"Test all things"
1 Thessalonians. 5:21
There are many people with some desire to be religious, but not enough desire to dig in to read and study the Bible. Many of these just find a man, a preacher, and trust him. Whatever he says, they depend upon; he is their "man of God," in a sense beyond the biblical. They believe what he says; trust his answers to every question, resting the salvation of their souls in him. They still read and study the Bible some, but always take his word.
Not a good idea because no man is infallible. Regardless of how much you love someone, that affection does not make them infallible. Men may prove themselves to be educated, eloquent, charming and able to fill buildings with people. Yet they remain fallible, capable of error.
Those in Berea searched the Scriptures daily, to see if what they were hearing was true to God's Word (Acts 17:11).
John and Peter both warned of false teachers, and Jesus said they may come to us in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15; 1 Jno. 4:1; 2 Pet. 2:1). John said our duty is to "test the spirits," and Paul said: "Test everything. Hold on to the good." (1 Thess. 5:21).
There is one body of religious instruction that should govern all that we believe, teach and practice. That is, the Word of God. Nothing should be accepted as true; nothing should be practiced or recommended – unless it is taught in the Word of God. Each individual must take this obligation seriously.
By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 10.7; July 2003