The Rocky Road to Truth
God assigns each believer to correctly interpret the Bible.
NIV 2 Tim 2;14;15 ‘A Workman Approved by God’ 14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
The Bible warns us there will be difficulties in this area.
MSG 2 Corinthians 11:16
[ Many a Long and Lonely Night ] Let me come back to where I started—and don’t hold it against me if I continue to sound a little foolish. Or if you’d rather, just accept that I am a fool and let me rant on a little. I didn’t learn this kind of talk from Christ. Oh, no, it’s a bad habit I picked up from the three-ring preachers that are so popular these days. Since you sit there in the judgment seat observing all these shenanigans, you can afford to humor an occasional fool who happens along. You have such admirable tolerance for impostors who rob your freedom, rip you off, steal you blind, put you down—even slap your face! I shouldn’t admit it to you, but our stomachs aren’t strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff.
I think today’s churches share this weakness with the Corinthians. We’ve failed to recognize unbiblical teachings. We’ve trusted our leaders who have trusted their leaders. This provides us with absolutely no protection from the many false doctrines that have worked their way into Today’s churches. We haven’t been willing, or felt qualified to judge what the Bible says and history tells us. We really haven’t been willing to seek truth, but we are given that assignment (see 2 Tim 2;14;15 above)
NIV 2 Tim 4;3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine . Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
NIV Matt 15;5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to ‘honor his father’ ‘ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 ” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.
Much of what today’s churches do fall into this category – rules taught by men. Worldly doctrines permeate the Church. Here are a few links that address this;
Why are these wrong teachings still around?
Many past authors have published these errors but the truth doesn’t seem to get out. The truth has never penetrated into mainstream Christianity. Perhaps this deception is being supported by evil forces, but there is another strong force that holds back the truth. We humans naturally resist fundamental changes in our lives. We want to reject changes that force us to change the way we think. The best article to explain this is:
‘Death of a pet’
Our spiritual pets are wrong teachings, doctrines of men. We can find ourselves holding on to them, not willing to recognize or admit that they do not measure up against the Word of God. Often we subconsciously reject the truth so that we don’t have to confront our errors, or the errors of teachers that we trusted, or just to avoid the struggle of fundamental change
Excerpt: “A pet is something that is not necessary to have for life. It is for our pleasure. One might argue that a seeing eye dog is necessary or very helpful in life. A seeing eye dog may be a pet, but it also goes beyond just being a pet. Pets are something we choose to have or keep. We feed them and love to have them around. Some are inherited or passed down. If we have a pet for a long time we become very close to them. It can be very painful when a particular pet dies. By comparison, it is the same way with beliefs about the word of God. It is painful to find you’ve been believing wrong concerning the word of God or any untruth in your life
Our unwillingness to give up, and the length of time we’ve had a pet is directly related to the amount of remorse, pain, and death that we experience when our pet dies.
In certain cases when the pet that has been a life-long partner dies, there is a feeling that a part of the person dies too, because the pet really was a part of the person’s life.” —end excerpt—
Does our desire to “Trust our teachers”, “resist change” make us the seed sown among thorns? This seed has roots, but it gets choked out by the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things. Let’s take a look.
NIV Mark 4:18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil , hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” ‘A Lamp on a Stand’ 21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
‘We need a full portion of Christ in us.’
MSG John 6;53-54 53 But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. 54 The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day.
We need to fully embrace the new life, living by the Spirit, turning from selfishness to submission. We need to submit to the Word and to the Holy Spirit. If we don’t first recognize the importance of following Christ, if others see no evidence of Christ in us, if we continue rejecting the changes that he calls us to, our faith can die. We are even to expect God to change the way we think.
CEV Romans 12:2 Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.
God takes the lead – We just follow
MSG Ephesians 3:14 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
MSG Ephesians 2:7 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
MSG Rom 8;4 And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us
We often hear teachers talk of dying to self, but that is not our assignment. This verse shows us our job is simply to embracing what the Spirit is doing in me. Seeking and following the Holy Spirit, is God’s way for us to turn from our selfish desires. This is God’s path for us, his method for us to “die to self”.
MSG Rom 10;9 Say the welcoming word to God-“Jesus is my Master”-embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation.
MSG Ephesians 6:5 Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.
MSG 1 Corinthian 4:1 Don’t imagine us leaders to be something we aren’t. We are servants of Christ, not his masters. We are guides into God’s most sublime secrets, not security guards posted to protect them. The requirements for a good guide are reliability and accurate knowledge. It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless. I’m not aware of anything that would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that doesn’t mean much. The Master makes that judgment.
Leadership is not a popularity contest. Teachers are to guide us on the path with reliable accurate knowledge. They are guides to help us build our lives upon God’s Word and to seek and follow the Holy Spirit.
The links referenced above do a good job on most of the false doctrines we see today with one notable exception, the Sermon.
We have been building our Sunday services on the foundation of Man’s wisdom, on something that I think will be torn out and burned in the fire.
AMP 1 Cor 3; 12 But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done. 14 If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward. 15 But if any person’s work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of it all, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through fire. 16 Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]? 17 If anyone does hurt to God’s temple or corrupts it [ with false doctrines] or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy (sacred to Him) and that [temple] you [ the believing church and its individual believers] are. 18 Let no person deceive himself. If anyone among you supposes that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool [let him discard his worldly discernment and recognize himself as dull, stupid, and foolish, without true learning and scholarship], that he may become [really] wise. 19 For this world’s wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness; 20 And again, The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the [humanly] wise and recognizes how futile they are. 21 So let no one exult proudly concerning men [boasting of having this or that man as a leader], for all things are yours,
NLT 1 Cor 3;18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”
NLT Col 2;8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
NIV 1 Cor 2;12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We pray for the Faith & Courage to seek you and to seek the Truth! We seek your assistance in this endeavor. Please transform and bless us, Please guide us down your Rocky Road to Truth! In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.