1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. 5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
First, we see that being an apostle is a calling. And not just a calling, Paul was COMMANDED to be an apostle. This was not a choice. Whether he wanted to or not, it was God’s will for his life. Because of this, Paul did not shy away from saying that he was an apostle. It was Gods calling that established his authority – not a seminary degree.
Now Paul is instructing his protégé, Timothy on what his job is at Ephesus. He also prays for grace, mercy, and peace on Timothy. As you go to the next verse, you will see why Timothy was going to need it.
Timothy’s mission at Ephesus was to stop Certain Men from teaching strange doctrines. Evidently, this was a big problem. Paul said these men espoused myths that they were merely speculating on. They were teaching these myths as if they were gospel.
Speculation becomes a problem today when preachers try to be politically correct and preach opinion as gospel. When they try to “water down” the word to increase the number of people in their church, they are into this realm. But God will always send a Timothy to urge them not to teach strange doctrines that can not be backed up by the Word of God.
Paul tells Timothy that the goal is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Today, many would take that verse to mean you should not offend at any cost. It cannot mean that: because Timothy would not be able to do it with a good conscience if he let them continue because he was afraid to tell them the truth.
The fruitless discussions these men put forth are hurtful: people listening to them can be led astray by these men who want to be teachers of the law but have no idea what they are talking about. These men were not called. They were trying to preach for a living. It is dangerous to step into those shoes.
James 3:1 – My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Contrast that to the calling of Paul and Timothy.
We will continue in 1st Tim in the next post.