Standing by God’s Word
Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. 1 Timothy 6:20-21
Paul issued a personal plea to Timothy: guard what has been entrusted to your care. This is no light matter. The gospel and doctrine, as entrusted by God, must be defended and preserved. Timothy had been equipped by God to do this; now he must set his heart and mind to the task. Same with believers in Christ; the work was entrusted to us, just as valuables are deposited in a bank for safety. God had handed to us the responsibility of guarding the riches of the gospel against false teachers and doing our part to keep the church unified in the face of divisive teachings. In order to carry out this work, we must turn away from godless babble and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge. These are the arrogant views of the false teachers, those who think academic pursuits and tangling with words are, in themselves, pathways to spirituality. They do not recognize the need for a deeper belief that changes the inner person and behavior. Such people and their teachings may appear wise, but they are actually empty. Paul realized the destruction these false teachers could do and he warned Timothy that they were not just little irritants which disrupted the church, they were dangerous. The false doctrines and teachings which some have embraced have caused people to wander from the faith. This was soul-damaging. Such people appeared to be religious teachers, but they were untrue to the God who created them. This is why Paul closed with a prayer that God’s grace be with Timothy and the church. “May God’s grace be with you all.” It is only by experiencing His grace that we can contend and be equipped to stand against false teachings. We continue as we started in the Christian faith—by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8–10). For most people, becoming a Christian does not entail a dramatic change in occupation, living conditions, salary, or neighborhood. Christ calls us to extend his kingdom from the place we now occupy, wherever we are. The pursuit of godliness and bold identification with Christ are foundational to effective Christian living. We have to grow living out His Word and testing everything by it. Let us never forget that it is God’s Word; He invested His authority in it.