“BEWARE OF DEADLY VIRUSES”                      Pastor YAU

Matthew 16:5-12                                                       May 16, 2004

 

INTRODUCTION:

       With the advancement of medical research, more and more deadly viruses and their danger on human health are being discovered.  Researchers are equally aggressive in finding prevention and cure of new diseases caused by these deadly viruses.  Still many people died of new viruses before a cure is found.

       There are viruses that not only can kill man’s body but they can kill man’s soul. Jesus taught His disciples on the danger of the teachings of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  The teachings, or philosophies, of these sects were so contagious in influencing the mind and spirit of men as the power of a small amount of yeast to a large dough. We are warned of the teachings of this world and its effect on our spiritual life.

 

THEIR DEADLY TEACHINGS:

       The teachings of the Pharisees represent the modern day philosophy of humanism: men should and can save themselves.  Men can do good works through religious practices, self discipline or by keeping of the laws.  These teachings promote self reliance and self righteousness to advance the pride of men. To those who hold these teachings, they do not see themselves as sinners, and thus there is no need of repentance and therefore no forgiveness of their sins will they receive from God.

       The teachings of the Sadducees represent many of the fake religionists: using religious affiliation for personal comfort, selfish personal gain and social connection. Many so called Christians, especially politicians, use religion for personal purposes and political gain. They are as secular, if not more, as the world is, but call themselves believers of Jesus but never serious in following His path of life.

 

THE DANGER OF THESE TEACHINGS:

       The danger of the Pharisees’ teachings is leading people away from the foundational teachings of the Bible: man has sin, can never saves himself but needs the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins.  This is a very serious danger. It is a life and death issue. It virtually blocks men from seeking God and His forgiveness and salvation.

       The danger of the Sadducees’ teaching is the opposite. It compromises the true meaning and the costs of following Jesus and to be the light of this world, as taught by Jesus, into blending with the world. People who adopt this philosophy have never really know Jesus, much less be committed to Him. They degenerate the name of the Lord and His Church.  People who hold these teachings are vicious stumbling blocks causing others from seeking and following the True Light to salvation.

 

WAYS TO RESIST THE DANGER: (Ephesians 4:13-14)

       Deviations and false teachings are not new today.  The Apostle Paul dealt with the false teachers and their deadly teachings with full force in his letters to the early churches.

The scriptural reference in Ephesians 4 gives us some of the clear steps for this purpose:

1)      Keep the UNITY of the FAITH. Many of the deviations are results of disunity of the original FAITH from the Lord Jesus. People who are too proud to submit themselves to the teaching of Jesus will go their own way to search human answers to spiritual questions that resulting in many false doctrines within the Christian community.

2)      Deepening the true knowledge of the SON of GOD is another effective way to stay away from false teachings. Acknowledging and following the teachings of Jesus in the Bible will prevent one from falling into traps of false teachers.

3)      PURSUING MATURITY is also a good way to keep oneself from becoming fallen prey of false teachings. Maturity in faith, character, practice and service will have strong support as legs to a table.  Idling Christians are easy preys.

4)      Attaining the FULL measure of Christ means NON-STOP growing.  This is the ultimate defense to resist false teachings. Setting Christ as our highest standard and learning from His examples in living an obedient life to the will of God leaves NO room for false teachings in our hearts and mind.

 

CONCLUSION:

       The strength and future of Christian faith is on the shoulders of strong Christians. We are witnesses of Christ first to His unfailing teaching of salvation through faith in the Son of the Living God. We may only be strong and effective when we have the true doctrine to share with the world.  Jesus never said anything that is of no importance.  All true believers must keep His warning to heart to preserve the integrity of the gospel.