You can’t write about the Bible if you don’t understand it. And you can’t understand the Bible if you don’t read it. Am I right?
That’s what I’ve been discovering lately, through studying the book of 1 Timothy.
First of all, I really really really love this book. Probably one of my favorites in the Bible. It’s so clear and helpful for real life. Because, let’s face it, this world is full of lies. Even in the church, there’s so much false teaching! And it is so prevalent, and ever so misleading. So here are a few extremely important points that I’ve discovered this week.
- People teach falsely. Some on purpose, some by accident. But false teaching is a real thing. Just because someone claims to be a Christian, it doesn’t mean that we can listen to them ignorantly because of their title. We need to test everything.
So, how do we avoid listening to false teaching? First and foremost, the Bible is the only source of ultimate truth. How do you know if someone is giving you solid and true doctrine on the Bible? Well, check the Bible itself. And don’t base your life on one out-of-context verse. For example, here’s what not to do. John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept.” Going with this as my life verse, and knowing to live a life following after Jesus, I am going to constantly weep. After all, that’s exactly what Jesus did, right?
Okay, yes. That is ridiculous. But the point is, we must check all things with the Bible itself! We cannot add to it, or take away from it. This Book is the Holy and Inspired Word of God. Let’s not get it wrong.
1 Timothy 6:3-5
“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”
- Without understanding the Gospel correctly, we cannot understand life itself.
1 Timothy 1:15-16 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
If we mess up any of this, we will not be able to understand anything else. Without the Good News that Christ has come to save all, there is absolutely no meaning to life. Remember, my friends, if we do not understand that we are inherently sinners, saved alone by the amazing grace of God – and not ourselves – there is no point in Jesus’ death. If we are saved by our works, why did He come? (That’s a trick question.)
- We must understand who Jesus really is. Not some “good teacher,” not some passive, apathetic, random guy. No, Jesus is the Son of God, possessing ALL power, and He is ALIVE.
1 Timothy 3:16b
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated [means proven true] by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
- No matter how old we are, we can set an example for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Spiritual maturity has little to do with age, and we can lead others in Truth, regardless of being young.
1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
We are ambassadors for Christ, even as kids and teens (and adults, later). If we understand Truth, we must share it with others!
I hope you’ll take these truths to heart, and study the Bible for yourself. Really, it is such an encouraging Book, and the guide for our lives. It’s so important to understand the Bible correctly. It’s not just a book. It’s the Holy, Inspired, God-Breathed, Word of the Creator Himself. The source of Truth, amongst the lies. And it’s right here, to teach us to walk in godliness!