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1 Timothy 4:6-10

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How to be Spiritually fit for the Christian

Introduction:
To be spiritually fit Christians means to be in shape. Our passage will show us what it will take to get spiritually in shape, to be spiritually fit Christians.
If we are going to be spiritually fit Christians then we must first eat the right food.
I. Eat the right food! (6)
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. .
Verse six is making a movement with what was just said to what is about to be said in the following verses. Verse six is what we call a transition verse. The main thrust or the main thought of verse six is found in the phrase “you will be good servant of Jesus Christ.” that is the motivation of the verse. Everything else in verse six supports that main thrust.
a. A Motivation
The motivation for all Christians and churches should be the motivation to be good ministers of Jesus Christ.
Our greatest desire and motivation as Christians and as a church should be the desire and motivation to be good servants of Jesus Christ. We are all ministers and servants of Jesus Christ. What we must do is ask ourselves whether we are good servants of Jesus Christ.
Everything that follows verse six in chapter four seems to support this motivation. Everything that follows seems to show us just how we can be good ministers of Jesus Christ, just how we can be spiritually fit Christians.. What are the marks of spiritually fit and good minister of Jesus Christ? One such mark is that we eat the right food.
b. A Mark
If the main thought of the verse is that we be good ministers of Jesus Christ, then the other two thoughts support that main idea. The first mark we dealt with to some degree last week because it ties in with the previous verses.
In pointing out these things” Obviously this deals with the previous five verse, which dealt with the apostasy from the truth of the gospel and God’s world. Good servants of Jesus Christ will always make know the truth of the gospel and the truth of God’s word, with both their mouth and the way they live their lives.
The second mark that supports the main thought of verse six is found in the phrase, “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. ..” You could say that a good minister of Jesus not only speaks the truth, but also feeds on the truth.
The Greek word we translate “nourished” is only used one time in the New Testament. When used outside of the Bible it spoke of training or nourishing of a child. The participle is a passive tense, which may suggest that the nourishing is something that happens to the good servant of Jesus Christ.
The mark of a good servant of Jesus Christ, the mark of one who is spiritually fit for the christian is that they feed on the words of faith and good doctrine and the words of faith and good doctrine nourish them spiritually. What are the words of faith and good doctrine? The words of faith and good doctrine are the truth of the gospel and the truth of God’s word.
If you are going to be a good servant of the Lord Jesus Christ you have to nourish your spiritual body with the word of God. If you are going to be spiritually fit for the christian you have to eat the right food and the right food is God’s word. Feeding on God’s word should be a daily discipline for you. Just as you eat to nourish your physical body, you must eat to nourish your spiritual body. You must eat the right food!
Illustration:
There was a couple who was seeking answers to the question of life, so they decided to buy a Bible a begin reading it to see what it said about life. They decided to read a little each night before they went to bed. One night the as the husband was reading he stopped and said to his wife, “If this book is true then we are wrong.” Another night as he was reading the Bible he stopped and sad to his wife, “If this book is true, then we are lost.” They continued to read the Bible every night. One night as he was reading the husband stopped once again and said, “If this book is true then we can be saved.” Within a week the Lord sent a man their way who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and they accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
As the couple was reading through the Word of God, God himself was revealing himself to the couple. It was God revealing himself through his word to this couple that brought them from knowing about God to knowing God in a personal way. It is God’s word that brings salvation, it is also God’s word that helps us grow in sanctification.
Being spiritually fit Christians begins with the proper diet. We must eat the right food and the food is the Word of God. The innerant and infallible trues that God has revealed in his Holy Word must nourish us. Spiritual fitness begins with eating the right food. The next thing we notice is that spiritual fitness comes about by doing the right activity.
II. Do the right activity! (7-8)
1 Tim. 4:7-8(NASB-U)
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; [8] for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
a. Command
The right activity begins with a command. The command is both negative and positive. The negative is “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women” Paul is making a contrast between the “words of faith and good doctrine” and “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women” Timothy must be nourished by the truth of God’s word, but he must reject any food that is godless. Timothy is to reject the teachings of the false teachers. The “profane” can also be translated “godless” or “worldly.” The teachings that are godless and of this world must be rejected.
The positive command is “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” Instead of being consumed with false teachings of the heretics, Timothy must exercise himself in godliness. How do we understand this command?
b. Comprehension
Let us first begin to comprehend what Paul is saying by understanding the word “godliness.” The word Paul uses for “godliness” is used fifteen times in the New Testament. Eight of those times the word is used by Paul in this first letter that he wrote to Timothy.
When Paul uses word “godliness” he has in mind Christian behavior and ethics. We should not see godliness as a specific virtue, but rather a general virtue that covers the whole of our Christian life. The word used for “godliness” is best seen as a comprehensive term that deals with both the interior and exterior life of a Christian. The term “godliness,” in my opinion, is almost synonymous with the term “holiness.” Holiness is to be pursued in every area of our life. In the same manner godliness is to be exercised in every area of our life. We are to conform ourselves to the precepts of God’s Word. Feeding on the Word of God is fundamental if we want to do the right activity. How will we know what God expects of us if we don’t read his word?
The word “discipline” can mean to “make oneself obey.” Godliness is not something that happens overnight, but instead it is something that we train ourselves toward. We have to exercise towards godliness. We have to make ourselves obey towards godliness. Obey what? Obey the word of God. We must condition ourselves towards godliness.
People who run marathons don’t just wake up one day and run marathons. They condition themselves to run marathons. The same is true for the Christians. If we are going to be spiritually fit then we must eat the right food and do the right activity. The activity that we must do is exercise ourselves in godliness. Paul goes on in verse eight to give support for our need to exercise ourselves in godliness.
c. Cause
“for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
Paul is speaking figuratively in this verse. He is not saying that physical exercise is a bad thing. Physical exercise is a good thing because our bodies are our temples. The point that Paul is making is that physical training will only have value on this side of heaven. But the training toward godliness will have value for the life we live now and the one to come. Godliness and present and eternal value, therefore, we must exercise ourselves towards godliness. We must pursue holiness and godliness in every area of our lives.
Spiritually fit servants of Jesus Christ eat the right food and the do the right activity. The food is the word of God. The activity is the discipline of godliness. There is a third thing to observe about being spiritually fit Christians. We must have the right goal.
III. Have the right Goal! (9-11)
It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. [10] For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
a. Foundation
For it is for this we labor and strive,” Greek word for “strive” is “agonizomai.” We get our English word “agonize” from this word. It is another athletic term. Paul uses it when he speaks about competing or striving for the prize. Paul is just repeating our need as Christians to agonize and exercise towards godliness. The foundation for such a agonizing and exercising is found in the phrase, “because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” Why do we agonize and exorcise towards godliness? Because we have put our hope I the living God who is our Savior, and because Jesus did not come to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sin. Paul goes on to give the focus of our goal.
b. Focus
who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” Who is the Savior of all men, especially those who believe? The living God that who! This verse is not saying that all men are saved. What it is saying is that the offer of salvation is universal. All men have the opportunity to come to Christ, but only those who truly believe will experience salvation.
The goal for eating the right food and doing the right activity is the gospel. the goal for being a spiritually fit Christians is the gospel. The goal of being a good minister of Jesus Christ is the gospel. That the goal we focus on.
We strive to be spiritually fit for the sake of evangelism. We speak the truth, we feed on the truth, and we live out the truth, for the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We agonize and exercise towards godliness for the sake of the gospel.
What we believe as well as what we say, and how we live can influence people to accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Illustration:
It was autumn, and the Modoc Indians asked their new Chief, if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the weather was going to be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should go out and collect firewood. Also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?" "It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the weather service responded. So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared. A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" "Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's definitely going to be a very cold winter." The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them again to collect every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?" "Absolutely," the man replied. "It's going to be one of the coldest winters ever." "How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked. The weatherman replied, "Because, the Indians are collecting firewood like crazy." The way we live our lives influences those around us. Knowing this let us be good servants of Jesus Christ, who eat the right food, do the right activity, and have the right goal.
Warren Wiersbe once said:
"When the child of God looks into the Word of God and sees the Son of God, he is transformed by the Spirit of God into the image of God to the glory of God."
Conclusion:
How to be spiritually fit Christian? Feed on the Word of God; live out the Word of God, for the purpose of the gospel of God.
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