Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jesus' Sermon On The Mountainside: Wrong Teachers

2) The Lord Jesus Christ's second warning was to watch out for the wrong teachers, who undermine God’s Son's teaching
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15)
Not all teachers are true, truth can be violated.

False teachers usually conceal their hostility to the gospel, and will try to blend in with true believers. They’ll use the right language, all the same words, and will talk a good line. So we need discernment to recognize the true sheep from wolves dressed up like sheep.

One clue would be whether they teach
--> The narrow gate and closeness with Christ, living under His authority, or
--> The broad road, which caters to our own sense of importance, indulges our desires and is permissive.

Ultimately false teachers are not interested in helping people, they’re interested in helping themselves to fame, or popularity, or power and influence, or wealth, or some other gain by exploiting people. That road leads to destruction.

Two trees,
"You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit." (Matthew 7:16-18
You may not see it right away, but once the fruit begins to mature, you will begin to see the difference between fruit that is healthy for you and fruit that is poisonous

1) Look at the way they live – are they following the narrow way in their lifestyle?
2) Listen to their words: do they glorify God, or themselves?
3) Look at the people who have been applying their teaching, what is the fruit in their lives?

Do you recognize the fruit of the Spirit?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Is serving the Lord Jesus Christ the focus of their lives?

Or are they all about the blessings, earthly prosperity, or power, or some other bonus that they say comes from being a Christian?
4) Listen to what they teach – is it scriptural?
- Do they teach the denial of self, or promotion of self?
- Do they teach the cross, or do they teach that life on earth is supposed to be like heaven?

What kind of tree are you?
* What are you teaching your children?
* What do your children see in your own lifestyle?
* Can you recognize the fruit of your teaching, your character, and your lifestyle in your children?

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