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Thursday, May 14, 2015

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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 Christ’s way.  

David Manzano, Retired Pastor

Member of the Retired Workers Association

Collegedale, TN  U.S.A.