Who should I believe?
Who should I believe to teach the truth?
With so many conflicting arguments of men, who should I believe? If we discover truth we will have discovered the key that unlocks the chains that bind us. The responsibility of our souls lie with each one of us to discover truth and to be set free. Truth is readily available. We just need to be willing to find it.
There are those who have asked me: “What church to you belong to?” What they want to know is what predefined box I fit into so that they can put a predefined label on me.
My Answer is: To whatever church Jesus belongs!
The religious orders of the day were frustrated with Jesus because of what He taught. This was because it did not comply with their teachings. They could not box and label Him by the predefined doctrines of men that were designed to appease God, but not to know and love Him. Their religion consisted of rules and traditions of men, but they excluded the life of God. So who should I believe?
Appeasing God or Pleasing Him?
Much of the church today runs along the same path. They formulate what they choose to understand rather than what God has said. It is easier to form a religion that can be included into their life without them actually living for God. They pay tribute to rules and regulations, and doctrines of men that are easy to pay but do not touch the heart of the believer.
God is not a path of man’s systematic theology, or a religion based upon principles of men. He is the way. He doesn’t bow to man’s doctrine but is in Himself the truth, and all truth comes from Him. Whoever wishes to walk in peace with God and obtain eternal life, needs to surrender their own life and walk in His Spirit, for He is the life, and all things have their being through Him (Joh 14:6).
God does not want to be appeased with religion. He desires living, free moral beings who will recognize Him for who He is, and who will choose to live their lives in Him. By this alone can He be pleased with His choice creation in man.
Who can know God?
God designed scripture to enable man to know Him and His purpose for man’s creation. His Word is not confusing. For He is not a God of confusion (1Co 14:33). There is nothing that He will withhold from those who want to know Him, and have His purpose fulfilled in them. Contrarily, the world cannot know Him because their depraved minds cannot accept the things of God (Rom 8:7). But all things are laid open for them who will seek truth for what it is and abide by it.
Some may say: “Who can know God or His intentions?” No one can know the heart of another except the spirit of the other. Similarly, only the Spirit of God can understand God. However, we have been given the mind of Christ so that we may know Him and His purpose in us (1Co 2:12). Therefore, whoever wants to know the heart of God needs only surrender himself to Him and learn to walk in His Spirit.
Test everything you are taught
Don’t let the religion of men get in the way of your life in God. Read and understand what the scriptures say for themselves(1Th 5:21). This will be achieved through:
- Sincere repentance and faith in Christ – God only reveals Himself and His truth to His own.
- Learning the principles of discerning truth.
- Seeking God earnestly in prayer for understanding.
- Being prepared to forsake that what you have been taught in the teachings of men should it run contrary to revealed truth.
- Being prepared to obey the truth that has been shown you in scripture so that more truth can be entrusted to you (For if you are found faithful in what you have been given God will give you more).
Even prominent leaders can be wrong
If the doctrines of men do not comply with scripture then question their doctrine. Do not glibly accept what is taught just because it comes from the pulpit – even if the teacher is a Doctor or Professor. There are many doctors of religion, and many of these contradict each others’ doctrine. (Hence so many off-shoots of religions and denominations). It stands to reason then that it is impossible for them all to be right on the same doctrines.
I do not say that we are to ignore what teachers say. Going to church is imperative for growth and fellowship. The gospel can only be spread through the media of faithful men and women who teach the truth. But the responsibility lies with us to verify what they teach by testing it with the Word of God. Test all things. Truth cannot contradict itself. There cannot be two opposing truths to one argument. The antithesis of one truth, whatever it may be, is falsehood. If something seams contradictory to what you believe then pursue it until you discover the truth.
The truth of God alone will set you free
It is only the truth of God that can set us truly free (Joh 8:32). If we choose to believe the doctrines of men that oppose the truth of God’s Word, we will be kept in darkness and the freedom that truth brings will evade us. But if we choose to pursue truth, no matter where it may lead us, we will be set free from the bondages and fears of this world, and will be able to walk in the light of the freedom of God in this life and in the life to come.
To discover how God wants us to be set free from the bondages of sin go here.
To learn how to use the sense of fear for God for our good go here.