“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.” (1 Timothy 6:3–5, ESV)
Paul returns to address the people who have been bringing erroneous theology into the church in Ephesus. Theology always matters, and there is extensive damage that is done when faulty theology is espoused within the local church. When teaching does not agree with Jesus, it is not sound and should not be followed. The church has always faced false teaching and erroneous theology, which is why church councils have met to clarify the truth and address heresy. Paul's description of the false teachers in Ephesus is less than flattering, to say the least. He does not mince words and employs strong language to convey the danger. These teachers were full of themselves and full of new ideas but in truth, they knew nothing at all. They longed to engage in controversy and quarrels. This does not mean that one should not contend for the truth, but it does indicate that one should try to look important and knowledgeable instead of trying to correct humbly one that has abandoned orthodox teaching. These teachers are filled with envy and are jealous if others get more attention than they receive. They promote dissension, discord, and contention. They slander others. They are always suspicious, defensive, and distrustful. Constant friction and turmoil surround these teachers. They had drifted from God’s Word and filled their minds with notions that injured them. Everything must be tested by the sound words of Jesus found in God’s Word.