In chapter 6 Paul is warning the Church of those amongst us who like to sow the seed of discontent, who take pleasure in causing division. Paul also warns us of those who will preach false doctrine to serve their own purposes.
In today’s Church we see this almost on a daily basis, with those in leadership / in position of authority publishing edicts that go against God’s Word. Telling their readers / listeners that it’s okay to live their lives in such a manner that pleases them as ‘God is love’, forgetting to mention that for God to be God he has to be ‘just’. James writes in chapter 3 of his epistle “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” [ESV] For me being a Licensed Lay Reader this verse is scary as it’s a reminder that when I preach I’m going to be judged more strictly by God, and I need to do my preparation thoroughly. Jesus warned his disciples in Matthew 16:11-12 against the false teachers present in the community at that time “11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” [ESV]
Towards the end of his letter to Timothy Paul gives him (and us) six Christian acts that we need to live out lives by these are righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness. Which if we obey the first two commandments these acts will be second nature for us. In verse 14 we are reminded that these acts are to be ‘life long’ and not just when it’s convenient, over the last week this has been my main prayer that I remain focused on God, not wavering in my faith, staying diligent in reading His Word and spending time with Him in prayer. We need to guard against the temptation to live our lives contrary to Scripture trying obtaining money, fame, recognition as Paul warns us this will lead to destruction
And for those in our church community / society who have been blessed financially, if they are living their lives according to Scripture they should not be ashamed. As Jesus taught us with the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 the master blessed his workers with ‘talents’ and those who used those talent wisely were rewarded.
This coming week think of the six acts which Paul gives us, and see how you live your life; do you live your by all six or just some of them?