2 Timothy 3:14-17
Last week we took a look at the groups in today’s society claiming to have spiritual answers. So how do you know which of these leaders teach truth and which teach heresy? We learned the first question to examine is: what do they believe about Jesus? The answer is very revealing!
The second major question is, what do they believe about the Bible? Most people revere the Bible and know its importance, but do they do they believe the Bible to be the Word of God or the word of man containing the thoughts of God? The difference may seem like hairsplitting, but it’s more significant than it you might think! All scripture is God-breathed—this means you can trust scripture with all you are.
Consider also whether the Bible is the primary source of their theology. There are plenty of great books written about God, good lectures and sermons. It’s easy to hear these interpretations and incorporate them into your own beliefs, but take note of whether things really are coming from the Bible.
Determine how they interpret key doctrines of the Bible. As we saw last week with various beliefs about Jesus, some people claiming to be teachers are really just supporting bad theology. For example, prosperity gospel preachers create a different gospel in order to benefit themselves. Watch our for these leaders who manipulate scripture to support ideas counter to the Bible—they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Look at what you know about how they live. Many religious teachers you see and hear from are people you don’t know personally, and don’t live in the local area. Do you know if they are regularly practicing what the Bible teaches? Be cautious and investigate their reputation with the counsel of godly people. Listen especially those with the spiritual gift of discernment.
Finally, what is the Holy Spirit telling you? You have the fullness of God inside you and He has equipped you to think critically about those who claim to be spiritual teachers. You can recognizing erroneous preaching by knowing the truth.
Other sermons in this series: