October 25, 2017
It’s interesting to note just how many “Christian” blogs, podcasts, and books are out there. Just google a particular topic to get a Christian’s perspective, and so many results will pop up. There are also memes dedicated to “Christian” quotes and if you’re wise, you won’t just take everything in. What if there are two Christian authors with different and even contrasting perspectives? Which one do you believe in?
Here are three practical steps to make sure we don’t veer away from what the Bible says:
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
While we need to listen to preachers and teachers to give insight and clarity to some things we read in the Bible or from what we hear from other sources, it is also our personal responsibility to find out if what is being shared does not contradict what the Bible says.
It is important to pray for a discerning spirit to recognize when what is being said is not in tandem with the final authority of God’s Word. We gain discernment when we read and meditate on the Word, hence it is important for us to set aside time to study the Word and to apply what we have read in our daily lives. We cannot just rely on podcasts or books from Christian authors.
Every time I lead someone to Christ, I always tell the other person, “I will not be offended if you go home right now and find out from the Bible if what I’m saying is true. In fact, I will be relieved if you do so.” After all, even the great apostle Paul had to have his teaching evaluated by new disciples of Christ.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:16
Being a teacher of the Word is a great responsibility and we should not take it lightly. God will hold us accountable if we sugarcoat the word of God. I am blessed to be in a spiritual family whose leaders have the humility to hold themselves accountable to one another when it comes to their preaching and teaching.
This is especially important because of our social media presence. Everything we post has to be carefully thought out and evaluated, because God has given us a platform that we need to steward well.
I could not appreciate enough the men and women in my life who corrected what I shared when I have only taught a half-truth or have spoken vaguely of scripture. This is exactly why we need mentors who speak into our lives, no matter how big our ministry has become.
While personal study is necessary, we also cannot discount the importance of a church community to find out if we have interpreted the scriptures correctly on our own.
If you get a vision from God and you are convinced from a Bible verse that you have understood the vision correctly, go ahead and share it with one or two people who have studied scripture for years and confirm if how you translated the vision is apt.
Pastor Steve Murrell summarized it best when he said, “Mission draws us together. Relationship keeps us together. Doctrine is worked out together. Experience is judged together.”