Let’s begin by looking at the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:10-11, “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO.”  Paul commends the saints from Berea because they listened to what he had taught them, and compared his words with the scriptures to make sure that what Paul taught them was according to the Bible.  HE COMMENDED THEM FOR THAT.  He was not upset that they wanted to do that.  He was glad that they did.  This shows a desire to learn, but also a desire to make sure what they accepted was from the Lord.

While it may be easier just to take someone’s words as being the truth, that can be incredibly dangerous.  Unless we see that what we are being taught is agreeable with the Word, we really cannot be sure.  The Lord Jesus said, in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures…they are they which testify of me.”  It is the responsibility of every believer to study and learn the scriptures, so that we are able to discern the truth.  The Lord Jesus said in John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things…”  The Holy Spirit, who is called the ‘Spirit of truth’ in John 14:17 indwells every believer and teaches us by giving us understanding of the Word of God.  Every believer has the capacity to read, study, and understand the scriptures.  We cannot afford to put ourselves under someone’s teaching without verifying their words are in agreement with the scriptures.  As I often say, “Don’t take my word for anything.  Ask to see it in the Bible.”

With all this in mind, it would be natural that we would not always agree with what the Bible teacher says, however we need to keep a few things in mind.

  • We might be wrong in our disagreement! It is always best to ask the teacher to show you in the Bible where he is getting his thoughts from.  Listen to what he has to say, and see if your understanding is right or not.  We are all at different stages of growth and understanding, so we may not completely understand some things yet, but we should remain teachable!  Until we have been assured from the scriptures, we should be open to being taught, as long as the scriptures are correctly applied.  It is dangerous to make up our minds before we learn all the facts.
  • Be ready to defend your position with the Word of God. We read in 1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”  Rather than just disagreeing with someone, we should be ready to present the truth from God’s Word.  Too often we get into a ‘battle of opinions.’  Only the Word of God is authoritative.  Using different reasonings, stories, or examples instead of the Word can lead us down wrong paths.  Remember, we are not trying to win a debate, our desire should be to share the truth!
  • Be patient with those you disagree with. Even learned teachers can be wrong.  In Acts, we read of a man named Apollos who was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures.” (Acts 18:24)  Yet, this man had limited knowledge. (Verse 25)  Then we read in verse 26, “And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”  Two things were at work here: Aquila and Priscilla were patient and took the time to teach Apollos.  Apollos had a thirst for knowledge and was, therefore, teachable.  When we become unteachable, we will stop learning.

We will not always agree with everything we hear.  We need to study and learn the Word of God “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” (Ephesians 4:14)   2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  (211.6)