3 Signs of a False Teacher
The way to know a lie is to know the truth.
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing.” 1 Timothy 6:3-4
We need to know God’s truth so we can recognize false teachers. Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24) There are many signs of false teachers, but here are three common signs:
1. Contradicting Jesus’ Teaching
Religious teachers who require certain works in order to earn salvation do not agree with Jesus. Jesus taught that we are saved by grace through faith in his death on the cross. (John 1:12; 3:16) He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me” (John 14:6). Teachers who say that all religions lead to God, or that everyone is going to Heaven, oppose the clear teachings of Jesus. Anyone who contradicts the truths that Jesus taught is a false teacher.
2. Not Encouraging Godly Living
God’s plan is for us to live pure lives with faith and love. Our goal is to please God, not ourselves. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.” (John 14:15) Teachers who tell you to do whatever feels right are not teaching you to follow Jesus. Our feelings, and even our logic, can be wrong. “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom will be kept safe.” (Proverbs 28:26). Godly teachers always direct you to the Bible. But false teachers encourage you to trust in them as the source of truth, or in yourself.
3. Filled with pride and wrong motives
False Teachers don’t understand the true power of God’s Word. 1 Timothy 1:6-11. They debate and argue over parts of the Bible, causing divisions and putting themselves above God. Are they smarter than God, who promised that His Word would stand forever? Their purpose is not to draw people closer to God, but to raise themselves into positions of power and wealth. I Timothy 6:5 says “These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt and they have turned their back on the truth and a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.”
In order to identify counterfeit money, you must study the real thing. In the same way, when you study the clear teachings of Jesus Christ, you guard yourself from false teachers who want to sway you from the truth.
Pray this week:
To recognize any false teachings that you have believed.
The world denies God's standards, and God's Word, and even denies that Jesus is the only Way to salvation... Do you know people who do this? Do you know how to respond to them? Find out by talking to a Christian.