Growing into Maturity: How to Avoid Deceptive Teaching

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In this Midweek reflection, we’ll look at growing into spiritual maturity as a lifelong journey that requires intentional effort and commitment. When we recognize the need for growth, speaking the truth in love, building a strong foundation in Christ, and actively participating in our church community, we can avoid deceptive teachings and become mature believers in Christ.

Recognizing Spiritual Infancy

Jim’s reminds us in his sermon that we are not to remain as infants in our faith. We are called to grow and mature in our faith. Let’s remember to build each other up in love and stand firm in the truth of God’s Word. In doing so, we will fulfill our calling and bring glory to God.

Jim makes a compelling point about the dangers of remaining in a state of spiritual infancy. The imagery in Ephesians 4:14-16 of being “tossed back and forth by the waves” and “blown here and there by every wind of teaching” paints a vivid picture of instability and vulnerability. Just as infants are dependent and easily influenced, spiritual infants are susceptible to deceptive teachings and cunning schemes.

The call to “stop being a baby” is a wake-up call for all believers. It challenges us to examine our spiritual growth and take intentional steps towards maturity. The first step in this journey is recognizing this need and be willing to move beyond our comfort zones.

Speaking the Truth in Love

Jim also emphasizes the importance of speaking the truth in love, of being honest and transparent with one another while maintaining a spirit of compassion and understanding. We need to be willing to listen before we speak.

When we speak the truth in love, we create an environment where believers feel free to ask questions and receive answers. It allows us to address false teachings and misconceptions without causing division or harm.

Building a Strong Foundation

To avoid deceptive teachings, we must be deeply rooted in the Word of God. Regular study of the Bible, prayer, and fellowship with other believers are essential practices that help us build this strong foundation. When we are grounded in the truth of God’s Word, we are less likely to be swayed by false teachings.

The Role of the Church Community

The church community plays a vital role in our spiritual growth and maturity as well. The sermon emphasizes that the body of Christ grows and builds itself up in love when each part does its work. This means every believer has a role to play in the growth and maturity of the church. By actively participating in the life of the church, we contribute to the overall health and strength of the body.

As you reflect on the sermon, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. How does the passage from Ephesians 4:13-16 define spiritual maturity?
  2. Reflect on the statement, “Stop being a baby.” In what ways can you identify areas in your own spiritual life where you might still be “an infant” in faith?
  3. How can you discern between true teaching and deceptive teaching?
  4. Can you recall a time when someone spoke the truth to you in love? How did it impact your growth in faith?
  5. What role do you play in your local church or faith community to support this growth?
  6. How can you contribute to the maturity and unity at church?
  7. What practical steps can you take to avoid being “tossed back and forth by the waves” of false teaching?
  8. How can you stay grounded in the truth of the Gospel?
  9. How can you encourage and support others in your faith community to grow in maturity?
  10. What are some ways you can help others avoid deceptive teachings?

How to Avoid Deceptive Teachings

To avoid deceptive teachings, we must be vigilant and discerning. Ephesians 4:14 warns against the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. False teachings can be subtle and appealing, making it easy for believers to be led astray.

Here are some practical steps to avoid deceptive teachings:

  1. Know the Word of God: Regularly study the Bible and seek to understand its teachings. The more familiar we are with the truth, the easier it is to recognize falsehoods.
  2. Pray for Discernment: Ask God for wisdom and discernment to identify and avoid deceptive teachings. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth and helps us discern what is right.
  3. Stay Connected to the Church: Be an active member of a local church community. Surround yourself with mature believers who can provide guidance and support.
  4. Test the Spirits: Evaluate teachings and doctrines against the Word of God. If something doesn’t align with Scripture, it should be rejected.
  5. Seek Accountability: Have trusted mentors or accountability partners who can help you stay on the right path and provide correction when needed.

We encourage you to read from Ephesians this week and think about the highlights of Jim’s message. Visit Lakeview’s channel on Youtube to hear Jim’s message again.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, create in us a never-ending desire to know your Word better and help us to stand firm in your Truth so we can we won’t be swayed by false teachings. May we speak the truth in love to others and bring glory to You. Amen.

Invitation: If you’re seeking a community where you can explore God’s bigger story and grow in faith alongside fellow believers, we invite you this Sunday to join Lakeview Christian Church in Portage Lakes. Together, we can journey deeper into the message of God’s love and redemption, taking His good news to a broken world.

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