Myths: some are completely unbelievable, some are more difficult to decipher than others, and some appear to look like facts. While some myths are hilarious because of how untrue to reality they are, others are devastating, especially myths about God and about the Bible. The question is, when learning about God and the Bible, how do we decipher true teaching and writing from false teaching and writing? We are going to talk about this today as we study the book of 1 John, and as we study, we are going to talk about tangible ways to guard our hearts with the truth.
What is the most disappointing or hilarious myth that you have fallen for in the past?
1. What myths or half-truths about God and the Bible do you see people falling prey to?
2. Read 1 John 4:1-3. Do you often think about checking for false teaching in the books you read or the teaching that you listen to in your own personal study? Why or why not?
1 John 4:1-3
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
3. What are the dangers of Gnosticism (the teaching that Jesus did not come to earth in the flesh, but spirit only)?
4. How do you see Gnosticism playing out in our world today?
5. Read 1 John 4:13-16. Scripture teaches one way that we can guard against false teaching is to ask, "What are they saying about Jesus? Is it consistent with what the Bible teaches about Him." What are some things that you know the Bible teaches about Jesus?
1 John 4:13-16
And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
6. A second way that we can guard against false teaching is to ask, "Is this teaching true to the Bible?" What are some ways we can know the Bible so well that we can easily spot what is counterfeit or untrue?
7. Who is a friend, family member, or neighbor that you have right now who has bought into a false teaching about Jesus? What are some loving things that you can do in trying to lead them to the truth?
As a group, make a list of 5 questions to always ask when you are reading or listening to teaching about God and the Bible to guard against false teaching. Have each group member write these five truths in the notes on their phones or on a sheet of paper. Commit together to always guard against false teaching so that you always listen to and follow the truth.
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The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.