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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,


God instituted the law for several categories in this verse.

10 for fornicators,

Fornication is anything immoral, any sex outside of marriage. This and the subsequent sin are a violation of the seventh commandment (Ex 20:14). This sin involves more than sex between unmarried persons; it is sexual immorality in any form, including adultery.

for sodomites,

Fornication is an inclusive sexual sin, whereas “sodomites” is a flagrant sexual sin. The Greek word has two words combined: male and bed. “Sodomites” here are male homosexuals who violate the seventh commandment, sex outside the marriage of husband and wife (Ge 19:5). Other passages refer to all homosexuals, male or female (Ro 1:26-27; 1 Co 6:9-11).

for kidnappers,

“Kidnappers” were those involved in slave trading. This activity violated the eighth commandment against stealing (Ex 21:16; Deut 24:7).

for liars,

“Liars” and “perjurers” are one classification pertaining to the ninth commandment which is against false witness (Ex 20:16) condemning both liars and perjurers. From God’s viewpoint, one lie brands a person as a “sinner” and “liar.”

for perjurers,

Perjurers are those who solemnly swear to something false.

and if there is any other thing

“Any other thing” covers anything not specified in verses 9 and 10.

that is contrary to sound [health-producing] doctrine,

This comprehensive phrase is a catch-all statement referencing anything contrary to sound doctrine, that is, the content taught (2 Tim 1:13). Paul uses “doctrine” seven times in First Timothy (1 Tim 4:1, 6, 13, 16; 5:17; 6:1). The false teachers did not possess proper belief, the content of doctrine (1 Tim 6:1).

“Sound doctrine” is teaching content that is not distorted. The word “sound” means to be in good health or health-producing, a person well-rounded in Scripture. Salvation results in health-producing people marked by such categories as love, pure hearts, and good conscience (1 Tim 1:5).

Healthy doctrine is true doctrine; that is, doctrine that correctly corresponds to God’s Word.


Sound doctrine conforms to the Word of God.


Correct doctrine produces sound people. True belief comes from sound doctrine. The church today has wandered far from commitment to the propositions God set forth in His Word. These people create beliefs based on the prevailing views of culture. Healthy doctrine rests on what God says, not what men claim. Sick doctrine is like a virus that spreads in a congregation quickly unless it is stopped in its budding stage. It takes discernment to distinguish between the things that differ.

It is necessary to be “sound” in other areas: Christians need to be sound in grace toward others (Tit 2:2); we are to teach truth free from mixing errors with it (Ti 1:13); we are to be sound while teaching (1 Ti 6:3; 2 Ti 1:13; 4:3; Tit 1:9, 2:1).

The correct focus for the child of God is Christ (Ro 7:24-8:1), not the law.