We Are All Impressionable – I Corinthians 15:33

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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At age 16, this writer was unsaved and, admittedly, steeped in sinful behaviors, which included having some unsavory friends. When I began to date a young woman, her mother took me aside for a serious discussion. I can still almost hear her saying, “John, we cherish our daughter and want only the best for her. We are concerned about some of the friends you hang around. You need to never forget this: You are the kind of person you hang around. If you aren’t like them yet, you soon will be. So be careful who you allow yourself to spend time with because they will influence you.”

When believers at Corinth received Paul’s first epistle, they had spent time with false teachers who had eroded their faith in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. To combat this influence, one entire chapter counteracts false doctrine with divine truth about the resurrection of our Lord, and our future resurrection. In this context the Paul wrote, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Corinthians 15:33). The word “manners” means a moral habit. Like the mother who sought to convince this writer that those we listen to and spend time with will have an influence upon us, Paul wanted these saints to understand that they, too, were impressionable. It is highly likely that some in this church thought they were so grounded in sound doctrine that they couldn’t be moved from biblically accurate understandings. However, they only fooled themselves, when they allowed others to fool them with false doctrine. Perhaps some of these saints thought they could positively influence these false teachers, but Paul warned them not to be deceived about what would happen. The “evil communications” from false teachers would indeed “corrupt” their habits, doctrine, and behavior. This is a timeless principle. Proverbs warns against “…friendship with an angry man…lest thou learn his ways…” (22:24-25). Realizing that others influence us, David surrounded himself with companions who would fear the Lord, and keep His precepts (Psalm 119:63).

Today, we believers need to take this wise counsel to heart. We must not “deceive” ourselves by thinking we won’t be influenced when we listen to “evil communications.” More specifically, we should not listen to people from cults who come to our door, or to anyone who does not recognize the distinctiveness of the Dispensation of Grace, and Paul’s ministry.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."