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Hymenaeus

Hymenaeus was among some of the fallen-away Christians in the time of the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry). Although Hymenaeus lived centuries ago, the errors from which he suffered are still very evident among modern day Christian-professing people. Hymenaeus believed that Christians are lawless and "born again," grievous errors that caused Paul to rebuke Hymenaeus and others like him, "whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme."

"By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, among them Hymenaeus"

Paul explained that all people are sinners, but that God's mercy, and the sacrifice of the Savior, are given to repentant sinners - those with a good conscience (see the Fact Finder question below). Hymenaeus "rejected conscience," that is, he rejected repentance, while claiming to be a Christian. Hymenaeus tragically believed that lawlessness was the way to salvation. What was Paul's answer to those who believe that? "Certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, among them Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme" (see below).

Riot

"The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

This charge I commit to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophetic utterances which pointed to you, that inspired by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, among them Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme." (1 Peter 1:15-20 RSV)

Hymenaeus also rejected the truth about the future resurrection of the dead, in effect, claiming that he was "born again" now (see the Fact Finder question below). Paul called such false teachings "godless chatter."

"The saying is sure: If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we endure, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful - for He cannot deny Himself.

Remind them of this, and charge them before the Lord to avoid disputing about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will eat its way like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let every one who names the Name of the Lord depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:11-19 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) What is meant in the Holy Scriptures as a "good conscience"? (b) When will humans truly be "born again"?
(a) See Conscience and Growing In Grace
(b) See Born Again, How and When? and When Will You Be Judged?


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