The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 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 1:5-7)
Paul urged (begged, implored) Timothy to remain in Ephesus in order to set that church’s doctrine straight. Why? Out of love for the church. False teachers came in out in arrogance (that is, out of love of self) doing three things:
- V. 4: These folks “promote speculations.”
- V. 6: They wandered away into vain discussions.”
- V. 7: In their arrogance began to make “confident assertions.”
They longed to be “teachers of the law.” Arrogant in their abilities and preferences, but were ignorant regarding to the nature of the Scriptures. The church members, sheep needing a shepherd, begin to trust these confident leaders. We risk doing the same thing. Our favorite teacher writes a book, we trust what they say. If it’s talking about the end times, all the better. If they are winsome and confident, then we are sheep with a problematic shepherd, indeed.
Their aim was arrogance, but our aim is love. Embrace God’s law and God’s word. Be a Berean (Acts 17:10ff) and do your own due diligence as well. “False teachers are dangerous because, like their evil master, their appearance is deceiving,” so says John MacArthur (1 & 2 Timothy, Kindle Location 465). The goal of the false teachers was not to create an environment of love, but to fulfill their egos (cf. 1:7), and to fill their pockets.
But clinging to our traditions and preferences and agendas we all risk being false teachers. It’s selfish and setting ourselves up as an authority. We are arrogant about our TPAs (traditions, preferences, agendas) but ignorant of the Word. We risk being false teachers as well, just in a different strain.
The gospel is self-less and Christ-full! We stay pure to Christ, our conscience is activated by God’s Word and not our own selfish ambitions. And a sincere faith that comes from a new birth that was actuated by Christ and His resurrection. This serves as our power source. Love coming from the Spirit that changes hearts from self to the Savior.
From where is your power source?