What causes deception? Romans 16:18 says “good words and fair speeches”.
Notice that deception does not sound bad or confusing.
Words that sound good can be wrong.
Sermons that are beautiful can be untrue.
Verses can be taken out of context, narratives can be fabricated, scriptures can be twisted, connections can be invented.
We all know this to be true, but what makes it deception is that it all sounds good and appears to “make sense”.
How do you guard against deception?
Romans 16:17 says you must have learned some doctrine already. When you have learned a doctrine, you are able to contrast it with what sounds good to see if it agrees or disagrees. Right teaching will not be contrary to what you have learned from Paul; it will support it.
When you find yourself agreeing with whomever you listened to last, then you may have never truly learned for yourself. Beware, you are susceptible to every wind of deception.
Justin “truth in love” Johnson