Greetings fellow sojourners! Recently I found myself enthusiastically reading about the health benefits that occur in a person’s life as a result of proper teaching. The health benefit occurs when we receive the proper teaching and then align our behavior with the Truth.
Teaching that “does not agree with the sound (healthy) teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness,” (1 Timothy 6:3) it is not considered healthy. The Gospel message brings health to us as we live it out ~ that is exciting news! The Greek word ὑγιαίνουσιν translated “healthy” or “sound” in this verse has a practical, external aspect to it. “To be healthy,” is a medical term describing the physical effects of proper teaching. “Godliness” describes a life totally consecrated to God, with emphasis on how that consecration shows itself in the person’s life. ‘Right teaching’ and ‘right practice’ are inextricably bound together in this verse. (Word Biblical Commentary pg. 336)
Opponents of the Gospel message teaching a different doctrine, not in agreement with the sound (healthy) teaching of Jesus and not promoting godliness (1 Tim 6:3) are said to be conceited, understand nothing, and have a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words (v4). Their behavior consists of envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement. Their motivation is for material gain (v4-5).
Just like we choose which foods we want to put into our mouths, we also decide what information we want to put into our mind. Depriving our body of the nutrients needed for proper functioning by unhealthy eating results in health complications. The same is true when we deprive our mind of the “healthy teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It will result in confused thinking.
In verse 4, Paul says the opponents’ false teaching is foolishness and produces a “sickly craving for speculations, and they spend their time arguing over words.” In this atmosphere, envy and strife are natural results. Just as we have seen the Gospel message has health benefits, alternatively, “to have a sickly craving” means “to be sick and ailing, and it seems to refer to a serious illness. It is parallel to the medical imagery of healthy words” in v3 (WBC pg. 338).
Guard for your mind and heart, watching what you accept as truth. Acts 5 gives an example of how this plays out. Satan (1) filled Ananias’ heart to lie (v3) and (2) Ananias then allowed his mind to plan evil (v4) and as a result, death immediately came upon him (v 5). We may not see death as an immediate result in our own lives, but we should not be fooled into thinking a death does not occur. Before Jesus returns, we will find death manifesting itself in many ways (death of relationships, death of hope, death of peace, death of understanding, death of love). Do not be fooled, death comes. Let’s receive God’s healthy teaching that promotes godliness and live.
In His grace,