Since the fall of humanity in the garden (Genesis 3), there has been a spiritual war raging in our world between God’s truth and the lies resulting from human reasoning and demonic influence. One leads to overflowing joy and dependent living on God. The other leads to self-dependence and rebellion against God. This spiritual warfare takes captives. Believers can be taken captive by bad teaching.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Recognizing someone who is taken captive away from Christ
Influential fakers know how to get women to follow them. 2 Timothy 3:6-7
Women who never recognize and grasp biblical truth will be taken captive by whatever flashy teachings that come along and live unsatisfied, unstable lives. Ephesians 4:14
Grasping truth protects from enemy captivity
To protect yourself from enemy captivity, renew your mind through knowing the Bible, which is God’s truth and through letting the Holy Spirit implant that truth in your mind so you can understand it. Then, you can diffuse arguments against the knowledge of God that are influencing you, and you can take captive your thoughts, making them obedient to Christ.
The writings of the New Testament are historically reliable and, therefore, can be trusted.
Grasping truth has three parts: First, you dwell in the truth of God you can know. Next, you humbly accept what you don’t know or understand. And then, you discern any teaching that you read or hear through the complete revelation of God’s Word.
Dwell in truth you can know.
To dwell in truth is to make your home there. That means God’s truth dominates your thoughts and attitudes, governs your life, and satisfies your heart.
God gives us plenty of truth in the Bible that we can know and trust. 66 books, 1189 chapters!
God wants us to know the truth He has revealed to us, to make our home in that truth. Ephesians 1:17-19
Humbly accept what you don’t know or understand.
Some things we read in the Bible we don’t understand now but might in the future. There is much we can know now. But, there are things we’ll never know or understand. Deuteronomy 29:29
We can do our best to try to understand what is written. When you run across something that you can’t seem to understand from a Bible passage, make the choice to humbly accept what you don’t know or understand.
Discern all teaching through the complete revelation of God’s Word.
1. Evaluate what you read and hear by comparing it with the whole Bible.
Read any verse in the context of the passage where it is found—the paragraph, the chapter, and the book.
Examine the original words to see what the writer meant and what the audience likely understood.
Look at other verses with similar content to let the Bible interpret itself. And, you should always ask the Holy Spirit for understanding.
2. Avoid the “look-imagine-see dragon” when viewing any verse.
The “look-imagine-see” dragon shows up this way: someone looks at a verse or passage, imagines what they want it to say, then in their mind sees what they have imagined through twisting word meanings and interpretations. Once it starts, it’s like a fiery dragon burning truth in its path. Cultural influence on Bible study feeds this dragon.
Tame the “look-imagine-see dragon” by considering the Bible as sufficient on its own, not needing to be “improved.”
Tame the “look-imagine-see dragon” by basing your faith on what is in God’s Word, not something you’ve just heard about it and not something you’re imagining to be there.
Tame the “look-imagine-see dragon” by following the inductive process for Bible Study—observation, interpretation, and application. Then, you can dwell in truth you can know.
The way to take every thought captive to Christ is to dwell in truth you can know, humbly accept what you don’t know or understand, and discern all teaching through the complete revelation of God’s Word. Grasping truth both protects you and preserves your freedom. Grasping truth leads to graceful living.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His grace so that your life overflows with His grace every day. You will experience a life of freedom and joy!