Why do you care about the True Gospel? Do you care about it? Why should we? Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings people to salvation. But some people come into the church and teach some things that have nothing to do with the Gospel. They speak endlessly with intricate opinions that seem important, but are not. They cause arguments in the church rather than discipleship. They teach doctrine that is not Salvation through Jesus Christ only. They teach works rather than faith. Those people cannot be allowed to spread their deadly confusion in the church. Verses 1-7 say it this way,
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
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”
We do not teach, evangelize, or do good works to gain a reputation for ourselves, we do these things because Jesus loves us enough to save us and we in turn love others the way He loves us. Our love for them wants them to be saved. But some people teach the law from a muddled perspective. They do not understand what the Law is and they teach it, as if it a list of rules and rituals that we are meant to tell others to follow. The Law is not for us, and it is not for us to make people follow.
Verses 8-11 read,
“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”
Believers are already made just, the price for our sin has been paid by Jesus Christ. In Him, we have fulfilled the requirements of the Law. The Law is there for those who do not keep it and have not been made just by Jesus. You see no one can keep the Law. Romans 3:19-20 says,
“Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”
You see the purpose of the law is not to make people righteous, but to make us aware of sin. Paul says that these teachers and their excessive teachings and misunderstanding of the law are teaching unsound doctrines. They are illogical and erroneous. That is why those who teach them must speak in endless circles. If they tried to lay out their arguments in a straight line they and their student’s would find the faults. The contentions to the law are pointless. But the Gospel is not. Teachers of the law try to get people to behave in a certain manner and hope that they will get into heaven. These theories have people working to be good enough, hoping and trying to become good people.
The Gospel teaches that Jesus loves you and when you believe He is who He says He is, He will change you and make you like Him. He came to make bad people, righteous. He didn’t come to make people follow the law. He didn’t come for people who think they are following the law. Luke 5:27-32 reads,
“After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Before Paul met Jesus and was transformed by the truth, he followed the Law. He said, that he followed the law as well as any man could, he was blameless under the law. (Philippians 3:6). Yet, Paul was a sinner. He called himself the foremost of sinners. He did horrendous things to the Church as he persecuted them so fervently that he was infamous among the Christians for it. It was not the law that saved Paul and made him righteous. It was Jesus Christ. Verses 12-17 read,
“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul was great at keeping the law, yet he was still the foremost of sinners. It took Jesus to save him. If we had to be good before Jesus could save us, what would be the bid deal of the Gospel? Jesus forgives sins and makes us righteous and in doing so His character is revealed. There would be no mercy if He only saved those who were really good people. Mercy is for those of us who deserve punishment. There would be no grace if He only forgave the sins of people who could somehow die for their own sins. Romans 5:20-21 says,
“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The law is powerless to save. The Gospel of Jesus Christ on the other hand is powerful! Look how the message puts Romans 5:20-21.
“All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.”
As believers, it is our job to guard the sanctity of the Gospel. We are entrusted with it. We cannot sit idly by and let people teach that we have to follow rules and rituals, and know a thousand facts about the ancients and the mysteries they represent. That has nothing to do with the Gospel that Jesus, the Son of God was born, lived perfectly, laid down his life, and rose from the dead in order to pay the price for our sins and reconcile us to God. If someone is teaching something else, then we have the responsibility to fight to get them to stop, if they refuse then they have to be forced out of the church in order to stop poisoning the vulnerable among us who will follow them to Hell by the blasphemy they teach. Verses 18-20 say,
“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”