1 Timothy Chapter 4

August 1, 2013

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 1 Timothy. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

In chapter 4 Paul continues to exhort and encourage Timothy who is working with the church in Ephesus. As we have said, the main purpose of these letters to Timothy and Titus is to equip them to equip the saints. The emphasis is on teaching how to live the life of a believer.

1 Timothy 4:1-16 (NIV)
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 6 If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. 11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Timothy 4:1-6

In verse 1 Paul talks about the “later times” or “last days”. The last days began at the cross and will continue until Jesus returns. We are in the last days now, but the church has been in the last days since it started. At the Vineyard we refer to this time as the “Now and Not Yet” of the Kingdom of God. Jesus has come and inaugurated the Kingdom. When He comes again He will bring it to fulfillment. Until then, we live in the tension of the “now and not yet” or the “already and not yet” of the Kingdom. We are to redeem the time we have by being fruitful until Jesus returns.

Until He returns, we need to be wary of false teachers and false teachings. False teachers often appear to be people of discipline and morality, but if their message contradicts the Bible, or takes the Bible out of context, the believer needs to be aware.

Paul said the false teachers were hypocrites and liars who encouraged people to follow “deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.” The false teachers in Ephesus were following some Greek philosophers who taught that the body was evil and that only the soul mattered. This false teaching is known as ‘gnosticism”. In this false teaching, the God of creation was not good, because his very contact with the physical world would have soiled him.

In opposition to the Gnostics, Paul affirmed that everything God created is good and that we should be thankful for all of His created gifts that give us so much pleasure and enjoyment. We should not abuse or take for granted what God has made, but we should enjoy these gifts by using them to serve and honor God.

“Gnosticism” still exists today in various forms. In response to this false teaching, the early church produced what we know as the Apostles’ Creed in approximately 140 AD. The Apostles’ Creed says:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
On the third day He rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

1 Timothy 4:7-11

8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

In our “Do You Want to Get Well” series and our upcoming “Disciple Well” series we will be talking about the importance of both physical and spiritual wellness. But it all starts with our spiritual health. Praying well and living well will help us in eating well, moving well, and resting well.

1 Timothy 4:12-16

Timothy was a young pastor. Because of his youth, older Christians might not respond very well to him. He would have to earn their respect by setting an example in his speech, life, love, faith, and purity. The point for all of us at any age is to live life so others can see Christ in you.

Paul uses these verses to encourage Timothy. It is a reminder to us of the importance of the ministry of encouragement. We need to be thankful for five things and encourage at least two people every day. It is such a vital ministry and it is a ministry that absolutely everyone can do.

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