False teaching should drive us nuts.
MARCH 8, 2021
False teaching should drive us nuts. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches that God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great weekend and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. And I hope you had a laid back and good and restful time, the way God said you should in his commandments. We’re studying Galatians and we’re looking at Galatians 5 in the first 12 verses of Galatians 5. We’re talking about a number of things. And I spent most of last week talking about freedom and its nature and how it’s not passive and how it’s a gift and it’s real freedom and how it’s given to you. But this week we’re going to go to the main thrust of this text. And it’s about false teaching. False teaching can kill you. I mean, that’s the worst thing that can happen in the church. The reason I’m Orthodox. The reason I am opinionated about the doctrines, Biblical doctrines of the Christian faith, is not because I want to offend people. It’s because I know if people aren’t taught truth, they’ll go to the wrong place for what they need. You got to clearly define it. Doctrine is about Jesus and Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Now, before we get into this, I want to, I got to say something, an addendum or a clarification, if you will. When, when I’m talking about false teaching, I’m not talking about the crossing every T and dotting every I and getting it right. And telling everybody that they’re wrong, if they don’t agree with you. I mean, there is so much that Christians believe and about which Christians legitimately disagree. God created it that way. We don’t see everything the same way and there’s a lot of truth, that all of us hold, where we shouldn’t be willing to die on a hill to defend it. For instance, one time I was at a conference with great and late Addison Leach, who was my friend. He was a professor at Gordon Conwell Seminary, and much beloved. He was married to Elizabeth Elliott. He was a C.S. Lewis scholar. He was the Dean and I loved him a lot. A student came up to him one time and we were having dinner together. And the student said, Dr. Leach, tell me what you believe about the pre tribulation rapture. Dr. Leach said, well, I’ll tell you what I think, but I could be wrong. He said, in fact, I think all of us are probably wrong, a good deal about things like this and that sometimes somebody and it’ll probably be a layman or a lay woman, not a professor at a seminary, will get it right. And the rest of us will come along and say, Oh, that’s what he was saying. And I thought about that a lot. There’s some things that we can disagree on. We really can. Alright, what can we not disagree on? What constitutes false teaching? When C.S. Lewis wrote his book Mere Christianity, you know what he used? He used the Apostle’s Creed. He called it Mere Christianity, and it was the basic, Apostolic faith that is held by Christians and has been held by Christians throughout every generation. And if you want to measure of that, the place to go measure it ,is probably the Apostle’s Creed or one of the great Creeds of the church. It’s not the details. And so when I talk about false teaching, how dangerous it is, I’m not talking about the places where Christians legitimately disagree, kind of, you know why there are so many denominations? Do you know why there are so many different kinds of churches? Let me tell you why, because God made it that way. What did he do that far? Cause we’re wired differently. And because if you’re a Presbyterian, you weren’t wired to dance in the aisles of the church and raise your ans and you were wired to do everything, quote, decently and in order, and you just are not going to fit in some churches. And for those of you were in the more free churches may be charismatic or churches that, that,express their faith in a more tangible way, you’ll die in a Presbyterian church. You really will. You’ll think these people are dead, they just don’t know it yet. So God knowing that we’re wired differently, because he wired us differently. God has created denominations and different kinds of churches.
And everybody who belongs to Jesus belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus.
So when I’m talking about false teaching, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the basic doctrines of salvation and grace and mercy and forgiveness and eternal life and what’s right and what’s wrong. Those things are clearly taught in Scripture and throughout history Christians have agreed on those things. At least the majority have, and those who didn’t work called quite properly, heretics. And by the way, the Bible has a lot to say about false teaching. That’s what Paul is talking about in this text. In Isaiah 56:10-11, Isaiah is talking about the prophets and teachers.
His Watchman are blind; they are all without knowledge;
They are all dumb dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. The shepherds also have no understanding; they’ve all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.
What was he talking about? About false teaching. Jeremiah, the same thing. He was speaking to the prophet and he said,
Listen, the Lord has not sent you. And you have made this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you will die, because you have uttered rebellion against the Lord.’
Whoa, good heavens. That’s pretty strong language. It’s what happened too, the prophet died Matthew 15:8-9, Jesus quotes Isaiah in talking to the Pharisees and the Scribes.
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching
Here it comes
as doctrines the precepts of men.'”
For there are many, empty talkers and deceivers. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for base gain what they have no right to teach.
Do not be carried away with diverse and strange doctrines.
I Timothy 1:1. Alright, I know, I could spend the next week or two giving you these verses. I Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.
One of the things God doesn’t like is a false teacher, and you don’t have to go very far to find them. Again, I’m talking about the verities of the Christian faith, not the places where Christians can sometimes disagree. And that’s what Paul is talking about in the first 12 verses of the fifth chapter of Galatians. First thing you ought to note is the source of false teaching. And I’m just going to mention this today, and we’ll talk more about it tomorrow, but listen to this.
You were running so well.
He’s talking to the Galatians who have bought into the lies.
Who blinded you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you.
Now, you can follow the flip side of that. So where did it come from? It came from the one who didn’t call you from the dark side from Satan himself. It was a RCA Victor, I believe, they used to have a logo that pictured a little dog sitting by one of those old style phonographs, that had a horn, with his head cocked to one side. And the caption said “his master’s voice”. There’s something going on in the church that is kind of like that. I see it happen all the time. People who are not theologically trained, who haven’t read all the books, who don’t understand all the doctrines, who couldn’t articulate a lot of what we believe will say to me, you know, there’s something wrong about that teaching. That’s God’s Spirit. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. We’ve been working our way through Galatians and today we returned to the first 12 verses of chapter five to discuss the dangers of false teaching. But Steve did bring a wealth of other texts to us today as well. In case you missed those earlier, we looked at Isaiah 56:10-11, Matthew, 15:8-9, Titus 1:10-11, Hebrews 13:9 and I Timothy 4:1. Well, as you may know, or maybe not, we have a little institution here that we call the Key Life CD Family. That’s just our little name for the group of folks who receive two free CDs from Steve each and every year, as funds permit. These CDs are actually from talks at various events where Steve speaks throughout the year, and usually this is audio that hasn’t been heard anywhere else previously. Get in on this right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CDs. By mail send your request to
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