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Hymenaeus and Alexander

John Collins02/14/2012In the letters to Timothy (1 Timothy 1; 2 Timothy 2), Paul gives the example of Hymenaeus and Alexander. They were once enlightened with the Truth, but had caused a "shipwreck" concerning the faith by injecting their doctrines into the ministry. Like many have done, these two men created a following of themselves and their doctrines rather than a following that focused on faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul warned Timothy not to give heed to some of these "fables and endless genealogies" which were questioned by ministers in an attempt to show worthiness by bloodlines rather than by godly edifying in faith. As written in Acts, God made the blood of all nations of men on the face of the earth through "one bloodline." Jesus speaking to the Pharisees (John 8) agreed that they were the seed of Abraham, but said that they were "of their father, the Devil." Any attempt to prove worthiness through genealogy was a worthless attempt, yet these doctrines of men were coming forth and causing a stumbling block in the faith.

Some had "swerved" to teach doctrines that involved the laws of the Old Testament, studying and teaching the laws without understanding what the laws were for. According to Paul, the laws were not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient. The ungodly and sinners, unholy and profane, murderers, whoremongers, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and any other thing contrary to sound doctrine was the reason the law was given. The laws were good and just, and had their purpose, but the power of love would outlast any law.

Paul reminded them that the commandment was love out of a pure heart and good conscience, through faith unfeigned. Paul himself was a blasphemer, persecutor, and injurious to Christians, but had obtained mercy since he was an unbeliever when he did these things. Christ did not die for the saints alone, but also for the sinners. Paul admitted that he was the "chief" of the sinners.

He gave Timothy a commission to wage a mighty war against these doctrines. He instructed him to hold on to faith and good conscience. "The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

Ministers today have taken the bloodlines and made doctrines out of them, trying to show the balance of good and evil throughout the ages. They have taken the laws of the Old Testament and hand-picked the ones that fit their doctrines, not understanding that the consequences of these laws were in many cases punishable by stoning to death. Not many churches today gather the congregation together to witness a stoning.

As Christians, we need to ask ourselves: are we giving heed to fables? Are we following doctrines about the bloodlines of Cain and Abel and placing these doctrines above the Bible? Are we following teachers that teach some of the laws of the Old Testament though that law was designed for the ungodly? Or are we pouring ourselves into the Bible to learn more about faith and love in Jesus Christ?

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