“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words—those of our Lord Jesus Christ—and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited, understanding nothing but having a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”
I was preaching recently in 1 Timothy 6 when a phrase in the third verse captivated me: The “sound words—those of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Timothy 6:3, LSB).
In the context of the letter, Paul is appealing to Timothy to silence those who were teaching different doctrine. In our text, Paul is showing how those who teach different doctrine are ultimately denying the very words of Jesus.
Paul uses the full title for Christ here: the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a reminder that Jesus is God, man, and Messiah.
This is the One whom our soul loves. This is God’s beloved Son, and we must listen to Him. Ultimately, His Words are not merely the red phrases in some Bible versions. Rather, they are all the words contained in the sixty-six books of the Bible. The Scriptures are the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who love Christ desire His Word. They cherish His Word. They are students of His Word. There is no adoration of Jesus, following Jesus, or serving Jesus without agreeing with His Book.
Here is what happens when you disagree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dismiss His Importance
You treat Him flippantly. You treat our Lord as though His words do not matter. It’s like getting an important life-changing document from the government, wadding it up, and tossing it in the trash.
Those who do not agree with Christ’s words exalt man and minimize our King.
Deny His Person
The word for “words” in our text is “logos.” In John 1, Christ Himself is referred to as the Logos. You cannot dismiss the Logos of the logos without dismissing the logos.
If you deny God’s Word, you deny the person of Christ. Those who say they love Jesus but do not care about the Scriptures are actually living a lie.
Defame His Character
To disagree with Jesus is essentially to call into question His holy and righteous character. In Luke 23, Christ’s opponents indicted our Lord. They accused Him of teaching falsehood. They accused Him of not being who He says He is.
This is what you do when you disagree with Christ’s words. You defame His character. You accuse Him. Those who intellectually or practically deny the Scriptures are bringing an indictment upon Christ Himself! They, for all intents and purposes, are calling Him a liar.
It is no light matter to dismiss the Bible! Treating the Bible flippantly accuses Jesus of being untrustworthy, defaming His character.
Despise His Wisdom
To disagree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ is to pretend as though you are wiser than God.
Most of us have probably been in a situation where we gave good counsel which went unheeded, only for us to see someone suffered the consequences for their foolish actions. When we disagree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, we likewise despise His wisdom and bring disaster onto ourselves.
Behold, one greater than Solomon is here! To disagree with the sound words of the Lord Jesus Christ is to deny the Bible’s sufficiency. It is to act as though Jesus has not spoken wisely to His Church to give us everything we need for life and godliness.
Defy His Sovereignty
To disagree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ is to call into question His authority. It is to laugh in the face of God as though He has no right to rule over you. To deny the words of God is to set oneself up as the ultimate authority.
Of course, we see this type of faux autonomy running rampant in our day. People now even claim various pronouns or gender identities for themselves. But this is the root issue of every person who treats God’s Word flippantly. To disregard Christ’s Word is to defy His holy sovereignty.
Who are we, made of mud, to shake our fist at such a God and defy His sovereignty? To deny His rightful rule? To set ourselves in judgment over His Book?
This is what we are doing when we disagree with the Bible.
Disrupt His Church
You see this in the context of 1 Timothy 6:3-10. Those who disagree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus disrupt His Church. They harm the godliness of true saints. They perpetuate the hard hearts of false converts.
They bring dishonor upon this holy institution.
Why would any church expect for God to be present with them, to bless them, or to look upon them in favor if they are not agreeing with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ?
To disagree with the words of Christ is to dismiss His importance, deny His person, defame His character, despise His wisdom, defy His sovereignty, and disrupt His Church. Can God be pleased with any assembly that is doing these things?
Beloved, we cannot play games with God’s Word.
I love a good buffet. Choosing this dish and passing over that dish. But we cannot do this with God’s Word. We cannot pick and choose here and there the things we like and the things we don’t like.
Christ’s church is called to agree with all His Words. They are sound. They are good. They are healthy. They are life-giving.
When we agree with the Bible and align our lives, families, and churches according to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, we exalt His importance, honor His person, praise His character, trust His wisdom, submit to His sovereignty, and bring harmony to His Church.
This is the way, brothers and sisters. Let us take up the Good Book and read it, heed it, and teach it to others for the glory of our King.
For further reading
Allen S. Nelson IV
Allen S. Nelson IV is the pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Perryville, AR, where he resides with his wife Stephanie, and their 6 children. Allen is the author of From Death to Life: How Salvation Works, Before the Throne: Reflections on God’s Holiness, and A Change of Heart: Understanding Regeneration and Why it Matters. He is an M.Div graduate of Grace BIble Theological Seminary in Conway, AR.
November 8, 2023
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