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How Do We Know What is Right?

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How to combat uncertain messages concerning the truth of God's word

Notes & Transcripts
Intro: We live in a time when the concept of right and wrong seems less certain than ever. That is likely not a true statement, but it is certainly a common perception. There are multiple causes. Abuses of TV evangelists tend to cause people to not believe anything about religion. Ecumenical movements suggest that all can believe differing truths. Humanists teach that truth is relative and fluid. Can we find truth in the midst of all the deception? Can we help others find truth?
Intro: We live in a time when the concept of right and wrong seems less certain than ever. That is likely not a true statement, but it is certainly a common perception. There are multiple causes. Abuses of TV evangelists tend to cause people to not believe anything about religion. Ecumenical movements suggest that all can believe differing truths. Humanists teach that truth is relative and fluid. Can we find truth in the midst of all the deception? Can we help others find truth?

I) How can we know God’s will?

We must start from some starting point, we will assume the Bible is valid –
Chain of revelation: God – – Jesus – ; – Holy Spirit – ; – Apostles – ; – New Testament – – Man
Believer in God will want to please Him in their lifestyle –
God has revealed His mind to us – – that we can know what pleases Him
Which means we must have Bible authority to be pleasing to God –
Genesis 1:1 ESV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Matthew 28:18 ESV
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Hebrews 1:1–2 ESV
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
John 14:26 ESV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 16:13 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Matthew 16:19 ESV
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 18:18 ESV
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
2 Timothy 3:14–15 ESV
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Believer in God will want to please Him in their lifestyle –
Ephesians 5:10 ESV
and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 2:7–16 ESV
But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Which means we must have Bible authority to be pleasing to God –
Matthew 7:23 ESV
And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

II) How to determine Bible authority

Bible must be our pattern:

It is inspired by God –
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
It is complete – ;
John 16:13 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
2 Peter 1:3 ESV
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
It is final –
Jude 3 ESV
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
It is unalterable –
Galatians 1:6–10 ESV
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
It is understandable –
Ephesians 3:3–5 ESV
how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
It is our judge –
John 12:48 ESV
The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

Beware false teaching:

Beware – ; ; ;
Matthew 7:15 ESV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
2 Corinthians 11:13 ESV
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
Philippians 3:2 ESV
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
2 Peter 2:1–2 ESV
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.
Test the spirits –
1 John 4:1–6 ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Do not fellowship those who reject God’s will – ;
2 Corinthians 6:14–18 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 John 9–11 ESV
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
Reprove those who ignore God’s will –
Ephesians 5:11 ESV
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
Instruct them not to teach false truths – ;
1 Timothy 1:3–7 ESV
As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
Titus 1:10–11 ESV
For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.
Don’t be fooled by lies –
2 Timothy 4:3 ESV
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

Demand the purity of the gospel – ;

Hebrews 5:9 ESV
And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
1 Peter 1:22–23 ESV
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
Concl: We can know what is right because God has always wanted us to. Yet we must also remember that Satan is trying to deceive us with a convincing lie.
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