Marks of a False Pastor 1 Timothy 6:2b-5

1 Timothy 6:2b-5 (ESV Strong’s)
  • A command to Timothy from Paul to teach the truth
2 ……Teach and urge these things.
Comment: I have started with the second part of verse 2 as it links with verse 3-6 below, which is our passage for this sermon. Paul commands Timothy to teach and urge these things. What things?, by these things, Paul refers to all he has taught since chapter 1. In chapter 1, Paul started with a proper understanding of the law of God, with a proper understanding of the gospel, the saving gospel, with a proper understanding of the majesty of God in verse 17.  It goes back to chapter 2 where Paul instructed about evangelistic praying, praying for the lost.  It goes back to chapter 2 verses 9 to 15, the instruction on the role of a woman in the order of the church, chapter 3, principles to characterize church leaders and church deacons.  Chapter 4, you have there statements regarding false doctrine and then you have the model of an effective ministry given, principles for proper ministry.  Chapter 5 deals with how to treat older men and how to treat older women, particularly widows.  And then how to treat younger widows.  And then it discusses also how to treat the elders of the church.  Then you come to chapter 6 and the matter of employment and how one is to work under both a believing and unbelieving boss.
This is what Paul refers to when he says that Timothy must teach and urge these things. 
Timothy was a Pastor/ Elder at Ephesus church. The reason for Paul writing this letter was given in 1 Tim 3:15 where Paul indicates that he is writing to Timothy so that he and others may know how to behave in church.
Therefore this was Paul instructing Timothy on the truth of the word and on how to correctly pastor and lead the church at Ephesus. Our passage below captures Paul’s letter to Timothy at a point where he was addressing false teachers or false pastors.  For our present purposes, we will call these false pastors.
  • Their Doctrine
3 If anyone
teaches a different doctrine
and does not agree
with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the teaching that accords with godliness,
Word Study: The Greek word “hygiano” translated as the word sound in the above verse, means to be uncorrupt, accurate.
Comment: After Paul has indicated to Timothy how to behave as a pastor and a leader in the church, and having commanded  him to teach and urge  the things that he has taught him, Paul now moves over to false pastors.
  • First Mark of a False Pastor
Paul indicates to Timothy that if anyone teaches a different doctrine. Let’s stop here. What does teaching a different doctrine mean? Remember that Paul has taught Timothy everything that he needs to preach from chapter 1 up to this point, so, a different doctrine is everything contrary to the truth that Paul taught Timothy. This is everything that is contrary to the true word of God.
In chapter 1, Paul started with a proper understanding of the law of God, with a proper understanding of the gospel, the saving gospel, with a proper understanding of the majesty of God in verse 17.  A different doctrine will be a teaching that teaches improper understanding of all these mentioned here
It goes back to chapter 2 where Paul instructed about evangelistic praying, praying for the lost.  A different doctrine will be a teaching that teaches contrary to what Paul taught about evangelistic praying and praying for the lost.
It goes back to chapter 2 verses 9 to 15, the instruction on the role of a woman in the order of the church, A different doctrine will be a teaching that teaches a different role of a woman than what Paul has taught Timothy. Paul said women are not to teach or usurp authority over man. A different doctrine will be to teach that women can teach and usurp authority, meaning they can be pastors and elders. A different doctrine will be a teaching that teaches that women can be pastors and elders.
So, anything different to what Paul has taught Timothy since chapter 1, will fall under and be classified as teaching a different doctrine. Since we know that Paul’s teaching across all his epistles is  consistent and not only that but, since we also know that Paul’s teaching is consistent with the rest of scripture, we can then say that teaching different doctrine is teaching anything contrary to what has been revealed and written in scripture. This is the first mark of a false pastor.
If a pastor teaches anything contrary to scripture, he is a false pastor.
  • Second Mark of a False Pastor
Not only does a false pastor teach a different doctrine from revealed scripture but he also denies it. Paul tells Timothy that a false pastor does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since we know that the words of Jesus are also scripture and have been revealed in the word, we can safely then say that what Paul is saying to Timothy is that a false pastor denies scripture. He does not agree with scripture. Typical attacks on scripture by these false pastors are that scripture is not sufficient for salvation and Christian living, scripture is not clear,  scripture does not have authority, scripture is not necessary or relevant anymore. Scripture cannot be interpreted literally, scripture was written by human beings so it contains errors. Where scripture is not in line with modern way of living, scripture must not be obeyed. All of these is how these false pastors deny scripture. So, the second mark of a false pastor is that he denies scripture.
  • Third Mark of a False Pastor
Paul also tells Timothy that not only do these false pastors teach heresy and deny scripture but, they also don’t agree with the teaching that accords with godliness. Any teaching that may lead people to live a life of godliness does not go well with these false pastors. What they teach does not encourage repentance at all. What these false pastors preach is corrupt and inaccurate. Infect, they could not care whether people repent or not. All they care about is whether the church is full of potential money givers. They preach what people want to hear. They give people false hope. They will tell you that they only preach God’s love, blessings and forgiveness and not God’s judgement for those that do not repent. They sell tickets to “heaven” via the wide gate and the wide path. They deceive people into thinking that they don’t have to repent to go to heaven. Look at the lives of some of these false pastors, they reflect a life opposite to what God intended and their followers are equally living sinful lives. So, the third mark of a false pastor is that his preaching does not lead people to living a life of godliness. Look at the kind of life that church members live, that will give you a lot of insight into the type of teaching the pastor teaches.
  • Their Attitude
4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.
He has an unhealthy craving
for controversy
and for quarrels about words,
Word Study: The words “puffed up with conceit” is one word in Greek meaning to be proud or arrogant. The words “unhealthy craving” also one word in Greek that means to be sick. This means to be overly interested in something that the interest amounts to a sickness. To be obsessed.
  • Fourth Mark of a False Pastor
Comment: After identifying these false pastors from a doctrinal point of view, Paul then tells Timothy that false pastors are arrogant and are obsessed with controversy and arguments regarding words. The verb “puffed up with conceit” is in a perfect passive indicative meaning that this false pastor  became arrogant in the past and has continued to be arrogant even today. This is not something that started now when he became a false pastor but it started long time ago and it is still like that even today. Paul tells Timothy that as arrogant as this false pastor is, he knows nothing. In other words this false pastor has worthless arrogance which is based on ignorance.
  • Fifth Mark of a False Pastor
Not only that, these false pastors create and are obsessed with creating controversy or disputes. That means where this false pastor is rendering his false hood, there is no unity among church members and there is a lot of disputes.
  • Sixth Mark of a False Pastor
Not only that but these false pastors also are obsessed with arguments regarding words of scripture, meaning that they will question every word in scripture. Example, did God really make the world in six days? How do we know it is true? Is homosexuality truly a sin? Are women really not supposed to be pastors or elders? They will question anything so to create an argument.
Creating disputes and arguments is the obsession of this false and arrogant pastor.
So in summary so far, false pastors:
  1. Teach heresy
  2. Deny scripture
  3. Their teaching does not lead to godliness
  4. They are arrogant
  5. They are obsessed with creating disputes
  6. They are obsessed with creating arguments about words of scripture
  • Their Effect
which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,
5 and constant friction
Comment: All of these, all this teaching of heresy, denial of scripture, ungodly teaching, arrogance, disputes and arguments, tells Paul Timothy, only leads to negative and unhealthy jealousy, quarrels and contentions, blasphemy against God, unfounded and wicked allegations and constant disputes in the church. These are the consequences of these false, arrogant obsessed pastors. They create an unhealthy atmosphere for true worship and fellowship amongst the church members.
  • Their Target
among people
who are depraved in mind
and deprived of the truth,
Word Study: The word “depraved” in this verse is in a perfect passive participle and means to be lead astray or to be corrupted mentally. The word “deprived” which is also in a perfect passive participle means to be defrauded or robbed.
Comment: Who are the targets of these false, arrogant and obsessed pastors. Who are they targeting with all this. Who  are the people that will fall in their trap and how can one protect himself against them? Well Paul tells Timothy that these false pastors only target and will only succeed against people who are depraved in mind and who are deprived of the truth. What does this mean? This simply means that these are the people whose minds have been corrupted and led astray already in the past and they continue in that state even today. These are the people who have been defrauded and robbed of the truth in the past and even today are still without the truth. So, in a nutshell, these are the people who do not have knowledge of the truth. These are the people who have either heard the truth in the past but rejected it or these are the people who have not yet heard the truth. The good news  is that those that do know and accept the truth, are shielded from these false pastors and will not be targeted by them. The only way to defend yourself against these false pastors is to know and accept the truth of the word of God. Once you have the knowledge of the word of truth, you will no longer be the target of these false pastors, amen.
  • Their Motive
imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
  • Seventh Mark of a False Pastor
Comment: It is absolutely not surprising is it? All that these false pastors want is money money money. They don’t care about the souls of those under them, they only care about their pockets.
So in summary so far, false pastors:
  1. Teach heresy
  2. Deny scripture
  3. Their teaching does not lead to godliness
  4. They are arrogant
  5. They are obsessed with creating disputes
  6. They are obsessed with creating arguments about words of scripture
  7. They do all this for money 

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Posted in 1 Timothy, 1 Timothy 6, Acts of Hell, Exposing Sin, False Christians, Sin.

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