Pastoral Letters – 1 Timothy 1_3-7 – Download
Stop listening to bad teaching. This really is not too difficult of a teaching to hear. However, the command in 1 Timothy is to tell bad teachers to stop teaching. Paul give Timothy this task for two main reasons. 1) Bad teaching in the Church is a waste of time because it is a source of useless teaching. 2) Bad teaching does not promote God’s agenda. God is not shy or timid in announcing his agenda. So it follows suit that he is not shy or timid to expect Church leadership to squelch bad teaching.
An immediate thought might be, ‘Why is God and Paul so mean about this?’ But this is to miss the intent and purpose of the command to stop bad teaching. We need to realize that the command was not to stop those who were poor in their teaching ability. Rather the command was to stop those who were teaching things other than the gospel. In other words, the main content of Christian teaching should remain the Gospel and nothing else. No matter how interesting or intriguing. Additionally Paul‘s intent was love. His desire was not to crush the spirits of those bad teachers. His desire was to show his love for his God through the active protection of the true gospel teaching.
Paul knew that Timothy was dealing with empty talkers. Wind bags. Ignorant fools insisting on things they do not know. If these teacher were allowed to go on teaching unchecked then what kind of damage would they cause to the Christian community? It truly was loving for Timothy to forcefully shut down bad teaching. It is loving for church leadership today to shut down bad teaching that running contrary to the purpose and plan of God’s gospel message.
As you take time to study this passage further consider this things:
- Some people are not qualified to teach because they teach wrong things. What are the marks of wrong teaching in this passage?
- The aim of proper teaching is love. Do you love those you teach?
- People who teach without love are usually empty talkers. How do you measure the depth of your love for those you teach?
Just because someone is teaching the Bible, it does not mean they are qualified to teach. Check for Love. Love of God and love of others.