There are many that teach the Word of God. Your pastor; radio and television personalities; founders and leaders of entire “movements”. In many cases, they teach similar things. Yet in other cases their messages are very different.
I would imagine that most of them have good intentions. That they love The Lord, and desire to serve Him with the gift of teaching. It is certainly a high calling with much responsibility. (James 3:1)
So how do those of us who are “learners” decipher between accurate Biblical teachings and paths of deception?
First of all…we must pray!
Pray for the teachers. Those that are spreading the Good News are probably some of Satan’s biggest targets, and they need to be covered in prayer. They are still human, and they are confronted with the same temptations as the rest of us.
Pray for discernment…for them and for yourself. That the Spirit of God will continually illuminate His Word.
Pray against deception. Deception is a very real tool of Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44) and the masquerader of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Jesus said “Watch that no one deceives you.” Mark 13:5
Second – read the Bible! Learning from scholars and teachers that God has blessed us with is one important way to guide you in your walk with God. But we are also responsible for studying the Bible on our own and allowing God to illuminate his Word for us. (Be sure to read the books of the Bible as whole books and not to “cherry pick” verses. It is important to understand the whole context.)
For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes if the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Allowing God to take you on a journey through the Word can be an exciting chance to get to know him and to better understand his love and mercy alongside his justice and holiness. The whole of scripture demonstrates his plan of redemption for us – in place since the beginning of time.