Gnosticism

Gnostics were a sect in the first two Christian centuries who believed they had special  
or secret knowledge from God. Although not mentioned by name in the Bible, some portions of the NT reflect a strong denunciation of their teachings, such as: empty human regulations contrasted with the fullness of the life in Christ, providing victory

Knowledge should lead to God,                                                not away

(Col 2:8-23); refuting the myths and endless genealogies which hinder God’s work; forbidding people to marry and abstain from certain foods is countered with everything God created is good and godliness is the goal (1 Tim 4:1-11).  They claimed ‘spirit’ was good but physical ‘matter’ was evil, and challenged many of the Christian doctrines including Christ’s life, death and resurrection (1 Jn 4:3; 2 Jn 1:7). 

Modern day gnosticism can be described as pursuing goodness through searching within the flawed  'inner self' for answers, man-centred purposes and truth apart from God, which makes man wise in his own eyes (Isa 5:21; Rom 1:21-25). The Bible clearly states, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil" (Prov 3:7). The Christian approach is to be regenerated by Christ with "The fear of the Lord being the beginning of knowledge" and so we should test everything against the revealed Word of God which is the only source of spiritual truth (Prov 1:7; Jn 17:17; 1 Thes 5:21; 2 Tim 2:15).

Timothy was instructed not to be sidetracked as such people were “always learning but never acknowledged the truth” (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 3:7).

See also: heresy, knowledge, sect


Copyright © 2022 Bible Dictionary. All rights reserved. Website design by fuel.