Sunday, April 30, 2017

Biblical Standards To Use In Testing Ministers

  • Examining Ourselves To See Whether We Are In The Realm Of Faith (2 Corinthians 13:5):
          -If we who desire to preach and defend Christianity somehow stand in the wrong on any issues pertinent to salvation, then we are really in no place to speak because we are only deceiving ourselves. That would make us hypocrites. We must know where we ourselves stand with God, whether we are saved or condemned. In order to be deeply rooted in the mysteries of the Christian religion, we must know what we believe in, and how to defend the contents of our faith. The repercussions of blind preaching can only be negative. Our preaching will only drag those who listen in the same spiritual direction that we are going. The conversion of souls is indeed a serious matter. Hence, there is a dire need to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the correct realm of faith. A right standing with God will lead to correct spiritual insight, which also forms the basis of correct spiritual discernment.
  • A Different Source Of Revelation/Appeal:
          -False teachers generally rely on different sources of revelation than the Bible. They base their doctrines off their own puffed up fleshy minds. Deceivers formulate their own inspired revelation and act as though it originated from God. Do professing Christian preachers appeal to passages of Scripture, or to a different source of revelation (or misinterpret Scripture) to spread their message of what they call "the gospel" (Galatians 1:8-9)?
          -Why should we bother to listen to any random message regarding religion or spirituality? What is the emphasis of or the reason behind any preached message? False teachers are focused on what people want to hear, rather than teach what God wants us to know. The message of a false teacher is entirely carnal. They are focused on serving their own gods, rather than pure, authentic gospel holiness.
  • Examining The Substance Of The Message:
          -Almost every person who claims to be a Christian insists that the central message of his or her teaching is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is rare to find groups who openly deny that Christ is the Savior of mankind from the ways of sin. Hence, this is the reason that the Scriptures tell us that apostates will introduce their heretical ideas in a "secret" or deceptive manner (2 Peter 2:1). We must listen carefully to how each preacher phrases and articulates his or her teachings. For example, people could preach for the sake of earning money. They could only be concentrated on exalting themselves. False teachers usually do occupy Christian theological terminology to describe completely different concepts that blaspheme God. We must examine the central message of each professing Christian teacher. If Jesus Christ is not quint-essential to the message of a preacher, then he is to automatically be deemed false and untrustworthy a minister of God's Word.
  • The Influence That The Message Has:
          -While false teachers promise true spiritual freedom, they are in reality slaves to sin (2 Peter 2:19). They have been enslaved to any form of sin that they have chosen to continually partake of (i.e. greed). A true Christian is able to escape the selfish lusts of this world because he or she stands in the truth and has the Spirit, which sets them free from spiritual bondage (2 Peter 1:3-4). Christ is the truth (John 14:6).
  • The Message's Impact On People's Lives:
          -Another way to evaluate the truthfulness of spiritual preaching is to see how it alters people's lives. The true, biblical gospel, which consists of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), will always influence converts to serve the Lord faithfully. In other words, people who hear and choose to act in accordance to the principles of the gospel will also seek the characteristics of holiness. They will pursue knowledge, wisdom, kindness, love, hope, meekness, obedience (to legitimate, rightful authorities), patience, perseverance, self-control, and the other aspects of Christian character. On the contrary, any false message will lead people in the opposite direction of godliness. Those who are influenced by a false gospel will also be inclined to participate in sin. They will become grandiloquent, disrespectful toward other people, greedy, lustful, and rebellious in nature (2 Peter 2:10-20). They will be legalistic. They will be ensnared in deception. These are the general characteristics of counterfeit Christians, who experienced false conversion as a result of hearing a false gospel preached by a false teacher. We will know people by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

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