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Don’t Let False Teaching Deceive You!

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In his book ‘Be Faithful’ Warren Wiersbe comments that “it is unfortunate today that we not only have ’vain jangling’ (’meaningless talk,’) in teaching and preaching, but also in music. Far too many songs not only teach no doctrine, but m … More

Doctrine

The apostle felt it necessary, even in writing to his own son in the faith, to remind him that he was an apostle (v. 1) Now surely Timothy did not need this reminder himself; he knew Paul’s position well, but perhaps the apostle knew that this letter would have a wider readership than to Timothy alone. His previous letters had frequently been circulated widely among the churches. It is therefore with the authority of an apostle that Paul begins this letter, and what he has to say has meaning and authority in all the churches in Christendom.

As we recognize that, we must take these words as having the same kind of authority as all of his other letters do. Paul is a spiritual father to “Timothy, my own son in the faith (v. 2).” He believes in Timothy and has given him a lot of responsibility. He wants the people in Ephesus to know he is fully behind Timothy and that his authority for endorsement comes as an apostle.

In this first chapter we have the background of Paul’s charge to his son Timothy. Remember that Timothy was in Ephesus, a city given over largely to the worship of a heathen goddess, Diana (also called Artemis), the love-goddess of the Greek world. It was Timothy’s task to minister to the church that was opposing the blind idolatry, and pagan superstition of this darkened, heathen city; a formidable task. So the first note that the apostle strikes is that Timothy is to oppose false teaching (vv. 3-4). This indicates that by now the church has begun to be infiltrated by false teachers; the early church had its share of heretics, as does the church of today. And Timothy is warned against them. He says, “I left you there.”

Application

I need to think of someone outside of our own family who I could be a spiritual father to; perhaps helping a believer who is younger in the faith to grow in his relationship with Jesus. Maybe I could share with a friend how to have a daily quiet time.

I Timothy 1:1-7 (English Standard Version)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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