How to Not Be Deceived

“God helps those who help themselves.
“What goes around, comes around.”
“Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
“Money is the root of all evil.”
“Eat to live, not live to eat.”
“He who hesitates is lost.”

Many a times these phrases are repeated as if they are biblical truths. They are not.

Some have biblical foundations. Some are wisdom well-founded. Some are misleading (it’s the love of money that is the root of all evil…big difference!). All have been passed down from generation to generation.

The question: How does a person best discern truth?

The answer: By knowing the source.

Know The Truth

To identify counterfeit money, the US Secret Service recommends that we know the genuine note:

Look at the money you receive. Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and series, paying attention to the quality of printing and paper characteristics. Look for differences, not similarities.

Consider these words as guidelines for biblical truths: Listen to the words you hear. Compare a suspect teaching with the genuine teaching of the Bible, paying attention to the context and translation of the passage. Look for differences, not similarities.

Similarities to truth mask subtle deceptions found in the doctrines of some “churches.” When differences stand out, be attentive.

Do not hear the words of Christianity and assume they carry the meaning of the sacred truth as recorded in the Bible. Many false teachers use the words jesus, god, church, heaven and hell with new definitions a mere shade of their former and true selves. Do not be deceived.

This begs the next question: how do I know the differences?

The answer: By knowing the genuine teaching.

Your Turn

Resolve to know Scripture better.

Ask questions, read, and explore. Ponder God’s Word. Memorize His truths…for nourishment and for encouragement.

Choose your best resource:
Bible on the shelf,
Bible app on your phone,
RSS feed
 of daily scripture to your online reader,
or audio version of the Bible for your commute or work-out.

The genuine Word is found in the Bible. Sola scriptura.

Guard your heart and mind and soul from the counterfeiters.

A Few of the (real) Truths

A tree is recognized by its fruit. (Matthew 12:33)
A cheerful heart is good medicine. (Proverbs 17.22)
A faithful friend is the medicine of life. (Eccl. 6.16)
It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20.35)
For dust you are and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3.19)
Do to others what you would have them do to you. (Matt. 7.12)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4.7)

Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(Matthew 6.28-29)

Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
(Matthew 4.4)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1)

Posted by Sharon R. Hoover

(Photo from Dave in Flickr’s Creative Commons)

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About Sharon R Hoover

Serving the church for over twenty years in discipleship and mission ministries, I've walked alongside many people travelling and exploring the journey of faith. Add in my own crazy path and I hope my writing will offer glimpses of life worth sharing.
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One Response to How to Not Be Deceived

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2011 | Journal of Missional Living

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