1 Timothy 4 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-6 - Remember that 1 Timothy is classified as a Pastoral Epistle, or in other words, a letter written to an early church pastor with instructions for how to build the church. Chapter four opens with a reminder that the Church always has been, and always will be (until Christ returns) under attack from deceiving spirits and teachings from hypocritical liars. There are seasons like what we're in now, where those who wish the church harm are bold and easy to spot, and there are other times where the attacks are more subtle.

  • Often times, these false teachers are marked by either:

  • adding all sorts of obscure lifestyle rules that are not prescribed in the Bible (v3-5);

  • subtracting all sorts of moral commands found in the Bible and applicable to God's people both in the Old and New Testaments. Paul doesn't mention this aspect in this chapter, but it's referred to often in the New Testament, and is the more common type of false teacher we face today.

  • v7-10 - Rather than gorge on religious junk food ("godless myths and old wives' tales"), you are to:

Train yourself to be Godly.

This is one of the most important commands in the Bible. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most ignored.

  • We tend to get so wrapped up in the busyness of life (which, as Paul points out in v8, has "some value") that we have no time or energy left to invest in things that hold promise both now and in the life to come.

  • Like physical training, there are no 'get fit quick' plans that can help you 'become spiritually disciplined in three easy steps.'

  • Doing this is hard work, something we are to "labor and strive" towards.

  • As a reminder, there are three key disciplines that you must be practicing: Reading the Bible, praying, and participating regularly in gathered worship. Doing these things at a minimum will naturally lead you into many other disciplines. For a quick reminder overview on Spiritual Disciplines, watch this 16 minute video.

  • v11-16 - It may seem like this final passage is directed only at Pastor Timothy, or maybe just minsters in general, but it has a big application for all Christians.

  • The main imperative is for pastors to make "the public reading of scripture, preaching a