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MAKE YOUR MARK: YOUR ASSIGNMENT & ATTITUDE

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By Rod Shimabukuro

SCRIPTURE

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, [4] nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. [5] The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  1 Timothy 1:3-5

OBSERVATION

Paul wasted no time communicating the priority, importance and urgency for Timothy to address and correct false teaching.  Right out of the blocks, he gives Timothy his assignment and the aim of his attitude to mark out opposing discussions and understandings.  Verses 6-11 addresses those who have wandered into vain discussions with a lack of understanding.  The misuse of and incorrect interpretations of the law misled God’s people.  The law was meant to be good, guiding the family of God in right relationship with their God.  The law correctly understood and applied, would be life giving – even post resurrection of Jesus.

HAVING SOUND DOCTRINE

In v3, Paul charges Timothy to confront and correct those who are teaching a different doctrine.  What they devote themselves to and promote is in conflict to with our faith, and relationship with God (v4).

In verses 10b-11, Paul then gives a listing of what is contrary to sound doctrine.  “…whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”

ADDRESSING FALSE TEACHING & TEACHERS

Paul instructs Timothy to “wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience” (v18).  This spiritual warfare, I believe, is not rebuking the devil, dealing with and praying against spiritual darkness, etc.  Considering the context of chapter 1, Paul is commanding Timothy to deal with false teaching and false teachers.  Paul even warns Timothy, by specifically naming a couple of defectors (v20).

THE FOUNDATION OF OUR HEARTS

The foundation and aim of our charge is LOVE (V5)!  This love has to be lived from a pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith.  The core of our being – our hearts, needs to be pure – minus selfish ambition, retaliation or pride.  Our conscience or soul must be clean and pure as well.  And our faith must be genuine, real, sincere.  These qualities will make for a solid foundation of PURE LOVE…in order to be a spiritual leader able to teach sound doctrine and correct false teaching.

APPLICATION

Addressing what is false in the church is a must.  Yes in the church.  False ideas, interpretations, discussions and teachings starts somewhere, right?  Our “open mind and heart” culture is fertile ground for seeds of false teaching to germinate.

MAKING OUR MARK involves:

1.  The Assignment of Developing and Defending Sound Doctrine 

Like Timothy, we must all be students and learners who are submitted to spiritual authority and leadership.  Sound doctrine will be taught.  This was the case for Timothy, through Paul.  Concerning our doctrine – Who are we listening to?  Influenced by?  Are we lining up the teachers and teachings with God’s Word and spiritual leadership?  Are we student who are learning, asking questions, participating, processing….or just “attending class/church,” getting by for “the grade” so to speak?

2.  The Attitude of Leading with Love

Developing a pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith are the qualities through which our love will grow.  I need to be constant and vigilant about guarding my heart against: pride, selfish ambition, works of my flesh: jealousy, judging, comparing.  My motives to want to be great, known, popular, wanted, accepted, applauded needs to be crushed by AIM OF LOVE!

PRAYER

Dear Godhead,

I really want to be a student who is fully devoted to You, Your Word, Your will and ways!  Please help me to submit all the distractions, my flesh, my shortcomings – and the heart You’ve given me to fulfill Your assignment – to You!  May my attitude be influenced by Your Word and Spirit rather than led by my flesh.  Thank You for Your faithful grace and love, and Your Spirit teaching and mentoring my heart.  Thank you for the revelations of truth, for opening my heart and eyes to Your Holy Word!  I Love YOU Godhead!