Introduction: Truth—the Prescription for Healthy LivingRelated Media
Heresy (an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious TRUTH) is an infection in the Body of Christ. It’s not just error; it is anti-truth! And like an infection in the human body, it always affects life so it must be addressed. Thankfully, the answer to all heresy is TRUTH! Knowing truth gives us a spiritual immune system that fights and prevents infection. That is the prescription for healthy living. Here’s how we will see it work throughout this study of Colossians and Philemon:
Dwell in Truth You Can Know
To “dwell” means to make your home in. It’s what dominates your thoughts and attitudes, governs your life, has the most influence on you. God gives us plenty of truth in the Scriptures that we can know and trust. There are 66 books of revelation given. 1189 chapters. If we just took 1 chapter per day and wrote down all the truths about God and our relationship with Him that is revealed to us, it would take us more than 3 years to get through the whole Bible! God wants us to know the truth He has revealed. He wants us to make our home — to dwell — in that truth. It is for our own good!
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:17-19,
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing KNOWLEDGE of Him, —since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened—so that you may KNOW what is the hope of His calling, what is the wealth of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of His power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of His immense strength.”
Look at all that God says we can KNOW. Each passage we read or study has plenty of truth that we can KNOW with certainty and allow to govern our lives. At the end of each lesson, you’ll get to list all the TRUTH from that lesson that you can KNOW about God and His relationship to you. Throughout this study, you will DWELL in truth you can know.
Humbly Accept the “I Don’t Know or Understand”
In the midst of all those 1189 chapters in the Bible are verses we just don’t understand. Perhaps you don’t understand it now but will in the future as you learn more through Bible study and hear great teaching that helps you understand. But, there are things we will never know or understand.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says this,
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
Notice the emphasis on the things revealed — we can KNOW them. But, there are “secret things” the Lord has not revealed yet. As we study the Bible, we can do our best to try to understand what is written—examining the original words to see what the writer meant and what the audience understood, looking at cross-references to let the Bible interpret itself, and ask the Spirit for understanding. But, you may never understand something that you read. Don’t let that unnerve you.
In this study, after you list all the TRUTH from each lesson that you can KNOW, you’ll get to write the things that you just can’t seem to understand from the lesson or things you might not know. Then, you can make the choice to HUMBLY ACCEPT the “I don’t know or understand.”
Discern Teaching through the Complete Revelation of God’s Word
To dwell in the truth of God’s Word, we must discern what we read and hear by comparing it with the complete revelation of God’s Word (the whole Bible). We can’t extract pieces of it (that is, a verse or group of verses) and build our foundation on that. Nor should we build our faith on experiences and feelings. There’s junk out there about God so it’s important to really get to know the God of the Bible.
Avoid the “look-imagine-see” way of looking at any verse, which leads to error. What do I mean by “look-imagine-see?” Someone looks at a verse or passage, imagines what they want it to say, and then sees in their mind what they have imagined through twisting word meanings and interpretations.
Cultural influence on Bible study feeds this “look-imagine-see” process. You look at the passage, imagine a way for it to fit a particular cultural slant, then you see what you want to see. Many types of false teaching through the years have started with this kind of “look-imagine-see” process. Avoid doing that by following the inductive process of Bible Study: observation (what the text says), interpretation (what was the author’s intended meaning—to him and to his audience that would read or hear it), and application (how to live this out in your life). That is the best way to study the Bible. Look at what’s there. Learn what it means and teaches you. Then, live it out in your life.
You want to make sure you are basing your faith on what is in God’s Word, not something you have heard before and not something you are imagining to be there. So, avoid that “look-imagine-see” way of looking at the Bible.
We will never know all there is to know about God. There’ll always be some mystery about Him. But, there’s plenty enough revealed in the Bible that we CAN KNOW HIM TRUTHFULLY and know how to live our life in Christ truthfully. The Holy Spirit uses the Scripture we read and study to teach us about our God so we can know TRUTH and DWELL in that truth. Dangerous teaching comes from picking and choosing what you consider to be “truth.” All false teachers through the centuries have taken advantage of people who were not dwelling in the truth portrayed in the whole Bible.
At the end of each lesson, I will ask you to evaluate something you have read or heard in light of the TRUTH you are learning—books, social media, billboards—things that sound nice and comfy but may actually lead to or be based upon error in biblical thinking. I may even throw one into the lesson for you to evaluate and discern truth or error. DISCERN TEACHING through the complete revelation of God’s Word.
The prescription for healthy living has three parts:
1. DWELL IN TRUTH You Can Know
2. HUMBLY ACCEPT the “I Don’t Know or Understand”
3. DISCERN Teaching through the Complete Revelation of God’s Word
Enjoy healthy living!
© Copyright, 2018.