TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, September 13, 2017:
Persons who misrepresent themselves as speaking for God; persons who speak not according to the fact; persons who teach what is not true.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers. Philippians 3:2.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
False teachers were a constant threat to the churches Paul had established in the pagan countries of the Roman Empire. Paul had to write letters to the churches to defend the gospel and refute the false teaching of the false teachers.
Paul wrote to the believers in the church at Philippi to warn them to guard themselves against false teachers. Paul was constantly facing false teachers who were savage in their attacks on him. Believers today are having to face false teachers as well so Paul’s warning is for us as well.
First, he tells us to be aware of false teachers who act like dogs. Both Jews and Gentiles of his day called each other dogs as a term of contempt. The word dog was the lowest title possible to convey contempt and ridicule. Dog refers to wild dogs of that day that roamed the streets day and night. They were scavengers and filthy and could be vicious and dangerous.
Paul refers to false teachers as wild dogs because they were evil. They seek out all who will listen and consume them with their false teachings. When one responds to them to defend their true belief in God they will snarl and become vicious and do all they can to destroy one’s belief in the truth. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus tells us to beware of false teachers that come to us in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ferocious wolves.
He says false teachers are not what they seem to be. They teach a false message using words that sound religious and claim their message is from God. They may sound and look good but they are evil.
Secondly, Paul tells us to beware of false teachers who are evil workers. There were some in the churches at that time that were teaching that the Gentiles had to be circumcised and keep the Jewish laws as part of salvation. These are people who hold to and teach high standards of righteousness, morality and religion. They are absolutely sure that their righteousness and good deeds are what makes them acceptable to God. They think that there is no way God would reject them. But this is false and we are to be aware of those who teach a false religion.
Paul called them evil workers because they taught that it was by what we do through our own works that we come to God instead of by God’s saving grace. There are those who teach that today. Jesus died on the cross to offer His free gift of salvation. Any teaching that adds to God’s plan of salvation by grace through faith is false teaching. Salvation cannot be obtained by what we do but only by what Christ has done for us.
Paul in this verse also is referring to those who live and teach evil by the way they live and talk about morality, righteousness and religion. These types live immoral, indulgent and extravagant lives and do all they can to mix both a religious and indulgent lifestyle.
False teachers always oppose the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation by grace alone. It is evident by their actions they do not accept God’s Son, Jesus as Lord and Savior. They accept what they choose of His teaching but deny or ignore salvation by His blood. False teachers are referred to by Paul as evil workers because they minimize Jesus and exalt themselves and seek to gain money, fame and power.
We want to give you this warning: In many churches today there are false teachers. On television and radio there are false teachers. Be careful what books you read as well. BEWARE and follow God’s Word daily and He will direct your path.
In addition to false teaching is heard in our churches and on radio and television. The Congress here in America has taken God out of the public schools. Children are not being taught about God but they are being taught to be anti-God. Immorality, violence, sex, drugs, you name it, is prevalent on school campuses today.
Every parent must make it a priority to know what their children are being taught. You must teach your children to beware of false teachings and the evil doers on the school campuses. Parents must make it their business to know who their children are spending time with and what they are doing. Yes, beware of false teachers. They are everywhere.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Philippians 2:4.
Let each of you look out not only for his (or her) own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Thank You for the apostle Paul’s God given message for us to beware of evil and false teachers affecting our lives. We ask You to give our family wisdom and direction how we can put You first place in our lives. Keep us alert to guarding our faith and to take a stand against false teachers that try to lead us astray. Keep us reading Your Word and communicating daily with You through prayer.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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