Summary: Message five in this exposition of First Timothy urges Pastors not to distort the fundamentals of the faith like godless men and not to demote them in our preaching some godly men do.

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Copyright 2004 by Bob Marcaurelle

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C. The Faith Prioritized 1:3-7; 18-19

“Command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer and not to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than the work of God- which is by faith.” (1: 3-4)

“The goal of this command is love which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (V5)

Some people have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. V.6

“They want to be teachers of the Law but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm”. (v7)

“Timothy – fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.” (1:18, 19)

The devil is so wise. He gets get evil men to distort the fundamentals and he gets good men to demote the fundamentals and get sidetracked, talking about nothing. Paul called it “Meaningless talk” (v 6) and “godless chatter” (2Tim. 2:16), that led to “speculations rather than the work of God.” (v4). We don’t know what they were teaching; it is enough to know that Satan had caused these pastors to get away from God’s priorities.


When a preacher asks a layman what he should preach about, he often gets the answer, “About twenty minutes”. God says preach about, “Love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (v5). How do we do this?

1. By Preaching Conversion (How to be saved).

True love, heart purity, a healthy conscience and a genuine faith are the work of God in the new birth (Jn. 3) The “heart” is Scripture is the control room of our life; it is our inner person where we trust (Prov. 3:5); learn (2 Cor. 4:6);obey (Dt.10:12); love (Matt. 22:37); etc. And until we become Christians, our inner man, our heart is impure. The Bible says it is: - full of evil (Gen. 6:5); wayward (2 Ch. 12:14); -deceitful (Jer. 17:9); proud (Psalm 101:5),etc. Our business to tell people they must be changed by God from the inside out

2. By Preaching Christ-like Living.

The best preaching, I have always would be a combination of Baptist and Methodist. Methodists do a fine job telling Christians how to live but they do not stress the new birth. Baptists do the opposite. We are so afraid of preaching “works” we neglect the preaching of the Christian life except in things like gambling, drunkenness and abortion. We make much of the great commission, and we should, but we often forget the second half of it, “Teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:18-20).


1. The Priority Changed.

These trivial teachings could refer to Jewish believers and the genealogies of the OT or to the Gnostics talking about all the levels between a good God and evil creation; or both. Either way, it was meaningless.

2. The Pride Exposed

In verse 7 Scripture exposes the pride behind this emphasis. Paul says they deal in “speculations” because, “They want to be teachers of the Law but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” (v7).

Our denominational Bible Study one year was Isaiah and a very good Bible teacher came to a church in our town my secretary attended. She was less than impressed and considered it a waste of time, since her mother was sick, her husbands health was breaking, and she had too much on her plate. When I asked why, she said, “He spent two hours every night for four nights proving that the earthly blessings predicted by Jeremiah, pertained to the earthy millennium and not to heaven.

Well, that might be a good topic for one night, but if that’s all he fed good people, who made great efforts to come, he was not faithful to his heavenly assignment.

R. W. Dale, a fine preacher in the 1800’s said it is impossible to preach ourselves and preach Christ at the same time. The “old, old story” is old and everyone knows it and the temptation is to teach things that are new and things that create discussions.

There is a place for this in Christian learning, but there is a danger. We will be looked up to for our “study” or “learning” or “Bible knowledge” and the good news of Jesus and the ethics of Christianity will become second place.

Dale was criticized for not preaching “to the times”. His answer was, “With so many pulpits filled with views of the times, can’t one poor preacher of Christ keep on preaching to eternity?” Spurgeon hit the nail on the head when he said,

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