Standing for Truth in Love
Standing for Truth and Love
3 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, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. 5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. (1 Timothy 1:3-7 ESV)
Following Jesus Christ and the Apostle’s teachings requires faith, courage, and resoluteness. Living distinctly Christian requires a firm conviction that the Bible is the inspired word of God, the authority over our lives, and Jesus is the Righteous Judge who will reward us for our faithful obedience.
Paul urged Timothy to remain the pastor of the Ephesian church even though some of the elders were deceiving or distracting the membership from God’s truth. His challenge to Timothy is a tremendous challenge to today’s Christ-centered and Spirit-filled church leaders:
- Stay in your called position.
- Stand for doctrinal truth.
Paul instructed Timothy to charge certain people not to teach any different doctrine—strange doctrine. Anything other than exegetical teaching from the Old and New Testaments is considered a strange doctrine. Timothy was to insist that leaders teach doctrines correctly because true doctrine promotes “stewardship from God that is by faith.”
False teachers promote speculations.
- Stop deceptive and distracting leaders.
Misguiding teachers are deceptive about doctrine.
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV)
The church must not be passive when it comes to false prophets and teachers. It is a serious offense and widely destructive to people’s faith. Jesus warned: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15 ESV)
The second type of misguiding leader distracts the church from doctrine. Such people devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies and promoted speculations.
God doesn’t speak to us with hidden messages, mysterious codes, and misapplied harbingers. He speaks from the pages of the Bible. Still, some let their Bibles get dusty while eagerly seeking new insights from authors and speakers who spin fantasy and faulty new insights.
Solid biblical doctrine moves people to love God and people well. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)
The dangerous temptation of churches and Christians is to water down doctrinal truths—it is a significant threat to the church’s purpose and the people’s hearts.
God mandates that MeadowBrook, corporately and individually, be known for love. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. …You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37, 38 ESV)
Paul instructs that such love flows from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.
Our hearts are made anew, our consciences clear, and our faith sincere through God’s grace and the regenerative work of his Holy Spirit.
The result of knowing God and the doctrinal truths of the Bible is having and expressing genuine love for God and others. That is why it is imperative that we read, teach, and preach the Bible. Embrace doctrine—don’t sell it short.
From your purified heart, your clear conscience, and sincere faith will flow deep love.