If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
(1 Timothy 6:3-10 ESV)
Characteristics of false doctrine and its purveyors
- They do not agree with sound doctrine or sound words
- Their teaching does not accord with godliness
- They are puffed up with conceit
- They understand nothing (with respect to the truth)
- They have an unhealthy craving for controversy and quarreling
- They and their teaching produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicion, and constant friction
- They use godliness as a means of monetary gain
- They do not see godliness with contentment as a great gain
- They are not satisfied with having basic needs met
- They desire to be rich
- They plunge others and themselves into ruin and destruction by what they teach
- Love from a pure heart
- Love from a good conscience
- Love from a sincere faith
This love is completely absent from the above group who has a defiled heart, seared conscience, and deceitful spirit
- Do I practice and believe sound doctrine?
- Am I puffed up about things that are not sound?
- Do I have an unhealthy craving for controversy?
- Does what I say produce envy, slander, evil suspicion, and constant friction?
- Do I see godliness as a means to make me rich?
- To I desire to be rich?
- Do I love money?
- Do I push others to love money?
- If I do love money, am I being drawn away by it?
- Is money an idol in my life? (giving it the attention and time I should give to God)
- Am I satisfied with the basic provisions?
- Do I see godliness and contentment as great gain?
- What do I need to repent, confess, and turn from in light of this passage?