September 21, 2020 Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

Weekly Encouragement - 9/16

Weekly Encouragement - 9/16

Pastor Jud and I are sending a weekly encouragement based upon Galatians 5:15 and guided by Alexander Strauch’s, If You Bite and Devour Each Other. The aim is to instruct what God’s Word teaches about conflict and how we should respond. When conflict flares, we must consider the instruction of God’s Word to walk as children in light. We pray that these might be profitable for correction and instruction in the Word of God.

"Face False Teachers" 

One of the reasons why there is conflict and division within the Church is because of the presence of false teachers. It is false teachers, according to the Apostle Paul, that have a "craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people" (1 Timothy 6:4-5). False teachers, by proclaiming a different gospel, are the source of great division. Therefore, it is important that believers think carefully about how to respond to false teachers that they encounter.  

How can the Church work to avoid the division and conflict brought about by false teachers? Let me offer a few Biblical principles: 

  1. Commit yourself to a study of the truth of the Word of God. The better you are acquainted with the true Gospel and sound doctrine, the more easily you will be able to recognize false teachers and false gospels. 
  2. In so far as it is possible, avoid the company of false teachers. The Apostle Paul warned the church at Rome about false teachers and instructed the church to "avoid them" (Romans 16:17). What does this look like practically? Alexander Strauch says this: "In practical terms this means we are not to attend their Bible studies or go into their homes for fellowship and friendship. We are not to welcome them into our homes for hospitality (2 John 10-11)." Don't give false teachers a platform for them to be able to spread their false doctrines.  
  3. Have the courage to faithfully confront and stop false teachers that come into the church and bring conflict. If you recognize that a certain person is promoting a different gospel and creating division, don't keep silent about it. Talk to your elders and/or your pastors about your concerns. Do what is necessary to keep false teachers from deluding others with their lies.  

"By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit (the gospel) entrusted to you" (2 Timothy 1:14). 

In Christ,