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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Fighting False Teaching (1 Timothy)

Paul wrote two letters to his disciple, Timothy. In the first letter he warned Timothy about false teaching. If false teaching was prevalent in Ephesus in 50 A.D., how much more prevalent is it today, almost 2,000 years later? What can we learn from this?

Paul actually taught Timothy several doctrinal truths in this first letter. But the overriding theme is combating false teaching.

So what are some of the instructions Paul gives Timothy?

1) Paul warns against wasting time on endless rabbit trails that just lead to speculation rather than helping people live out the truths of Scripture. Just stay focused on the Scripture itself.

1 Timothy 1:3-4 I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don't let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don't help people live a life of faith in God.

2) Paul warns against people who want to be known as a Bible teacher but instead of studying God's Word and teaching from it, they confidently teach what is right in their own eyes.

1 Timothy 1:7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don't know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.

3) In the last days, false teaching will continue to grow. Wrong will be celebrated as right and right will be violently opposed as wrong. In fact, people will actually sing and celebrate even the thought of doing things that are unholy. Satan will celebrate as his deception spreads like wildfire among the masses as they quickly turn far away from the God of all creation who loves them and wants to save them rather than see them perish:

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

4) When you come across people who are determined to embrace what is unholy, how should you respond?

1 Timothy 4:7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives' tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.

5) How do we condition our heart to quickly recognize these false teachings and stay away from them?

1 Timothy 4:13 Focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.

If our churches are not warning us about what is false and unholy doctrine, how will we be able to recognize it and protect ourselves from it? We each have to invest our own time in God's Word.

Dear Lord, I am shocked by the songs being celebrated by not only children but their parents too! I'm shocked by the clothing kids are allowed to wear, the videos they are allowed to watch. If parents are so desensitized to these dangerous deceptions, how in the world will our children and young people be protected from them? Lord, we need You more than ever. Please put a thirst on our hearts to seek You in worship, prayer, and in Your Holy Word so that we may recognize the schemes of the devil and flee from them. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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