1 Timothy 4: 1-16, warning on apostasy, teach sound doctrines, exercise spiritual gifts.
V V 1-4, 1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Greek for depart from the faith is “apostasia”, which means apostasy. In the last days, some Christians will become apostate, believing in demonic spirits, doctrines, and lies with hypocrisy and hardened conscience. These heretic teachers prohibited marriage and abstention of certain foods against the teaching of biblical truth.
VV 6-11, 6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for 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 acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.
Paul instructed Timothy as a minister of Christ, to nourish Christians with sound doctrines based on biblical truth, rejecting myths and old wives’ tales. Physical exercise is good for physical health but the advantage is temporal. Spiritual exercise is good for spiritual health and the advantage is eternal. To this end, Paul labored and suffered persecutions. God is a living God and Savior of all people who believe.
VV 12-16, 12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Paul encouraged Timothy not to feel inferior because of his youth, and to be a role model for Christians through good conduct, love, spirituality, faithfulness, and purity of heart. Paul instructed Timothy to read, study, encourage, teach the word of truth, and exercise spiritual gifts imparted to him by the elders through the laying of hands. Timothy was to meditate on scriptures and teach the doctrines to save himself and those who heard him.
What happened in first-century Israel also happened today. Many Christians will fall away from the faith because of the teachings of heretic doctrines. The only way to discern heretic doctrines is to be biblically literate. This can only be done by spending time studying scripture diligently and regularly. The Bible has 1189 chapters. By reading 4 chapters a day, you should have read the Bible in 300 days. I will encourage that you start now. If you are biblically literate, no one can deceive you
Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that You are Lord, God, Almighty. We confessed that we are sinners saved by grace. We thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives. We pray for protection from the coronavirus pandemic. We pray that You will end this pestilence, in Jesus’ name, Amen.