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Focus: Sound Doctrine

David LeventhalSep 13, 2020

In This Series (2)
Sinners and Saints Like Us
Bruce KendrickSep 20, 2020
Focus: Sound Doctrine
David LeventhalSep 13, 2020

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Do you know how to spot a counterfeit gospel?
  • Are you more familiar with the Enneagram than you are Ecclesiastes, Ezra or Ephesians?
  • Are you more committed to listening to podcasts than we are listening to the Psalms?
  • Are you filling your library with pop-Christian best sellers rather than filling your heart with the truth of God’s Word?


What does it look like to focus on truth when life feels chaotic? As we begin our new series, FOCUS: A Study in 1 Timothy, David Leventhal teaches through 1 Timothy 1:1-11, showing us that false teachers have always been in the church. Sound doctrine and discernment keep us from being deluded by them.

Key Takeaways

  • 1 Timothy is a piece of mail from the Apostle Paul to his co-worker Timothy.
  • There is nothing in your story that cannot be redeemed. Paul murdered a man who was described as having a good reputation, full of the Spirit, full of wisdom and full of faith (Acts 6:3-5).
  • Paul wants us to reassert sound doctrine, resist unruly behavior, maintain strong and godly leadership, keep prayer and orderly worship at the forefront, and model a life of godliness.
  • 1 Timothy was a letter for Timothy AND for the church.
  • Paul wants us to stop teaching a different doctrine (1 Timothy 6:3-4).
  • Paul wants us to stop devoting our time to myths and endless genealogies that lead to speculation, rather than to the stewardship from God that is by faith.
  • The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).
  • Timothy was not just to oppose false teaching; he was to create an environment where love could flourish.
  • The goal of my teaching…and the goal of anyone, if they call themselves a Christian, is to lead others into God’s Word in such a way that it cultivates and creates a life of gospel-focused, Christ-exalting love in and through us.
  • This love should be reflected in what we say and how we live our lives. Our goal is not to create unnecessary debate or ill-advised controversy.
  • Paul wants to make it clear that the problem is not with the law but with those who were using it incorrectly. The law has a place and it has a purpose and it’s not to promote speculation or vain discussions.
  • The law was meant to show our inability to keep it, to act as a deterrent for evil, and to educate us.
  • False teachers have always been in the church. Sound doctrine and discernment keep us from being deluded by them.
  • We want to be firm where the Bible is firm and flexible where the Bible is flexible.
  • There is room for a diversity of perspective on a number of topics; but there is no room for diversity when it comes to the core tenants of our faith.
  • False teachers and false ideas can spread through the pastor, through members, through books, podcasts, and through social media. This is not JUST a preacher problem. False teaching effects all of us.
  • False teaching can sneak into the church through outright heresy by denying the orthodox views (2 Peter 2:1).
  • False teaching can sneak in through by those who want to simply tickle your ears by being creative messages that say nothing (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
  • False teaching can sneak in by creating speculation by taking minor issues and making them major issues (1 Timothy 1:3).
  • False teaching can sneak in through teaching that seeks to divide the church by creating factions (Jude 18-21).
  • False teaching can sneak in through an attempt to personally profit off the flock (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
  • Discernment is the ability to spot the counterfeit. It’s the ability to take something – examine it from all angles and make a judgment on whether something is real or fake.
  • Discernment looks like spending time in God’s Word—individually, with your community group & with other friends—reading, studying, processing, and praying together. Bible study should be a team sport.
  • Discernment looks like listening to this message, grabbing the sermon guide and going through it with your community group to decide if what aligns with Scripture.
  • Discernment looks like thinking critically about the books you’re reading, the podcasts your listening to and the conferences you attend. Know that just because it’s labeled “Christian” does not make it “Christian.”
  • Examining the Scripture daily leads to greater and greater discernment.
  • We are responsible for what we accept and share online.
  • Be careful that you don’t based your acceptance of something on the number of people who “like” it or “share” it. What makes something true is whether it aligns with God’s Word…not if it gets a thousand likes.
  • We ought to chase after that which is true; so that when you see or hear something false you can identify it and correct it. You can’t identify what’s counterfeit unless you are an expert in the truth.
  • We should repeatedly ask ourselves if the content we are taking in is leading to speculations and vain discussions rather than leading us to organize our entire life in a way that honors God.

Mentioned or Recommended Resources

  • Suggested Scripture study: 1 Timothy 1:1-11; 1 Timothy 3:14-15; 2 Timothy 3:12-13; 1 Timothy 4:7-16; 2 Timothy 2:5; Acts 6:3-5; Acts 16; Romans 16:21; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Chronicles 1:1; Philippians 2:19-23; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 18-21