1. During His ministry Jesus taught His followers not to be deceived -- "Take heed that ye be not deceived" (Luke 21:8). 2. There are 2 ways in which we can be deceived. a. It is possible to be deceived by someone else, and the Bible warns us against this type of deception -- "Let no man deceive you" (1 John 3:7). b. It is also possible to deceive ourselves, and the Bible warns us against this type of deception. 1) "Let no man deceive himself" (1 Corinthians 3:18). 2) An illustration of self-deception is given in Proverbs 20:1. 3. In our lesson we are examining 4 ways in which we must not deceive ourselves.
I. WE MUST NOT DECEIVE OURSELVES BY THINKING WE ARE SUPERIOR (Galatians 6:3)
A. This warning is given in connection with the instructions given in vs.1-2 about restoring someone overtaken in a fault and bearing the burdens of others. B. While fulfilling these responsibilities, we must not think we are superior. C. We must not be like the Pharisee that Jesus talked about in Luke 18:9-12. D. Jesus continued in vs.14 by revealing what will happen to the proud and the humble.
II. WE MUST NOT DECEIVE OURSELVES BY HEARING GOD'S WORD WITHOUT OBEYING IT (James 1:22)
A. According to vs.21, we are to put away evil and receive God's Word with meekness [we must do this because God's Word is able to save our souls]. B. In vs.23-24 James illustrated the folly of being a hearer and not a doer. C. The person who is a hearer and a doer will be blessed (vs.25).
III. WE MUST NOT DECEIVE OURSELVES BY PRETENDING TO BE RELIGIOUS WHILE HAVING AN UNBRIDLED TONGUE (James 1:26)
A. Earlier, James showed how God's people are to be "slow to speak" (vs.19). B. Later (3:2-12), James presented additional information about controlling the tongue. C. Let us remember the admonitions given in Ephesians 4:29 and Colossians 4:6.
IV. WE MUST NOT DECEIVE OURSELVES BY CLAIMING TO HAVE NO SIN (1 John 1:8)
A. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." B. To claim otherwise is to deceive self and make the Lord a liar. C. We learn from 1 John 2:1-2 that Jesus serves as our advocate, and He is the propitiation for our sins. D. John shows in 1 John 1:7, 9 how we are cleansed from sin.
1. In our lessons today we have studied warnings against deception. 2. On the basis of the passages we have covered,: a. let us not allow anyone to deceive us into believing something that is not true b. let us avoid deceiving ourselves.