1 Timothy 4
by Philip Layton
Timothy is encouraged to ‘watch his life and doctrine closely’
- Paul tells Timothy to train himself spiritually, just as he would physically (vv 7, 8). How is your spiritual ‘fitness’? Has your stamina and strength improved in the past 12 months?
- Do you ever dismiss the advice and teaching of those younger than you? What does verse 12 say?
- Could your ‘life and doctrine’ be rephrased as ‘holiness and belief’ (v16)?
- Why does Paul think doctrine is so important? Is it important to you?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
People causing disturbances in a church is nothing new. Paul told young Timothy that false teaching needed to be confronted and addressed, for it causes dissention, disruption and division. Strong personalities tend to take over and can be very convincing. But if what they say is not of God, their teaching and words not founded upon God’s Word, they can be extremely destructive.
Timothy was still young and new at his role as a pastor. But no matter our age or experience, to counter any problems we are to be an example for others:
…set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity (v 12).
We are to be an example in our speech – in everything we say, using words that give glory to God alone. This doesn’t mean our conversations need to be stifled, boring or glum. We are to enjoy life to the full, and even have lots of fun! Yet our language is never to be tainted with criticism or slander. There is no place for jokes that are not clean and wholesome. Our speech is to be of God.
We are to be an example in our life, with lives filled with love. Lives of integrity, reaching out to others in love and compassion; showing we care for one another by the way we live as God’s people.
We are to be an example in our faith by having lives of purity. Other people should see Christ in us – the glory of the Lord radiating through us always. God’s Spirit is evident when our lives are holy and pure.
Lord Jesus, help me to be a good example for others. I want people to see Jesus in me, so that they will then be drawn to the Saviour.
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