Summary: How to avoid being tossed around by every wind of false doctrine.
INTRO>In the frigid waters around Greenland are countless icebergs, some little and some gigantic. If you observe them carefully and over time, you’ll notice that sometimes the small ice floes move in one direction while the huge masses of ice flow in another. The explanation is simple: surface winds drive the little ones, whereas the huge masses of ice are carried along by deep ocean currents.
<>You see, the same is true in our lives...those things that are not grounded deep can be moved along by surface matters, “winds” that are changing. In no area is that most easily seen as in the area of what is presented to us as doctrine, but is, in fact, an ill wind...that which is not grounded in God’s Word.**
I invite you to open a Bible again to Ephesians, chapter 4.
--In 1937, Margaret Mitchell wrote her only book, but it won the Pulitzer Prize that year, and two years later, in 1939 it was made into an Academy Award winning movie by the same name, "Gone With the Wind." Set in the old South around the time of Reconstruction, the movie established new parameters in moviedom, including the first instance of profanity allowed in a feature film. The plot involves the unfolding lives of Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable, and Scarlett O’Hara, played by Vivian Lea. It is a movie about how things can change, and how old ways seem to be Gone With the Wind.
<>The key passage of Scripture I want us to focus on today is Ephesians 4:14-15, where Paul warns us about falling for the “changing winds” of false doctrine.
--Let’s read it again: "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ."
<>False doctrine can ultimately be traced to a wrong understanding of God...of His nature, His Divinity, and His work.
---ILL>A dad was being pestered by his daughter while he was trying to read the newspaper. So he took one page of the stock report page and cut it into 100 pieces and gave it to his daughter, along with some scotch tape, and instructed her to tape the page back together again as a puzzle. She went scurrying off to her task, and dad relaxed, confident that the task was too big, the stock report page would be too difficult a challenge to reconstruct. However, after only a few moments, the daughter brought back the page, rightly taped together. He was astonished! He must be raising a genius! Then she explained to him how she did it... “You see, daddy, on the back of the paper was the picture of a man, and when I got the picture of the man right, then the rest of it was right too.”
--That’s it! When we get the “picture” of God right, the rest of doctrine falls into place too.
<>It should not come as a big surprise, then, to note that false teaching will err on a right understanding of the nature of God and the right idea of what it means to truly be worshiping God.
--You see, Satan has always been up to the same single task: trying to divert attention away from God, and to himself instead.
---It is Satan, Scripture tells us, who is the author of confusion.
---And it is false teaching that lights the fire of confusion...even among believers if we don’t learn to “test the spirits” and learn to “rightly divide” the Word of God.
<>Today’s message is in 2 parts: How we can detect false doctrine, and how we can avoid it...
I. HOW FALSE DOCTRINE CAN BE DETECTED / IDENTIFIED...
--If any one or more of these conditions exist, mark it down...it’s an ill wind, a false teaching.
1) IT IS FALSE IF IT DEFIES THE HEART OF THE FATHER.
--1Jn.4:8 -- "...God is love."
->When Hyper-Calvinists declare that God has appointed just a few and sends the rest of the people He created to hell BY HIS CHOICE, that is in opposition to His heart.
---2Pet3:9 -- God is "not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
->When theists advocate the idea of an impersonal Creator, a “spirit in the sky,” an uninvolved Deity who merely created everything and then left it to evolve on its own, that’s in opposition to God’s nature.
---2Col.2:17 tells us "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
---In other words, if God was not actively still involved with His creation, it would fall apart!