Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!”
People say what they think, but live what they believe. Hence, what we believe about God (theology, “study of God”) really matters. Some naive Christians may say, “I don’t get into all that theological stuff… I just read the Bible.” However, no one can read the Bible without having a theological belief system- whether good or bad.
For example, when you read the Bible, do you believe it’s the Word of God or just the opinions of man? Your theology matters. When you read the Old Testament do you try to do everything it says in today’s culture or do you believe Christ fulfilled the Old Testament and you only have to obey the commands in the New Testament? Your theology matters. And lastly, do you believe Jesus was just a prophet or God in the flesh? Your theology matters.
The list of things that deeply matter in our theology is not irrelevant, thus, if you don’t have the proper training and humility to learn the Bible false teachers and vain imaginations can easily lead you astray. Believe it or not, a false gospel invaded the church in Galatia within just a few short years.
The people were beginning to believe things about salvation that weren’t true. However, to them these erroneous beliefs seemed right because the false teachers were very convincing. Paul even said it was like they were under a spell of witchcraft (bewitched), Galatians 3:1. Why? Because when people are deceived they don’t know they’re deceived because they think they’re right. Hence, the problem with deception- its very deceiving!
The only way someone can realize they are wrong about something in the Bible is if they humble themselves, become teachable, study, and hear what God is really saying in the Scriptures. Thus, the solution to bad theology is good theology. Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Have you been told by well-trained leaders that you believe things not clearly taught in the Bible? If so, pray this out loud, “Jesus, forgive me for following man’s opinions and not your Word. Help me to discern between truth and error according to your Scriptures. I believe you are the Truth, thus teach me your ways. Amen.”
Have you ever had bad theology or false beliefs?
- Make time to meet with a well-trained leader in your church to discern if your core beliefs about God are true or false.
- Repent of any false beliefs.
- Live your life as a student of God’s Word- rightly dividing it and following its path!