What Does 1 Timothy 6:4 Mean?

he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,

1 Timothy 6:4(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Paul insists that we teach what is in accord with sound doctrine, and throughout the Word of God we are alerted to the importance of correct, biblical teaching. Indeed, we are warned of the consequences of being swayed by a different doctrine, which does not agree with the unchangeable truth that is written in the Word of God for our learning.

There are those that deliberately distort God's Word and teach a false gospel for their own personal gain. There are those that deny the Word of God and others who ignore if. Some like to explain away the truth or twist it into a different gospel, while others add to God's Word to boost their ego or remove those passages that do not line up with their own unbiblical thinking.

Paul accuses those that pervert the gospel of being proud and lacking spiritual understanding. Such a person is, "conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions."

Paul warns against teachers who misuse and misapply the Word of God. Too often such teachers concentrate on one aspect of religion to the exclusion of the whole council of God. Too often dreams, visions, spiritual experiences, or the prophetic utterances of others, take precedence over the Word of truth, endangering the spiritual well-being of those who listen to them.

Sound doctrine is life and light to him who believes. It is the truth of God and the way to God and is unambiguously linked to faith in Christ's death, burial and Resurrection as the only acceptable sacrifice for the forgiveness for sins and life everlasting.

Indeed, we are exhorted to earnestly contend for the faith, and to beware... lest we be induced towards any false teaching, a counterfeit gospel, or twisted truths, which will play havoc with our Christian walk and spiritual growth.

God in His grace chose to speak to us through His written Word. He gradually unveiled His plans, purposes, character, and names, through the Word of God - and Jesus was God's final revelation to man. He is the Word made flesh. And sound doctrine is contained in that unchangeable Word of Truth. Biblical truth is not gained through extra-biblical revelations, emotional experiences, or visions, and dreams... as many would have us believe.

Fallen man is born in sin and is at enmity with God. Prideful man does not want to be accountable to a holy God Who reads our hearts, understands our foolish ways, and insists that salvation is only by grace through faith in the death, burial, and Resurrection of our Kinsman-Redeemer - Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God.

And so the fool has said in his heart, 'there is no God', despite God's clear testimony - in nature, in our consciences, through the witness of others, and throughout the Word of Truth. Man in his rebellion, refuses to listen to the truth, for as Scripture says, "fallen man is conceited and understands nothing."

We read here, that rebellious humanity has a morbid interest in controversial questions, persistent wranglings, extra-biblical writings, and inconsequential disputes about words. Their intellects become disordered, and they themselves are wilfully blinded to the knowledge of the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ.

Paul reminds us that this sort of stubborn behaviour is rooted in envy, strife, abusive language, and evil suspicions. It gives rise to constant friction between men of depraved mind who wilfully deprive themselves of biblical truth through the hardness of their wicked hearts. Sadly, they do not understand that godliness with contentment is a great source of gain for all... who being steeped in Scripture... walk in spirit and truth as led by the Spirit of God.

Let us flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. May we be ready to fight the good fight of faith and take hold of the eternal life to which each of us have been called.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, I realise how easy it is to be led astray by false doctrine and ungodly teachings, when the Word of God is not the foundation upon which my faith is anchored. Keep me from false teachings. Protect me from the unfruitful works of darkness that delight in inconsequential disputes which lead to envy, strife, abusive language, and evil suspicions. Keep me focused on Jesus and founded on the Word of truth, so that I may live godly in Christ Jesus, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

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