"As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having SWERVED have TURNED ASIDE aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
But we know that the law is good, IF a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is NOT made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust." I Timothy 1:3-11
Even in the early days of the church, there were efforts to subvert people's souls and pervert the way of salvation in Jesus Christ. Therefore, in Paul's letter, he encourages Timothy to command that men teach no other doctrine than that which he had learned. Paul gives insight into these false doctrines by referring to myths and disputes over earthly heritages, which were promoted to make people question the faith instead of being edified in the faith.
The first false doctrine Paul addresses with Timothy is how the law was being used and promoted by some. He criticizes those desiring to be teachers of the law by stating that such have "swerved" and "turned aside" from the faith.
Swerve (astocheō): To deviate from or miss the markThe problem with these teachers was not that they recognized the goodness of the law, for the law is good. The issue was that these teachers did not understand how to use the law lawfully. Paul then goes on to explain that in order to use the law lawfully, we must recognize that the law is not made for a righteous man.
Turn aside (ektrepō): To turn or twist out as in becoming disjointed from the Body, to turn away from
These teachers, not understanding what they taught or affirmed, were in error by trying to teach those who are declared righteous in Christ to be under the law. They did not know that the end of the commandment was love out of a pure heart, an undefiled consience, and true faith.
The only ones who are still under the law - the only way the law can be used lawfully - is addressing those who are outside of the faith and still lost in sin. Those in Christ are no longer under the law - we have entered into the end of the commandment - because in Christ...
- We are given His Spirit of love (Galatians 5:22, II Timothy 1:7, I Peter 1:22, I John 4:7)
- We are given a pure conscience (Romans 9:1, II Corinthians 1:12, Hebrews 9:14)
- We are given pure faith in Him (Galatians 5:22)
- We are made righteous in Him (Romans 10:4, Ephesians 4:24, Philippians 1:11)
For more on the law, please see the series, "The Spirit of the Law."