Walking in Truth
Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
Do you know that if you say “gullible” really slowly it sounds like “orange”?
If you tried that out loud, it probably didn’t take long before you realized it was a trick. I would also guarantee that this isn’t the first time somebody has tried to trick you either, right? The reality is, Satan has a vested interest in pulling Christians away from the truth that Jesus has given us. And just as that is true today, it was true in the very first century as well! That is why John wrote much of his first letter, because there were many “crazy” ideas that misled people who were followers of Christ.
One of these ideas was called Docetism. This was the teaching that Jesus was only a spirit; in other words, the incarnation wasn’t real! So although he seemed to really be here, he was just a phantom. He left no footprints, cast no shadow, and did not come to the earth as a man. This is what John was refuting in 1 John 4:2 when he said,
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God
Another teaching that misled Christians was Gnosticism. Under this belief, it’s just what you know that matters. As long as you have this “key knowledge” you’re set! Your behavior doesn’t matter, sin doesn’t matter, it’s all what you know. John strongly refuted this in 1 John 3:6-7 when he said,
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
As followers of Jesus, we are all to discern and distinguish truth. And the good news is, the Holy Spirit will help guide us in that as we live following God and living in community with other followers who also pursue truth. But Cal also gave us some practical takeaways that we can take to the bank:
- Do not believe everything you hear
- Do not participate in what you haven’t bothered to check out personally
- If the end result of it all isn’t greater obedience to God, know it isn’t from God.
- Let the Scriptures define your theology, not…
- Your personality
- Your experiences
- Your preferences
- Your biases
- What you wish it said
Gullibility destroys credibility and discredits God.
Verses and quotes from the sermon:
2 Peter 2:1-2; 1 John 4:1-6; Acts 17:11; John 16:13-14; 1 John 3:6; 1 John 5:2-3, 6-8; Deuteronomy 18:21-22
“This culture hasn’t gotten more secular; if anything, it’s more superstitious.” Leonard Sweet
“Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” G.K. Chesterton
Only King Forever – Elevation Worship
You Move – Central Music
This is Living – Hillsong Music
Alive – Hillsong Music
Jesus Paid it All – Arr. Monte Hunt