Summary: FALSE TEACHING MUST BE ACTIVELY OPPOSED IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THE DIVINE OBJECTIVES
FALSE TEACHING MUST BE ACTIVELY OPPOSED IN ORDER TO
ACCOMPLISH THE DIVINE OBJECTIVES OF:
- PROMOTING GOD’S PROGRAM FOR THIS CHURCH AGE
- HITTING THE TARGET OF LOVE
- EXPOSING REBELLIOUS SINNERS
- GUARDING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
Soccer Illustration: nothing worse in soccer than an "own goal" where you kick the ball into your own goal by mistake.
Are we shooting at the proper goal in our teaching? Are we promoting "the administration of God which is by faith?" Are we hitting the target of love? Are we
exposing rebellious sinners as we use the Law lawfully? Are we being faithful to the stewardship we have received of the glorious gospel of our blessed God?
I. (:3-4A) FALSE TEACHING MUST BE ACTIVELY OPPOSED.
A. Nipping False Teaching in the Bud = a Priority for the Apostle Paul
1. Exhortation to Combat False Teaching Bears Repeating
"As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia"
2. Opposing False Teaching can take Precedence over Missionary Expansion
"remain on at Ephesus"
Timothy and Paul both would have naturally preferred to continue on together
Hendriksen: "Paul, alarmed by the encroachment and influence of dangerous doctrines, once more impresses upon Timothy the idea that this surely is not the
time for him to leave Ephesus."
Stedman: "… the teaching is the most important aspect of the ministry of a church. It must be kept pure and unsullied."
3. Nipping it in the bud requires the proper exercise of Authority
"instruct certain men not to teach …" -- sense is "command"
B. Identification of False Teaching
1. Teaching that Differs from Orthodoxy -- "strange doctrines"
2. Teaching that Majors on Speculation
b. "endless genealogies" -- tiresome in detail; limitless
c. "which gives rise to mere speculation"
Ellicott: "Rabbinical fables and fabrications -- whether in history or doctrines … the fables and genealogies supplied questions of a controversial nature, but not the essence and principles of the divine dispensation."
Introducing some aspect of human philosophy; in this case with a Jewish rabbinical slant
II. (:4B) SOUND TEACHING WILL PROMOTE GOD’S PROGRAM FOR THIS CHURCH AGE
A. Goal --
"rather than furthering the administration of God"
Bassler: "The phrase usually refers to God’s administration of the universe, including
the divine plan for the universe and the divine execution of that plan (see Eph 1:10; 3:9). This more general sense is probably intended here, for there are hints throughout these letters of a divine plan operating in the universe and coming now to fruition (2:6b; 6:15; 2 Tim 1:8-10; Titus 1:2)."
"which is by faith"
Rather than characterized by a questioning, doubting spirit
III. (:5) SOUND TEACHING WILL HIT THE TARGET OF LOVE
A. Goal -- "But the goal of our instruction is love"
not intellectual satisfaction which puffs one up in pride
1. "from a pure heart"
2. "and a good conscience"
Guthrie: "involves proper self-judgment … you must have the right standard and your life must be in harmony with the standard so that your conscience is
approving, not condemning"
3. "and a sincere faith"
Stedman: "Now just as error can be detected by what it produces, so too can truth be detected by what it produces. Paul tells us what it is: "the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith." Here is how you can
tell, almost at a glance, what is going on in a church. If a church is giving itself to some
subtle form of human philosophy, it will result in endless speculation. (Paul will enlarge on that in just a moment.) But if the truth is being taught and preached and believed, it will always result in a loving congregation. Love is our aim. Love involves activity; speculation involves the mind. Love involves persons, service, compassion, involvement, care, time. That is the way you can tell the difference. The great thrust of the gospel is to produce loving people.
IV. (:6-10) SOUND TEACHING WILL EXPOSE REBELLIOUS SINNERS BY MAKING PROPER USE OF OT LAW
A. (:6) Identification of False Teachers (continued) -- as Rebellious Sinners
1. A Turning Aside = Apostasy
"For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside"
2. A Focus on "Fruitless Discussion" -- not hitting the mark
B. (:7a) Motivation of False Teachers -- "wanting to be teachers of the Law"
Guthrie: "Their main interest was to rival contemporary Rabinical exegesis, rather than
to expound the gospel."
Hendriksen: "wanted to be novelty teachers"
C. (:7b) Ignorance of False Teachers
"even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions."
Kent: "cf. sermon notes of a pastor: ’Logic is weak, Yell louder at this point.’"
D. (:8-10) Proper Use of the Law