May 27, 2014.
“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.”
(I Timothy 1:3-7)
I have come to realize that I really relate to Timothy. Paul thought very highly of this young man who had been taught the truth from his youth, so much so that he often set him in charge of making sure certain churches he established kept to the right path. This is the reason he wrote the two epistles we have from him here. Timothy had been raised in the church, or so it would seem, and he was set to be an example of how people should live and conduct themselves. Sometimes I feel like I am looked down upon because I was raised in the church, and I know it can be easy to think I only believe what I do because of my background. But this is simply not true. I was blessed with a background that grounded me in biblical knowledge, this is true, but I have come into my own faith through my own study. I truly do love to study the good book and pull anything I can from it.
The passage above is something that I’m not sure some Christians are aware of being in the bible. There is a movement now that would encourage all Christians to accept all teachings and people just as long as they claim to believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. I don’t think you can even remotely get that when you read this passage. Paul is talking to Timothy, the one left in charge of things while Pau was away, and he says to correct those who are teaching error. He charges him to not have others teach any other doctrine. This is an important concept for us today, for today is far removed from when this statement was written:
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”
(I Timothy 4:1-3)
I believe that we are living in these times now. Doctrine has become a bad word amongst Christians today. I do not believe that this should be so. Paul repeatedly tells Timothy to stick to sound doctrine and what he has been taught. There was never a hint that Paul just accepted any teaching about Jesus or what we should do as Christians. In fact, Paul said quite the opposite, as is exemplified in the above passages. Let us continue to read, study, pray and find truth. Let us learn to accept truth, even when it disagrees with what we have learned in the past. Let us all be unified through the truth. Amen.
Suggested Daily Reading: I Timothy 1-4.
Grace and peace.