Episode #194. Today we’ll read 1 Timothy chapter 4 together. Paul warns against demonic influences, defines a good servant of Jesus Christ, and gives further instructions for the ministry.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #194. Today we’ll read 1 Timothy chapter 4 together: Paul warns against demonic influences; defines a good servant of Jesus Christ; and gives further instructions for the ministry.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
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1 Timothy Chapter 4
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.
A Good Servant of Jesus Christ
If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Instructions for Ministry
Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching. Don’t neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Whoa! In case you weren’t stopped in your tracks by the liberty that we have in Christ as Paul writes in the first paragraph, please…stop the podcast and go back and read it again. Paul has nothing good to say about those who will come – have come – to place restrictions on believers as if something that we could do would add anything to the perfection of Christ’s work on the cross.
False teachers have come. The letters in the New Testament are replete with warnings against them. It’s as if the writing apostles are trying to plug holes in a dam. They quiet one group and another set of liars is right behind them in line. And know this: More will make themselves known in our time. What makes this particularly difficult is that we are prone to wander. Paul points it out in the very first verse.
I hope you – like me – are grabbing a bright neon Post-It note to bookmark this chapter in your Bible. When we feel that old familiar restlessness, when the excitement junkies in us start to steer us to places we know we shouldn’t be, listening to people we know we shouldn’t listen to, we’ll come back to this chapter.
Rest in the Righteousness
And, oh my goodness, look at what Paul says about us if we share this. We will be good servants of Christ. There is only so far trying to put the reins on our flesh is gonna go. So much better to rest in the righteousness that Jesus has so generously provided for us.
If you have taught Sunday school to kids, you’ve probably quoted 1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone despise your youth. The Spirit of God who calls us is wiser and stronger than age and experience. It’s not something to be arrogant about but it is a confirmation to help young people stand firm.
Although in this letter, Paul likely had young Timothy in mind, these instructions can easily form another to-do list that will keep us close to Jesus and serving Him properly. Let’s pray.
Lord, thank You for the liberty we have in You. Thank You for paying our debt. Thank You that we can rest in You. Give us ears only for Your teachings, Father, and hold us close to keep us from wandering. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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