Have you ever been led up the garden path? Have you believed something that wasn’t quite true?
Maybe you saw advertised on TV a product that said it would make you look 10 years younger, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Or perhaps you booked a holiday. The website said the price was all inclusive, but it turns out you should have read the fine print. We can sometimes believe something to be true when it’s not. And the same can apply to what we hear about God and Christianity.
How do you know that what you believe about God or Christianity is actually true? Or, to put it another way, how do you know if you’re being deceived?
People believe all manner of things about God. For example, many people say that God is a loving God, which is completely true. They then, however, will say that because God is love he won’t judge me. Love ought to let me do and be whatever I want to be. However, to believe this is to believe a distortion of what is true about God’s love and God’s judgment. So, how can we know this?
2 Timothy 3 shows us that God doesn’t leave us in the dark to figure out truth from error.
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:14-17
I was recently listened to a person giving their story on what it was like for them to become a Christian. They were saying that before they trusted Jesus, they had heard about what God was like, they had ideas about what Christianity was. However, when they started reading the Bible for themselves, they found out their old ideas were completely off the mark.
God tells us what is true in his Word. God is a speaking God. He reveals who he is, his law, his gracious salvation. He reveals himself to us in and through the Lord Jesus. We aren’t on our own to figure out what God is like, we’re not at the mercy of false teaching, whatever it may be, because God gives us the Bible, the scriptures. So keep your Bible open.
More on this in my sermon on 2 Timothy 3:10-17.