We live in a world today that wants little or nothing to do with the words of Christ. They take the parts they do like, and reject the parts they don’t. But if we claim to be followers of Christ, we can’t do that. Jesus himself made that very clear. (Matthew 7:21-27)
And Paul reiterates this truth to Timothy. He said,
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (3-5)
I can’t help but think that Paul was thinking of Jesus’ parable of the house built on sand and the house built on the rock when he wrote this, because he draws the same conclusion that Jesus did. That those who don’t follow Jesus’ words truly understand nothing. They think they’re wise, and may even take pride in their “wisdom,” but in truth, they are fools.
And it shows in the fruit of their lives. Their words cause envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction among those who hear. And their words twist what godliness is, turning it into a way to get rich. You don’t have to watch long on some “Christian” broadcasts to see that this is going on even in our day.
So Paul charges Timothy at the end of this letter,
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. (20-21)
In short, “You’ve been entrusted with the very words of Christ. Guard them in your heart. Don’t let others cause you to abandon them for what they are calling ‘knowledge.’
“And make sure you teach and insist on the truth that brings life (2-3). Don’t let attacks on the truth of Christ go unchallenged. For the day is coming when Christ returns and you will be held to account for what you were entrusted with.” (13-14)
How about you? You may or may not be a pastor, but you too have been entrusted with the words of Christ. Are you holding to them? Or are you letting your convictions waver in the face of our culture?
Reject the “wisdom” of this world. Don’t let the world’s arrogance pull you into rejecting Christ’s words too. Rather, guard Christ’s words in your heart. And when they are attacked, make a stand, teaching and insisting on what is true.
The words of this world lead to death. The words of Christ lead to life. Whose words do you wield in your life?