and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,1 Timothy 1:10(NASB)
As an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God, Paul set out the pure doctrine of Christianity in both his ‘church’ epistles, and the letters he sent personally to Timothy and Titus – who were his true ‘children in the faith’.
Doctrinal purity was of vital importance in those early days of Christendom and continues to remain of great consequence today. Strange teachings, a variety of myths, endless references to genealogies as well as legalistic tendencies, humanistic philosophies and other unscriptural trends started to give rise to mere speculations and false imagination, which caused believers to begin to drift into a whole host of unbiblical teachings and weird doctrines.
Paul never deviated from furthering the administration of God, which is by faith. Nevertheless, we frequently see him having to address issues that strayed from the things of God, which caused many to turn aside from a pure heart, sound doctrine, a good conscience and sincere faith – into endless fruitless discussions and other futile debates.
These people regarded themselves as legitimate teachers of the Law, even though they did not understand either their own words nor did they grasp the things about which they make such confident assertions!! Instead of using the Law as God intended, these men manipulated the very word of the Lord for their own purposes.
In this section Paul is making it very clear that the Law was good when used correctly. The Law was designed to show man that he is a sinner in need of a Saviour. The Law was the tool God introduced so that fallen man would recognise that they had transgressed God’s perfect Law. The Law could not save anyone.. but it was a school-master to point people to Christ – the one and only Saviour.
The Law is perfect and when used lawfully, and as God intended, it is good. When it is used to show an unsaved man or woman that they are sinners, in need of God’s forgiveness it fulfills its purpose, but when it is manipulated by false teachers to cause believers, who have already been justified by grace through faith in Christ, to turn aside to vain discourses, useless discussions, frivolous arguments and ungodly philosophies – it is very dangerous and very wrong.
Paul pointed out in the preceding verse that the Law was NOT made for the righteous person. The Law was not given to people who had already acknowledged their sinfulness and been saved. It was not for those who had been redeemed and declared righteous– through faith. The Law was given to people who are lawless!!
The Law was… and always has been intended for unsaved, rebellious, lawless people. The Law was given to the ungodly, the sinner, the unholy man and the profane person. The Law was designed for those who kill their fathers or dishonour their mothers. It was intended for murderers and immoral men and woman. It was given for homosexuals and kidnappers, for liars and perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.
The Bible is… and must always remain, the single plumb-line for truth. The Scriptures contain the glorious gospel of our blessed God and Saviour, with which Paul was entrusted and which we have come to acknowledge as the truth. It sets out God’s unchangeable standard and was given to show man that he is a sinner in need of salvation.
In a world which has devalued the Bible, set aside the Word of truth and adopted morals values as relative and changeable, the content of this verse would be vilified and even labelled as ‘hate-speech’. When moral or ethical propositions do not reflect the objective, universal, absolute moral truth of Scripture, but instead make claims relative to different social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances God’s Word becomes deeply offensive to sinful man.
The world of today has shamelessly adopted relative morality, which has given way to many strange teachings, a variety of myths, endless references to genealogies and legalistic tendencies. Man-made philosophies are adopted in preference to the Scriptures, and the Word of truth is set aside by humanistic reasoning, unscriptural trends, mere speculations and the false imaginings of fallen man.
May we be those that hold fast to the pure word of truth and reject anything that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God.
Heavenly Father, it is a sad state of affairs to realise that moral relativity has replaced the Word of truth in our modern culture. Forgive us Lord, for allowing the philosophies of fallen man to have so quickly infiltrated society in general and the church in particular. Forgive us for allowing so much humanistic reasoning and unbiblical trends to enter Christendom. Be merciful, we pray, and bring us back to the objective truth of Your Word. This we ask in Jesus name, AMEN.