Summary: In this message, we need to consider two areas of doctrine: 1- Whom we believe 2- What we believe

INTRO.- ILL.- A little boy told his mother one day that he was 7 feet tall. She questioned him, saying, "You know better than that! You shouldn’t fib!" He said, "I am 7 feet tall because I just measured myself with this little ruler that I made!"

Any time we measure ourselves with our own little rulers we will be taller and better than we really are!

Sometimes in life we may imagine ourselves as being better than we really are! BUT BY WHOSE STANDARD? Generally, it’s our own standard. Depending on the day, in our book, by our own standard or rule we can look pretty good! But if we had a Judge Judy or perhaps a Simon Cowell of American Idol fame doing the judging none of us would fair so well!

ILL.- A man named Stephen Bilynskyj starts each confirmation class with a jar full of beans. He asks his students to guess how many beans are in the jar, and on a big pad of paper writes down their estimates.

Then, next to those estimates, he helps them make another list: Their favorite songs. When the lists are complete, he reveals the actual number of beans in the jar. The whole class looks over their guesses, to see which estimate was closest to being right. Bilynskyj then turns to the list of favorite songs. "And which one of these is closest to being right?" he asks. The students protest that there is no "right answer"; a person’s favorite song is purely a matter of taste.

Bilynskyj, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame asks, "When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is THAT more like guessing the number of beans, or more like choosing your favorite song?"

Always, Bilynskyj says, from the old as well as young, he gets the same answer: Choosing one’s faith is more like choosing a favorite song. WRONG!

What does this say about what most people think in regard to proper doctrine or teaching? It means that doctrine means very little to them. It’s not what is right or what the Word of God says that is important to most people, it’s just what is important to me.

In other words, I am my own judge about doctrine or teaching or what is right and what is wrong in life. AND THAT’S WRONG! We are not God! We don’t know everything. We don’t see all the sin and evil in this world. God is all-holy, completely holy, and He alone knows what is truly right and wrong, good or evil. And that’s a matter of doctrine or teaching. And His will should be our will in life.

PROP. - In this message, we need to consider two areas: 1- Whom we believe 2- What we believe


I John 4:1-3 "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."

Don’t believe every spirit or every person who comes along in life because there are many false prophets, false preachers, and false teachers in life! They could even be in your own backyard!

ILL.- A small boy told a Sunday school teacher: "When you die, God takes care of you like your parents did when you were alive — only God doesn’t yell at you all the time."

Someone said: "Don’t try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it."

Children are interesting little creatures. We adults were one once upon a time. And much of what we are today is a result of the people around us.

Whom do you believe in life? Whose words do you trust? Mom and dad? Hopefully, yes, until proven otherwise. We all were raised in homes that we thought were correct until we learned some things differently.

ILL.- For example, my dad smoked all his life. I didn’t know until I was older that smoking was bad for a person other than when I heard him coughing. I thought that didn’t sound right. But a little child knows no different at first. Dad also cussed and sometimes used the Lord’s name in vain. And of course, I didn’t know that was wrong until I started attending Sunday school at the First Baptist Church and learned that it was wrong.

Most of us start out in life thinking that our parents are doing things right and teaching us to do right. And blessed were you if you were raised in a Christian home where your mom and dad took you to Sunday School and church and tried to teach you about the Christian life.

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Greg Nance

commented on Oct 15, 2008

Steve, you never cease to amaze me with all the illustrations you come up with. Thanks for all the help. God bless you and your ministry.

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