The aim of the Christian’s marching orders is love produced by a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. A heart pure in that it has been forgiven by God in Christ. A conscience good in that it has been reconciled to God by Christ’s work and subsequent fruit evidenced by faithfulness. A faith sincere in that it is rooted and anchored in Christ alone to deliver from the righteous wrath of God wholly deserved.
Many have walked away from these basic edicts. Different doctrines as Paul mentions here are often articulated even by those whose hands hold Bibles showing that is not merely illiteracy that produces false teaching. When swerving from sound doctrine, endless discussion into keeping the Law is often the alternative. If there is no true Gospel, there is only the most recent, novel strategy for fulfilling or escaping the Law.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
This is true and trustworthy. In Christ God is reconciling the world to Himself in producing and sustaining faithful adherence to His provision alone. It is true that the Law is good if used lawfully. But when the Law is used as an olive branch instead of a sword, it cannot produce that which it was put in place to accomplish/teach.
The Law is a perfect representation of God’s holiness and otherness in comparison even to our best attempts to be like Him. The Gospel is a perfect and holy representation of God’s goodness and mercy in fulfilling His promises to unite us to Himself without disgracing His own holiness.
Some are teaching doctrine other than Christ and Christ alone. Hymenaeus and Alexander were a few by name in Paul’s day guilty of this distortion. There are certainly some even now doing the same.
And they have names too.
May those teaching this false Gospel be called out and may they in turn repent and be the sinners for which Christ came into the world to save. If you insist on the Law being the way to salvation, you forsake Christ's cross and make it meaningless. May those sitting under these teachings be given discernment to cling to whatever is good and cast away all that is evil. May the Gospel be preached and lead many to repentance.
Would we be so bold and committed to Christ as to call out those merely masquerading?
Would we be so humble and committed to Christ as to repent when we are rightly called out ourselves?