1 Timothy 1:3
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
3 As I urged you when I was on my way to Macedonia, stay on where you are at Ephesus in order that you may warn and admonish and charge certain individuals not to teach any different doctrine,
The events that Paul is writing up happened after the events of the book of Acts. As Paul is on his way to Macedonia, he is giving Timothy instruction about pastoring in Ephesus. Paul had spent three years pastoring and shepherding in Ephesus. It was a large church and for a young pastor, there would be many challenges that Timothy would face. One of which was correcting false doctrine that was being taught.
One of the great weapons and devices of the enemy is false teaching or doctrine. When people build their lives on false teaching or doctrine, it will result in living under deception and actually being imprisoned. In Jesus we are called to be free. The scriptures tell us who the Son has set free is free indeed (John 8:36). When we live according to lie and deception it establishes strongholds in the life of the individual or the body of believers it is impacting. It works like a cancer that begins to destroy from the inside out. The truth of God’s word and sound doctrine is like a mighty hammer that begins to shatter and smash the strongholds that have been established and as the word of God is proclaimed under the inspiration and anointing of the Holy Spirit, brings forth freedom and liberty.
Paul tells timothy to warn and admonish. That can also mean to command or give orders. Timothy is called to instruct believers to not teach false or strange doctrine. What makes a doctrine false or strange? When it falls outside the truth of Jesus and the words of Jesus. Everything we have is built upon the foundation of who Jesus Christ is. He is the chief cornerstone. When things are taught that contradict the truth of who Jesus is, it causes believers to go astray. Paul had given the warning to watch out for wolves who would come when he left Ephesus (Romans 6:17-20). Jesus had also given a warning about false prophets who come to us in sheep’s clothing but are actually wolves who desire to devour (Matt 7:15).
The takeaway and application for us all is the importance of sound doctrine. There are many voices today and many people who desire our attention. Because of technology we are continually bombarded by messages and information. We must discern everything we are hearing through the word of God. If what we are hearing does not align with the word of God, we must guard our hearts from it and not build our lives upon it. To build our lives upon false and strange doctrine is to bring ourselves into defeat and be enslaved by the devil all over again. Knowing and understanding the word of God is key.