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, holding faith and a good conscience. (1 Timothy 1:18-19a ESV)
The book of 1 Timothy is a personal letter from Paul to his disciple and close friend Timothy. In this letter Paul encourages Timothy (who stayed in Ephesus to lead the church after Paul’s departure), to wage the good warfare of faith as he calls it.
Throughout this letter Paul makes clear that one of his biggest concerns is the integrity and the purity of the Gospel. Some false teachers have arisen within the church (Hymenaeus and Alexander), and they are teaching a doctrine contrary to what Paul proclaimed during his ministry among them.
In this letter Paul is urging (urge means to push along; impel with force or vigor) Timothy to charge these men not to teach any other teaching except what is in accordance with sound doctrine. Paul also tells Timothy not to waste his time with discussions about genealogies and myths (which seems that these false leaders were inclined to) for a simple reason: it only promotes more speculation rather than godliness.
Paul’s charge and warning should not surprise us. False teachers love to call attention to themselves, whether because of their “knowledge”, apologetic skills, or eloquence. Their love for controversies (1 Timothy 6:4), reveals that their hearts were out of place and stained with pride. By thinking much of themselves, these false teachers were making confident assertions of things that they did not understand.
This letter reminds us that the good warfare of faith is a fight for Gospel purity, and for a personal as well as a collective effort to apply its truths and commandments. Those who love Jesus, his words, and the church, should be concerned with Gospel purity and integrity, but first and foremost, we all must be concerned to apply its truths and commandments to our lives so that we may not swerve from the truth of the Gospel like Hymenaeus and Alexander.
Pastor Johnny dos Santos
Christ Our Hope