Thursday, October 9, 2014
In last night’s bible class in church, we spoke of one more of the Apostle Paul’s encounters with false teachers, specifically those who troubled both him and the Colossian church. It is a human tendency to always want to add our own spin to the things we know and do, but when it involves the Word of God, we must refrain from the temptation due to the damage we can cause ourselves as well as others. When Joshua was given the honor of leading God’s people after the death of Moses, the Lord instructed him very clearly not to stray to the right or to the left from the law He had given the people through Moses. This is basically what the false teachers were doing in Paul’s time and even today. In adding their own spin or version, they are flirting with the possibility of deceiving and thoroughly confusing other believers. In some cases, the difference can be of no consequence because the one hearing it knows better.
Such was the case with the boy who was sharing with his mother his version of the biblical story of the crossing of the Red Sea. Excitedly, he said that Moses, when he was backed up against the Red Sea by the Egyptians, called for his corp. of engineers to build a bridge across the sea so his people could cross over to the other side. Later he radioed his fighter jets to give them ground coverage while the people were crossing. Once they were safely on the other side, he radioed his bombers to blow up the bridge while the Egyptians were on it. His mom stopped him and said: “Junior, is that really the way it happened?” The boy thought about it for a moment and then said, “Well, not really but my story is more exciting.”
In the case of the false teachers Paul contended with constantly, the damage they were causing was intentional and far from being harmless. They spread their lies in order to introduce their own agendas, for financial gain, or for their own convenience. Just like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, these were trying to deceive God’s people. Paul wrote: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) I suppose there are some teachers today, just like the little boy in our illustration, that get so excited with God’s Word and it’s benefits, they tend to add their own twist. Sometimes they stray from the truth a bit because they simply don’t know or have not studied, researched, or prayed about it before they start teaching others. For the most part, however, today’s false teachers are no different than the ones in Paul’s time. Be on guard, and remember that the best way to expose the imitations is to know the genuine. Knowing Christ and His Word well, and praying to Him for wisdom and understanding, will always be our best protection.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 119:98) “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”
NOTE: Starting November 3, I will sent these meditational thoughts only to those who expressly request them. I myself, do not read all the devotionals or bible related items I receive on a regular basis, so I completely understand if others do not read mine. For those who have responded already, thank you very much.