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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Simpson

On Guard

”Watch your life and doctrine closely…” I Timothy 4:16


To ‘watch’ means to be cautious, careful and observant about how we live our lives, based off what we believe to be true about life. Our actions (behavior) stem from the teaching (doctrine) we follow. fools listen to and adhere to all sorts of strange ideas - the wise are diligent to listen to the truth, avoiding those who…


CAUSE DIVISIONS…


”I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” Romans 16:17


There were two groups trying to cause divisions in the church at Rome - religious Jews, who twisted God’s word in order to jumble their beliefs, and the pagan Gentiles, who tempted them with sin so they would stumble. Those two groups are still around today. They sow seeds of doubt to our faith, and throw accusations in our face.


”Be careful’, Jesus said to them. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then they understood that He was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:6; 12


We must guard against these people, because their goal is to either get us to fall for it, or fade away. So it makes perfect sense that Paul advises us to avoid them.


…AND WHO DECEIVE.


”For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” Romans 16:18


John Wooden said, ‘The beginning of happiness is the end of selfishness’. In spiritual terms, real life is dying to self and serving the Lord. Sadly, many people today are more concerned about their own advancement (appetites). People like this will tell you whatever you want to hear (smooth talk) because basically, it’s the message (not the good news, their news) they want heard (flattery). What we need to do is know enough of God’s word so we’re not naive, and so their words do not hold any power over us.


“I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” Colossians 2:4

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