In today’s world, it’s easy to be misled by false teachings and ideologies contrary to the truth in the Word of God. However, as believers, we are called to beware of deceptive teaching.
Let us look at biblical instructions given by the apostle Paul as we seek to guard ourselves against false or deceptive teachings and instead hold on to the truth of God’s Word.
Let’s get started!
» Friday, 10th February 2023 | I Stand In The Gap Daily Devotional | Deceptive Teaching: Dont Believe the Lie
Yesterday’s daily devotional was on the topic of “The Miraculous Provision of God” and today’s is “Deceptive Teaching: Don’t Believe the Lie”.
Anchor verse of the day
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV)
Our anchor passage of the day, 1 Timothy 4:1-2, emphasizes the importance of discerning what is true and what is false in the Christian faith, and not being misled by false teachers and their teachings.
Themes 1 Timothy 4:1-2
- Deception and False Teachings: Paul warns Timothy about the false teachings that will be prevalent in the last days. These false teachings will lead many away from the truth and into error.
- Adhering to the Truth: Paul instructs Timothy to hold to the teachings he has learned and to keep himself pure in the gospel. This is a reminder to Christians to be vigilant and hold fast to the truth that has been revealed to us through the gospel.
In these verses, Paul reminds us that there will always be false teachings that threaten to lead us astray, but we must be rooted in the truth of the gospel so that we are not led astray.
Background in 1 Timothy 4:1-2
The book of 1 Timothy is a letter written by the apostle Paul to Timothy, his fellow worker, and pastor of the church in Ephesus.
In this letter, Paul is addressing the issue of false teachings that were affecting the church and warns him and the congregation to be aware of these deceptive teachings and to not be led astray by them.
- Paul emphasizes the importance of holding on to sound doctrine and avoiding teachings that go against the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.Colossians 2:8 (NKJV)
In this Colossians 2:8 example, Paul is warning the Colossian church against false teachings that go against the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Look at the phrase “empty deceit”. It refers to false teachings that lack substance and truth. Paul is encouraging the Colossians to be vigilant in their faith and to hold onto the teachings of Christ.
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)
In this verse, the apostle Paul is expressing his concern that the Corinthians may be swayed by false teachings, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
The “simplicity” that Paul refers to is the purity and straightforwardness of the gospel message. Paul is warning the church and its members to be wary of false teachings that could lead them away from the truth of the gospel.
How to spot false teaching:
For the believer, there are so many ways you can do this:
- Examine the doctrine
- Check the character of the teacher
- Weigh the fruit of their teachings
- Seek scriptural support
- Check for the use of twisting scripture
- Compare the teachings to the Bible
- Check the credentials of the teacher
- Test the fruit of the teachings
- Ask questions, and
- Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit
Reflection on deceptive teaching
The Bible passage of 1 Timothy 4:1-2 is a powerful reminder for Christians to be discerning and vigilant in their faith.
In a world where false teachings and false prophets are prevalent, made worse by technology, and where false teachers sit behind social media and spew anything, it is crucial for Christians to have a solid foundation in the truth of God’s Word and to be able to recognize and reject false teachings.
As Believers, we are called to live our lives in accordance with God’s truth and to spread the gospel message to others. This means that we must be careful not to be led astray by false teachings, but instead to hold firmly to the truth of the gospel.
Some will come to you with arguments that may sound so true, which may have been copied from somewhere on the Internet, just to sway you. Beloved, you have to be firm in your faith.
It is therefore important for Christians to seek wise counsel from trusted spiritual leaders, to study the Bible regularly, and to pray for discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
When we are equipped with the truth and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to recognize false teachings and remain steadfast in our faith.
This is a call to action for all Christians to be diligent in their faith, protect themselves from false teachings, and share the truth of the gospel with those around them.
Prayer against false teachings today
Heavenly Father, we come to you today in prayer and solemnly ask for your guidance and protection. We pray that you help us to discern truth from deception and never believe the lies that seek to mislead us.
We ask for the wisdom to recognize false teachings and the courage to stand firm in our faith. We rebuke the liar in advance, especially those who come to us with texts of philosophy to deceive us.
Dear Father, help us to remember that your word is truth and that all teachings that go against it should be rejected. Help us to stay vigilant and to keep our focus on you, so that we may never be led astray.
Thank you Father for your love and grace, and for always being there for us. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.