There is earthly wisdom growing in bitter envy and strife, and there's heavenly wisdom, pure, peace-loving, submissive, full of good fruit, compassionate and sincere.
Scripture: Matthew 7:15-20; John 15:1-6; Acts 20:27-32
- The life of the soul can't be sustained by the fruit of a false teacher.
- False teachers often draw attention to themselves, and they tend towards controversy and divisions.
- In John 15, Jesus speaks of Himself as the central vine, the perfect and divine prophet/teacher, sent by the Father to reveal the mind and heart of God.
- Our activities apart from Christ are vain (Psalm 127:1)
- John urges a fruitfulness at each stage of life (1 John 2:12-14).
- The Holy Spirit is continually teaching, giving life.
- In Acts 20, Paul commits the believers to the word of God and faithful teaching, under the care of the Holy Spirit.
- False teachers are like ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing.
- The people of God have faced false prophets in all ages (Jeremiah 6:14; Ezekiel 22:27; Zephaniah 3:4; Zechariah 13:4).
- Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
- Deceptive teaching always looks inviting because it appears to be the real thing.
- Their gospel is of human origin, based on human reason, not a true interpretation.
- Do not be deceived by oration, charisma, miraculous signs, numerical results, or popular success.
- Our judgment of a true teacher should be according to their attitude and loyalty to the redemption in the cross of Christ.
- An early church document, the Didache (c. 100 A.D.), 11-12 says if a teacher does not do what he teaches then he is false, and the church is not to support an idle visiting prophet.
- False teachers deny the doctrine of Christ (1 John 4:1-3).
- Cults often display their falsehood by rejecting the deity of Christ.
- Paul warns Timothy of teachers bringing the “doctrine of demons” (1 Timothy 4).
- Don't be deceived by use of biblical language; the devil knows the Bible and even quoted it to Jesus (Matthew 4).
- You can't believe a teaching comes from God merely based on a claim or a miracle.
- Every teaching must be tested against the truth of scripture: does it bear the same emphasis of Biblical spirit and doctrine?
- A teacher can't show that he's clever and that Christ is wonderful.
- A preacher is to be a channel of God's grace to men.
- There is earthly wisdom growing in bitter envy and strife, and there's heavenly wisdom, pure, peace-loving, submissive, full of good fruit, compassionate and sincere (James 3:13-18).
- Man cannot be sustained in the seasons of life by what is false.
- What are some marks of false teachers?
- List various marks of “light” which may exist in a false teacher?
- What is the primary test by which a true/false teacher can be identified?
- What are various secondary indicators which may reveal a false teacher?
- Why do we need to test every professed Christian teacher, writer, prophet?
- How do we know the spirit of truth and falsehood according to 1 John 4?
- Why did the early church require that a traveling teacher must have a trade to support his ministry?
- How can we apply this sermon to be more discerning and careful about seeking out the truth?
- What is the fruit in my life which confirms my living connection to Christ?