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1 Timothy

Apr 25, 2021 | Randy Gunter

Be Alert to Teachers Who Are Enemies of the Gospel

Be Alert to Teachers Who Are Enemies of the Gospel
1 Timothy 1:8-11

After sharing the gospel with some Ephesians (Acts 19:4), Paul planted a church and began a three-year pastorate, teaching them “the whole counsel of God.” Paul wanted the church to know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15 (ESV)

Upon leaving Ephesus, he challenged the elders to be alert to their teaching. (See Acts 20:27-31)

All churches must be alert to the false doctrine, and all teachers of the Bible must beware of their own risk of becoming a false teacher.

Just four years after Paul left the church at Ephesus, false teaching was rampant. He had to write for Timothy to charge teachers and lead the church correctly in doctrine and righteous living.

As secularization steadily marches throughout the world, Christians and Christian churches must be doctrinally sound. We must hold our positions, standing on the truths of God, not swaying or moving from truths declared by God since the beginning of time.

The world is at war, engaging in a moral and sexual revolution. Whereas people throughout time have viewed sexuality and morality rooted in God’s intentional design, revealed in creation’s order and his word, today’s moral revolutionists deny God and the Bible. They reject the simple laws of creation, such as what defines male and female, and confidently assert that human liberation and expression exceeds any such laws.

Almost every Bible doctrine is under assault.

The battle for truth is as old as mankind’s existence. Since its inception, the church has had to fight to hold its ground for doctrinal truth and clarity. Our fight is not with the world; we fight for doctrinal truth and integrity within the church.

Doctrinal integrity is essential because salvation and life are grounded in the truth. Within the church, moral degradation accompanies doctrinal decline. The same is true of individual Christians—as goes our engagement in the Bible with a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith, so goes our lives.

In 1 Timothy 1:3-7, Paul charges the church to take a stand for truth and walk in it.

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. (1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV)

We can be confident that the law is good.

The law provides:

  1. Restraint in society.
  2. Blessing to saints. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (Romans 7:12 ESV)
  3. Condemnation for sinners. “…If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7 ESV)

(See 1 Timothy 1:9-11 and Romans 3:19-20)

We must proclaim God’s law so that the world understands they’re guilty of breaking his holy commands. Without grasping their guilt before him, people will not understand the glorious good news of the gospel. (See Romans 7:24-25a)

We should be alert to misguided teachers of the law.

Where we proclaim God’s truth, lies are lurking nearby.

Jesus proclaimed:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:13-15 ESV)

Truth states that the way into the kingdom of Heaven is narrow and hard. Yet, as we make the true appeal of Christ, false teachers rush in, offering a wide and easy, albeit a wrong pathway.

In the Ephesian church, the false ways were myths, Jewish genealogies, and speculations. Such a path didn’t lead anyone to repentance, denial of sin and self, or faith in Christ.

Be alert when someone claims to speak God’s word. Stop, look, and listen.

Stop and test what you’re hearing.

Look at the lives of the teachers.

Listen to the teacher’s motives and objectives.

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