2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
The Bible is the Word of God and is useful for “rebuking” (ἐλεγμός – elegmos). “Rebuking,” means to refute error by proving an opinion or charge it to be false or erroneous or, to prove a person to be in error. (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains; The Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains; White Page Phone Dictionary)
Regarding eternal things and the spiritual heart, error is a common consequence birthed forth by the spiritual cancers of denominationalism, traditionalism, legalism and faddism. Error is life treating to the true things of God. So devastating is man’s error on spiritual matters, that Jesus sharply refuted the “Children of Abraham,” the “Jews” for their obstinacy.” (John 8:31-47) He told the Sadducee’s that their thinking was wrong because they were in error of the Scriptures. (Matthew 22:33; Mark12:18-27) Jesus even had to rebuke Peter, one of the twelve chosen to be an Apostle. Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan!”… “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:33; Matthew 16:23)
Proverbs 25:12 says, “Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.” Well warn jewelry makes people attractive, and attractive is the person who with a listening heart has had his opinions and errors put right by a wise teacher of God’s Word. Any rebuke given without the true teaching of God’s Word is a rebuke produced by the sinful flesh, a worldly view or a lie of the Devil.
Matured Christians have testified that the worst rebuke they have ever received came through a pew-warming church attendee. In contrast, the healthiest direction has come from a matured teacher of the Word, who handles the Bible correctly. Both of these heart attitudes are Holy Spirit illuminated with Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Teachers who know how to handle the “sword of the Spirit,” (Ephesians 6:17) are used of God to properly guide Christians who have listening hearts.
There once was a man who wrote a book on the coming of Christ. He took money from young Christians who had not been thoroughly taught on the things to come. He set a certain date sighting many different Scriptures. Sadly, that set day has come and gone at least twenty times. The fact is he was a false teacher taking advantage of others for the purpose of filling his pocket book. He made merchandise of the Gospel. Tragically, most pastors knew he was false but they were unprepared to teach the Word of God correctly on “The Coming of Christ.” Therefore, they were unable to give this man a proper Biblical rebuke and refute his false teachings. However, there were a few who could. These teachers were prepared to point those with listening hearts to the Scripture, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.” (Acts 1:7)
Are you able to “rebuke,” or refute error with the Scriptures?