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Sept 2 Reject myths; Train yourself for godliness

1 Tim 4:7 “But reject~~ those myths fit only for the godless and gullible, and train yourself~~ for godliness.”

There is a strong drive today to prove that God is performing miracles, often motivating us to believe stories that are beyond reality.

Paul begins this section by defining how to “be a good servant of Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 4:6b) especially by recognizing false teachings that had invaded the churches.

Paul discussed false teachers (4:1–-5) who unknowingly were inspired by demonically induced ideas that diviated from the Scripture.

The ministry should not be characterized by negative attacks on all who hold different opinions, but this does not mean that teachers should ignore the responsibility to “[instruct] the brethren in these things” (1 Tim 4:6aNKJ) to prevent believers from being “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph 4:14).

True teachers focus on “[nourishing] in the words of faith and of good doctrine, which [they] have carefully followed” (1 Tim 4:6b); but they must “reject myths fit only for the godless and gullible” (4:7). The command to “reject” means to “have nothing to do with,” and it is used again in 2 Timothy 2:23: “Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.”

Paul refers to “myths,” or fables, legendary tales of miraculous proofs that are declared as being true but are both unhistorical and untruthful. These false ideas are for those who are “godless” (Gk. “profane, or unethical”) and “gullible” (Gk. “characteristic of old women”), which is a sarcastic epithet used to convey credulity.

No person in his right mind would listen to such “myths,” though they were very popular. Such myths might be stories of exaggerated miracles or persons fabricated to prove new doctrines (e.g., the ascension of Mary, reported levitations, raising the dead, etc.).

On the contrary, the servant of God is to “train [himself] for godliness.” The word train (Gk., gumnazo, from which we get gymnasium) suggests the attitude of an athlete toward disciplined, dedicated, and strenuous spiritual training.

Every believer is to exercise “godliness,” or the discipline of daily study and committed obedience to the word (1 Cor 9:24–-27). Success is irrelevant without such godly discipline.

“Lord Jesus, You want Your church to follow Your word explicitly in order to be trained in truth. Help us be disciplined and dedicated to knowing Your word so we may not be misled by the words of mere humans.”

 

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