Here’s Paul’s argument from 1 Timothy…
Chapter 1– There are false teachers, and the LORD chose Paul, who was one, by his grace to teach Timothy how to be faithful.
Chapter 2– Timothy must be faithful in teaching people what authentic, grace-filled worship looks like.
Chapter 3– Timothy then must raise up leaders, men of godly personal character, who are already living out personal transformation of the gospel.
The leaders in our churches must be men of godly and solid personal character, built on Christ, the pillar and foundation of truth. Why?
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (4:1, 2). These “hypocritical liars” are those within the church who teach “godless myths and old wives’ tales” (4:7), “false doctrines…myths and endless genealogies” (1:3&4), “meaningless talk” (1:6). Paul’s instruction to Timothy is clear, “a good minister” is the one who makes people aware of the false teachers. Paul tells Timothy that he will know who the false teachers are because Timothy can simply compare their teaching to “the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that he followed.” There are some in positional authority in the church who have told so many lies, have deceived and manipulated the truth to such an extent that their very consciences are seared. Therefore, everything that comes from their mouths should automatically be suspect. Sadly, they will be followed.
But this is not the way of Timothy, and ought not to be the way of leaders today. The way for Timothy is to set the personal example for the believers in his speech, life, live, faith and purity, to devote himself to the public reading of scripture and to preaching and teaching. This was and is about his gift; only by being alert and aware will people a) see his spiritual growth, and b) protect others, saving them.
Leaders in the church must be ever-alert for false teachers. These will come from within and can be identified as we compare the narrative of their personal lives with the truth and hope of the gospel. May we stand on the pillar and foundation of the truth.