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According to experts, gangrene is a condition that can occur when body tissue dies. It develops because the tissue can’t get blood; and this typically stems from some underlying illness, injury, or infection. Gangrene can infect the fingers, toes, and limbs, and even inside of the body. If internal gangrene is not treated, it can spread rapidly and lead to death. The Apostle Paul used the analogy of gangrene to warn us about false teaching. He said if false teaching is not checked, it can spread like gangrene and have a dire effect on God’s people. The false teaching Paul warned about was the idea that the only resurrection Christians could expect is the new life they receive when they accept Christ. Paul told Timothy that in order to check false teaching, he had to humbly submit himself to God, handle the word of God with integrity, and live a life of integrity so people can see the truth exemplified. Jesus taught the same thing. He said you can know a tree—meaning a true teacher—by the fruit it bears, by the life a person lives. So anyone who comes along with strange teaching but whose life does not back up what they teach, they should be viewed with suspicion. Paul said on the one hand, God knows those who truly belong to Him; and on the other hand, those who profess to belong to Him must strive to live as Christ taught us.

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