1 Timothy 4
-Paul lets his spiritual son Timothy know exactly what the latter days would be like as some will depart from the faith devoting themselves to deceitful spirits (temporary pleasures, materialism, false teaching, etc.) and teachings of demons (obsession with occultic phenomenon, etc.). This happens through insincere liars whose consciences are seared (1 Timothy 4:1-2). Remember how Paul earlier told Timothy that the goal of real Christian ministry is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5)? This is the contrast between the good and the evil. Notice it here in the text. These unbelievers in the true God will do unbiblical things like forbid marriage (Catholic church take notice), require abstinence from God ordained foods (Vegans take notice, 1 Timothy 4:3-4). God created everything to be received with thanksgiving and nothing is to be rejected if we know the truth for it is made holy by the Word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:5). *Application* This is good and sensible doctrine that Paul purports for the young disciple of Jesus Christ. We need to have good training and be aware of the false imposters who are out there in the world to deceive and lead astray. Stay tuned into the Word of God and His righteousness and you will not be misled. Have nothing to do with the irreverent and silly myths (new fangled fads). Rather train yourself for godliness, which holds its value now and for the age to come (1 Timothy 4:6-9). Hope in the Living God, who is the Savior of all people of faith in Him (1 Timothy 4:10).
-Paul instructs Timothy to command and teach these things (1 Timothy 4:11). Timothy is told to let no one look down on (despise) his youthfulness, but instead set an example to those who believe in the areas of speech, conduct, love, faith, purity, devotion to reading Scripture publically, exhortation (challenges, motivations), and teaching (1 Timothy 4:12-13). An imperative command is given to not neglect the spiritual gift imparted to him by the laying on of hands and prophesy by the elders (presbuterion). Timothy is commanded to practice these things and immerse himself in them so that his progress and spiritual growth would be evident to everyone. It was imperative that he keep a close watch of himself and on his teaching with persistence for the salvation of himself and his hearers (1 Timothy 4:14-16). *Application* These are vital instructions for the minister of the gospel to heed. Spiritual oversight of people is a serious business and few should really choose it, unless God is absolutely calling and guiding. The responsibility for souls is weighty and should be considered with extreme caution and diligence. How do you think you are doing in this area? How do you think pastors and overseers in the American church are doing? Where we are lacking, may the Lord convict and challenge us to be more progressive in our spiritual earnest and devotion. Eternity is truly at stake!
Verses to Memorize- 1 Timothy 4:12-16