1 Timothy 4 - Are You Following Jesus-Christ?
1 Timothy 4
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3Forbidding 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.
4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8For 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.
9This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10For 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.
11These things command and teach.
12Let 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.
13Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Today's Scripture Meaning
Of departures from the faith that began already to appear. (1-5) Several directions, with motives for due discharge of duties. (6-16)
Verses 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.
Verses 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.
Verses 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.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 1st Timothy with Chapter 4 and in our text we see Paul Giving instruction to the elders of the Church and guidelines for teaching as some in this day would stray from the Word of God to add or delete from Scripture in the Church. In making application we see that we have mandate to go into all the World and Preach the Gospel. We are to be Saved, Have a Relationship with our Lord through Prayer and His Word, then to do His Work through His Church. Today many are adding or deleting scripture to fit their lifestyle but the truth is we are to give ourselves to Christ, pick up our Cross, and follow Him. How about you? Are you following Jesus-Christ? Let us learn from our text today and this reminder from Paul to us that we are to be Saved, Have a Relationship with our Lord through Prayer and His Word, then to do His Work through His Church.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.