1 TIMOTHY 4:1-8 – FALSE TEACHINGS
Today’s bible reading passage is about Paul advising Timothy on how to refute the false teachings and heresies. He started that chapter by saying, “The Spirit clearly says….” It seems the Holy Spirit gave that revelation to Paul. With that revelation, he knew that in the latter days, some will depart from the faith, follow deceiving spirits and false doctrines. Therefore, it is important for him to inform church leaders like Timothy so that he can protect the people from these types of dangers.
I believe most of us would know of some believers who have decided to leave the Christian faith. It is a sad thing when we see people that we know, people who are close to us, falling away from God. Worldly influences and materialism may have turned them away. For whatever reason that they decided to abandon the faith, we may not know, but we do know that the devil seeks to deceive people and to entice them away from the Truth.
We have to be aware that deceiving spirits were around since the beginning that even Adam & Eve were being deceived by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. It is therefore clear that “our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil” (Eph 6:12). These deceiving spirits can work through various means such as social media, movies, pleasure, etc, teaching ideas that are contrary to God’s Truth.
Paul refers to those who have departed from the faith, those false teachers as “hypocritical liars” who taught to support their own agendas following their own man-made rules, and that “their consciences have been seared with a hot iron,” which is as if the nerve endings of their conscience have been burnt and are dead to feeling.
False teachers take on many forms. They can be from outside the church and also within the church today. They are those who profess they know the bible but yet their teachings contradict the clear message of the bible. In verse 6, Paul urged Timothy to point those false teachings out and instruct the people accordingly, and to continue to remain steadfast in the Word of God, following the right doctrine. To ensure that we do not fall away, this is what we should do too. We must always remain vigilant that we do not drift away from God. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus tells us to “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” We must train ourselves to be discerning too, and if there’s any statement any speaker said that doesn’t sound right, always compare with what is stated in the bible or ask someone who is well-versed in those areas. The more we build up our knowledge of the Scriptures, the easier it will be for us to see through any lies.
Suggested prayer –
Lord Jesus, we need You. We need Your Grace, Your Strength and Your Power. Help us to keep our focus on You and You alone. Help us to remain steadfast in the midst of this chaotic world around us. Grant us the discerning spirit to know what is right and what is wrong. Protect and shield us from the ferocious wolves whose aim is only to harm us. Thank you, Lord, we love You. Amen.