of God for yourself.

Acts 17:11

1Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Luke is talking to the Jews and commending for their study of the scripture.

Don’t twist Scripture or find teachers who will twist Scripture to justify your beliefs or your actions.

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

It is also crucial to memorize scripture.

Psalm 119:11

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

How can you know the truth unless you know the Word of God for yourself? When they teach bank tellers to find counterfeit bills they give them real bills to study. They become so familiar with the real thing, that the fake is immediately obvious. I implore you brothers and sisters to know the real thing! Make yourself so familiar with God’s word that you can easily recognize false teaching.

My second concern is to turn the light on myself. Am I being responsible with the Gospel? Do I sit down and study God’s word, do I just in-gest what others say and regurgitate it, do I try to make the passage fit the message? As a teacher, I am pressed to always be in the word; to always be reading and studying; to always handle Scripture with respect.

I look back at Paul’s message in 2 Timothy.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

The more I study, the better I am able to understand the Word of God. The more I understand, the more I am amazed by what God has given to us through His Word.

There are certainly times when I have questions, or come across passages in Scripture that I have trouble grasping. At those times I seek out the help of others who are scholars of the Word. I explain my question, and ask, not just for their answer, but for how they came to their answer. I weigh what they teach against the rest of God’s word. All this so that I may understand the truth, and that when I teach, I am teaching the truth.

The truth is the heart of the matter.

John 8:31-32

31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

This message applies not only to the Jews of Jesus’ time, but to all people of all generations. I take this as a charge. To know the truth. To be responsible with the Word of God. To avoid being misled by false teachers. To be set free!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Cassie permalink
    April 8, 2010 5:00 pm

    A good word, John, and especially applicable to those of you who are teaching God’s flock on a regular basis. I do not envy you the responsibility you bear, but I do appreciate sound Biblical teaching when I hear it!

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