1 Timothy 4
1 Timothy 4
Shawn Bumpers / General
1 Timothy / Doctrine, Church, Bible, Word of God, Bible, Gifts
The job of the Pastor; Good and bad teaching in the church.
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.
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,
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 able to falsely accuse him.
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.
Prior to writing 1 Timothy, Paul was on a good run.
So far in this letter, Paul has written to Timothy to encourage him in establishing order in the church of Ephesus.
It seems that contending for the faith against false doctrines and false teachers was important in the mind of Paul.
• False Lifestyle (v1-5):
• Danger of distraction from godliness (v6-10):
• Need to set example in faith, speech, life, etc (v11-16):
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:
• Paul says that a good Pastor practices the Word:
• Paul says that a good Pastor clears the way for other believers:
The early church had to deal with false doctrines … and the church of today deals with them too.
• Doctrine is, “A set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true.”
• False doctrine is any idea that adds to, takes away from, contradicts, or nullifies the doctrine given in God’s Word.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Holy Spirit had spoken in specific terms about these teachers.
2 Timothy 3:13 NKJV
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
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.
πνεῦμα Pneuma (new-mah) and δαιμόνιον Daimonion (deemoh-nion).
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.
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.
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.
False doctrines come to be when man thinks he can be loose with what God has said.
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.
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.”
A literal translation of verse 2 would read, “By means of hypocrisy of liars.”
Matthew 7:20 NKJV
Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
They tie up their followers in bondage that Christ has freed them from.
Paul characterizes them as having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.
The word seared means “cauterized.”
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.
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.
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.
John 8:36 NKJV
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Paul calls out a couple of things these teachers forbid … marriage and certain foods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Faith is not doctrine.
But doctrine is important in the expression of faith.
Another responsibility that Timothy bore was to nourish himself in the Word.
Of course, every Christian ought to feed daily on the Word (Jer. 15:16; Matt. 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2).
1 Peter 2:2 NKJV
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.
Again, Paul reminds Timothy of his calling.
Despite his youth … Timothy was given charge of the church in Ephesus.
Paul shifts to an athletic illustration at this point in his letter.
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.”
In verse 7, Paul brings up “profane and old wives’ fables … literally, “myths that are worthless and characteristic of the stories of old women.”
Titus 1:14 NKJV
not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
2 Timothy 4:4 NKJV
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
But exercising ourselves in godly living is not only profitable for us; it is also profitable for others (1 Tim. 4:11–12).
Paul tells Timothy in verse 12, to “be an example to the believers.”
And look at your Bibles … Paul named several areas of life in which you and I should be examples:
Ephesians 4:15 NKJV
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Titus 1:16 NKJV
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
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.
1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:6 NKJV
who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
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.
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.
• Reading means the public reading of Scripture in the local assembly.
• The second item is Exhortation which means “encouragement” and suggests the proper application of God’s Word.
Matthew 18:20 NKJV
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
• Finally, Doctrine means “teaching,” and is a major emphasis in the pastoral letters.
The word gift is the Greek word χάρισμα charisma (Ha-REES-mah).
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.
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.