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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

IF ANY MAN TEACH OTHERWISE

1 Tim 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine, which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Within its context, these verses probably relate to the preceding two verses of Paul's inspired teaching regarding the mutual duties and obligations of masters and servants toward each other, whether one or both had become members of the church of Christ through baptism for the remission of their sins. These verses certainly indicated that there were false teachers in Ephesus that were proclaiming a doctrine contrary to the true gospel message of Christ. Paul, and other Holy Spirit-inspired apostles and teachers, were preaching the true doctrine of God, found in His word. These godly men were preaching wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and ...doctrine, which is according to godliness.

Christianity then, and up to the present time, has been repressed and hindered by those that profess false religious principles, that are contrary to the true word of God. They pervert the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:7). Paul warned the Christians in Rome about self-serving false preachers by telling them to mark them (false preachers), which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine, which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (Rom. 16:17-18).

The lesson text immediately follows the scriptural teaching, which requires that servants, after being baptized into the body of Christ, continue to faithfully serve their earthly masters. There is little doubt that false preachers were teaching a contrary doctrine, which probably encouraged Christian servants to rebel against their duties and responsibilities, and flee from their masters. Not only was this a problem within the church at Ephesus, but also it was likely a problem in all cities and provinces where a church of Christ had been established.

Because of this, Paul continues by giving this general description of false preachers. He wrote that they were proud, that is, they demonstrated a self-pride, that blinded them to the humility required to be a follower and servant of Christ. By refusing to accept the gospel of Christ, Paul says that false preachers knew nothing. This probably meant that they rejected Jesus as the Savior of mankind. If this were true, they could never gain eternal salvation through Jesus Christ for themselves, or lead any one to it, by the false massages they proclaimed. These false preachers continued doting about questions and strifes of words. In their teaching they dwelt on meaningless and foolish questions, rather than telling men and women of the world how to become, and remain, faithful and true to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, through whom we have the hope of eternal salvation.

To teach any doctrine contrary to the gospel of Christ leads only to envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, throughout the world, and especially within the church of Christ. Such is the result when false preachers and teachers, for selfish, covetous reasons, speak out against the gospel of Christ, by casting perversions and doubt on the eternal salvation that it promises. By their actions false preachers set themselves above God by altering, adding to, or deleting from the Holy Spirit-inspired teaching of Jesus, His apostles, and other inspired teachers of God's word.

Such is the ways of false preachers, and the fruits that result from their ungodly teaching. Indeed they are wicked men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth. Their minds are, not only filled with a false doctrine, but are closed, refusing to hear, or attempt to understand, the true doctrine of God. The fact that their false teaching results in worldly gain, seems to prod these preachers of error to continue to teach those things that will result in greater earthly gain for themselves. The world desires a wide gate and a broad way road that leads to heaven, instead of a strait gate the narrow way required by God (See Matt. 7:13-14). They desire eternal life, but think they can gain it without obedience to God's will. To teach this will result in a great following and much earthly gain. This is the motive of false teachers. From such turn away.

We have God's inspired word given by His Son, Jesus Christ, and by His Holy Spirit-inspired disciples. Hear them; obey their teachings! If any man teach otherwise, ...from such withdraw thyself!