3 Timothy 3:9

Friday, 20 April 2018

…but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. 2 Timothy 3:9

Paul, referring to those “men of corrupt minds” who are “disapproved concerning the faith,” of the previous verse, now says, “but they will progress no further.” He uses the same word as was used in 2 Timothy 2:16. There he said, “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.” Whereas they were destined to increase in that verse, Paul shows that their increase will grow to a certain point and then “progress no further.”

And this has been true throughout the church age. False teachers creep in and tear some away. Nutty sects arise and flourish to a point as well. But these never wholly consume the church. The truth of the gospel continues to spread, and false teachers and sects are identified and tagged as such. From there, those groups become isolated and proceed forward apart from the true body. The reason for this is because “their folly will be manifest to all.”

Eventually, the cunning craftiness of their false teaching is exposed. This happened at the reformation. Men of God began speaking out, translating Scripture into modern tongues, studying biblical doctrine while standing away from church tradition, and the error of what had arisen in Roman Catholicism was revealed. The same careful identification of the false teachings of the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hebrew Roots, and many other sects has been, and continues to be, revealed. Their error is made manifest to all. For those who care, they will reject such teachings. For those who are unwilling to test the doctrine, they will continue to follow these false teachers and teachings.

Paul finishes up with a reference to Jannes and Jambres who resisted Moses. The false teachers’ folly will be manifest just “as theirs also was.” The Lord revealed His power, and confirmed His word through Moses. He continues to do this through His word today. That which is given through the apostles and prophets is a sure and powerful word. Though many have come along attempting to obscure or destroy its truth, they are exposed in due time. As this occurs, the church continues on with sound doctrine being revealed through faithful teachers and preachers of the word.

Life application: With social media, false teachers of the word have multiplied in abundance, and their teachings have risen to new levels of followers. One of the largest groups to benefit in this way in recent years is the Hebrew Roots Movement. This teaching, however, is contrary to the message of Christ. He has fulfilled the law, and the law is annulled in His death. Despite this truth, they teach adherence to the Law of Moses, in part or in whole. Though it may seem that this false teaching will prevail, it won’t. It will go so far, and it will find its peak. The Lord’s word exposes the folly of the teaching, and many who are willing to study the Lord’s word will walk away from this unsound doctrine.

Heavenly Father, there has been a continual need for reformation in Your church. As churches stray from Your word, a new generation steps out and shows where the error lies. This is because Your word has power, and Your word contains truth. When rightly divided and properly taught, that power is revealed, and its truth is seen. How blessed we are to have such a sure and wonderful gift from You to keep us on the straight path. Thank You for Your precious word, O God. Amen.

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