5-15-23 Adding Our Own Thoughts
One of the great dangers of teaching a Bible class, speaking one on one with someone, or addressing a group in whatever venue is adding one’s own words or opinions to Scripture. The thoughts that come into our minds as we are presenting God’s word are not necessarily inspired, they are our thoughts. We should remember, even though we are born again persons in whom God’s Spirit dwells, still we are subject to our old natures, and the suggestions of the evil one (Satan). Our thoughts are often over-shadowed by confusion and/or misconceptions. Even worse, some teachers are sometimes moved by pride, wanting their listeners to believe that they are in some way or another, special. That God has given them added information. Hymenaeus and Alexander (1st Timothy 1:20) and Philetus (2nd Timothy 2:17) are examples of this. They went about claiming the resurrection had already passed and that it was not a literal bodily resurrection but a spiritual resurrection.-(Sourced from Unger’s Bible Dictionary). They were gaining a following (their prideful aim) and the apostle Paul determined it necessary to warn the young evangelist, Timothy, about them (See 2nd Timothy 3:1-9). Others may not have such sinister reasons as those three, they may honestly think they can better explain God’s word by adding their own thoughts and opinions.
Satan on the other hand works tirelessly trying to deceive said teachers into believing that their thoughts and opinions are God generated. Satan has not changed from the day that he said to Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’? You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1…3:4-5). Satan walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1st Peter 5:8). The apostle Paul went on in his encouragement and instruction to Timothy, saying “15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer” (2nd Timothy 2:15-17a).
Timothy was to be a student of the word, not just a student of a verse, a paragraph or even a singular text, he was to be a student of the entire word of God comparing Scripture with Scripture as he formulated his message(s). Should not the teacher of today do the same? Yes! Even the most gifted teacher can come up with a wrong conclusion by taking a Scripture out of context. The only way to avoid such a mishandling is reading the passage in context and comparing it with other scriptures.
All teachers give their thoughts and opinions in their messages or teaching, it cannot be helped, but shouldn’t those thoughts and opinions be pleasing to God and edifying to the listener? To assure this, the thought or opinion should be followed by a reading of passages that support said thought. Teachers of God’s Word are handling spiritual matters and what they say should be considered in that light.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man