The Real Thing
Anna Kuta, ReligionToday.com Editor
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
As the granddaughter of an FBI agent, I heard various anecdotes throughout my childhood regarding the job and its practice. One thing that stuck with me was how FBI agents are taught to recognize counterfeit money. They don’t spend time learning about all the possible variations that could be manifested in a counterfeit bill, as one might think; they simply studied the real thing.
When someone knows the distinguishing characteristics of real money, it suddenly isn’t that hard to spot a fake. It’s a principle that applies to other things as well -- recognizing the truth versus any lies. These days in our culture, lies seem to abound, especially when it comes to faith and religious philosophies. Sometimes, the message of Jesus seems to get lost among all the noise.
In 1 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul says, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” It seems like Paul could be describing the year 2012, doesn’t it? Everywhere you turn, someone has a new idea of Jesus or Christianity, all claiming to be true. With “deceiving spirits” and false doctrines everywhere, how can we know what to believe?
Paul answers the question in 2 Timothy 3:16: Turn to the Scripture. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, all Scripture is “God-breathed,” as the Greek word literally says, and useful for all purposes of the Christian life. This includes doctrine, teaching, correction, knowledge of Jesus, instruction in righteousness, being equipped for every good work. The Word of God is absolutely, 100 percent true – all of it – and it points to the absolute truth of God.
Just as a federal agent with a trained eye of what’s real can recognize a counterfeit bill right away, so the Word of God can be used as a measuring stick against falsehoods. In order to spot the lies, it’s crucial to know Truth. How do you know Truth? Look to the Scriptures. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Spend some time reading the Bible and learning about Jesus as He is revealed in His Word – so you will be able to recognize things that don’t line up with truth.