Reading through the Bible together
Christian history reveals that over the
centuries Satan has infiltrated Christianity with many false teachings, just as
verses 1-3 predict. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, warns of apostasy from
the true faith. Satan is able to use pseudo Christianity for his evil
purposes. Four times in these sixteen verses we find the word,
“doctrine,” meaning “teaching” (vs. 1,6,13,16). We are not to be turned
aside by every new idea that is promoted.
Among pagans and Jews there were groups that
believed a person reaches a higher spiritual life by rigorous self-discipline
and self-denial (vs. 4-8). The teaching that celibacy is
a holier way to live than being married and having children is an attack on our
Creator. It is a false teaching.
The Lord told Adam and Eve what to eat.
After humans sinned He added to what could be eaten as food and also told of
things which are not to be eaten. Saying a prayer over food and drink
which has not been “set apart” by the Word as suitable for humans does not make
the food or drink holy. Fasting can be beneficial but to think that abstaining
from food makes one holy is a mistake. Physical exercise is important, but
should not be all-consuming. Godliness, reflecting the character of Jesus, is
of much greater importance. It is of eternal value.
Many of the sayings or teachings people grow
up with are “worldly fables” (v.7). Some of them are harmless, but others
are not. For instance, people used to believe night air was harmful and must be
kept out. The air in their sleeping rooms became foul as a result.
Black cats, breaking a mirror, placating spirits-- the world is full of fearful
myths. It is not easy to surrender the baggage our
culture places on us.
This chapter reminds us that prayer, the
teaching of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are able to set us free to live
David Manzano, Retired Pastor
Member of the Retired Workers Association
Collegedale, TN U.S.A.