The “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference at Emmaus Bible College is fast approaching — and I have two workshops to prepare! The theme this year is ‘Training for Godliness” and I will be presenting two workshops: “Guarding and Discarding: The Keys to Sound Theology (1 Timothy 6:20-21)” and “Sanctified Hedonism: The Case for “Worldly Saints” (1 Timothy 4:1-5).”
Let’s continue to focus on the first one this morning: “Guarding and Discarding: The Keys to Sound Theology (1 Timothy 6:20-21)”
We are to guard the gospel, the truth of God. We are not to hide it or keep it to ourselves. We are to present it to others (clearly commanded in the great commission, Mt. 28:19-20) and be prepared to explain and defend it.
But we are to also turn away from certain things. Good theology involves not just guarding but also DISCARDING. We are to “turn away from” two categories of error: (1) “godless chatter” and (2) “the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.”
Let’s talk about “godless chatter” today. The expression in Greek is βεβήλους κενοφωνίας. The expression “godless chatter” here comes from three words: τὰς βεβήλους κενοφωνίας The first word, a definite article, (τὰς) means “the feminine things.” The second word (βεβήλους) is a noun meaning “what is open and accessible to all”, that which is profane, not religious, unholy. It can be used to refer to people who are scorners and is used in I Timothy 1:9 (“knowing this, that the law is not valid for a righteous person but for the lawless but and rebellious, irreligious and sinners, unholy and profane [bebēlois], those who beat their fathers and mothers, murderers …). This word βέβηλος is a favorite word of Paul’s. He also uses it in I Timothy 4:7 where he says, “But reject the profane (bebēlous) and silly myths; rather train yourself for godliness.” He uses the same term in 2 Timothy 2:16 where he says, “But shun the unholy (bebēlous) chatter, for they will advance into greater and greater ungodliness.” This is the same expression (βεβήλους κενοφωνίας) that Paul uses in our text, I Timothy 6:20. The writer to the Hebrews challenges his readers by saying, “that no one becomes immoral and profane (bebēlos | βέβηλος) like Esau, who gave up his inheritance rights in return for a single meal.” (Heb. 12:16).
The follower of Jesus is not to engage in “godless chatter.” The truths of God are far too important to waste time on such theological trivialities! (to be continued)