The Holy Spirit clearly says that seriousness of the wrong teaching going on in the Ephesian church would sadly continue to grow and multiply (v. 1). There will be those who pervert the faith because they have denied the faith (vv. 1-5). Note that the ultimate source of false teaching is from demons (v. 1, “doctrines of demons” means “doctrines from demons”). A single word that means “depart from the faith” (v. 1) is apostasy—abandoning biblical truth.
In view of present and coming apostasy, Timothy and the Ephesian pastors must exhibit and execute a faithful ministry (vv. 6-16). Faithful ministry protects and preserves both the pastor and the flock. Teaching these truths nourishes the church (v. 6), requires rejecting error (v. 7), and involves commanding and teaching (v. 11).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Apostasy is one of Satan’s tools to destroy a church. Pretending it doesn’t exist is not only foolish and deadly but willfully ignores the Holy Spirit’s clear warning (v. 1). Christians can spot apostasy (vv. 2-3) by knowing God’s truth (vv. 4-5).
- Devotion to sound doctrine protects one from heeding demonically taught doctrines. Such devotion involves teaching and carefully following it (vv. 6, 11, 13, 14), rejecting what is false (v. 7), living it out (v. 8), following godly examples (v. 12), meditating on them (v. 15), and closely watching how you live (v. 16).