Example To Follow: 1 Timothy 4:12-16
1 Timothy - Lasting Instruction: Example To Follow: 1 Timothy 4:12-16 Pastor John Weathersby Sunday March 3, 2019 This book is one of the Pastoral Epistles or letters to the Pastors as John said last week. As we covered 1 Timothy 4:6-11 last week, we discussed and studied the importance of the things that last. When we know Christ we’ll focus on eternity! 1 Timothy 4:6-11 (ESV) 6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 11 Command and teach these things. When we know Christ we focus on eternity because His vast worth pull our attention to the future, not the now. Paul’s encouragement in this epistle to Timothy is to be that way - future facing and he gives Timothy a framework to be a future facing pastor. Let's look at that together. 1 Timothy 4:12–16 (ESV) 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Straight out of the gate, I want us to notice something together “set the believers an example”. Think about that. And we’ll follow to forks in this road each determined by one word 1) believers 2) example. This pastoral book here is giving advice to the leader of the church in this town of Ephesus, Timothy is caring for the church at Ephesus. This doesn’t make him a building and grounds guy, the Church isn’t the location - the stone building at 1801 State St. isn’t the Church at Harrisburg - each of us individually, each of you, individually are of the Church at Harrisburg. You’re each, I pray, believers. I’ve said before believer is deceptive - Satan more than believes in God, he knows with no reservation there is a God, does that make him a “believer” no. And believing there is a God doesn’t make YOU a “believer” either. A believer has seen and clings to the Gospel for God’s Grace - was baptized as a matter of obedience, and lives with Jesus as Lord. Paul writes to Timothy here something specific to the believers. This isn’t Timothy, live this way because of the Unbelievers in Ephesus; this is for the good of the believers. I think we often believe our every action is to convert an unbelieving person - that would be trickery. Church when we get the richness that our relationships are to enjoy, the deep trust and forgiveness that we offer, the careful love and common bond in God, you wont’ have to work to make sure people know it - they’ll see it. It will stand out. When I a guy from PA goes to the beach in Florida in April, they know it - my skin is translucent there is evidence on me, I don’t have to point it out - hey look at me I’m an unhealthy pasty freak. We too, church should be so marked. We too believers should stand out as a natural state. So, 1) This is to the believers – and, 2) It’s for an example. This is key because people love to jump to what the Pastor should do, how the pastor should be - and as one of my pastors in California would say, they love to eat roast pastor, on the plate cutting into him - ummm ohh, it’s good. We do not have that atmosphere here - with the exception of few people here, like Bob. Just kidding, maybe. Timothy, and all Pastors after him - remember we say this book is Lasting Instruction, it lays the roots for the church that grows up nourished by them, he tells Timothy, live as an example to the believers. Have you ever worked knowingly to set the example for someone? Maybe you’re friends with people who can tend to get loud in public places, and so you exaggeratedly speak really purposefully quietly as an example hoping that they’ll what - follow your volume down. SO Timothy is to live as an example in these 5 ways, ready 5 ways - ever have an instructor like I had for an AWS Cloud certification recently who would stop their feet or repeat things when there is an exam questions coming, these 5 ways - are an example to the believers to what… Follow. Can you follow what you don’t know? NO So these 5 ways Timothy is to live is as an example for believers: 1) Speech 2) Conduct 3) Love 4) Faith 5) Purity This is what Paul believes is the example that needs to be set: 1) Speech 2) Conduct 3) Love 4) Faith 5) Purity So, if the example is set for the believers in the body - how are you doing here? We should ask ourselves this - this is the Northeastern pasty skin that makes you stand out at the beach in FL. It’s the sickly pale skin of the believer. Ever hear of God stories? Those super encouraging times you got to see God working in cool ways? Perhaps you haven’t seen one in a while - how are you doing on the 5 markers of Christendom: 1) Speech 2) Conduct 3) Love 4) Faith 5) Purity So then, Paul says: 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (ESV) Some Will Depart from the Faith 1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. DEVOTE yourself. To public reading, exhortation and teaching. This is a pattern you’ll see here each Sunday. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Undoubtedly some folks were enjoying a little roast pastor at Timothy’s expense. He lived in Biblical Ephesus a wild place itself, a bit Vegas esque perhaps. Lots of theological confusion, Timothy was studying scripture, proclaiming a Biblical Gospel, Timothy would need grit to go on. When people questioned him, Timothy needed to be sure in scripture. Paul reminded him of his calling, 1 Timothy 1:18 and would again in 2 Timothy 1:6 - pastoring is lonely. It’s hard to explain being alone in a crowd, but it is. 1 Timothy 1:18 (ESV) 18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 2 Timothy 1:6 (ESV) 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, You’re a vault of secrets - and you must be. You’re striving to live as an example (in all 5 points - everything biblical has all 5 points…) He closes with this. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. Church, imagine the weight of that. Why do I press on like I do - this is part of it. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. If we live as Christians, 5 pointers: 1) Speech 2) Conduct 3) Love 4) Faith 5) Purity People will know us: Matthew 7:15–20 (ESV) A Tree and Its Fruit 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Spend this week measuring yourself up against these 5 markers that Paul gave Timothy as an example to be followed. Don’t be crushed, be encouraged. Pray through the following questions: • How do I live up to the 5 points of Christianity? • When was my last “God Story”? • What should change THIS WEEK in my life?