Sunday, Oct 9, 2016AM Service
Senses Trained: How Sheep Learn to Spot a Wolf (Part 2)
Speaker: Jerry Wragg
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Two weeks ago, we studied the first of six marks of a wolf in the church.  God's word says that we will be able to spot a wolf by its fruit.  This week, the topic was introduced with an examination of John 5:19-24 and a question, “Is it possible to contend for the Truth and confront error lovingly?

  • Love is established when one is humbly submissive to the Truth and the will of God.
  • Superficial peace is unloving, while Biblical love shares the elements of scriptural Truth.
  • Love is not just attitudes of compassion and kindness.
  • Love is not peace at any price.
  • Love is not accommodation or tolerance when to do so excuses dangerous spiritual ideologies.
  • It is unloving to soften the truth because we fear losing friends and relationships.
  • It is most loving when we learn God’s commandments and we obey them in humility.
  • It is most loving to live a holy and pure life in front of your friends and family.
  • Love does not hide the truth; we proclaim the whole counsel of God and we don’t adjust it for any worldly reasons.
  • Proclaiming the truth without living the truth is a way to obscure the power of the gospel that changes hearts.
  • Practicing kindness and compassion without reference to the truth is manipulation.  The source of our godliness is Christ and His word.

The Bible teaches that false teachers display the following marks:

  1. Speaking subtle lies and use flattering speech to deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.  (Taught last time here:
    • Passages examined were 2 Peter 2:1-3 and Romans 16:17-18.
    • We are warned; don't be vulnerable; work to renew your mind Romans 12:2. 
  2. Twisting Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15-19)
    •  False teachers back away from clarity and wrangle about words.
    • What are we to do?  V.15 be diligent and unashamed workmen with humble submission to the Word of God.  Accurately dividing God’s word straight.
    • V.17 wrangling about words spreads like gangrene and harms the church.
    • V.19 everyone who knows God abstains from wickedness.
    • Additional passages: Matthew 24:5; Matthew 24:24; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:8
    • False teachers often twist or soften what the gospel says about sin; for example, Christ’s words in John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  This passage is the truth and false teachers lie about its implications.
    • Even some twist God’s word to support asceticism, harsh treatment of the body, and self-atonement.  These practices have no power over fleshly indulgences (1 Timothy 4:3, Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:23).
  3. Practicing Greed and Swindling (Titus 1:11)
    • They are in the ministry for sordid gain and are enslaved to materialism.
    • Instead, the godly are sacrificial leaders and cheerful givers.
    • Watch those in ministry; examine their lives (Jude 11, Matthew 7:15)
  4. Controlling and Manipulative (3 John 9)
    • Diotrephes wanted to be first among them and disciplined those out of the church for merely asking questions, quickly.
    • There are only two Biblical reasons to discipline quickly:
      1. Titus 3:10 – A factious man who is deceiving those in the flock.
      2. 1 Corinthians 5:11 – An unrepentant immoral man.
  5. Self-exalting and Arrogant (3 John 9)
    • They seek preeminence over Christ and His Word.
  6. They call evil, “good” and they call good, “evil”. (Read Jude and 2 Peter)
    • They might have right doctrine, but their lives show immoral appetites, greed for lusts, and are living as practical antinomianists.
    • They glory in vain and shameful things (Philippians 3:19), which the Bible teaches should not even be named among the saints (Ephesians 5:3-7)

In conclusion, there is a Biblical definition of love and it involves knowing the truth and….

  1. Pleading with people to stay away from error (2 Timothy 2:14).
  2. Pleading with people to test the spirits (1 John 4:1).
  3. Calling others to excel in righteous living (Acts 20:32)
  4. Compelling people to be obedient and wise about what is good (Romans 16:19)
  5. Preaching a gospel of grace consistent with what was taught by the apostles and to flee from a gospel of works that cannot save (Galatians 1:8)
  6. Speaking into the lives of loved ones who participate in rituals and are practicing a false gospel (Matthew 7:23).  We might be called unloving, but pray for them and be sure to speak these very words of truth.  Do not fear!

Beloved, we are to build discernment:

  • Don’t neglect scripture.
  • Keep a clear conscience (1 Timothy 1:19: 2 Timothy 2:22)
  • Get in the life with a mentor who knows God’s word and be discipled.
  • Pray for the Lord to protect you with alertness (Galatians 6:18)
  • Ask God to give you grace in presenting these things.