1 Timothy 4
KEEP BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL: The last two chapters have been about order in the church, specifically the need for godly men to fill the roles of elder and deacon. In today's chapter we find out why having this order established is so critical. 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.
BEING A PASTOR IS REALLY EASY: There are really only two key tasks Paul gives to pastors: First, they are to "nourish [their people] on the truths of the faith and good teaching (v6)." Daily Bible reading and solid Sunday worship habits are two of the ways we do this at Worthington CRC.
But just keeping people well fed doesn't mean they will be in good shape, either physically or spiritually, so the second thing pastors must continually encourage people to do is to:
Train yourself to be Godly (v7).
This, of course, was our theme as we spent several months focusing in on Spiritual Disciplines in our Sunday morning services last winter. For a short reminder of how we are to discipline ourselves to be Godly, check out this video.
TWO TRICKY VERSES are found in this chapter:
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it's received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated [made holy] by the word of God and prayer (v4-5): This passage does not give a blank check to Christians to do whatever they like. For example, some would argue that unrepentant LGBTQ couples ought to be accepted in the church because the love they share is part of God's good creation, but we must not use God's good gifts sinfully.
We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially those who believe (v10): This verse does not mean that God will save all people from their sins. The word 'savior' here is used in a more generic sense, meaning that God provides for and comes to the aid of all people. Those who believe, of course, experience an exponentially greater type of salvation that lasts for all eternity.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God, who created all things good (v4) and who provides for all people (v10)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to give you the endurance to train yourself for Godliness (v7)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: