I Timothy 4

Those are good ministers of Jesus Christ who are diligent to instill into the minds of their hearers the fundamental truths of God’s Word, which will prevent their being seduced by false teachers and drawn away into the apostasy of the last days. Let them not study to advance new notions, but ever be faithful in proclaiming those saving truths which they have received of the apostles and Jesus Christ.

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

11 These things command and teach.

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Timothy 4:1-8 – ​Reject False and Foolish Teaching

   We have here the Apostle’s forecast of the last times, i.e., the condition in which men will find themselves as the age draws to a close. Notwithstanding all that Christ has done, the prevalence of evil will be enormous, not because of any failure in God but because the Church has failed to be the organ through which His saving help could reach mankind. The symptoms are set forth with great clearness, such as demon spirits dwelling and working in men, error taught under the specious guise of excessive religious devotion, consciences seared, natural instincts thwarted and outraged. On the contrary, let us believe that the whole body, and all gifts that are natural and innocent, are to be cherished and used under three sanctions:

1. They must be accepted and enjoyed with thanksgiving to the Creator and Father.

2. They must be sanctioned by the Word of God.

3. Their use and enjoyment must, not interfere with our prayer-life.

   The minister of Christ must be daily nourished by the words of Christian truth. If he is not fed on Christ’s body and blood, his teaching will soon deteriorate, John 6. He must also exercise himself in godliness with as much care as the gymnast, who is continually exercising his joints and muscles so as to keep supple and alert. This is also God’s purpose in the spiritual trials and discipline which He sends. —Through the Bible Day by Day

I Timothy 4:4—Every creature of God is good… if it be received with thanksgiving.

​   We must be very careful in applying these words. Intoxicating liquor, for instance, is sometimes described as “a good creature of God.” But surely that term is not legitimate. Whatever grounds there may be for defending its use, can this text be alleged as one? For there is a great deal of human manipulation in its preparation. Before it reaches our lips, it is greatly altered by the process of fermentation. It can hardly be called God’s good creature.
   When we are quite sure that we are dealing with one of God’s pure and unadulterated gifts, such as human love, friendship, the beauties of nature, wholesome food, fresh young spirits, the innocent mirth of the Christmas home-gathering; we must distinguish between God’s gifts and our abuse of them; between his creation and our distortion of it, There are things in our lives which are not his creation or gift, and which we must resolutely refuse and put away. There are others which come to us clearly and absolutely from his hand.
   Rejoice in every good thing which the Lord gives. — Rejoice! Do not enjoy things as though under the sword of Damocles, suspended by a thread.
   Be careful to maintain the spirit of thanksgiving and prayer. — What you can thank God for or use in his name and for his glory; what lifts you from the gift to the Giver, or is capable of being prayed over, with no shadow of misgiving, is innocent and healthy.
   Watch only against the intrusion of self. — Whatever you place between yourself and God, or rest on apart from God, or make the aim and centre of your life, is hurtful and must pass through the fire. The way to rid yourself of its poison is to insist on making it a subject of thanksgiving. (Meyer)

1 Timothy 4:9-16 – ​“Take Heed unto Thyself”

   In all Christian service we must set our hope on the living God. Nothing counts apart from God. Prayer implies that all our gifts and efforts cover only a small part of our efficiency. There are infinite resources in God, which He is waiting to employ in human affairs, and of which we fail to make use. The Christian worker, therefore, must not only labor and strive, but must hope in the living God, whose saving grace is at the disposal of our faith. The faith exercised by the average man results in obtaining only natural things; the supernatural is secured by the faith of those who have made profounder discoveries of God, and can therefore make demands on His resources, which are hidden from the princes of this world.
   In order to succeed, we must give ourselves wholly to our work for God. In answer to prayer great gifts had been communicated to Timothy, but he had to give heed to them, use them, and stir up the slumbering embers of the fire, kindled at his ordination. It is worthy of notice that the Apostle’s injunctions do not include a single allusion to priestly or sacramental service, but urge to boldness of character, I Timothy 4:12; diligent study, I Timothy 4:13; rigorous orthodoxy, I Timothy 4:16; and the daily self-watch of the soul, I Timothy 4:16. Take to heart the blessed assurance of the closing sentence of the chapter. —Through the Bible Day by Day