Thursday, 28 December 2017
…speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 1 Timothy 4:2
The Greek correctly reads, “through the hypocrisy of men who speak lies…” It is tied to the previous thought. There is a hypocrisy which comes through from the demons, and which is then transmitted by liars. These people willingly and intentionally lie about the truth by giving heed to deceiving spirits and the doctrines of demons. What they teach is not freedom in Christ, but bondage. Their intent is to hold those under their sway captive with their lies. How they do this will be seen in the coming verse, but the fact that they teach such things, knowing them to be false, shows that they have “their own conscience seared with a hot iron.”
The idea here is that of being branded. The word is used just once in Scripture, and it means that one has an implement which is burning hot applied to him, marking him. At the same time, it destroys their nerve impulses of pleasure or pain. Figuratively Paul is saying that their spiritual nerve endings have been destroyed. They no longer care that God is watching, they don’t care that they are leading others to destruction, and they have no regard for any truth or goodness in the message of Christ. Though their words may speak of Christ, they are false words which have been deadened to the truth.
Life application: The words of this verse are being applied to a certain group of people whose teachings will be described next. How frightful it is to think that someone is so willing to openly and brazenly teach what is contrary to the truth. Although the next verse is speaking of something different, just think of those who teach that homosexuality, or any other aberrant doctrine which is now being taught in the church, is somehow acceptable. These people have no shame, and no spiritual feeling that they are wholly displeasing to God. We must know what Scripture teaches in order to know what is a lie.
Lord God, how can we know if what the pastor of our church is teaching is correct? It is his job to study Your word and to properly explain it to us. But what if he is mishandling it? What if we are being told that which is untrue? Where can we go to know if this is the case? Lord, we already know that answer, but it takes effort on our part – great effort. Help us to be responsible followers of You, and help us to be willing to do our part by reading and carefully studying Your word. Better to trust You, than a thousand eloquent deceivers. Grant us this desire to be pleasing to You. Amen.