3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. 5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
First Timothy is a letter written from Paul to Timothy. Paul was probably about 15–20 years older than Timothy. Timothy became a Christian with his family when he was about 16 and then began hitting mission trips with Paul and Silas just a few years later. In time, he would carry the authority of Paul to new churches and help them grow and mature. Sometimes he’d stick around after Paul left or would be sent to stay at a church for a while before Paul came for a visit.
A lot of times when we talk about Nextgen, we think of kids ministry. In the case of Timothy, it was literally the next generation of the church. Paul knew he would be leaving the Gospel in the hands of Timothy and those that Timothy was teaching. This book is a good look at what to focus on as the next generation carries the momentum of the Church into the future.
Right off the bat in the letter, Paul urges Timothy to focus on the most important teachings. Genealogies meant something when God’s people were under the Law. It doesn’t take long to read some of the Old Testament to see that who begat who begat who begat who was very serious when God’s people were leading up to the birth of Jesus. That was important! In order to prove the fulfillment of many prophecies, Jesus had to be born in the family, time, and place as predicted.
But since Christ has come, it doesn’t matter what kind of family you were born in. It doesn’t matter how holy even the generation just before you was. What matters is sincere faith in Jesus Christ as your savior.
When people get into “confident assertions” about things other than Christ on the cross, in the tomb, and then alive forever, they can get swept away like that’s the thing that Christianity is all about.
The nice thing is that Paul makes it clear for us:
The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Did you see how he kind of did it backwards?
We have sincere faith that Jesus died for our sins.
That gives us a good conscience.
With a clean conscience, we live a pure life free from fear of judgment.
Without judgment, we can love those that God loves, which is all of the people made in His image.
And of course, living like that snowballs into momentum that becomes an entire life lived toward God.
You can get the Daily Bible Readings to your inbox via email every day by subscribing on our home page. Join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter.