The Book of 1 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 4 Part 3

We go on to 1 Timothy 4:11-16

v11: Command: The things that Paul has been instructing Timothy about in this epistle are not suggestions or good ideas for people to consider. Paul wants these things to be taught as commandments (New Testament commandments). 

v12: Let no one despise your youth: Timothy was a young man, but he was not new to the faith. He was a mature believer. 

  • Despise: Think down upon in a condemning way.  Paul did not want Timothy to focus on what people could have been saying about him leading them in his youthfulness. 
  • An example: A pattern
  • An example…in Word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity: When we are a faithful example to others, by displaying these above-mentioned foundational characteristics, we are able to be used as instruments that bring about change in their lives and situations. 
  • In Word: The Word is mentioned first. In Greek, the word used here is ‘logos’. Logos is a word that refers to the written word and is not the word for ‘speech’ (‘rhema’ is the spoken word). The Word of G-d (The Bible) is our foundation. It is where we learn about all the things that we are talking about.
  • Conduct: Behaviour. We can only know what right behaviour is through the Word of G-d. When we apply the Word of G-d correctly to our lives it is going to impact our behaviour. 
  • In spirit: The Nestle-Aland leaves this characteristic out. It mentions five characteristics rather than the six found in the Textus Receptus (the older translations of the Bible – KJV, NKJV etc- are all based on the Textus Receptus). 
  • In purity: When we are in a condition of impurity, defilement (i.e. we are not walking in truth or demonstrating faith, we are not behaving properly, and nor do we desire to be moved or empowered by the Spirit), G-d does not work in our lives to bless. Anything that was impure or defiled in the Old Testament was rejected by G-d. It was set aside. Purity brings about the work of G-d, and His blessing, in our lives. 

v13: Till I come: Paul’s repeats his desire to visit Timothy and his congregation.

  • Give attention: Hold fast. Deal with these instructions faithfully.
  • Give attention to reading: Paul wanted Timothy to publicly read the Word of G-d. In Paul’s day, not everyone had a copy of the Scriptures in their homes. To hear the Word of G-d and to be taught it they had to come to an assembly where someone, who was knowledgeable and trained in both the Word of G-d and in reading the Scripture, could proclaim it. In Jewish communities today the Word of G-d is still read aloud and publicly three times a week in the synagogue (On the Sabbath, Mondays and Thursdays). Many people will interrupt their lives and assemble on these days to hear the Scripture being read. This verse is telling us that there is a benefit to reading the Word of G-d out loud. 
  • Doctrine: Teach and emphasise good doctrine in local congregations. 

Note: Encouragement and teaching doctrine should stem from the public reading of a Scriptural text. Paul is admonishing Timothy (and those who teach the Word) to read the Scripture aloud, to encourage or exhort the people to follow that Word that has been proclaimed aloud (Roms 10:17) and then Paul wanted Timothy to train the people how to practically implement that Biblical doctrine in their lives.

v14: Do not neglect the gift that is in you: Believers need to utilize the gift/s that G-d has given to them. They need to exercise and walk in that gift/s.

  • Presbytery: Elder. This word is written in the singular but may be referring to a body of elders. 

v15: Meditate: Not only the word for thinking about (meditating upon) but also a word that means to put into practice.

  • These things: All the things that Paul has written to Timothy about. 
  • Give yourself entirely to them (literally: Let them exist in you): Paul did not want Timothy to emphasise a few of these things or only focus on those things which were easier to do. Paul wanted ALL of the things (the doctrines, truths and admonitions) written about in this epistle to become an integral part of Timothy’s (a believer’s) lifestyle. 
  • That your progress may be evident to all: Thinking about truth and implementing it in our lives is going to help us to mature in our faith. 
  • Evident to all: This could mean that maturity and growth will be seen publicly by all people. This phrase could also mean that progression/maturity manifests itself in all areas of our lives. 

Note: When believers mature (faithfulness to the Word of G-d brings about maturity) every aspect of their lives is impacted. When believers mature, submitting themselves to the authority of Messiah, other people also begin to notice a difference in them. 

v16: Take heed: Guard yourself. Hold on to. This is a term of warning. Yeshua used it frequently in regard to the last days. It is a term that means to ‘watch’, to be perceptive, to have discernment regarding what is going on in this world. 

  • Take heed to (Guard) … the doctrine: When we apply Biblical doctrines (the truth of Scripture) to our lives, we are going to be people who are given discernment and who will be able to guard ourselves. Ignoring Biblical doctrine (not thinking about, not emphasising it, not thinking that it is important etc) will cause us to weaken spiritually and let down our guard. In this dangerous place, we would be easily manipulated by the enemy and would not hold fast to truth. Guarding Biblical doctrine helps us to remain strong.

Note: Those who do not know the fundamental doctrines of Scripture lack the capacity to exercise discernment. Biblical doctrine gives us discernment to know what is true and what is false. Part of discernment is knowing when to stand and contend or confront (Jude 1:3), but also knowing when it is time to flee (1 Cor 6:18, 2 Tim 2:22). We need to contend against that which is untrue, that which is against the doctrines of Scripture. We should never contend or try to fight with temptation. Flee from temptation. Know when to fight and know when to flee. 

  • Continue in them: We should not separate ourselves from Biblical doctrine, we need to remain in it. 
  • Save…yourself: Timothy was a believer, which means he had already obtained salvation. So, what ‘saving’ is Paul talking about here? The word used here is not referring to the salvation associated with forgiveness and entering into an eternal covenant with G-d. It is not speaking about being saved from G-d’s condemnation. It is a word that can also be used to refer to healing (whether spiritually or physically – demonic possession/torment, disease etc). When it is used in the context of healing (as it is here) it is speaking of being restored or renewed to a proper position (see 1 Tim 2:15). Guarding ourselves and our doctrine puts us into G-d’s order – it makes us spiritually healthy (even able to impact our physical health in a positive way). 
  • Save … those who hear you: Those who listen to good doctrine (and who apply it to their lives) are able to be restored and renewed. Their lives can be put into G-dly order. It has a saving or positive effect in their lives. 

Note: Paul is teaching Timothy in this epistle how to minister into the context of a local congregation. Timothy needed to live an ordered life and he needed to know how to teach the members of his congregation how to live ordered and G-dly lives – lives that are pleasing to G-d. Paul desired that this congregation became united, that they were growing and maturing, having a common vision and practice on how to behave so that the order of G-d was manifested through them – so that G-d could be glorified through them. Not all congregations manifest the order of G-d. Some congregations, based on their doctrines and practices, are in chaos today. It is only when G-d’s order is maintained within a congregation that things are going to be good (pleasing to G-d). G-d’s Presence, power and provision can only be received and utilised by those (individuals and congregations) who have the order of G-d in their lives – those who submit to His commands/instructions, those who hold on to good doctrine, those who love truth, etc. When G-d’s power is manifested within a congregation, ministry is done, and the glory of G-d is released. This is what the local congregation (and individual believers) is called to do.

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