Paul established the church in Ephesus during his third missionary journey. Later, as he passed back near Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem, where he was taken prisoner by the Romans, he warned the Ephesian elders that savage wolves would come. Some even from among their own members, distorting the truth and drawing people away to follow them (Acts 20:29-31). And, sometime later, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to deal with this problem he had foretold.
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.1 Timothy 1:3-4 NIV
In this passage, Paul gave Timothy instructions concerning these wolves that had come into the church, distorting the truth. Timothy was instructed to forbid the teaching of this false doctrine. I do not know specifically what these false doctrines were. But the specifics of those false doctrines are not important to what Paul is saying here.
Teaching False Doctrine
The teaching of false doctrine is a danger within the body of Christ. It leads many astray who do not follow the example of the Berean believers (Acts 17:11). Ravenous wolves, in the guise of charismatic speakers looking to promote themselves, do much damage within the body of Christ.
It is important for us as believers to be well grounded in the word of God so that we won’t be led astray by falsehood (Eph. 4:11-16). And, if you are a teacher or leader within the church, it is important to point out and refute false doctrine. Especially doctrine that promotes controversy rather than building up the body and advancing the kingdom of God. Hold fast to God’s word. Compare everything you hear against the standard of God’s inspired word.
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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