“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; because it is consecrated by the Word of God and prayer.’”
1 Timothy 4: 4-5
1 Timothy 4: 1-5
COVID conspiracy theories abound. Some common theories include the belief that it is caused by 5G, or that it may be a biological weapon or that it was caused by Genetically Modified Crops; there are many more. Most conspiracies have an element of fact or truth in them that cause the hearer to consider their worth. Conspiracy theories though generate confusion, they create a lack of trust and sadly in this situation have been identified as contributing to the death toll from this awful virus. Truth is the answer but in a weight of information it can be difficult to find and verify.
In our continuing study of 1st Timothy Paul is warning the Church in Ephesus of similar confusion and danger that was arising from false teaching. If you recall the Gnostics were at play in Ephesus. They were promoting that everything of the body was evil and everything in the world was evil; only spirit was good. People were being encouraged to absence themselves from food and from marriage. In addition in the pagan religions of the time gluttony, drunkenness and sexual orgies were promoted and practiced. Two extremes were in existence and impacting the Church.
In Genesis 1-3 we are told that God looked at His creation and saw that it was very good (1: 31). We then read of the fall and the consequences that impacted all of creation. God’s ministry of reconciliation though is bringing all things back to their rightful place under the authority of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1: 9-10). Until that time of fulfilment we are to recognise the good gifts of God in creation and to acknowledge the damaging falsehoods that exist. We are not to condemn God’s gifts within His creation nor are we to idolize them. Instead we are to walk the path of truth (vs. 3) receiving His gifts with gratitude, sharing their enjoyment because they are consecrated (sanctified, made right) by the Word of God. The truth of God is the foundation on which we are able to understand and enjoy His gifts. When we struggle to understand if something is good, right and a gift from God we need to test it against His truth in His Word. We can then receive the gift with thanksgiving and worship our incredibly generous God. In a world full of information, disinformation, conspiracies and theories the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ is supremely good for us.
To Ponder: What contemporary ‘false teaching’ can you identify in our world today? Why is gratitude for God’s gifts to us so important in combating false teaching?
Pray: O God, you declare your almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity: mercifully grant to us such a measure of your grace, that we, running the way of your commandments, may receive your gracious promises, and be partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for
Praise: A beautiful song by our own Bruce Moore accompanied by Jennifer Manhas calls us to follow Christ in difficult times
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxMjeoWkE6w&feature=youtu.be
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.