The Bible warns about false apostles and prophets. But how does the church go about getting corrected if needed, and by whom?
The Bible warns the church repeatedly to be on guard against false teachers, who seek to pull believers away from the truth of God’s word and into following myths and false doctrines that bring ruin. As Paul warns:
Paul warns us to be wary of those who advocate for a “different” doctrine. That begs the question, different than what? The answer is different than what we have been given in the word of God. The ultimate test of whether a certain teaching is right or wrong is if it agrees with Scripture or not. We must compare what we are told against the Bible – which is how the Lord instructs, corrects and guards His church. Paul tells us this:
The word of God will teach us, correct us and train us up in righteousness Paul says. So by knowing our Bible we will be protected from false teaching, and the best example of this principle at work is found in the response of the Bereans to the preaching of Paul:
Notice that the Bible praises the Bereans for their willingness to double-check Paul’s teaching against the Scriptures, which is an excellent practice for all Christians to follow. As we receive teaching, we must compare it to what we find in the Bible, and in that way we avoid false teaching and receive correction from the Lord.
Therefore, the one and only method the Lord gives His church for avoiding false teachers and for maintaining a obedient walk with Him is to know the word of God. Everything the church needs to know in order to live a godly life is found in the Bible. Peter says that in our knowledge of Christ (in the Scriptures) we have everything we need: