READ: 1 Timothy 4:1-5
- In contrast to being faithful to the truth, Paul raises the specter that there will be those more in love with lies than truth. In fact, their repeated rejection of truth will create callouses over their consciences. They will no longer feel the sting of truth when it appears to them. Just as repeated abrasion creates a physical callous on our skin, so listening to falsehood can create an inability to hear and understand the truth.
- These false teachers chose tangible activities [such as eating certain foods] to condemn. These actions could easily allow people to be found guilty of doing something wrong. They were actions often associated with other belief systems [e.g., Judaism], giving even more impetus for considering them sinful. Like in the Garden of Eden, when Satan tempted Adam and Eve by twisting the truth, so these false teachers twisted otherwise good and wholesome activities, turning them into sin.
- The truth is, these are all good things that God has given us. Only when they are distorted are they wrong. Paul reminded Timothy [and us] of God’s greater design for all of creation and how it was to be here for human use. To treat them otherwise is to depart from the truth. The word depart means to leave, to withdraw or to abandon. In other words, to select lies over the truth is to abandon a right relationship with God. Look again a 1:19. Or 5:12.
- Who do you know who has “departed the faith”?
- What caused their decision?
- Why do you think people are vulnerable to spiritual lies?
- What are the most devious spiritual lies of which you are aware?
PRAY: Pray for the ability to discern when lies are being presented. Ask God to help you stay faithful. Pray that at Madison Park we not only speak the truth but prepare people to recognize truth.