Today you can turn on a TV almost anywhere in the world and find so-called Christian programming. I say so-called because there are many out there that are Christian in name only. As believers, we are not just facing an invisible war in our minds but also a visible war when we see and hear what may or may not be the truth. We must be discerning.
The Corinthians were being led astray by the “false apostles” who had infiltrated the church. Paul reveals that his flock, whom he loved, were not being discerning nor were they being Bereans to search the scriptures to see if these who had come into their midst were indeed Christ’s servants or not.These had come with flattering words. They had come with a list of do’s and don’t’s adding works to a simple gospel salvation. They sought to exalt themselves not Christ. They looked like sheep but were wolves in sheep’s clothing. As Clarke said, “We mistake them for the working of the Holy Spirit.”
Be not deceived. If Satan could infiltrate the perfect Garden then he can and does infiltrate the church today. He comes either as a subtle serpent, a roaring lion or an angel of light.
How do we recognize them? They are the smooth talkers, the fancy dressers, the loud proclaimers; the false humility. They seek to place you under bondage. Jeremiah faced it as well: “They were supposed to watch over my people like shepherds watch over their sheep. But they are causing my people to be destroyed and scattered.” [Jer 23]
So what do we do? We become Bereans examining what they say. We observe and take notes on how they think and act. We pray and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are cautious. We inspect their fruit. In short, we are careful or vigilant.