FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF
By Dick Ware
Scripture Reading: I Timothy 6:3-5
The Apostle Paul told the overseers of Ephesus (in Acts 20:28-30) that savage wolves would come in among them, not sparing the flock. He said they would speak perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves. Paul warned Timothy, in this letter, about those who would teach any other doctrine, or fable (1:3). He also told him there would be those who would give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy (4:1,2).
Who are the "such" Paul tells Timothy to withdraw from in 6:3-5? No doubt, they are some of the same ones Paul has had in mind all along. In 6:1-2, they aren't teaching the saints submission and humility but to rise and rebel, to assert their rights. These teachers aren't acknowledging that God committed to Paul "wholesome words," "the words of our Lord Jesus Christ," and "the doctrine which is according to godliness" (verse 3). They are ignorant and proud at the same time and are obsessed with arguing and debating over words (verse 4). These are "destitute of the truth" and teach that Godliness is a means of gaining this world's goods (verse 5). "From such withdraw thyself!"
Timothy was supposed to save (deliver) himself and his hearers (4:16). He was supposed to establish the saints in "the faith" (the body of truth for the Body of Christ). To do this it was, and still is, necessary to "withdraw" from those who cause the saints to "depart from the faith" (4:1), who cause God's Name and doctrine to be blasphemed (6:1) and those who bring about envy, strife, evil suspicions, constant friction, and confusion (6:4,5) among the Body of Christ. From such withdraw thyself, because we're talking about eternal truths and eternal souls!
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