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1 Timothy 4

1 Timothy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The job of the Pastor; Good and bad teaching in the church.

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Introduction**

When Paul was first imprisoned by Rome, it was more of a house arrest kind of thing.

He lived in a rented home, and was able to have guests and preach, teach, and minister freely.

He wrote what we know of as “The Prison Epistles:” Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.
In his letter to the Philippians, he expressed a confidence that his imprisonment would not last.
He wrote, “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance ...”
Philippians 1:19 NKJV
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
Philippians
His imprisonment in THIS instance is recorded in the book of Acts … in the final chapters.
He was able to make his appeal before the Emperor and he won his release.
He then possibly went on to Spain … perhaps even as far as the British Isles, before returning and stopping by the church in Ephesus and other churches such as the one in Colossae.

Timothy met back up with Paul in Ephesus, and Paul told him to remain there to oversee the church.

Later, Paul was unable to return and so he wrote 1 Timothy.

While this was happening, Christianity became illegal in the Roman Empire, and once again Paul’s enemies were successfully able to falsely accuse him.
He was imprisoned again by Rome, and wrote 2 Timothy from his cell, after his first defense before the court delayed condemnation, but did not free him.
In contrast to his first imprisonment, Paul did not feel his release would be likely and even expected to be executed.
2 Timothy 4:6 NKJV
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
According to tradition, Paul was beheaded west of Rome on the Ostian Way … a road that led into and out of Rome.
It was customary for criminals of prominence to be executed several miles out of the city so as to avoid the crowds.
----
Paul was in prison when he wrote these letters we call the pastoral epistles.
Paul was in prison when he wrote these letters we call the pastoral epistles.

Prior to writing 1 Timothy, Paul was on a good run.

Yes, he had faced terrible persecutions in just about every city he went to.
Yes, he had those who were doing their best to twist his words and push false doctrines in the many churches he established.
And the climate of the empire was changing, making things even harder for the Apostle, Christians, and the various churches.
But his ministry had brought the Gospel all throughout Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, Europe, possibly Spain and the British Isles … people had been saved and churches planted.

So far in this letter, Paul has written to Timothy to encourage him in establishing order in the church of Ephesus.

Yes, leadership … elders and deacons as we saw last week, gender roles, and etiquette in the church.
But Paul has spent greater time on contending for the faith … not just in this letter, but looking at the Pastoral Epistles as a whole.
It seems that contending for the faith against false doctrines and false teachers was important in the mind of Paul.

AND once again in our chapter for today, Paul addresses some who have left the faith, exchanging the good doctrines of the Bible for personal agenda and personal gain.

In regards to these things, Paul will deal with the following items in our chapter for today:
False Lifestyle (v1-5):
teachers are morally corrupt, and the teachings deprive us of things God has given in order to bless usDanger of distraction from godliness (v6-10):
False teachers are morally corrupt, and teachings that bend, twist, and deny God’s Word deprive us of things God has given in order to bless us.
Danger of distraction from godliness (v6-10):
Danger of distraction from godliness (v6-10):
Danger of distraction from godliness (v6-10):
Timothy is to have nothing to do with such ridiculousness, but rather to contend for the true doctrines of the faith, concentrating on growth in righteousness.
Need to set example in faith, speech, life, etc (v11-16):
The Teacher’s Commentary 150: Intro. To 1, 2 Tim.; Titus—The Pastoral Letters

False lifestyle

Despite his youth, Timothy will be effective if he sets an example by his life (vv. 11–12) and devotes himself to the preaching and teaching of Scripture (vv. 13–14).
Paul tells Timothy that despite his youth, he will be effective if he sets an example by his life and devotes himself to the preaching and teaching of Scripture.
----
Richards, L. O. (1991). The Bible reader’s companion (electronic ed., p. 836). Wheaton: Victor Books.

It seems to me that the perception today of what a Pastor should be is much different than what Paul communicates to Timothy in this letter.

Paul says that a good Pastor teaches the Word without compromising it:
But today, many Christians believe the role of the Pastor is to grow the church by simplifying the Bible or adjusting it to meet people’s expectations.
Paul says that a good Pastor practices the Word:
Just as an athlete exercises, so a Christian should practice “Spiritual Exercise.”
This way, the pastor grows in his understanding and his skill of God’s Word.
Paul says that a good Pastor clears the way for other believers:
He goes ahead and clears the way of obstacles … warning of the snares and traps and weapons of the enemy; clearing away the blockades of false doctrines and obstacles of false teachers so that others can follow.
Yes, counseling, weddings, funerals and fellowship are all a part of the Pastor’s job.
Yet most important is holding to the true doctrines of the faith and contending for them … at least in Paul’s view.

The early church had to deal with false doctrines … and the church of today deals with them too.

And the false doctrines have not changed that much from Paul’s day.
Doctrine is, “A set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true.”
Biblical doctrine refers to teachings that align with the revealed Word of God, the Bible.
False doctrine is any idea that adds to, takes away from, contradicts, or nullifies the doctrine given in God’s Word.
One characteristic of false doctrine is it takes what is established in grace by faith and makes it about works and legalism.
As Paul wrote to the Roman believers, “If by grace, then it is no longer of works … If it is of works, it is no longer grace.”
Don’t read below:
Galatians 3:3 NKJV
Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
Romans 11:6 NKJV
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Galatians 3:3
And …
Romans 11:6
Romans 4:4–5 NKJV
Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
Romans 4:
The Bible is very clear that salvation cannot be merited … no matter how righteous one work may be, we still have a handful of wretched deeds worthy of condemnation.
God says, “Be holy, for I am holy” yet we know that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Where our works are deficient to save us, Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient, and we receive that by faith according to God’s grace.
Other false doctrines claim (a) Many paths to God, (b) Deny hell, (c) Redefine the person of Jesus Christ, or (d) Present grace as a license to sin, or even a reason to indulge in sin.
More subtle are teachers who allegorize scripture or change scripture to make it about ourselves, rather than about Christ.
It puts the burden on usit’s legalism, it’s works.
puts the burden on usit’s legalism, it’s works.
----

As Paul deals with false teaching in the church of his day, so we have dealt with these things as they are in the church of today.

Perhaps as we deal with these things as we have (some last week, more the week before that, and some today, too), you may think, “I wish he wouldn’t talk about what other people are doing wrong.”
But I am only doing what God’s Word is doing … and it often names names along with it’s indictments.
If you have an issue with that, take it up with God.

I am going to teach what God’s Word is saying here and not try to lighten it up, loosen it up, or find an easier way through it.

I mentioned a lot of names a few weeks ago … and they are popular people in Christian circles … popular authors and teachers on television.

Joyce Meyers, T.D.Jakes, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, Paula White.
Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, Paula White
From prosperity to modelism to our being “little gods” … these people all corrupt Biblical Christian doctrine in one way or another.

But there are also movements in Christianity that seek to devalue scripture or twist scripture to mean what it doesn’t mean, … or fleece and even enslave believers.

The New Apostolic Reformation, Universalism, Word of Faith, Ecumenism and other non-Biblical movements like them do this.
You may have their books at home on your bookshelf … you may love their movies … you may listen to their podcasts … and they may be your favorite, and I may hurt your feelings by naming them or having named them for their errors.
But I want you guys to be well instructed in God’s Word and know to avoid false teachers and doctrines of demons.
Romans 16:17 NKJV
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
In Paul’s letters he names names … in fact, in 2 Timothy, he calls out 8 people by name.
Why?

Because hinting and being vague about it was much less effective and left people in direct danger of deception.

We are wise to recognize how vulnerable we are to heresy and make it our habit to do as the Bereans did in : “They . . . examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Do not read below:
Acts 17:11 NKJV
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
When we make it our goal to follow the lead of the first church, we will go far in avoiding the pitfalls of false doctrine.
When we make it our goal to follow the lead of the first church, we will go far in avoiding the pitfalls of false doctrine.
Prayer: Lord, as we embark to study your Word, we ask that our hearts would be open to receive all that You have to say to us. We desire to be hearers and doers and for You to lead us in Your ways. Lord, we can’t hold much but we can overflow lots! Fill me to overflowing! We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

v1-6

In , Paul had warned the Ephesian elders that false teachers would invade the church ().
Acts 20:28–31 NKJV
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
Acts 20:29–30 NKJV
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Those wolves and perverse speaking men had arrived.

Now they had arrived.

The Holy Spirit had spoken in specific terms about these teachers.

The prophecy was starting to be fulfilled in Paul’s time.
Yet Paul expressly points Timothy to “later times.”
This prophecy certainly is fulfilled in our own time!
And we can recognize false teachers by the characterization Paul gives us here.
Paul said in his 2nd letter to Timothy:
2 Timothy 3:13 NKJV
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy
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Look closely at verse 1.

There is a “spiritual” aspect to the false teachers that Paul speaks of.

He identifies the source of the falling away or “departing from the faith” with deceptive spirits and demons teaching falsehoods.

Spirit is πνεῦμα Pneuma (new-mah) and demon is δαιμόνιον Daimonion (deemoh-nion).
δαιμόνιον Daimonion (deemoh-nion).
In the previous chapter, Paul wrote about the “mystery of godliness” concerning Christ.
That is that God in the person of Jesus Christ entered this world, paid the penalty of sin, and is making men and women godly.
AND, according to , there is a “mystery of lawlessness” that surrounds Satan and his work.
Do not read below:
2 Thessalonians 2:7 NKJV
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
Satan is an imitator () … he has his, “Deceitful workmen who masquerade as Apostles of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 11:13–15 NKJV
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
2 Corinthians 11:13–15 NKJV
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

He has his own ministers and doctrines.

He seeks to deceive God’s people and lead them astray, just as he, “Deceived Eve by his trickery” … as Satan said to Eve, “Is it indeed true that God has said?”
He has his own ministers and doctrines, and seeks to deceive God’s people and lead them astray ().
reminds us that there is nothing really new under the sun.
Do not read below:
Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV
That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
The question he posed to Eve appealed to the pride of man and he still poses that question because it still appeals to the pride of mankind.
“What if I can wear my own crown?”
“I want to do what I want to do.”
“If we de-emphasize certain parts of the Bible, we can get more people into church. What could be wrong with that?”
“Why can’t my word be greater than God’s Word … especially if I give some lip-service to Him?”

False doctrines come to be … when man thinks he can be loose with what God has said.

- And these are things that a Christian might say … or a pastor who is willing to compromise to increase attendance.
The first test of any religious doctrine is what it says about Jesus Christ ().

It comes as a shock to some people that Satan uses professed Christians in the church to accomplish his work.

But it’s a pattern that Satan keeps going with.

Remember - he once used Peter to try to lead Jesus on a wrong path.
(In , when Jesus was explaining His ministry of sacrifice and resurrection to the disciples, Peter stepped in and suggested that such a ministry was not proper for Jesus.)
You may remember that Satan also used Ananias and Sapphira to try to deceive the church at Jerusalem as recorded in .
And, of course as we already saw this morning, Paul warned that false teachers would arise from within the church.
And here’s the thing … their actions are not born in ignorance.
Paul says they are πλάνος Planos - deceivers … like the Geico commercial says, it’s just what they do.
----

Their goal is to seduce people and get them to depart from the faith.

This is the Lemma ἀφίστημι aphistēmi meaning “depart from.”
It’s related to the word apostasy which is, “A willful turning away from the truth of the Christian faith.”

They may claim the goal of appealing to a wider audience or of putting the name of Jesus before more people … BUT THAT is not truly their goal.

Instead, they want to get disciples to follow them, give them money, join their groups and promote their programs, teaching false doctrine and leading more people astray.
some of them are in churches and pulpits, teaching false doctrine and leading people astray.

A literal translation of verse 2 would read, “By means of hypocrisy of liars.”

They are perfectly willing to teach abstinence from things that God has given to bless us, twisting, bending and denying God’s Word, but of course they themselves are not bound by their own words.
Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits” ().
Do not read below:
Matthew 7:20 NKJV
Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Matthew 7:15–20 NKJV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

They tie up their followers back into the bondage that Christ has freed them from.

They tell their disciples what to do, but they do not do it themselves.
This does not mean he is sinlessly perfect, but that he sincerely seeks to obey the Word of God.
He tries to maintain a good conscience (see , ; ).
----

Paul characterizes them as having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.

The word seared means “cauterized.”

Just as a person’s flesh can be “branded” so that it becomes hard and without feeling, so a person’s conscience can be deadened.

Whenever we affirm with our lips something that we deny with our lives (whether people know it or not), we deaden our consciences just a little more.

Jesus made it clear that it is not religious talk or even performing miracles that qualifies a person for heaven, but doing God’s will in everyday life ().

An apostate is not just wrong doctrinally; he is wrong morally … he has wilfully turned away … departed from the faith.

He has willingly accepted a weakened version of what God has said … in order to continue living how he wants while pacifying his conscience.

Believing and behaving always go together.
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The false teachers in Ephesus combined Jewish legalism with Eastern asceticism.

Asceticism is the practice of strict self-denial as a means of attaining a higher spiritual plane.

asceticism is the practice of strict self-denial as a means of attaining a higher spiritual plane.
You find Paul dealing with this same false doctrine in his Letter to the Colossians ( especially).
Followers of Christ are told to deny self (), but asceticism takes this command to an extreme.
Do not read below:
Luke 9:23 NKJV
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

The Bible never suggests that a Christian should purposely seek out discomfort or pain.

God has richly blessed us “with everything for our enjoyment” ().
Do not read below:
1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Paul here warns of those who, “Forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods.”

The teaching was that celibates who abstain from certain foods are “more holy” than other people.

However, we are under grace, not under the law; therefore, the Christian does not live by a set of rules but by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 6:14 NKJV
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Christ has set us free … He said:
John 8:36 NKJV
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

In many cases, the ascetic practices self-denial in order to earn God’s favor or somehow purge himself from sin.

This shows a misunderstanding of grace.

We can never earn salvation or merit God’s love … we can only receive it by faith.
So, Paul calls out a couple of things these teachers forbid … marriage and certain foods.

Teaching that an unmarried life is in some way more spiritual than a married life, is contrary to Scripture.

“It is not good that the man should be alone” are God’s own words ().
Do not read below:
Genesis 2:18 NKJV
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
And Jesus put His seal of approval on marriage, though He pointed out that not everybody is supposed to marry ().
Paul also affirmed the biblical basis for marriage (), teaching that each person should follow the will of God in the matter.
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Also, the false teachers taught that certain foods should be prohibited, and if you ate them, you were not spiritual.

The fact that God called His own Creation “good” was dismissed by them, and Paul’s own teaching that all foods are good if partaken of with thanksgiving.

The authority of the false teachers to dictate diets gave them power and standing over others.

We still see this kind of message being taught today.

However, those who hold to a commitment to the Bible “believe and know the truth” and are not impressed with the do’s and don’ts of the legalists.

Jesus stated that all foods are clean ().
He taught this lesson again to Peter (), and reaffirmed it through Paul ().
A person may not be able to eat certain foods for physical reasons (an allergy, for example); but no food is to be rejected for spiritual reasons.
That being said, we should be mindful that we do not offend weaker Christians, but seek the other’s well being.
Romans 14:15 NKJV
Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
Romans 14
According to and verse 5 of our own chapter, the food we eat is sanctified when we pray and give thanks.
The food we eat is sanctified (set apart, devoted to God) when we pray and give thanks; so the Word of God and prayer turn even an ordinary meal into a spiritual service for God’s glory ().
So the Word of God and prayer turn even an ordinary meal into a spiritual service for God’s glory.
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The Jewish Roots movement is very popular today and there are a lot of great things about it.
But be very careful because there are segments and groups of it that are rife with false teaching and legalism.
Some place Jesus as secondary to Torah, diminishing Him in order to be inclusive of those who are uncomfortable with Him.
Some teach that Moses is greater than Jesus.
Others diminish Jesus in order to be inclusive of those who
Some demand people use a special name for God … of course that is a Hebrew name and of course nobody pronounces it properly except for them.
Some diminish or argue against the teachings of Paul and re-interpret his writings to say that we are still obligated to observe rules and regulations given to Israel at Sinai.

V6

Some teach that salvation is not through trusting in the finished work of Jesus alone, but add something or many somethings to it.
Some deny scripture in order to invalidate the idea of a called out church.
Some say that those who worship on Sunday, rather than the Sabbath are reprobate.
Some require the observance of Torah dietary restrictions.
Some reject the Greek scriptures altogether, claiming that there is a better Hebrew version of the New Testament.
But all of this is attractive because it is often disguised behind some version of “Jesus was Jewish.”
But then it is taken a step further saying that to be like Jesus, we must become observant Jews.
AND we must immerse ourselves in the culture of Israel if we are to REALLY understand the Bible.
There is great value in learning and understanding the culture, the language, and all of that … but salvation does not hinge on Jewishness.
Jewish externals and rituals are not a means of spirituality and sanctification.
It’s not about the outside, but about internal cleansing and heart purity.
Psalm 51:16–17 NKJV
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 51
The Hebrew Roots Movement is not all together bad, but the groups that are outside of what the Bible teaches puts the burden that Jesus already bore on the shoulders of Christians.
V6

V6

Timothy was “brought up in” the truths of the faith.

His mother and grandmother played a role in this and then even more so under the discipleship of Paul.

And Paul continues to give Timothy some pointed advice here.

To be a good minister of Christ, he should instruct the brethren in these things.

In what things?

In living out the truths of scripture.
Truth is not simply something to be believed, but if we believe something to be true, we abide in it … we live it out.
Thus Paul emphasizes the importance in any ministry of not only commanding and teaching truths, but also of setting an example by living them.
We have not really grasped Scripture’s truths until they begin to find expression in our lifestyle.
Richards, L. O. (1991). The Bible reader’s companion (electronic ed., p. 836). Wheaton: Victor Books.
It is tragic when a church keeps its pastors so busy with menial tasks that they have hardly any time for God’s Word and prayer ().
----
Paul reminded young Timothy of his great responsibility to study, teach, and preach the Scriptures, and to spend time in prayer.
As a “good minister” he must be “nourished up in the words of faith” ().

Of course, Timothy knew this … and knowing this, Timothy had certain responsibilities in the light of the growing apostasy:

For one thing, he was to teach the church the truth (v. 6a).

God’s people need to be warned about false doctrine and religious apostasy.

You don’t want to get so wrapped up in “warnings” that you neglect the rest of the counsel of God, but warnings also should not be ignored.
On a road trip, you see two kinds of signs:
Those that tell us where we are going (Birmingham, 6 miles)
Those that warn us of possible dangers (sharp turn, bridge out, etc)

A pastor must teach doctrine so that people will know (a) What they believe and (b) Where they are going.

But he must also expose false doctrine so that people will not be seduced and led astray.

Many churches today have abandoned the teaching of doctrine because it is seen as divisive.
This is a terrible thing to do and it is weakening individual Christians and churches.

Faith is not doctrine.

But doctrine is important in the expression of faith.

Otherwise faith becomes more about feelings and opinion than about the clear teaching of scripture.

----
Lots of people
Another responsibility that Timothy bore was to nourish himself in the Word.

Of course, every Christian ought to feed daily on the Word (; ; ).

Peter said, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”
Do not read below
2 Peter 2:2 NKJV
And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
1 Peter 2:2 NKJV
as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

We should all be daily in God’s Word, but it is especially important that a pastor spend time studying in the Word.

1 Peter 2:2
But it is especially important that a pastor grow in the Word.
But it is especially important that a pastor grow in the Word.
It is by daily studying the “good doctrine” and meditating on the Word that he grows in the Lord and is able to teach the church.
The “good minister” preaches the Word that he himself feeds on day by day.
You can very well tell what a Pastor is feeding himself on by what is featured in his sermons, whether it is the Word of God … or something else.
But it is not enough to preach the Word; he must also practice it.
Is it the Word of God … or something else
ie. Pop culture references, stories about himself, sermons based on movies, etc

V7-12

Again, Paul reminds Timothy of his calling.

Despite his youth … Timothy was given charge of the church in Ephesus.

The fact that Timothy was a young man (the word then applied to a person up to the age of forty) should not deter him from practicing the Word.
In fact, he was to “command” these things, … and this is our military word “charge” that we’ve seen multiple times in this letter, reminding Timothy that he has God given authority.

The local church is a unit in God’s spiritual army, and its leaders are to pass God’s orders along to the people with authority and conviction.

----

Paul shifts to an athletic illustration at this point in his letter.

There is such a thing as real, profitable exercise and then there are gimmics.
Those who fall for the gimmicks … the shake weight, the treadmill bike, sauna suit, thigh-master, etc … do a lot of work with no real gains.
Paul shifted to an athletic illustration at this point in his letter. Just as a Greek or Roman athlete had to refuse certain things, eat the right food, and do the right exercises, so a Christian should practice “spiritual exercise.” If a Christian puts as much energy and discipline into his spiritual life as an athlete does into his game, the Christian grows faster and accomplishes much more for God. Paul discussed in this section three levels of life.
But those who are willing to eat the right foods and hit the gym for an hour a day 4 or 5 days a week will see great gains.

Just as an athlete has to refuse certain things, eat the right food, and do the right exercises, so a Christian should practice “spiritual exercise.”

If a Christian puts as much energy and discipline into his spiritual life as an athlete does into his physique and his skill set, the Christian grows faster and accomplishes much more for God.
In verse 7, Paul brings up “profane and old wives’ fables … literally, “myths that are worthless and characteristic of the stories of old women.”
The bad—“profane and old wives’ fables” (v. 7a). These are, of course, the false teachings and traditions of the apostates. These doctrines have no basis in Scripture; in fact, they contradict the Word of God. They are the kind of teachings that silly people would discuss, not dedicated men and women of the Word! No doubt these teachings involved the false doctrines just named (). Paul also warned Titus about “Jewish fables” (). Paul warned Timothy about these same “fables” in his second letter ().
Paul is not being derogatory toward old women … he’s casting aspersion on the false teachings and traditions of the apostates … calling them nonsense.

It’s as if it was surprising to Paul that so many were believing these tales even though they had no basis in Scripture.

In fact, they contradicted the Word of God.

They are the kind of teachings that absurd people would tell for entertainment, not something that would be spoken of as truthful by dedicated men and women of the Word!
No doubt these teachings involved the false doctrines just named … forbidding marriage and abstaining from foods.
Paul also warned TITUS about “Jewish fables” ().
Don’t read below:
Titus 1:14 NKJV
not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
Titus 1:14 NKJV
not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
Titus 1:14 NKJV
not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
And Paul warned Timothy about these same “fables” in his second letter ().
Don’t read below:
2 Timothy 4:4 NKJV
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Because so many had itching ears and chased after fables, Timothy needed to remain true to, “The good doctrine which you have closely followed up to now.”
Paul admonished Timothy to remain true to “the good doctrine which you have closely followed up to now” (, literal translation).
He warned him not to “give heed to fables and endless genealogies” ().
He needed to understand how false teachers were twisting the Bible, but he also needed to protect himself, that he would not be influenced by it.
While a pastor must know what the enemy is teaching, he must not be influenced by it.
A chemist may handle and study poisons, but he does not permit them to get into his system.
Exercise is a part of good care for our physical bodies.
In the way that a motivated athlete will consume the right foods and exercise his body, so the Christian must be careful of what he takes in and practice godly discipline.
But bodily exercise benefits us only during this life; godly exercise is profitable now and for eternity.
Paul did not ask Timothy to choose between the two; I think God expects us to practice both. A healthy body can be used of God, but we must major on holiness.
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Hebrews 5:14 NKJV
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Paul used two similar athletic images in writing to the Corinthians (), emphasizing the disciplines necessary for godly living. As an athlete must control his body and obey the rules, so a Christian must make his body his servant and not his master. When I see high school football squads and baseball teams going through their calisthenics under the hot summer sun, I am reminded that there are spiritual exercises that I ought to be doing (). Prayer, meditation, self-examination, fellowship, service, sacrifice, submission to the will of others, witness—all of these can assist me, through the Spirit, to become a more godly person.
Prayer, meditation, self-examination, fellowship, service, sacrifice, submission to the will of others, testimony and witness—all of these can assist me, through the Spirit, to become a more godly person.
Spiritual exercise is not easy; we must “labor and suffer reproach” ().
“For this we labor and strive” (niv).
Look at verse 10 ... The word translated “strive” is an athletic word from which we get our English word agonize.
It is the picture of an athlete straining and giving his best to win. A Christian who wants to excel must really work at it, by the grace of God and to the glory of God.

But exercising ourselves in godly living is not only profitable for us; it is also profitable for others ().

Paul tells Timothy in verse 12, to “be an example to the believers.”

Spiritual exercise enables us to be good examples, so that we encourage others.
And look at your Bibles … Paul named several areas of life in which you and I should be examples:
“In word” (v): This implies that our speech should always be honest and loving … “speaking the truth in love” as Paul wrote to the Ephesians ().
Don’t read below:
1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Ephesians 4:15 NKJV
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Ephesians 4:15 NKJV
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
“In conduct” (v12): This suggests that our lives are to be controlled by the Word of God.
We should NOT be like the hypocrites Paul described to Titus (): “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him.”
We are a great example to other believers when we live by the Word of God.
Do not read below:
Titus 1:16 NKJV
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
“In love” (v12): We do not obey God to be applauded by men, but we obey because we love God and love our brothers and sisters in Christ.
When we are motivated by love in our obedience, we are a good example to others.
(“In spirit” is not in the oldest manuscripts, but it is in the most abundant manuscripts. It’s presence does not change the meaning of the verse. If it is correct, it would describe the attitude of a Christian … having a godly attitude.)
How many bad attitudes in church are inspired by other bad attitudes … I’ve heard that Mr. T is a Christian, but let’s not have any Bad Attitudes in church.
“In faith”: Implies that we trust God and are faithful to Him.
Faithful actions inspires faith in others.
“In purity”: Purity is important because we live in this evil world.
When we keep ourselves pure in mind, heart, and body, we are wonderful examples to our fellow believers.
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But godly living not only helps us AND other believers; it also has its influence on the lost.

Back in verse 10, Paul reminded Timothy that Jesus Christ is the Savior, ... it is the task of believers to share that Good News with the lost.

In effect he wrote, “We Christians have fixed our hope in the living God, but the lost have no hope and do not know the living God. All that many of them know are the dead idols that can never save them.”
The title “Savior of all men” does not imply that everybody will be saved (which is the false teaching of universalism).
Nor does it mean that God saves people in spite of themselves, which is why Paul added, “Especially of those that believe.”
The death of Christ is efficient ONLY for those who trust Him.
Meaning the death of Christ is efficient ONLY for those who trust Him.
It is sufficient for the sins of the whole world … but only efficient for those who call on the name of Jesus for salvation.
Trusting in Jesus … that is faith, is the mechanism by which salvation is received ().
Paul wrote in chapter 2, verse 4 that God, “Desires all men to be saved.”
Don’t read below:
1 Timothy
1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Because Christ “gave Himself a ransom for all” as Paul said in chapter 2, verse 6, any lost sinner can trust Christ and be saved … no one is excluded who chooses Him.
Don’t read below:
1 Timothy 2:6 NKJV
who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
Because Christ “gave Himself a ransom for all” as Paul said in chapter 2, verse 6, (), then any lost sinner can trust Christ and be saved.
Christ is “the Saviour of all men,” so nobody need despair … yet people choose to reject Him, bringing despair to themselves.
Christ is “the Saviour of all men,” so nobody need despair … yet people choose to reject Him, bringing despair to themselves.
The fact that Timothy was a young man (the word then applied to a person from youth to forty) should not deter him from practicing the Word. In fact, he was to “command” these things, and this is our military word “charge” (). The local church is a unit in God’s spiritual army, and its leaders are to pass God’s orders along to the people with authority and conviction.

v13

Paul anticipated returning to Ephesus, but in the meantime, he says Timothy is to προσέχω Prosechō “take care” to be doing a few specific things.

In the synagogues it was common to have public reading of scripture and then exegete or expound upon the text.

That method of teaching carried over to the Christian Church.

What we hear much of the time in church is what’s called Eisegesis which means, “Imposing one’s own interpretation on a text.”
An example of this would be taking and the Hebrew word Yom for Day and reading billions of years into it.
· Seventy-two percent (72%) of the pastors we surveyed in the last ten (10) years stated that they only studied the Bible when they were preparing for sermons or lessons. This left only 38% who read the Bible for devotions and personal study.
· Twenty-six percent (26%) of pastors said they regularly had personal devotions while eighty-two percent (82%) of all those surveyed felt they were adequately fed spirituality.
· Seventy-one percent (71%) of pastors said when they read the Bible for study, they regularly just looked for what they wanted and did not read it in context.
· Sixty-two percent (62%) of pastors said when they prepared Bible studies or sermons, they rarely looked up what they did not know or understand and just "winged-it." The same percentage also said they regularly read into a passage what was not there in order to make their point.
· Fifty-nine percent (59%) of pastors said when they prepared Bible studies or sermons, they did not think it was necessary to make sure their teaching was based on the text or biblically correct. It was more important to connect with their people.
The proper way of handling a Biblical text is Exegesis, which is sticking to the plain meaning of the text within it’s context.
Proper exegesis of a text offers some protection against the introduction of false doctrines from the pulpit, but Christians also need to be diligent in how they approach the text of the Bible.
It wasn’t pastor Timothy that was introducing false teachings into the church of Ephesus, it was Christians who were listening to the false teachers and sharing what they heard with others.
To counteract this, Paul tells Timothy to double down on 3 things … all a part of ministering the word.
No pastor can lead his people where he has not been himself. “Such as I have, give I thee” is a basic principle of life and ministry (). The pastor (or church member) who is not growing is actually going backward, for it is impossible to stand still in the Christian life. In his living, teaching, preaching, and leading, the minister must give evidence of spiritual growth. But what are factors that make spiritual progress possible?
Reading
Exhortation
Doctrine

Ministering the Word was not something Timothy was to do after he had done other things.

It was to be the most important thing he did.

Those 3 things were:
Reading
Exhortation
Doctrine
Reading means the public reading of Scripture in the local assembly.
I’m so glad to be pastoring a church where the Word of God is read aloud.
The Jewish people always had the reading of the Law and the Prophets in their synagogues, and this practice carried over into Christian churches. Jesus read the Scriptures in the synagogue at Nazareth (), and Paul often read the lessons when he visited a synagogue ().
During worship, we have reading of God’s Word.
And during the time of teaching, the Bible is read and then exegeted.
Many churches have dispensed with the public reading of God’s Word, and during teaching time you may hear a couple of verses quoted out of context.
They have time for “special music” and endless announcements, but there is no time for the reading of the Bible. The pastor may read a text before he preaches, but that is a different thing. Every local church ought to have a schedule of Bible readings for the public services. It is commanded by Scripture that we read God’s Word in the public assemblies. (I might add that those who read the Word publicly ought to prepare themselves privately. Nobody should be asked “at the last minute” to read the Scriptures publicly. The Bible deserves the best we can give.
The second item is Exhortation which means “encouragement” and suggests the proper application of God’s Word.
The pastor was to read the Word and explain it so that it can be properly applied.
He was not to take one verse and use it to support something unintended in it’s original context.
For instance, :
Matthew 18:20 NKJV
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
So then, we can skip church as long as we are skipping church with a couple of other believers, right?
Nope.
The context from which this verse comes is about church discipline and that if two or three of the witnesses (v 16) agree on the matter, then Jesus is also in agreement with them. 
This verse has been misquoted to mean that you don’t need church but if there are “two or three…gathered in [Jesus’] name, there [He] is.”
Sorry to burst that bubble for you, but what most Christians understand about that verse is not what the text actually says.
BUT, if you are born again, Jesus is already with you and you don’t need two or three others to join you in order for Him to be with you.
if you are born again, Jesus is already with you and you don’t need two or three others to join you in order for Him to be with you.
Finally, Doctrine means “teaching,” and is a major emphasis in the pastoral letters.
Finally, Doctrine means “teaching,” and is a major emphasis in the pastoral letters.
Doctrine means “teaching,” and is a major emphasis in the pastoral letters. There are at least twenty-two references to “teaching” or “doctrine” in these thirteen chapters.
There are at least 22 references to “teaching” or “doctrine” in the thirteen chapters of the Pastoral Epistles.
It is clear that Paul considered the doctrines of scripture to be extremely important in the proper expression of faith so that people are not led astray.

It was incredibly important for Timothy .. and for pastors today to devote great time to their own studies and their preparations for sermons.

Yet, that kind of spiritual exercise is often neglected by today’s pastors and teachers.

In a survey taken 7 years ago:
· Seventy-two percent (72%) of the pastors surveyed in the last ten (10) years stated that they only studied the Bible when they were preparing for sermons or lessons.
This leaves only 38% who read the Bible for devotions and personal study.
· Twenty-six percent (26%) of pastors say they regularly have personal devotions while eighty-two percent (82%) felt they were adequately fed spirituality.
· Seventy-one percent (71%) of pastors say when they read the Bible for study, they regularly look for what they want and do not read it in context.
· Sixty-two percent (62%) of pastors say when they prepare Bible studies or sermons, they rarely look up what they do not know or understand and just "wing-it."
The same percentage also said they regularly read into a passage what is not there in order to make their point.
· Fifty-nine percent (59%) of pastors said when they prepared Bible studies or sermons, they did not think it was necessary to make sure their teaching was based on the text or biblically correct. It was more important to connect with their people.

v14-16

Use your spiritual gifts (v. 14). So much has been written in recent years about spiritual gifts that we have almost forgotten the graces of the Spirit (). The word gift is the Greek word charisma. It simply means “a gracious gift from God.” (The world uses the word charisma to describe a person with magnetic personality and commanding appearance.) Every Christian has the gift of the Spirit () and at least one gift from the Spirit (). The gift of the Spirit, and the gifts from the Spirit, are bestowed by God at the moment of conversion (see ).
The word gift is the Greek word χάρισμα charisma (Ha-REES-mah).
In the biblical sense, it means “A gracious gift from God.”
Every Christian has the gift OF the Spirit and at least one gift from the Spirit.

Here it refers to the varying spiritual gifts given to Timothy and to all believers.

Paul reminds Timothy that has been given supernatural gifts by God, which were recognized by other church leaders.

He can trust that God will do great things through him.
It would seem that Timothy had neglected to develop this gift.
In fact, Paul had to admonish him in his second letter, “Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” ().
2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

I find that it is encouraging to know that the God who calls us also equips us to do His work.

We have nothing in ourselves that enables us to serve Him; the ministry must all come from God.
However, we must not be indifferent to our gifts; we must cultivate them, use them, and develop them in the ministry of wherever God puts us.
And He will use us effectively to accomplish his good purposes … the building up of the saved and the winning of the lost, to the glory of God.
Devote yourself fully to Christ (v. 15). “Meditate” carried the idea of “be in them, give yourself totally to them.” Timothy’s spiritual life and ministry were to be the absorbing, controlling things in his life, not merely sidelines that he occasionally practiced. There can be no real pioneer advance in one’s ministry without total dedication to the task. “No man can serve two masters” ().
Prayer: Lord, help us to heed the counsel of your Word as we have received it this morning. Create in us faithful witnesses to one another and to unbelievers. Help us to be nurturing and caring toward one another. Give us a fresh and solid love for Your Word. I pray that we would be able to say, like Paul, "I have not shunned to declare to you the full counsel of God. May our lives be such that we can say to others, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ."
The great American evangelist of the 1800s, Charles Finney, used to preach on this text. He titled his sermon “Preacher, Save Thyself!” That sermon is needed today, for we are seeing people having to leave the ministry because their lives have not kept up with their profession. Moral problems, divorces, and other kinds of shameful conduct have destroyed many of God’s servants. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” ().
The building up of the saved and the winning of the lost are the purposes for our ministry, to the glory of God. But God must work in us before He can effectively work through us (). As good ministers, we preach the Word; as godly ministers, we practice the Word; as growing ministers, we progress in the Word.
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