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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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WHO SPEAKS FOR CHRISTIANITY?

wolf false compassionDo not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 ESV)

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-16 ESV)

Renewing our minds by the Word of God is essential in this fallen world. There is substantial deception taking place in the culture-friendly modern church. Luke writes, “… And from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30 ESV)

Do not allow other people to direct you in a way that is offensive to God. Those who casually abandon sound doctrine for speculations about new teachings must be avoided if they will not be instructed in the error of their ways. As Paul states in the following verses: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18 ESV)

Wolf NightmareA false prophet is a phony authority on spiritual matters. He does not have to predict the future, or have visions in trance-like states, he simply teaches half-truths to cunningly seduce people to believe lies. Peter warns us that … “there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.” (2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV)

The false prophet, pastor, or teacher emphasizes success over character and righteousness. Sound Bible teaching disappears in favor of teaching about “felt-needs”. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV) Do you think you could never be deceived? The Bible tells us that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 ESV)

In our day, new doctrines, new teachings, and new gospels continue to spring up. Some of these have been around for centuries. Even though they have been previously proven false, some people think they provide recently discovered information and they adopt these notions without further research. However, you cannot simply rely on what you have heard. You must study and read the Bible for yourself. You must test and confirm if what is being taught lines up with the Word of God found in the Bible.

Samuel at Gilgal

 

 

Below is a list of books which come highly recommended by R.C. Sproul. I have also read most of these books and I can add my endorsement to their worth in helping you to grow in Christ. There are also many more Christian books which are very helpful as well. However, they are meant to be read by a person who is also reading his Bible:

Assured by God by Burk Parsons

The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

Charity and Its Fruits by Jonathan Edwards

Contending for Our All by John Piper

Counted Righteous in Christ by John Piper

Creation and Change by Douglas Kelly

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen

The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven J. Lawson

Foundations of Grace by Steven J. Lawson

The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards

Gospel Fear by Jeremiah Burroughs

Gospel Worship by Jeremiah Burroughs

Here I Stand by Roland Bainton

The Holy Spirit by Sinclair Ferguson (I am currently reading this book and it is excellent.)

Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

Justification by Francis Turretin

Principles of Conduct by John Murray

A Simple Way to Pray by Martin Luther

The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett

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