False Teachers. Part 2
Peter’s theme: the Christian life is a vibrant life filled with the power of God that produces a life that is constantly growing in godliness.
False teaching sabotages people’s faith- keeping Christians from maturing in godliness.
We are called to see the danger and to be discerning. (1 Thes. 5:21 and 1 John 4:1)
Below you will find a brief outline of the sermon and applications for study and reflection.
HOW DO WE LEARN TO DISCERN FALSE TEACHING?
1. Learn to handle the truth
a. Study what is true.
b. Know the difference between essential and peripheral doctrine
c. Acknowledge that all of God’s word is true.
d. Acknowledge that we are all growing in our knowledge of God.
2. Know the difference: Essential vs. Peripheral
3. How do we decide which truths belong in which category? 7 things to consider:
a. Biblical clarity
b. Relevance to the character of God
c. Relevance to the essence of the gospel
d. Biblical frequency and significance
e. Effect on other doctrines
f. Consensus among Christians (past and present)
g. Effect on personal and church life
HOW DO WE LEARN TO DISCERN FALSE TEACHERS?
1. They are rebellious
a. false teachers tend to wield their authority as if it is personal, intrinsic power
b. making claims of “the anointing” and using intimidating tactics to gain power over weak souls.
c. using “God told me” and relying on impressions above what God has said in His Word.
2. They are sensual
a. They (2) follow their sensuality, (10) those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion, (12) creatures of instinct, (14) eyes full of adultery, (18) they entice by sensual passion of the flesh
b. They are “Highly susceptible to influence through the senses.” (Sproul) They live by their feelings instead of through an understanding of God’s Word.
c. They are greedy. Prophets for hire - preaching prosperity instead of the Word of God. (Balaam).
1. Do you know what truths to put into the categories of essential and peripheral?
2. What’s your discernment quotient? How do you rate your ability to detect false teaching?
3. Why do we need to be careful? What does Peter tell us? What’s at stake?
4. Not only are we to guard against false teachers - we are also instructed to guard our own hearts against rebellion and sensuality.
a. what areas in your heart are in opposition to God’s word?
b. there are 2 categories of sensuality (sexual / living by feelings)- which category do you fall into and where do you need to repent and bring your life back under the authority of God’s word?