This is Part 4 in our series on theologically quenching the Spirit of God. We saw in our 1st post that we may theologically quench the Spirit of God when we fail to be Berean believers. In Part 2 we pointed out that we quench the Spirit when we don’t listen to His speaking to us through other believers. A third way we quench the Spirit is when we confuse our impressions with the Spirit’s speaking through the Word.
The fourth way we may theologically quench the Spirit of God is when —
IV. WE DON’T TEST ALL THAT WE HEAR BY THE SPIRIT’S PRIMARY TOOL, THE WORD OF GOD!
We read in I Thessalonians 5: 19 Don’t quench the Spirit, 20 don’t despise inspired messages. 21 But do test everything — hold onto what is good . . .
How do we “test everything”? We allow the Bible to have what we seminary professors call “functional authority” in our lives. We actually use the Word of God to test what we hear, see, are exposed to (or expose ourselves to). How do we know if a teaching is consistent with the Word of God? I’ve been helped by —
Three Tests of Biblical Faithfulness:
1. Does this teaching clearly contradict anything in the Word of God? If a person says, for example, “I’m not sure I believe in the deity of Jesus anymore” (as Spencer Burke said in his book A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity), he is obviously standing in opposition to what the Scriptures teach about the Person of the Lord Jesus.
2. Does this teaching challenge a characteristic (or attribute) of God? Some false teaching is quite subtle. When an Open Theist (someone who does not believe that God knows everything) expresses his error, we should find ourselves vigorously defending the doctrine of God’s omniscience.
3. Does this teaching push a me-first, prosperity-at-any-cost, no-suffering-needed view of the Christian life? Here we must ask what the tenor of Scripture is. And it is quite clear that we have been granted the privilege to suffer for Him! The diabolical contagion of prosperity theology has infected many Christian churches — and it needs to be soundly opposed by the clear teachings of Scripture. (to be continued)
1. What teaching have you heard recently which drove you to the Bible in order to test it?
2. What is one practical way we can teach our youth to use the Word of God for such testing?