One of the primary purposes of the church is to instruct believers.

Teaching new believers from God’s Word is the antidote to false doctrine. Maturing believers is the way the Gospel is passed from generation to generation… especially within the church.

1 Timothy 1:3,4
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
  • The pure doctrine of salvation by grace through faith without any admixture of works or human effort.
  • The Bible will defend itself from:
    – Additive salvation (works, baptism, speaking in tongues, circumcision)
    – Gnosticism (superior knowledge, emanation from God created the world)
    – Legalism (keeping days, behavior to stay saved)
  • All teaching must begin in the Scriptures

Paul instructed Timothy to reproduce himself. He was not to reproduce his demeanor — Timothy was not the bold, heroic Paul; he was timid by nature and needed encouragement to act. He was to reproduce the Christian within.

2 Timothy 2:2
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Committing the teaching to faithful men and those men then teaching others would ensure an endless chain of Christian discipleship.

1Timothy 4:12-16
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Timothy was already neglecting his spiritual gift — Timothy needed prodding by Paul to keep him going.

The laying on of hands was a symbol of Timothy being identified with the elders of the church. No power or gift was given through the laying on of hands, just identification and recognition of having been gifted by the Holy Spirit.

Timothy was to give himself over to his ministry — those he was teaching and leading needed to see his advancement in the Christian life and work.

Taking heed would save himself and those Timothy led and discipled from false doctrine. He could protect himself and others from false teaching by staying in the Word.

NOTE: Timothy was not the pastor. He was an evangelist with an itinerant ministry.

The protection against false teaching and false doctrine is the same for each of us; we must stay in God’s Word. The Christian who has the discipline of daily prayer and daily Bible study will be strong in his faith and obedient to God.