1 Timothy 4 is a warning against false teachers. It gives us a basic outline of things we need to be aware of and what we need to avoid.
False teachings can come from anywhere. I’ve faced false teachings in ministry school and in various churches that I’ve attended. However a lot of the time I have to ask myself about the severity of the false teaching. Whenever I hear something I ask myself a few questions to avoid vain and needless arguments.
- Does it go against the teachings of the bible? Or is this a social construct?
- What is the point they’re trying to get across?
- Is the point just stated poorly? (often this is the case)
- Does it even matter?
I ask myself these questions because we often get bogged down in the weeds arguing a stupid point of religious belief instead of reaching the lost or getting closer to Christ.
For example; Transubstation is a belief from the Catholic church that states the bread and wine of holy communion literally becomes the blood and body of Christ.
While I’m creeped out greatly by this, it really doesn’t matter to my faith. If they still believe that Jesus died on the Cross and God raised him from the dead, I don’t care anymore.
I probably have hundreds of beliefs that I need to let go of, and I will as God reveals them to me.
1 Timothy 4 Warnings against False Teachers
4 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 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.[a]
3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 5 For we know it is made acceptable[b] by the word of God and prayer.1 Timothy 4:1-5
The first sentence of this chapter speaks volumes about the last day. And I believe that we are living in them at this very moment.
Paul is reminding Timothy that the Holy Spirit has been speaking to him, and directing him. He also goes on to speak about people following deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
I feel like these verses came right out of today’s headlines. My heart grieves for the mothers and the murdered babies from 30+ years of Roe Vs Wade. The mothers have been lied to, and the babies have been murdered.
That is something we as the church need to focus on more, we need to find a way to bring healing to these mothers and fathers. Somehow we need to reach them with the love of Jesus.
In addition to this, we have a generation of people who have consorted and listened to demonic teachings. Somehow we need to get truth and deliverance to them. They may be angry, confused, and scared. But they’re still children of God, and somehow they’re being influenced by evil teachings.
At the moment all I can do is talk with people and pray for them. But I believe more is to come, and we will see God move in our country in a powerful way.
And this powerful action will happen soon, once a great shaking happens.
Avoid Meaningless Rules
I’ll be short on this issue, but when I was in ministry school one of my greatest annoyances came from pointless rules. I understand the basics of some rules, don’t touch a hot pan, ask before borrowing, etc. But when a rule is made so power can be kept, that’s evil. And there’s nothing else to do but depose that power.
God made us all free, and we chose to be enslaved by sin. Then God sent Jesus to set us free, and those of us who are enslaved choose it.
The chains are broken, and cell doors are unlocked. We only need to stand up and walk to Jesus.
1 Timothy 4 A Good Servant of Christ Jesus
6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters,[c] Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. 7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.1 Timothy 4: 6-13
Training And Avoiding Idle Talk
Avoid idle talk, and stop wasting time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. It’s said that when the Turks were outside of Constantinople and besieging the city. Most of the priests had a huge debate going on involving holy water.
The questions posed: If a fly falls into Holy water does it purify the fly, or dirty the holy water?
None of them were helping the Christian defenders, many of them didn’t offer up prayers for salvation, and the city eventually fell. Constantinople was the center of Christianity for a few centuries and later was renamed Istanbul.
Don’t make vain and wasteful arguments, when there are a lot worse things going on outside. Open your eyes and see what the people around you need.
1 Timothy 4: Use Your Spiritual Gifts
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.1 Timothy 4:14-16
Stay the Course, Keep Going
I could’ve written something about not being despised because of your youth, but everyone uses those verses. Instead, I’m going to focus on the last few sentences in this chapter.
Paul reminds Timothy to be persistent in everything he does. When we are persistent and keep our focus on God. Things begin to change in our lives and the lives around us.
Focusing on God, and believing that he is in control will rub off on others. Your focus will also have an impact on people.