Whatever Anyone Says
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Monday - August 31st Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: 2 Corinthians 11:1-4
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:17-20
You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
2 Corinthians 11:4 NLT
Years ago, I had a Christian friend who regularly gave me Christian books as gifts. I appreciated this friend and his thoughtfulness in giving these books to me. He and I shared a love for learning, thinking, and reading. Most of what he shared with me fell into the categories of Christian living, theology, and biblical studies. As you can imagine, these themes are my own personal sweet spot. Over time, I noticed the books he enthusiastically shared with me were scattered all over the map in terms of what they taught.
It would be one thing if he shared different perspectives with me to help me understand various viewpoints within the Christian world. I noticed that he not only shared these perspectives that often contradicted each other, but he gave every new book a full, enthusiastic endorsement. He would tell me how this book finally helped him grasp a tough theological topic or helped him see something he had never seen before. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with that kind of endorsement. But, it became apparent over time that my friend had no foundations in his Christian life to help him discern what he was reading.
His views on Jesus, the Bible, the Holy Spirit, biblical morality, and the local church shifted dramatically with each book he recommended and gifted me. It did not take long for me to recognize that my friend exemplified what the Apostle Paul warned the Ephesian Church about in Ephesians 4:14. "Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming."
Too many Christians lack solid discipleship. Too many of us have allowed every trend of theology and every movement within the church to captivate us. Don't get me wrong; we need to keep listening, adapting, and growing as we walk with Jesus. But, and there is a big "but" here, we need some moorings anchored deeply in God's Word that helps us discern what is from God and what is not from God. Not every well-intentioned voice within the church represents a biblically-based perspective.
Paul warned the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 that we can quickly embrace anything anyone says. When we do, we end up with a different Jesus, a different Holy Spirit, and even another Gospel than what the Bible says. Let's be careful not to lunge from one Christian perspective to another. Let's be cautious that we don't listen to errant and even evil voices. Everything you hear someone say about God, Jesus, life, and what it means to walk with God must be evaluated by Scripture. Don't simply listen to anyone who names the name of Jesus saying anything they want.
Take a few moments today to pray and ask the Lord to help you discern the difference between biblical voices and non-biblical voices. Jesus told His disciples that God's Spirit would be given to us to guide us into the truth. The Holy Spirit will help us discern the biblical voices and non-biblical voices. We must be willing and ready to reject whatever anyone says if they are wrong!
Remember, anyone can say anything. God says we need to discern what is true and what is false.