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Sunday, March 19, 2017

God Loves Truth, Satan Loves Half-Truths - John 8:31-32

half truths can be more deceptive than lies

Satan is most effective using half-truths instead of outright lies.

He likes promoting just enough truth about God to appear Biblical while denying the power of the Gospel to save and transform (2 Timothy 3:1-5) - God's love without His standards, salvation without repentance, blessings without responsibilities.(1)  

Scripture records Satan's half-truth tactic:  

1. He told Eve she'd understand good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5).  

2. He quoted Psalm 91 to Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).  

3. He inspired Ananias' charitable giving (Acts 5:1-2).  

Satan's half-truths are always deadly and deceptive:

1. All mankind suffered because Eve not only understood evil, she committed it (Genesis 3:22-24).  

2. Jesus rebuked Satan’s misuse of Scripture (Matthew 4:10).  

3. God struck Ananias dead for his half-truth giving (Acts 5:3-11).  

Jesus said: “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32 

Full and complete truth is important to God. Is it important to you?
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Note: There are many half-truths promoted in Christian circles: Self-esteem Doctrine, Prosperity Gospel, Twisted Scriptures, Universal Salvation, "The Shack". Each of the highlighted words in the body of the devotion are also links to pertinent devotions.

Bible Study

1. Below is the most tragic example of someone embracing a half-truth. 

half truths can be more deadly than outright lies

Half of what Satan told Eve was true: her eyes were opened to good and evil. But she didn't become like God. Instead, she became less like God through unbelief and sin.
Genesis 3:1-5: Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

2. Note how Satan used Scripture to tempt Christ to disobey God!

Matthew 4:5-7: Then the devil took him [Jesus] to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” [Psalm 91:11-12] 7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”

3. If we think God is impressed with doing something good based on a half-truth, we need only read the story of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5:1-10.

For the sake of space, I will not include this longer passage, but I encourage you to read through it and note that Ananias and Saphira were doing something good - giving money to the needs of the church - but they weren't telling the full truth about their giving.

As Peter told them - they were free to give as little or as much as they wanted to the church. But their half-truth giving was not acceptable.

copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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