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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,


Verses 3-20 warn Timothy about a problem in the Ephesian church. In verses 3-7, Paul asks Timothy to oppose false teaching within the congregation at Ephesus. Exhortation to sound doctrine is the burden of all three pastoral epistles.


As I urged [implore] you

Paul urged Timothy to stay in Ephesus to pastor. The young pastor may have been reluctant to confront the false teachers in his church. Paul left Timothy in Ephesus when he departed for Macedonia.

when I went into Macedonia—

“Macedonia” is a province of northern Greece. The cities of Thessalonica and Philippi were in Macedonia.

remain in Ephesus

Ephesus was in Asia Minor (western Turkey), one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Josephus said Ephesus was the “metropolis of Asia.” Paul spent three years there. He first arrived on his second missionary journey (Acts 19:1).

that you may charge [command, order] some that they teach no other [different kind] doctrine,

Paul warned the Ephesian elders as he left the city for the last time that false teachers were looming at that time (Acts 20:25, 29-31).

“Teach no other doctrine” is one Greek word that means not to deviate from a standard. The early church already had doctrinal norms in place for the church in the mid-first century. “Other doctrine” refers to false, invalid teaching within the local church. The fakers taught a different kind of doctrine (1 Tim 6:3). They espoused heretical propositions. The only valid teaching was that of the apostles (Acts 6:3-4), the norm by which we evaluate all other teaching.

Paul asks Timothy to confront false teachings in the church at Ephesus. He was to order them not to teach heresy. Paul names two of the most egregious offenders in 1 Timothy 1:20, Hymenaeus and Alexander, who were ringleaders of the rebellion.


It is imperative that a church roots out false teachers from its midst.


There is a great reluctance among evangelicals today to rebuff false teaching. This reluctance has introduced heresy in evangelical circles. It is not unkind to do this; however, it is unkind to the church to allow it to go on.