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Warning: Bad Teaching

References

  1. Colossians 2:8
  2. Hebrews 13:9

Colossians 2:8

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Beware
I am warning you. Be warned about bad teaching.
any man
It could be somebody you think you can trust.
vain
The word vain makes me think of fluff. It looks all big on the outside, but there's nothing to it. Bad teaching doesn't make any difference in light of doing people any real good.
deceit
Dishonestly characterizes bad teachers, but it's not easy to tell that bad teachings are bad. Don't be tricked.
after
What are the teachings all about? Things people do? Things in this world? Or Christ?
the tradition of men
People have habits of doing certain things. Good teaching is about Jesus, not about special things certain people do.
the rudiments of the world
There are things in this world like foods, drink, and holidays, that people use to distract from Christ. They want to interrupt and talk about these things, so we can't tell people the good news about Jesus.
not after Christ

This is how you can tell good teaching from bad teaching. Is it from Jesus, and about Him, or not?

We should never think that Christ, himself, is old and boring. That's 1 way bad teachers trick people, by bringing all different kinds of flashy new and exciting teachings, instead of the good, old fashioned, plain and simple truth.

Christ is better, and we shouldn't think, "Oh, we always talk about Christ, and say He's great and everything," and get tired of that.

Hebrews 13:9

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For [it is] a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
carried about
Our hearts should be established instead of us being carried about.
divers and strange
Bad teachings are about all different kinds of things.
doctrines
"Doctrines" means things that people teach.
it is a good thing
If people teach bad things, they don't do anybody any good. There's good things to teach and to learn, and good teaching actually does people some good.
grace
"Grace" means that God has just given us the free gift of Jesus, not because we earned or deserved it. This is opposed to certain people having to do certain things, like things of this world, like in order to please God or to be saved.
meats

It was illegal for Jews to eat certain kinds of food. Jews could eat meat from certain animals, called "clean" animals, but it was against the old law to eat meat from other "unclean" animals.

Bad teachers tend to argue and waste time and trick people so much today. They want to talk all about all different kinds of things that don't really matter or do anybody any good.

This is just like the traditions of men and the elements of this world that the other verse (Colossians 2:8) taught about. There are bad teachings about which kinds of food people should or shouldn't eat, what people should and shouldn't drink, whether people should observe certain holidays, or the Sabbath, and all kinds of things like that.

have not profited
Remember the other verse (Colossians 2:8) said "vain deceit"? Well, this is really the important point. These bad teachings don't do anybody any good. Jesus Christ, by His grace, makes a difference in people's lives. Only by Him can we live a different kind of Holy life; Even free from the slavery to sin!
which have not profited them

You can look at people's lives and tell what kind of a difference the things they believe have made.

You can look at the lives of the people who bring you bad teachings, and sometimes they'll be using bad language and sinning in other ways. Bad teaching hasn't done them or anybody else any good, and it won't do you any good.

Never get bored of "Christ." Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

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