Sunday, 25 February 2018
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 1 Timothy 6:20
What we probably have in this verse, and the next, are words penned personally by Paul. Normally, a scribe was used to write as he spoke out his thoughts. Although mere speculation, the very personal nature of this verse probably indicates that Paul has picked up the pen in order to show his personal love and care for Timothy.
Whether this is correct or not, the feeling is transmitted either way by the use of the injection and name, “O Timothy!” From there, Paul will introduce six words into the Bible in this one verse, two of which are found only here. He begins the thought with, “Guard what was committed to your trust.” This speaks of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
This was committed to him by the laying on of hands. He is being implored to protect this message, teach it properly, continue in sound doctrine, speak against false gospels, and so on. Everything which will ensure that the proper message of Jesus Christ – His Person and His work which is relayed – is to be guarded. It has been entrusted to Him, and so even more than someone would guard the greatest chest of treasures, so Timothy is instructed to guard this sacred possession.
Paul then says, “avoiding the profane and idle babblings.” The word “profane” is bebélos. It is an adjective which describes a threshold to enter a building. Thus it signifies either improper or unauthorized access. It is then equated to anyone who is unfit to access God because they approach Him in a manner which is improper. They lack faith, and they speak of Him in this capacity. Paul would have Timothy shut the door on such perverse people so that they would have no access into the congregation of the saints.
The word translated as “idle babblings” signifies that which is called out, but has no merit. If a cock crows, in the middle of the night, it isn’t doing anyone any good. Instead, it is simply an annoyance. He is of better use in a meal than he is as a herald of the day’s dawning. Paul implores Timothy to avoid people that would proclaim a vain gospel. They are to be silenced rather than listened to.
Next he says, “and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.” The word “contradictions” is the Greek is the word antithesis. It has since carried on directly into our English language. It is a proposition advanced by one party against another. In this case, there is the true gospel which Timothy possesses, and there is that which is false, and which is proposed against the truth of Christianity. Paul describes this using two words, the first indicating “under a false name,” and the second which describes knowledge, doctrine, or wisdom.
In other words, it is speaking of anything which opposes the message of Christ, and which would contradict it. Christianity has nothing to fear from science. For example, God is the author of all scientific principles, and therefore, any supposed science which opposes the Bible will be found incorrect, and it should be avoided. Doctrines such as evolution, big bang cosmology, gnosticism, religious pluralism, and on and on, are opposed to what the word of God proclaims. It is not wrong to understand these things, and in fact, one cannot argue against them unless they understand them. But they are to be avoided in application into our belief system. What we apply to our walk with the Lord is to be based on what the Lord proclaims in His word.
Life application: If we claim to be followers of the Lord, we are to seek out only the truth in the world around us, and then apply that truth to our lives. If the Bible is the word of God, then nothing that we encounter will ever contradict its precepts. And so we are to stand on the truth of Scripture, even when the rest of the world says otherwise. Our faith in what God proclaims must be above all else. Having said that, we cannot insert our own improper interpretation of what the Bible states into our beliefs. The sun does not revolve around the earth, and the Bible never proclaims this. We must rationally evaluate the evidence of the world around us, knowing that it, and the Bible, will always come to harmony in what it proclaims.
Heavenly Father, Your word says certain things which many supposed specialists today claim are not correct. We are told You created man; they say we evolved. There is a conflict between the two. Are we to believe You, or are we to believe those who claim Your word is wrong? Where is our faith? Help us to accept Your word and to search out the world from a biblical perspective first and foremost. Amen.