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Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-16
Paul: A "Sincerely Wrong" Teacher
1. Does a good conscience protect one's teaching and practice from being judged in the light of God's word?
2. No: He said he ranked first (chief) among sinners, 1 Tim 1:15 (cf. 1 Cor 15:9; Eph 3:8).
3. Sin proceeds from the heart, Matt 15:19-20.
4. Question: Can a sincerely wrong teacher be a false teacher? Bible answer: “Yes”.
I. PAUL WAS A MAN OF GOOD CONSCIENCE, Acts 23:1.
A. Paul was Sincere in His Convictions and Conduct, Acts 26:9; Phil 3:6.
1. Paul was a sincere blasphemer, persecutor and insolent (violently arrogant) man, 1 Tim 1:13.
2. Paul was judged to be a sinner by the Holy Spirit and by himself – even when he thought he was offering God service while engaged in sin, 1 Tim 1:15; Jno 16:2; Acts 26:9-11 (22:16).
3. How do we judge a person to be in sin? Assess his practices by the word of God. How do we judge a person to be a false teacher? Assess his teachings by the word of God.
II. GOD’S WORD JUDGES A SINCERE SINNER TO BE LOST IN HIS SINS.
A. Paul was a Blasphemer, 1 Tim 1:13.
1. Blasphemy: “impious, and irreverent speech against God” (Thayer)
* 2. Blasphemy proceeds from the heart, Matt 15:19-20. A blasphemer’s heart is not right (his sin comes from his heart).
3. One who blasphemies against Christ and his gospel speaks against and opposes the truth of the gospel, Acts 13:45.
a. Paul opposed truth while advancing error.
b. Paul was a sincere blasphemer who opposed the gospel.
c. In his zeal for the traditions of the fathers he blasphemed the holy name of Jesus, Gal 1:14 (cf. Rom 10:2).
4. We judge Paul to be a blasphemer based on his practices. The Holy Spirit made this judgment, and Paul agreed, 1 Tim 1:13.
5. Why are we accused as being evil when, based on the evidence, we judge teachings and teachers to be opposed to Christ and thus blasphemous against Christ / His truth? Jno 7:24; Lk 12:57
a. Paul did this very thing! 1 Tim 1:18-20
b. We may follow his example, 1 Cor 11:1.
B. Paul was a Persecutor, 1 Tim 1:13; Acts 26:9-11; Gal 1:13-14.
1. A persecutor tries to destroy his object (1 Pet 4:14-16).
* 2. Persecution (murder) proceeds from the heart, Matt 15:19-20.
a. Paul tried to destroy the church with murder, Gal 1:13; Acts 9:1.
b. Paul consented to the death of Stephen, Acts 8:1 (7:58).
c. Paul pursued the punishment and murder of Christians, Acts 9:1-2; 26:9-11.
3. We judge Paul to be a persecutor based on his practices. The Holy Spirit made this judgment, and Paul agreed, 1 Tim 1:13.
4. Why are we accused of being evil when, based on the evidence, we judge that one’s teaching opposes Christ and destroys souls? Jno 7:24; Lk 12:57
C. Paul was Insolent (violently arrogant), 1 Tim 1:13; Acts 26:11.
1. hubristes: "one who, uplifted with pride, either heaps insulting language upon others or does them some shameful act of wrong" (Thayer); “insolent opponent” (ESV) Rom 1:30
* 2. Violent arrogance proceeds from the heart, Matt 15:19-20.
3. Paul intimidated Christians with threats of prison and death, Acts 9:1-2.
4. We judge Paul to be insolent (injurious) based on his practices. The Holy Spirit made this judgment, and Paul agreed, 1 Tim 1:13.
5. Why are we accused of being evil when, based on the evidence, we judge that one’s teaching opposes Christ and destroys souls? Jno 7:24; Lk 12:57
III. APPLICATIONS FOR US.
A. We Are Commanded to Try the Spirits, 1 Jno 4:1.
1. Examination of a teacher’s fruit – his teaching – in light of apostolic doctrine, 1 Jno 4:6.
-Examples, Gal 2:3-5; 2 Tim 2:16-18; 1 Jno 4:2-3 (2 Jno 7).
2. Note the judgments made:
a. Gal 2:3-5: False brethren who did not have the truth of the gospel.
b. 2 Tim 2:16-18: Message was error…overthrowing faith.
c. 1 Jno 4:2-3: Not of God, the spirit of Antichrist.
3. We can follow these examples as we judge fruit (doctrines) today:
a. False plans of salvation.
b. False patterns of local church organization, work and worship.
c. False doctrines on the return of Christ (70 AD).
d. False doctrines of MDR and fellowship.
1. Do not be silenced from rebuking error by the unfounded charge that you are judging hearts when you judge teachings and practices by the standard of truth, the word of God.
2. God will judge hearts; judge righteous judgment, cf. Jno 5:30.