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Jun 04, 2023

Lost in Translation Part 01 - Truth and Deception

Lost in Translation Part 01 - Truth and Deception

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: Lost In Translation

Category: Sunday Morning, Sunday Morning

How to guard from deception!

When have you misunderstood what someone said? Enjoy the many examples that Pastor James highlighted in his sermon. Many translations don't always work well. So often we can lose the intent of something even in scriptures. Charles Surgeon said, "Discernment is not the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right." Deception is said to be the truth mixed with just a little bit of lie. So often we aren't even aware that we are being deceived until it is too late. 

Many today are struggling with more of the deception that is mixed into truth, taken out of context, or taking what God has said and making it into their own desires. Deception can be believable and unnoticeable. They sneaks into our lives. It began in Genesis. Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more cunning than any animal of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die! For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves waist coverings. Verse 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 

The tree must have been beautiful. But all that is beautiful that God created does not give us permission to take when He instructs against. Israel experienced this deception as they looked for God's direction but then started to look at other nations and their kings. God was their king but Israel asked for their own human king - God gave them Saul. Saul put Israel into conflict and Israel continued being in and out of God's will. 

The New Testament church was exploding as the Holy Spirit came to the church. The church was excited to share their needs and resources. Acts 5:1-11 records the striking story of Ananias and Sapphira as they offered to share but deceived the leaders and God took their lives. Today, many will try to take one or two verses of the Bible and claim them for themselves and how they want to read it often rejecting verses that are uncomfortable or verses about holiness, righteousness, purity... that are ignored. Some might claim that God wants them to have everything they desire. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Yet God is seeking for us to delight in Him and to seek His heart for desires.

Acts 19:11-16 This shows the difference in listening to what God says and wants verses their eyes focused on what was going on around them. They were deceived looking at others - almost right truth. Many Christians are frustrated today because they are not receiving the power. Knowing God, His character, His ways, and His Word becomes so critical for our lives. What we believe about God matters. 

Romans 4:18 (speaking of Abraham) In hope against hope... Are there areas you feel hope against hope? areas of defeat? bondage? struggle? things never going to change? Hope against hope? ...he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”  Abraham was 100 years old and still believed the promise that God gave him. Abraham followed God's direction. Verse 16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. Abraham believed God and so he became... by faith.

  • God gave Abraham a promise and a purpose.
  • Abraham chose to believe in the promise and in the purpose.
  • Abraham became what God called him to. 

Abraham's faith was credited to him for what he believed not because of what he did. Do we pursue trying to be right before God by doing things? What we believe about God is so important. Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him. 

What do you believe today? What works are you hanging on to? What are you doing to try to get right with God? Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him... Paul was not focused on his circumstances but on knowing God. Deception comes when we look around us and copy others. Deception comes when we stop pursuing to know God more.  

We can guard ourselves from deception by knowing Christ and knowing His promises for us. Do you know His promises? 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

Don't be deceived by trying harder. Don't be deceived by thinking you are not worthy. It is not about what we do but Who we believe. Take hold of this promise - believe that Jesus Christ came, died, rose again and holds our victory in His hands. God made a way for each one of us - just receive. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

What promises do you need to take hold of? 

What deceptions have you believed? How were they changed?

What prayer have you given up on? What can you do with that?