Picture this scenario. It’s 2 a.m. A baby is very fussy and restless. The mother awakes, goes to pick her child up out of the crib, and realizes that her infant who was healthy the day before is now burning with fever. There’s an infection in the small child’s body! The worried parent knows she must treat the infection through medicine and/or a visit to the doctor followed by rest and patiently waiting for the treatment to take hold. The baby will hopefully soon return to healthy living.
Heresy is an infection in the Body of Christ. It’s not just error; it is anti-truth! And like an infection in the human body, it always affects life so it must be addressed. Thankfully, the answer to all heresy is TRUTH! Knowing truth gives us a spiritual immune system that fights and prevents infection. That is the prescription for healthy living.
Dwell in Truth You Can Know
To "dwell" means to make your home in. It's what dominates your thoughts and attitudes, governs your life, has the most influence on you. God gives us plenty of truth in the Scriptures that we can know and trust. There are 66 books of revelation given. 1189 chapters. If we just took 1 chapter per day and wrote down all the truths about God and our relationship with Him that is revealed to us, it would take us more than 3 years to get through the whole Bible! God wants us to know the truth He has revealed. He wants us to make our home — to dwell — in that truth. It is for our own good!
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:17-19,
"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him,—since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened—so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength."
Look at all that God says we can KNOW. Each passage we read or study has plenty of truth that we can KNOW with certainty and allow to govern our lives. DWELL in truth you can know.
Humbly Accept the "I Don't Know or Understand"
In the midst of all those chapters are verses we just don't understand. Perhaps you don't understand it now but will in the future as you get more confident in Bible study and hear great teaching that helps you understand. But, there are things we will never know or understand.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says this,
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."
Notice the emphasis on the things revealed — we can KNOW them. But, there are "secret things" the Lord has not revealed yet. As we study the Bible, we can do our best to try to understand what is written—examining the original words to see what the writer meant and what the audience understood, looking at cross-references to let the Bible interpret itself, and ask the Spirit for understanding. But, you may never understand what is written. Don't let that unnerve you. DWELL in truth you can know. And, HUMBLY ACCEPT the "I don't know or understand."
Discern Teaching through the Whole Lens of God's Word
To dwell in the truth of God's Word, we must discern what we read and hear by looking through the whole lens of God's Word. We must not extract just pieces of it and build our foundation on that. Nor should we build our faith on experiences and feelings. There’s a lot of junk out there about God. That’s why it’s so important to really get to know the God of the Bible. We will never know all there is to know about God. There’ll always be some mystery about Him. But, there’s plenty enough revealed in the Bible that we can know Him truthfully and know our identity in Christ truthfully.
The Holy Spirit uses the Scripture we read and study to teach us about our God so we can know TRUTH and DWELL in that truth.
I read an article today that emphasized the dangerous teaching that comes from picking and choosing what you consider to be "truth." "7 False Teachers in the Church Today" by Tim Challies. All these false teachers through the centuries have taken advantage of people who were not dwelling in the truth portrayed in the whole Bible. DISCERN TEACHING through the whole lens of God's Word.
The book of Colossians is all about what believers can know about Christ that is true. The book of Romans and Ephesians clearly teaches what we can know about our relationship with God as believers that is true. Here are two Bible studies that will help you to get firmly entrenched in truth you can know so that you can dwell there and stay spiritually healthy.
You can listen to this audio message about infection regarding who Jesus is and the truth that contradicts it. Download the notes here.
The prescription for healthy living for your spiritual life is truth.
• Dwell in truth you can know.
• Humbly accept the "I don't know or understand."
• Discern teaching through the whole lens of God's Word
This what I have been doing for more than 40 years. Thank you, God, that you have revealed many truths about yourself and the Christian life for me to know with certainty so that I can DWELL IN TRUTH I CAN KNOW!