Posted by: missionventureministries | February 8, 2011

LOOK OUT FOR FALSE TEACHERS – 1 Timothy 6:3-11

“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” – 1 Timothy 6:3-5.

Paul had opened his letter to Timothy with warnings about false teachers: “I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer” – 1 Timothy 1:3. He also refuted some of their dangerous teachings: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” – 1 Timothy 4:1.

Pastors and godly leaders, especially in the local church, must constantly oversee what is being taught, because it is easy for false doctrines to slip in. “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” – Acts 20:28-31.

One of the identifiable marks of a false teacher is that they refuse to adhere to godly teaching – “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing”- 1 Timothy 6:3. In the Old Testament Isaiah’s first test of any teacher was “if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” – Isaiah 8:20

Another mark of false teachers is their attitude. Instead of being humble, a false teacher is “proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions” – 1 Timothy 6:4.  They also “desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm” – 1 Timothy 1:7.

When we do not have godly teachers people are “robbed of the truth” while they think they are discovering the truth; what a tragedy! To make it worse, they think that the weekly arguments in their meetings, during which they exchange their ignorance, are a means of growing in grace; when the result is exactly the opposite.

False teachers use their religious professions as a means to make money. To them it is just a religious business. As Jesus’ return nears, we see more and more religious racketeers who prey upon gullible people, promising them help while taking away their money. We know that wealth is not lasting because “we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” – 1 Timothy 6:7. And the desire for wealth leads to sin because “those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” – 1 Timothy 6:9-10.

Paul told Timothy to preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” – 2 Timothy 4:2. His purpose was to convince these teachers and get them to be “sound in faith” (Titus1:13).

Godly leaders must protect the church from false teachings because false doctrines are like yeast. It enters secretly, it grows quickly, and it permeates completely (Galatians 5:9). The best time to attack false doctrine is at the beginning, before it has a chance to spread. This is very important because it makes the difference between life and death, whether or not you believe the truth of the Word or believe lies. You can choose what you want to believe, but you cannot change the eternal consequences.

Paul continues to tell Timothy: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” – 1 Timothy 6:11. The word flee here refers to separating or withdrawing oneself from the sins of these false teachers.

We need to remember that not all unity is good, and not all division is bad. There comes a time when a servant of God should take a stand against false doctrine and godless practices, and separate himself from them.

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Responses

  1. Great message and so needed as the Enemy of our soul has sown tares among
    us. Christendom is inundated with false teachers in our Christian Universities.


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