Now Paul mentions false doctrines that were plaguing the church, and he has particular ideas in mind. They have to do with myths and genealogies. Now I don't think this has to do with the kind of genealogies you find in the Old Testament, or of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospels. It is not the tracing of descendants that Paul is addressing. Rather, Paul combines this reference to genealogies with myths. Beginning in the latter half of the first century, and growing in influence in the next century, was teaching that collectively was known by the name of Gnosticism.

As we begin a study of the Pastoral Epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy, I can't imagine a portion of the Word of God that is more appropriate or needful for us in these days. These are letters written by the apostle Paul to Timothy, who will in a sense take up the mantle after Paul’s life and ministry are over. In order to do this, Timothy very much needed the divinely-inspired and inerrant instruction that Paul gave. This is relevant and important to us because we find ourselves in something of the same situation.

You just can't keep down the worship of those who have really found Christ, whether the shepherds or wise men at the first Christmas, or any other believers down through the ages, including those who are worshiping today even in Communist lands. Those who know Christ worship Him. It's our privilege to worship Him as well.

Have you found Jesus? Do you know Him to be your Lord and your Savior? Do you know that one who was born on that first Christmas day so long ago? Do you know that one who grew up to teach and to die for the sin of the world, and to rise again in power from the dead to be your Lord and the Lord of the church? If you ask how you are going to learn that, the answer is that you learn it from the Bible. That is where God speaks, and that is where Jesus is to be found.

The first step is that they received an announcement of Christ's birth. It's clearest in the case of the shepherds. The shepherds were in the fields, and the angel of the Lord appeared to them. God's glory shone about them in the night sky, and they were terrified. An angel appeared and gave this message: "Do not be afraid! I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Then there was a great company of angels that appeared along with the angel that had spoken. They praised God saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."