Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. (1 Timothy 1:6-7)
Picking up on our previous devotion, the “these” some have wandered away from are, a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith. These are the things that help one live out the love of Christ.
Instead of focusing on these things, some have set themselves up as “teachers of the law” in order to burden people with old rules and regulations that were made irrelevant by the cross.
Either the teachers Paul is referencing don’t know what they are talking about because they don’t understand the relationship of the Law to the grace of Jesus, or they just aren’t very bright. Perhaps they are both: religious lawyers who were never very bright who have found a vehicle for their egos in the church.
Like sheep that aren’t paying attention to their shepherd, the false teachers have wandered away from the love of Jesus and fallen into a pit of legalism. And unfortunately, they are misleading others with meaningless talk.
This morning’s passage suggests an interesting premise, and one that often escapes our culture. Did you know love is as much intellect as emotion? Christ’s love was a command, and our faith in Him is rooted in the Biblical record of His ministry, and obedience to His teachings.
I have been a follower of the Lord Jesus for many years, but most recently I have become more aware of how important it is to know what I believe about what I believe. I know this sounds strange. Let me put it another way.
The basic belief that brings me to salvation is that Jesus, who was the Son of God, died for my sins on the cross, and rose on the third day to proclaim victory over sin and death. Through faith in Him, His blood can be applied to my sins and I can be washed clean.
But what does this mean for me practically? One of the best answers to this question can be found in Romans 6 where Paul asked why anyone would want to go on sinning to see how far God’s grace extends. Then he reminds us our old self was crucified with Jesus. Paul’s point is, we don’t want to involve ourselves in the sins that put our Savior on the cross.
When I grasp this one truth, then all of a sudden loving Jesus means I can’t say I love Him, and continue to willingly sin. And my choice not to sin is a matter of my intellect. There are other truths as well.
It is easy to say we love Jesus. But if our love doesn’t change our behavior, then, like the false teachers, there is a good chance we don’t know what we are talking about.
Dear God, help me think about what I believe. In Jesu’ name, Amen.