1 Timothy 1:7
They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
New Living Translation
They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.
wanting to be teachers of the Law [of Moses], even though they do not understand the terms they use or the subjects about which they make [such] confident declarations.
This is Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy who was a pastor at Ephesus. Paul tells Timothy that he left him deliberately in Ephesus so that he can address challenges brought about by people who are in the church but oppose church teachings and beliefs. Such people exist even today. They are in the church but do not fully agree with the church. They constantly oppose what the church does and want to present themselves as knowing better than the church and its leadership. Paul tells Timothy to aggressively deal with them and command them to stop teaching heresy. We need the same bold and aggressive approach to address this menace.
In our text today Paul describes these people to Timothy. They claim to be teachers of the original law of Moses. The claim to originality becomes their basis of authority. They want to be identified more by church pioneers than by solid reasoning from scripture. Their point of reference is the law of Moses. Their current point of reference is the limited reasoning and limited conclusions of yesteryears by pioneers. They do not believe any wisdom or understanding could grow progress and exceed where pioneers stopped. Paul tells Timothy that he will know them by their claim to be teachers of the law of Moses.
Paul tells Timothy not to be intimidated by their claims to know better. Paul tells Timothy that these people do not know what they are talking about. If they are challenged to speak outside the script they know and passages they read and forward around, they can’t respond. Paul tells Timothy that these people are not what they claim to be. It is just hot air, nothing much!
Paul reveals to Timothy and us that what these people have is confidence. They speak with confidence. They write with confidence. They move around with confidence but beneath them is nothing. They have nothing to say and do not even understand what they claim to know. If you strip them of confidence nothing will remain. If you cut out the confidence, what else remains?
The congregation is made of naive people who easily buy the confidence that carries nothing. Paul tells Timothy to aggressively stop these confident but empty teachers of “present truth” “original faith of our fathers” “remnant within the remnant”etc. If you cut out their confidence, nothing else remains!
They confidently contradict scripture but the confidence blinds the majority of listeners from noticing the contradictions. For example, they will read a text on Christ’s second return where it says nobody knows the day nor the hour, then they will confidently misinterpret scripture and claim to know the time of Christ’s return. The confidence is blinding. If you strip them of confidence, nothing remains!
Sellers of fake products sell by confidence and thereby con the buyers. Conmen use confidence and consequently con majority of people. Paul tells Timothy not to be blinded by confidence. If you cut out the confidence, what else remains?
A confident person can convince someone to fall in love with them. All they have is confidence. Along the way, the sad discovery comes out that it was empty promises shielded by confidence. Do not be blinded by confidence. If you cut out the confidence, what else remains?
A spouse you should never end up with will win you over by confidence if that is all you look at. Jobs that torture and never pay or pay so little but you work excessively hard will win you over by confidence. Fake schemes of quick wealth which waste your time and money will convince you with confidence. That if you join in and bring other people on board you will be a millionaire. The confidence gimmick causes you to buy products you can’t sell and no one needs. A poor person writes a book on how to be a millionaire and confidently sells it to millions of people. A failure gives lectures on how to pass exams and no one questions due to confidence.
Book titles with highly promising titles sell a lot. Web pages, online clips, and links with very attractive titles are highly attractive due to confidence. What attracts is confidence even though on getting in we find nothing. Paul tells Timothy that it is all confidence with nothing beneath it. If you cut out the confidence, what else remains?
The message is simple, do not be fooled by confidence and claims made by others. Dig deeper, verify, and without fear based on findings dismiss all false teachers. They offer nothing more than confidence. If you cut out the confidence, nothing will remain!
Dear God, grant us wisdom to see beyond the facade of confidence, in Jesus’s name, Amen!
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