Whose teaching should I listen to? It seems Christians differ
on many things, although all claim to believe the same Bible.
(On the main teaching that Jesus is mankind’s savior and we
need to follow Him, all Christian groups agree. But on many
subjects, there is not agreement.)
How can I know who to believe? Who is right?
Fortunately, God gave us His Word, the Bible, so we could know
the truth, and it gives some guidelines to help with this
JOHN 8:31-32 NKJ
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you
abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you
So an important question is whether freedom is being produced
in the lives of the people who are following a teaching. If
not, it cannot be the accurate message of Jesus, which will
make people free. This does not mean everyone will instantly be
free, but over time, the fruit of the teaching should be
In Matthew 7, Jesus taught that we can judge by whether “good
fruit” is being produced.
MATTHEW 7:16-17,20 NKJ
16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes
from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree
bears bad fruit.
20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Galatians tells us what kind of fruit is produced by followers
of Jesus who live a spiritual life.
GALATIANS 5:22-23 NKJ
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Hebrews 13:7-8 also gives us some important guidelines of who
we should follow.
HEBREWS 13:7 NKJ
7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of
God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of
What has their teaching produced? Is it love, joy, peace,
gentleness, etc.? Does it result in setting people free from
bondage? Are broken people being healed and made whole? These
are questions we should ask when we “consider the outcome of
But don’t expect followers of Truth to be loved and accepted by
everyone, although they should show love to others, even those
opposing them. Anyone truly following Jesus is usually
criticized, especially by religious people.
LUKE 6:26-27 NKJ
26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their
fathers to the false prophets.
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to
those who hate you,
MATTHEW 10:25 NKJ
25 “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher,
and a servant like his master. If they have called the master
of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of
Is love, mercy, and compassion (like Jesus had) a mark of their
ministry? Or do they more closely resemble the Pharisees who
loved to focus on keeping a list of rules, instead of helping
HEBREWS 13:8 NKJ
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Another key consideration is whether people think Jesus has
lost His power or compassion to help people today. Do they
believe Jesus still does the same miracles today as He did in
Avoid the teaching of any group that tells you the day of
miracles has passed and that God no longer does the same things
He did in Bible days. They are simply wrong. Jesus Christ is
the same today as He was yesterday!
People can be wrong, even good, well-meaning people who may
seem to know the Bible. Plenty of people have studied the Bible
their entire life and still don’t really understand it. The
Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the Bible experts, yet God walked
among them and they called Him the devil!
1 CORINTHIANS 12:12,27 NLT
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up
only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.
27 Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of
you is a separate and necessary part of it.
God does not make everyone the same, or direct us all to do the
same thing in the same way. So don’t reject or criticize others
just because they are different. God loves all His children, no
matter how ignorant, mis-informed, or immature they may be.
Because God loves them, we should also treat them all with love
JOHN 13:35 NKJ
35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you
have love for one another.”
Most importantly, Jesus told how we could know who were His
true disciples: they would be known by love. So, if the ones
you follow are known more for fighting than for sacrificial
love and giving, you need to pray about making a change.