False doctrine. What does that even mean? Obviously, something that is false is something that is not true. Doctrine is defined as instruction or something that has been taught. So, false doctrine is something that has been taught, but is not true.

The Apostle Paul issues a solemn warning in Romans 16:17-18, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” He is warning the Roman believers (and us) to be aware of those who teach things contrary to the Word of God. He points out that those people do not serve the Lord Jesus; they serve themselves. Their purpose is to divide and offend and are to be avoided.

In 1 Timothy 1:3 Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to safeguard the truth there. That says, “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine.”

The Lord fervently defends His truth. We understand what truth is based on the teachings of the Word of God. He warns us against false teachers and false doctrine. The Lord also prepares us so that we might be able to discern what is true and what is false. He has given us:

THE SPIRIT OF GOD – John 16:13-14, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

THE WORD OF GOD – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

THE GIFTS OF GOD – Ephesians 4:11-16, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: THAT WE HENCEFORTH BE NO MORE CHILDREN, TOSSED TO AND FRO, AND CARRIED ABOUT WITH EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

The Lord wants us to be mature believers. Even as babes grow into men and women, the Lord wants us to grow also. We read in Hebrews 5:13-14, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL.” Are you a growing Christian or have you remained a babe after many years of being a Christian? To be able to grow and discern the false from the true, the Lord has given us His Spirit, His Word, and His Gifts. May we all make full use of these! (301.6)