1 Timothy Chapter Four
1 Timothy 4
But there would be some who departed from the faith, from this knowledge of the one Creator and Saviour-God-Him who was manifested in the flesh. They would attack precisely these points which we have named. It might be that they would pretend to carry the idea of christian privileges farther than all others had done, as well as that of profound knowledge of God; but they would sin against first principles, against the faith which connected the Saviour God revealed in Christianity with the one only Creator-God. According to Christianity, the eternal God had not only created the world but had revealed Himself in Christ. These apostates, bringing in doctrines of demons, would seek to deny that it was this one and only God of nature who had manifested Himself in grace. Seduced by demons, and their conscience being seared,they forbade that which God had established in creation, that which He had given to man in full right after the flood: as though the superior holiness which they preached, and relationship with a more exalted God, were not consistent with such customs. Forsaking the real and practical holiness of communion with God, and of His commandments by Christ, they created a false sanctity for themselves, which denied that which God had ordained from the beginning and thus exalted themselves against the authority of Him who had ordained it, as though He was an imperfect or perhaps evil being.
Thus the restraint of the fear of God was lost, and the door opened to license and dissoluteness. The Spirit of God warned the assembly of this, and the faithful apostle communicates it to Timothy and through him puts the faithful on their guard. He does not therefore speak of privilege. Faithful to the glory of God, he returns to the first principles of His glory, and maintains the incontestable rights of the one and only God; faithful to God, not making boast of his knowledge, but seeking in love to guard the assembly from all departure from God.
We must not confound the few here who forsake the faith with the general apostacy of 2 Thessalonians. Here a few depart from the truth, seduced by demons; and the assembly still subsists to be guarded from the invasion of these hurtful principles. Quite another thing is the general apostacy, and the manifestation of the man of sin, which is not mentioned here at all. Here we have the faithfulness which repels error by truth, reminding the brethren of the latter, in order that they may not be seduced. There it is the manifestation of the one who sits in the temple of God, and who is destroyed by the brightness of the Lord's presence. Here all that had to be done was to recall in simplicity the goodness of the Creator, and that His gifts, received with thanksgiving, were always good, and not to be refused: assuredly not that they were to use them for the gratification of their lusts, but as sanctified by the word of God, which brought them to us as God's gifts, and by prayer, which connects us with God in using them. They were to be received as from Him, as the gift of His hand; and they were sanctified, as is the case with everything that comes from Him and bears the stamp of His will and His goodness. Man had forfeited everything in forsaking God: what he had he had not now with God, would eat merely as an animal, and worse as having left God. The word of God replaced the relationship in grace, and prayer used it on this footing. Here (although in other circumstances it has gone much farther) the monastic principle, in the heart and in form, is fully judged; however sincere any individual may be who seeks to follow it in order to honour God. God does not withdraw the gifts on which man, so to speak, has seized by his will; but his use of them, instead of being the gratification of his will and lusts, is now as received from God by His will in thankfulness, and owning Him.
This in fact the apostle shews in that which follows. By teaching thus Timothy would be a good servant of Jesus Christ, nourished in the truth: bodily exercise profited little, but godliness much-both here below and for eternity; warning him again against the idle and profitless speculation of the human mind, to the danger of which he continually recurs. It is for this doctrine of God-true and worthy of all acceptation-that the apostle laboured and suffered reproach; because he had faith in the living God, who, by His providence and by His supreme power,  governed, preserved, and took care of all men, and especially of those that believed. It was this same only God, Creator and Saviour, in whom he trusted while laboring for the Lord. Timothy was to teach this and enforce it with authority.
Afterwards, in connection with this authoritative instruction, the apostle speaks of the person and position of Timothy himself. He was young, but he was to maintain his place, and gain by his conductthat weight which years did not yet give him. He was to be an example to the believers, and occupy himself, till Paul came, with reading, exhortation, and instruction. Moreover, in his case God had given a special preparation for his work; he was not to forget or neglect it. A gift had been imparted to him: God had pointed him out to this end by prophecy; and this immediate testimony from God, to which the operation of His power was united, had been accompanied by the seal of testimony from man, that is, that of the elders among the Christians. (Compare Acts 13:1-3.)
Thus all things concurred to strengthen Timothy in his service, and in the authority that he exercised at that moment in place of the apostle. He should always present the weight of an irreproachable conduct, which would have its influence over hearts and consciences; but he was inwardly strengthened by the consciousness of having been formally set apart by God for the work; the gift of God had been imparted to him, and the sanction of all that had weight in the assembly had been laid, as a seal, upon him. Thus strengthened, he was to devote himself to the things of the Lord in such a manner, that his progress should be evident to all men-a demonstration of his communion with the Lord. At the same time he was to take heed to himself and to the doctrine, and that continually, which should be the means of salvation both to himself and to those who heard him.
 Compare Matthew 10:29
── John Darby《Synopsis of 1 Timothy》
1 Timothy 4
Of departures from the faith that began already to appear. (1-5) Several directions, with motives for due discharge of duties. (6-16)
Commentary on 1 Timothy 4:1-5
(Read 1 Timothy 4:1-5)
The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament, spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and the pure worship of God. This should come during the Christian dispensation, for those are called the latter days. False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God's law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord's blessing upon it.
Commentary on 1 Timothy 4:6-10
(Read 1 Timothy 4:6-10)
Outward acts of self-denial profit little. What will it avail us to mortify the body, if we do not mortify sin? No diligence in mere outward things could be of much use. The gain of godliness lies much in the promise; and the promises to godly people relate partly to the life that now is, but especially to the life which is to come: though we lose for Christ, we shall not lose by him. If Christ be thus the Saviour of all men, then much more will he be the Rewarder of those who seek and serve him; he will provide well for those whom he has made new creatures.
Commentary on 1 Timothy 4:11-16
(Read 1 Timothy 4:11-16)
Men's youth will not be despised, if they keep from vanities and follies. Those who teach by their doctrine, must teach by their life. Their discourse must be edifying; their conversation must be holy; they must be examples of love to God and all good men, examples of spiritual-mindedness. Ministers must mind these things as their principal work and business. By this means their profiting will appear in all things, as well as to all persons; this is the way to profit in knowledge and grace, and also to profit others. The doctrine of a minister of Christ must be scriptural, clear, evangelical, and practical; well stated, explained, defended, and applied. But these duties leave no leisure for wordly pleasures, trifling visits, or idle conversation, and but little for what is mere amusement, and only ornamental. May every believer be enabled to let his profiting appear unto all men; seeking to experience the power of the gospel in his own soul, and to bring forth its fruits in his life.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 1 Timothy》
1 Timothy 4
 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
But the Spirit saith — By St. Paul himself to the Thessalonians, and probably by other contemporary prophets.
Expressly — As concerning a thing of great moment, and soon to be fulfilled.
That in the latter times — These extend from our Lord's ascension till his coming to judgment.
Some — Yea, many, and by degrees the far greater part.
Will depart from the faith — The doctrine once delivered to the saints.
Giving heed to seducing spirits — Who inspire false prophets.
 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
These will depart from the faith, by the hypocrisy of them that speak lies, having their own consciences as senseless and unfeeling as flesh that is seared with an hot iron.
 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Forbidding priests, monks, and nuns to marry, and commanding all men to abstain from such and such meats at such and such times.
Which God hath created to be received by them that know the truth — That all meats are now clean.
With thanksgiving — Which supposes a pure conscience.
 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
It is sanctified by the word of God — Creating all, and giving it to man for food.
And by prayer — The children of God are to pray for the sanctification of all the creatures which they use. And not only the Christians, but even the Jews, yea, the very heathens used to consecrate their table by prayer.
 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
Like those who were to contend in the Grecian games, exercise thyself unto godliness - Train thyself up in holiness of heart and life, with the utmost labour, vigour, and diligence.
 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Bodily exercise profiteth a little — Increases the health and strength of the body.
 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
Therefore — Animated by this promise.
We both labour and suffer reproach — We regard neither pleasure, ease, nor honour.
Because we trust — For this very thing the world will hate us.
In the living God — Who will give us the life he has promised.
Who is the Saviour of all men — Preserving them in this life, and willing to save them eternally.
But especially — In a more eminent manner.
Of them that believe — And so are saved everlastingly.
 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Let no one have reason to despise thee for thy youth. To prevent this, Be a pattern in word - Public and private.
In spirit — In your whole temper.
In faith — When this is placed in the midst of several other Christian graces, it generally means a particular branch of it; fidelity or faithfulness.
 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Give thyself to reading — Both publicly and privately. Enthusiasts, observe this! Expect no end without the means.
 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
Neglect not — They neglect it who do not exercise it to the full.
The gift — Of feeding the flock, of power, and love, and sobriety.
Which was given thee by prophecy — By immediate direction from God.
By the laying on of my hands — 2 Timothy 1:6; while the elders joined also in the solemnity. This presbytery probably consisted of some others, together with Paul and Silas.
 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
Meditate — The Bible makes no distinction between this and to contemplate, whatever others do. True meditation is no other than faith, hope, love, joy, melted down together, as it were, by the fire of God's Holy Spirit; and offered up to God in secret. He that is wholly in these, will be little in worldly company, in other studies, in collecting books, medals, or butterflies: wherein many pastors drone away so considerable a part of their lives.
 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Continue in them — In all the preceding advices.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 1 Timothy》
Chapter 4. Model of Progress
Watch Your Life
Watch Your Doctrine
I. Guard Against Demons' Teaching
II. Training on Godliness
III. Exercise Spiritual Gifts
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Four General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To learn what we can about the apostasy foretold by the Spirit
2) To see what sort of things will make one a good minister of Jesus
Paul begins this chapter with describing how the Spirit has revealed
that in latter times there would be an apostasy in which some would
depart from the faith. This falling away would come about as people
gave heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, leading to
their speaking lies in hypocrisy and searing their consciences as with
a hot iron. Examples of their false doctrines are given: forbidding
to marry and commanding to abstain from certain foods. Regarding the
latter, Paul makes it clear that all foods are acceptable if they be
received with thanksgiving, for they are sanctified by the word of God
and prayer (1-5).
In the last half of this chapter, we find Paul instructing Timothy on
how he can be a good minister of Jesus Christ. By instructing the
brethren in matters pertaining to sound doctrine, he will also be
nourished himself. But he should also be careful to avoid foolish
fables, and rather exercise himself to godliness, which is of more
enduring value than bodily exercise (6-10).
Though Timothy is young, he should not let anyone despise him for his
youth. Instead he must demonstrate the proper example of how a
believer should speak and live. With further instruction as to what
things to give attention, Paul encourages Timothy that by following
these admonitions his progress will be evident to all, and he will save
both himself and those who hear him (11-16).
I. THE COMING APOSTASY (1-5)
A. THE DEPARTURE FORETOLD (1-2)
1. Foretold expressly by the Spirit (
2. In latter times some will depart from the faith (1b-2)
a. Giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons
b. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (
c. Having consciences seared with a hot iron (2b)
B. THE DEPARTURE DESCRIBED (3-5)
1. Some will forbid to marry (
2. Some will command abstention from certain foods (3b)
a. Which God created to be received with thanksgiving (
b. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be
1) If it is received with thanksgiving (4b)
2) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (5)
II. A GOOD SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST (6-16)
A. IN REGARDS TO DOCTRINE (6
1. Instruct the brethren in regards to such things as the
2. You will be a good minister of Jesus Christ (6b)
3. You will be nourished in the words of faith and good doctrine
4. But reject profane and old wives' fables (
B. IN REGARDS TO GODLINESS (7b-10)
1. Exercise yourself to godliness, for bodily exercise profits a
2. But godliness is profitable for all things, having promise...
a. Of the life that now is (8b)
b. And of that which is to come (
3. Such is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance (9)
4. And to this end we labor and suffer reproach (
a. Because we trust in the living God (10b)
b. Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who
C. COUNSEL FOR A YOUNG PREACHER (11-16)
1. Command and teach such things as previously described (11)
2. Let no one despise your youth (
3. Be an example to the believers (12b)
a. In word, in conduct, in love
b. In spirit, in faith, in purity
4. Give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (13)
5. Do not neglect the gift in you (
a. Given by prophecy (14b)
b. With the laying on of hands of the presbytery (
6. In order that your progress may be evident to all...
a. Meditate on these things (
b. Give yourself entirely to them (15b)
7. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine (
a. Continue in them (16b)
b. In doing this, you will save both yourself and those who
hear you (16b)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- The coming apostasy (1-5)
- A good servant of Jesus Christ (6-16)
2) What did the Spirit reveal would happen in latter times? (1)
- Some will depart from the faith
3) What would such people give heed to? (1)
- Deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons
4) What would they speak? Why? (2)
- Lies in hypocrisy
- Their consciences would be seared, as with a hot iron
5) List two examples of the sort of doctrines they would teach (3)
- Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from certain foods
6) What foods are acceptable for Christians to eat? What makes them
- Nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving
- They are sanctified by the word of God and prayer
7) What would ensure that Timothy would be a good minister of Jesus
- If he instructed the brethren in these matters
8) As a good minister, in what would he be nourished? (6)
- In the words of faith and of the good doctrine which he has
9) What was Timothy to reject? Unto what was he to exercise himself?
- Profane and old wives' fables
10) What is the value of godliness? (8)
- It has promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to
11) What was Timothy not to let anyone despise? (12)
- His youth
12) In what areas was Timothy to be an example to the believers? (12)
- In word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity
13) To what three things was Timothy to give attention? (13)
, exhortation, and doctrine Reading
14) What was Timothy not to neglect? How was it given to him? (14)
- The gift that was in him
- By prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery
15) How could Timothy ensure that his progress would be evident to all?
- By meditating on these things, and giving himself entirely to them
16) How could Timothy save both himself and those who heard him? (16)
- By taking heed to himself and to the doctrine, and continuing in
The Great Apostasy (4:1-3)
1. Paul's concern in his first epistle to Timothy is proper conduct "in
the house of God, the church of the living God" - 1 Ti 3:15
a. The church Jesus said He would build - Mt 16:18
b. The church Paul wrote that Jesus loved - Ep 5:25-27
2. The Lord's intent was that there be one church...
a. He prayed for the unity of His followers - Jn 17:20-23
b. Paul later wrote that there is one body (i.e., church) - Ep 4:4-6;
3. Yet we see around us so much religious confusion, so many different
a. How did it happen? When did it happen?
b. What can disciples of Christ today do about it?
[Our text (1 Ti 4:1-3) is one of several passages in which Paul and
others foretold of an 'apostasy', a falling away...]
I. THE GREAT APOSTASY FORETOLD
A. BY PAUL...
1. In warning Timothy
a. Describing how some will "depart from the faith" - 1 Ti 4:
1) Giving heed to "deceiving spirits and doctrines of
2) Forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from meats
b. Describing how some will 'not endure sound doctrine' - 2 Ti
1) Getting teachers who will tell them what they want to
2) Turning from the truth, turning aside to fables
2. In warning the Ephesian elders - Ac 20:27-31
a. Of "wolves" coming in from outside the flock
b. Of men "from among yourselves" drawing disciples away
3. In warning the church at Thessalonica - 2 Th 2:1-3
a. Of a great "falling away" that must come
b. Revealing "the man of sin", "the son of perdition"
B. BY PETER, JUDE, AND JOHN...
1. Peter warned of false teachers to come - 2 Pe 2:1-2
a. Who will bring in destructive heresies
b. Whom many will follow
2. Jude warned of false teachers who were present - Ju 3-4
a. Who had crept in unnoticed
b. Who were turning the grace of God into lewdness
c. Who were denying the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ
3. John warned of "antichrists" who had come - 1 Jn 2:18-19
a. Many, in fact, had come!
b. Indicative of living in "the last hour"
[Even Jesus warned there would be false prophets (Mt 7:15). Before the
canon of the New Testament was completed, the apostasy was already
underway. As one examines early church history, there are further
II. THE GREAT APOSTASY FULFILLED
A. IT WAS A GRADUAL PROCESS...
1. In many cases, it appeared innocent at first
a. Attempting to deal with errors in and out of the church
b. Leading to a change in the organization of the church
1) From autonomous and independent congregations overseen by
a plurality of elders (also known as bishops and pastors)
- cf. Ac 14:23; 20:17,28; 1 Pe 5:1-2
2) To a collectivity of churches under one bishop - e.g.,
writings of Ignatius
c. Resulting in centralization of power and influence among key
individuals; just as Paul warned! - cf. Ac 20:30
2. This subtle change made it much easier for error to spread
a. When those in power began teaching false doctrine
b. Before long, the very errors foretold by Paul were being
taught! - cf. 1 Ti 4:1-3
1) Such as celibacy
2) Such as abstaining from certain foods
c. Many other errors were introduced during this time,
1) Sprinkling instead of immersion for baptism
2) Mechanical instruments of music instead of a capella
3. Through slow but gradual changes, the seeds of modern churches
a. Producing what later became known as the Roman Catholic
b. But also many other "orthodox" churches (Greek, Egyptian,
Russian, Armenian, etc.)
c. And eventually the multitude of Protestant denominational
-- Just as foretold, many departed from the simplicity of the
Lord's church as revealed in the New Testament
B. WHAT OF THE LORD'S CHURCH...?
1. The Lord's church has continued unabated
a. For not even the gates of Hades could prevail against it
- Mt 16:18
b. It is a kingdom that cannot be destroyed - cf. Dan 2:44; Lk
2. Faithful disciples would have undoubtedly been treated as
a. For refusing to follow those in "power"
b. By those presuming to have "authority" over the Lord's flock
3. But where there were faithful disciples, though few and
unknown, the church existed
a. For the Word of God is an incorruptible seed - cf. 1 Pe 1:
b. Wherever the gospel was faithfully preached and believed,
souls were saved and added by the Lord to His church - e.g.,
-- History may not record (or may misrepresent) the existence of
those who remained faithful, but the Lord knows His own! - 2 Ti
1. Throughout the history of the apostasy, many have come to realize
what has happened, and efforts made to rectify the problem...
a. Appeals to reformation have produced many denominations
b. Appeals to new revelation have produced many cults
2. The only antidote to apostasy is that given by Paul to the Ephesians
a. First, take heed to yourself and those around you - cf. Ac 20:28
b. Second, be on the watch and remember what the apostles warned
about false teachers - cf. Ac 20:29-31
c. Third, look to God and His Word (not traditions of men); i.e.,
diligent prayer and careful Bible study - cf. Ac 20:32
With this "antidote" to apostasy, you can have confidence that God in
His grace will "build you up and give you an inheritance among all those
who are sanctified"...!
The Christian's Diet (4:3-5)
1. A feature common to many religions are their dietary restrictions...
a. Some are known for their vegetarianism (e.g., Hinduism)
b. Others for their restrictions against certain meats, such as pork
(e.g., Islam, Judaism)
2. In warning against apostasy, the apostle Paul...
a. Foretold the rise of doctrines restricting certain foods - 1 Ti 4:
b. Described the general principles related to the Christian's diet
- 1 Ti 4:3-5
3. The general principles of "The Christian's Diet" can be stated in
a. All creatures are good (for food) if received with thanksgiving
b. All foods are "sanctified" by the Word of God and prayer
[The word "sanctified" means to be "set apart, holy". In what way has
God sanctified all foods, and are there any exceptions to the rule?
First we note that all foods have been...]
I. SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD OF GOD
A. FOODS DECLARED CLEAN...
1. By God
a. At the Creation, God gave His approval to seed-bearing herbs
and trees - Gen 1:29
b. After the flood, moving things were approved as food, with
one restriction - Gen 9:3-4
c. During the Mosaic period, dietary restrictions were placed
- cf. Deu 14:4-21 Israel
2. By Jesus
a. Jesus kept the Law of Moses while it was still in effect
- cf. Mt 5:17-19
b. But His teachings often looked forward to when the Law would
cease - Mk 7:18-19
3. By Paul
a. Paul's views came from the Lord Jesus Himself - Ro 14:14
b. Thus Christians were free to eat whatever was sold in the
meat market - 1 Co 10:25
-- The Word of God has thus declared all foods clean; this is the
B. EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE...
1. Meat sacrificed to idols
a. Christians were forbidden to eat meat when it was part of
idol worship, for that would entail fellowship with demons
- Re 2:14,20; cf. 1 Co 10:18-22
b. But not if sold in the market place and connection to the
idol lost - cf. 1 Co 10:25-28
2. Blood and things strangled
a. Gentile Christians were not to eat blood and things
strangled - Ac 15:20,29; 21:25
b. The context suggests this may have been out of consideration
for the sensitivities of the Jewish Christians - Ac 15:21;
yet cf. Gen 9:4
3. When eaten with offense (e.g., doubt)
a. To those who consider something unclean, it is unclean - Ro
b. It would be evil to eat that which one thinks is unclean
- Ro 14:20
c. Unless one can eat without doubt, it is sinful - Ro 14:23
4. When eaten to cause offense (i.e., stumbling)
a. If our brother is grieved or destroyed by our food, it is
wrong - Ro 14:15-16
b. It is good to abstain rather than cause a weak brother to
stumble - Ro 14:20-21; 1 Co 8:12-13
c. Our goal is to glorify God, and cause no offense to man
- 1 Co 10:31-32
-- All things are lawful, but not all things edify and are
helpful; we must remember this in regards to our diet - cf.
1 Co 10:23-24
[Thus every creature (i.e., all foods) has been sanctified by the Word
of God; i.e., declared clean. But we should also stress that which is
emphasized by Paul in our text, that the food we eat is also...]
II. SANCTIFIED BY PRAYER
A. RECEIVED WITH THANKSGIVING...
1. Stressed twice in our text
a. Foods were created by God to be received with thanksgiving
- 1 Ti 4:3
b. Nothing is to be refused if received with thanksgiving
- 1 Ti 4:4
2. We should be thankful for everything
a. We should possess an attitude of gratitude - Ep 5:20; Co
3:17; 1 Th 5:18
b. Certainly for our daily bread, for which we are to pray!
- cf. Mt 6:11
-- When received with thanksgiving offered in prayer, food is
B. EXAMPLES OF THE RULE...
1. Jesus offering thanks
a. When feeding the 4000 - Mt 15:36-38
b. When observing the Last Passover - Lk 22:15-20
2. Paul offering thanks
a. On the ship to
- Ac 27:35 Rome
b. A practice alluded to in his writings - Ro 14:6; 1 Co 10:30
-- Paul sought to imitate the Lord, certainly we should imitate
them both! - 1 Co 11:1
1. When it comes to "The Christian's Diet", all foods are sanctified
a. The word of God
b. The prayer of the Christian
2. The exception to the rule is when...
a. Fellowship with idols and demons is indicated
b. Fellowship with brethren is threatened
Have you given thought to how the food you eat affects your fellowship
with God and others...?
Physically Fit, Spiritually Alive (4:7-8)
1. Many people place great emphasis upon physical well-being...
a. Note the number of gyms, tennis courts, swimming pools, health
b. Seeking to improve the quality of life, as well as the quantity of
2. For some, physical exercise comes close to being a religion in of
a. I've personally known runners to admit as such
b. Sunday for them is a day of sport, not worship
[Physical exercise and well-being has its place, but must be kept in
perspective. One passage that helps us to do this is our text (1 Ti
4:7-8). Note first what we can learn about...]
I. BODILY EXERCISE
A. DOES PROFIT A LITTLE...
1. Makes for a well-rounded development - Lk 2:52
2. Enhances the use of our "instruments of righteousness" (bodies)
- Ro 6:12-13
3. Extends the time we can glorify God - 1 Co 6:19-20
-- There is some value for a healthy routine of physical exercise
B. DOES HAVE LIMITATIONS...
1. Beauty is deceitful - Pro 31:30
2. Attraction can be incongruous - Pro 11:22
3. Strength will eventually fail - 2 Co 4:16
-- Physical exercise alone cannot meet all our needs, and will
eventually fail us
[There is another exercise of which our text speaks, which those
concerned with true fitness do well to consider...]
II. GODLY EXERCISE
A. DOES HAVE PROMISE FOR THE LIFE THAT NOW IS...
1. Daily renewal for the inner man - 2 Co 4:16
2. True peace, joy, and hope - Ro 14:17; 15:13
3. Winsome personality - Ga 5:22-23
4. Extended family - Mk 10:28-30
-- These are wonderful benefits that godly exercise offers in this
B. DOES HAVE PROMISE FOR THE LIFE TO COME...
1. Eternal life in the age to come - Mk 10:28-30
2. Everlasting fellowship with God - Re 21:1-7
-- Here is where godly exercise truly excels over bodily exercise!
[Both bodily exercise and godly exercise therefore have their value.
Understanding their respective values should help in...]
III. MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BALANCE
A. WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT...?
1. In expenditure of time?
a. Some health officials recommend exercising 30 minutes a day
b. Do we spend an equivalent amount of time in prayer, Bible
study, or service to God?
2. In expenditure of energy?
a. Physical fitness often requires a great expenditure of
b. Are we willing to make similar efforts in our service to
-- Do we spend as much time and energy exercising ourselves unto
godliness as we do engaging in various forms of bodily
exercise? - cf. 2 Co 4:16-5:1
B. WHICH COMES FIRST...?
1. When conflicts arise?
a. Sport events or exercise routines often conflict with duties
b. Do we have the same convictions as Eric Liddell? - cf.
Chariots Of Fire
2. When time is limited?
a. We only have so much time
b. If we must cut back on some activity, will be it a spiritual
or physical one?
-- Do we have our priorities straight, is our emphasis properly
placed? - cf. Mt 6:33
1. Whether young or old, physical fitness has a place in our lives as
a. Taking care of our bodies, temples of the Holy Spirit
b. Making good use of our bodily members as instruments of
c. Improving the quality and length of service we can offer the Lord
in this life
2. But physical fitness without godly exercise is vanity...
a. The outer man will eventually fail us
b. The inner man is the true measure of character and spirituality
Maintaining a proper balance will help us to be truly "Physically Fit,
Spiritually Alive." Speaking of being spiritually alive, have you been
born again...? - cf. Jn 3:3-5; Mk 16:16; Ro 6:3-4
Let No One Despise Your Youth (4:12)
1. Who is useful to the Master when it comes to faithful service...?
a. Is it only the elderly, those with the most experience?
b. Do not the young have an important role to fulfill?
2. We can easily become guilty of looking down upon the young...
a. Perhaps by not taking their obedience to the gospel seriously
b. Perhaps by expecting little of them in regards to service
c. Perhaps by even preventing them from service because of their age
3. In 1 Ti 4:12, Paul was writing to the young evangelist Timothy...
a. In which he tells him, "Let no one despise your youth..."
b. Even then there was the danger of some looking down upon those who
4. In this lesson, I wish to...
a. Illustrate how God often used young people to carry out His
b. Point out the kind of young people God can use
c. Remind those of us who are older of our responsibility to the
[While God often used the elderly (cf. Moses, Joshua) to fulfill His
purpose, there are many examples of God using the young as well..]
I. GOD'S USE OF YOUNG PEOPLE
A. TO SAVE ISRAEL IN TIME OF FAMINE...
1. It was through Joseph that God provided Israel a means to
survive a famine
2. He was seventeen when sold as a slave to Potiphar - cf. Gen
B. TO DELIVER ISRAEL FROM THE PHILISTINES...
1. As when God used David to defeat Goliath
2. Even though he was "but a youth", according to King Saul
- 1 Sam 17:33
C. TO LEAD ISRAEL TO ITS GREATEST HEIGHTS...
1. God had David appoint Solomon to succeed him
2. Who when he became king, thought of himself as but "a little
child" - 1 Kin 3:7
D. TO RESTORE JUDAH TO THE TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD...
1. When eight, Josiah became king, and was a good one - 2 Chr 34:
2. When sixteen, he sought to serve God - 2 Chr 34:3
3. When twenty, he instituted religious reforms throughout Judah
- 2 Chr 34:3
4. When twenty-six, he restored the temple, and the Passover
- 2 Chr 34:8; 35:18-19
E. TO PROPHESY TO THE NATIONS...
1. Speaking of Jeremiah, who tried to escape his prophetic call
- Jer 1:4-6
2. But God told him to not say, "I am a youth", that He would be
with him - Jer 1:7-8
F. TO REVEAL THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD OVER THE NATIONS...
1. This God did through Daniel, likely 12 to 15 when taken into
captivity - Dan 1:3-5
2. Making him 15 to 18 when starting as Nebuchadnezzar's counselor
- Dan 1:18-20
G. TO BRING THE SAVIOR INTO THE WORLD...
1. Which He did through Mary
2. Who was but a young virgin - Lk 1:26-33
H. TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL TO THE LOST...
1. Referring to Timothy, selected by Paul to join him on his
journeys - Ac 16:1-3
2. Who must have been quite young, for it was over twenty years
later that Paul tells him to let no one despise his youth!
- 1 Ti 4:12
[It should be evident that God has often used young people to accomplish
great things! I believe He can do much through young people today; but
what kind of young people can He use?]
II. THE KIND OF YOUNG PEOPLE GOD CAN USE
A. THOSE WILLING TO FLEE IMMORALITY...
1. Like Joseph did, when it would have been so easy for him to
acquiesce - Gen 39:7-12
2. As Timothy was instructed - 2 Ti 2:22
-- When anyone is willing to keep their bodies pure, they can be a
temple in which the Holy Spirit can abide and do much good
- cf. 1 Co 6:18-20
B. THOSE WILLING TO TRUST IN GOD...
1. Like David did when fighting Goliath - cf. 1 Sam 17:37,45-47
2. Who later proclaimed the value of trusting in God - 2 Sam 22:31
C. THOSE WHO HAVE THE PROPER PRIORITIES...
1. Like Solomon, who realized the value of wisdom - 1 Kin 3:5-9
2. And later exhorted his son to seek after wisdom - Pro 3:1-6
-- If we are willing to seek the kingdom of God first, our Father
will provide - Mt 6:33
D. THOSE WILLING TO SEEK THE LORD WITH HUMILITY...
1. As did Josiah, even when he was eight years old - 2 Chr 34:3
2. Who later was told that he was blessed because of this - 2 Chr
E. THOSE WILLING TO BOLDLY DO GOD'S WILL...
1. As did Jeremiah, even though he had to be reassured at first
- cf. Jer 1:6-8
2. But then began his ministry by preaching at the gate of the
temple - Jer 7:1-7
F. THOSE WILLING TO BE TRUE TO THEIR CONVICTIONS...
1. As was Daniel, who refused to compromise his beliefs - Dan 1:8
2. But as a result found favor in the eyes of others - Dan 1:9
G. THOSE WILLING TO HUMBLY SUBMIT TO GOD'S WILL...
1. As did Mary - Lk 1:38
2. Who accepted the premise that with God nothing is impossible!
- Lk 1:34-37
H. THOSE WILLING TO BE AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS...
1. As Paul instructed Timothy - 1 Ti 4:12-16
2. An example in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith,
-- For then can one save not only themselves, but others as well!
- 1 Ti 4:16
[Certainly young people who are willing to emulate the examples of
Joseph, David, etc., can be of great service today! But we who are
older can encourage them when we remember...]
III. OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE YOUNG
A. RECEIVE THEM...
1. As Jesus emphasized when young children were brought to him
- Mt 18:5; 19:14
2. For in receiving them in Christ's name, we receive Christ
B. DON'T PLACE STUMBLING BLOCKS IN THEIR WAY...
1. We should be very careful in this regard - Mt 18:6-7
2. The Father is very concerned about their spiritual well-being
- Mt 18:10,14
C. ENCOURAGE THEM...
1. As Paul instructed the church at Corinth to do for Timothy
- 1 Co 16:10
2. When young people are involved in the work of the Lord, the
last thing they need is for the people of God to discourage
D. DESPISE THEM NOT...
1. As Paul admonished the church regarding young Timothy - 1 Co
2. As Paul admonished Timothy himself in our text - 1 Ti 4:12
1. Yes, the young can and should be very active in doing the work of the
a. We certainly have many examples of God using the young
b. And we have the example of Jesus Himself, at age twelve - cf. Lk
2. We who are older should always be careful to encourage the desire of
the young to serve, and let no one despise their youth!
In closing, we might all ask ourselves: "Are we about our Father's
business?" Whether young or old, we should be!
Be An Example To The Believers (4:12)
1. Instructing Timothy as to his obligations, Paul charges him to "be an
example to the believers..." - 1 Ti 4:12
2. The word "example"...
a. Comes from the Greek word "tupos"
b. Used here in the sense of being a pattern, an example, for others
[We shall examine what sort of example Paul has in mind, but let's first
stress that Timothy is not the only person who ought to be an
I. THOSE WHO OUGHT TO BE EXAMPLES
A. MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL...
1. Such as Timothy - 1 Ti 4:12
2. Such as Titus - Ti 2:7-8
-- Preachers and evangelists should certainly set a good example
B. SHEPHERDS OF THE FLOCK...
1. As Peter charged the elders - 1 Pe 5:1-3
2. As the Hebrew writer encouraged his readers to follow their
faith - He 13:7
-- Elders (i.e., bishops and pastors) should provide an example
C. FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS...
1. Certainly true of mature Christians - Ph 3:15-17
2. Can also be true of new Christians (e.g., the new church at
Thessalonica) - 1 Th 1:6-8
3. And true of younger Christians (e.g., Timothy) - cf. 1 Ti 4:
-- All Christians, young and old, should strive to be examples to
[Now let's consider...]
II. THE KIND OF EXAMPLES WE SHOULD BE
A. AN EXAMPLE IN "WORD"...
1. Many understand Paul to refer to speech, personal conversation
a. Certainly Christians are to be careful in their speech - cf.
Ep 4:29,31; 5:4,12
b. Their speech should be with "grace" (remember Jesus?) - Co
4:6; cf. Lk 4:22
2. Others think Paul was referring to doctrine, what one taught
a. That one teach nothing but the truth, that which accords to
b. Timothy was to be careful regarding doctrine - cf. 1 Ti 4:6,
-- Whether in private conversation or public teaching, Christians
should set an example of speaking the truth with grace
B. AN EXAMPLE IN "CONDUCT"...
1. The KJV uses the word "conversation"; the ASV has "manner of
a. The Grk. is anastrophe - "manner of life, conduct, behavior,
deportment" - Thayer
b. "The word 'conversation' we now apply almost exclusively to
oral discourse, or to talking. But it was not formerly
confined to that and is never so used in the Scriptures. It
means conduct in general - including, of course, our manner
of speaking, but not limited to that - and should be so
understood in every place where it occurs in the Bible."
2. Regarding our conduct or manner of life, it should:
a. Demonstrate meekness and wisdom - Ja 3:13
b. Display holiness, reverence, purpose - 1 Pe 1:15-19
-- Not only is our conduct to be an example to the believers, but
honorable among unbelievers - cf. 1 Pe 2:11-12
C. AN EXAMPLE IN "LOVE"...
1. The KJV uses the word "charity"; most other translations have
a. The Grk. is agape - "brotherly love, affection, good will,
love, benevolence" - Thayer
b. A popular definition is "active good will"
2. The love we are to display is to be manifested toward:
a. God and our brethren - Mt 22:37; 1 Jn 4:11
b. Our fellow man including our enemies - Mt 22:39; 5:44
-- In a world where love is often lacking, Christians should
exemplify the virtue
D. AN EXAMPLE IN "SPIRIT"...
1. Most translations omit the phrase "in spirit"; not found in the
2. The Grk. is pneuma - as used here, it refers to zeal,
disposition or attitude
3. That Christians should be fervent in spirit is clearly taught
a. In reference to good works - Ti 2:14
b. In reference to our service to the Lord - Ro 12:11; Re 2:4
c. In reference to our love for one another - 1 Pe 1:22; 4:8
-- Christians should provide an example of enthusiasm in their
service, not lethargy!
E. AN EXAMPLE IN "FAITH"...
1. Nearly all translations read "faith"; the ISV reads
a. The Grk. is pistis - "assurance, belief, believe, faith,
fidelity" - Strong
b. It can refer to either the belief one has (as in God), or to
the fidelity and faithfulness of one's character
2. Both should be true of the Christian:
a. Possessing a strong belief or faith in God and Christ - He
b. Displaying the character of faithfulness and dependability
- Re 2:10
-- "At all times, and in all trials show to believers by your
example, how they ought to maintain unshaken confidence in
God." - Barnes
F. AN EXAMPLE IN "PURITY"...
1. Virtually all translations use the word "purity"
a. The Grk. is hagneia - "purity, sinlessness of life" - Thayer
b. In the NT, used only here and in 1 Ti 5:2
2. Moral or sexual purity, both in thought and act, seems to be
a. "There should be nothing in your contact with the other sex
that would give rise to scandal." - Barnes
b. "Chastity of body and mind; a direction peculiarly necessary
for a young minister, who has more temptations to break its
rules than perhaps any other person." - Clarke
-- As Paul would instruct Timothy later, all Christians should
"flee youthful lusts" and "pursue righteousness, faith, love,
peace..." - cf. 2 Ti 2:22
1. Are we calling on the Lord out of a pure heart...? - cf. 2 Ti 2:22
a. Calling upon Him for our salvation?
b. Calling upon Him for our sanctification?
2. Then let our example be one that illustrates the power of the gospel
a. Our words
b. Our conduct
c. Our love
d. Our spirit
e. Our faith
f. Our purity
What kind of church (people) would we be if everyone followed our own
example in these things? May this question motivate us to examine our
lives and correct any deficiencies that we may find...
Model of progress
Watch your life
Watch your doctrine
I. Guard against demons’ teaching
1. Abandon the faith
2. Hypocritical liars
3. Forbid and restrain
II.Training on godliness
1. Follow the truth
2. Command and teach
3. Value for all things
III. Exercise spiritual gifts
1. Moral example
3. Don’t neglect gifts
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》