This week I’ve been writing about error. Error deserves special attention, for error will cost many people their souls. “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). Notice the implication in Paul’s statement: “Timothy, if you teach error, not only will you yourself be lost, but those who hear you will be lost, too.” When the disciples told the Lord that the Pharisees were offended at his teaching, he said, “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14). The blind guide does not fall into the pit by himself—oh, no—the one who leads into the pit falls in there with him.
Tuesday, I wrote about the encouragement Christians should have when they hear error—error shall fall to the ash heap of history, for error has always fallen there. Yesterday, I wrote about the need to examine Scripture for ourselves; everything we hear must pass through the filter of God’s holy Word. Today, I want to provide yet another tool to keep yourself from error—faithful Christian leaders. Yes, teachers can lead us astray, but faithful Christian leaders will defend the flock from error.
Apollos was in error over Christian baptism and the baptism of John. “When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26). Not official leaders in the church—as a woman, Priscilla could not have held an official leadership position in the church—yet, they took Apollos aside and taught him more accurately the way of the Lord. Priscilla and Aquila cared for Apollos’ soul and the souls of those who heard him, and this husband and wife team, therefore, took Apollos aside and taught him.
As he wrote to Titus, Paul tells the young evangelist to appoint elders on Crete, “for there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” (Titus 1:10-11). Elders, who are to defend the flock (Acts 20:28), are to silence those who teach error.
Pay attention to the leaders God has set over you. Listen that you may avoid error. Yes, you have a responsibility for yourself. Tomorrow, I’ll discuss how you can spot a leader teaching truth and one teaching error. Until then, God bless!