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I Timothy Chapter 4

Memory verses for this week:  Mark 9:41  For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 

Introduction:  In chapter 3, Paul taught us about the qualifications for Pastors and deacons.   We mentioned how that many denominational groups have ignored God’s qualifications and have went to man-made choices in today’s society.   We also discussed how that the deacon’s office was one of service to help the pastor, and certainly not designed to oversee or dictate church policy as many use deacons today.  This week we will be studying about some of the prophecy concerning the end times.

I.  The Warning of the Time of Apostasy

1 Tim 4:1  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;

1 Tim 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

It is important to note that it is the Holy Spirit that is speaking in these verses.  The Spirit declares that in the latter days, some shall depart from the faith.

2 Thessalonians 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 

The mystery of ininquity had already begun to work in Paul’s day.   We believe this speaks of the Holy Spirit, and how that one day He will be taken from this earth.  This will be when Christ returns and raptures out the church.   Verse 1 says that those who departed from the faith gave heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils rather than believing God. Verse 2 speaks of how the mystery of lawlessness will be propagated through the influence of Satan.  Today, while the Holy Spirit is present on the earth, we who know the Lord and are guided by the Spirit of God propagate the mystery of Godliness by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Satan is already at work with those who follow Him, and evil influences will have a much greater effect after the church is raptured out.  Men will believe a lie rather than the truth in that day.

1 Tim 4:3  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.

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

1 Tim 4:5  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

The doctrines of demons that embody this mystery of lawlessness are to forbid men to marry and to have them abstain from eats.   We know how that in the Old Testament, the Jews were not permitted to eat of all animals.  But when Peter was at the house of Cornelius, God gave him a vision of animals on a sheet being let down by the four corners.  And Peter was told to eat, and he said that he would not because the animals were not clean.

Acts 10:11  And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

Acts 10:12  Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

Acts 10:13  And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

Acts 10:14  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

Acts 10:15  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Acts 10:16  This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

The teaching here was not only that all animals could be eaten if they were received with thanksgiving, but the greater meaning was that the Gentiles were now invited to be saved on an equal basis with the Jews.   God has given all animals to be used for food for the human race in our day.  See Verse 4.  I’m sure that most of you can recognize the false teaching of forbidding certain ones to be married by one of the larger denominational groups of our day.  This is man-made, not of God.   We read the qualifications for a pastor last week, and while not requiring a man to be married, it did say that the pastor should be the husband of one wife.   Both single and married people can serve the Lord, but God has not commanded that men should remain single in order to serve the Lord.   And when it comes to food, all creatures are good to be eaten if received with thanksgiving.

When I was younger, I remember how that Fridays were special at school, and how we would not have certain foods prepared because of Catholic teaching about how that meats should not be eaten on Friday.   The temporary, symbolic distinction of the Mosaic law between clean and unclean meats was nailed to the cross when Christ died.

Galatians 2:14-17  But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 

It is not wrong to marry.  Multiplying and populating the earth was part of the original commission of man in innocence.

Genesis 1:28  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 


II.  A Good Minister of Jesus Christ

1 Tim 4:6  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.

1 Tim 4:7  But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

We can see that God’s opinion of what makes up a good pastor is much different than that of the world.  Many today would prefer to hear physcological teachings or book reports rather than what the bible has to say.   Some would say that those who get along with everyone and never offends anyone is the ideal pastor.  But God demands that we teach and preach the whole word of God.  God says a man that will put the brethren in rememberance of the fact that false teachers will appear on the scene and lead people astray is a good pastor.  The only way this can be done (putting the brethren in remembrance) is to teach and preach the whole counsel of God and to stand on solid doctrine.   A good minister teaches truth and shuns ‘old wives’ fables’. 

III.  Exercise in Godliness is what Profits

1 Tim 4:8  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.

1 Tim 4:9  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

We have a world that has gone healthy crazy.  There are exercise gyms and health food stores all over any major city.   And I think that exercising is important to good health, and eating properly is good.  But being overly concerned about exercise and ignoring God is a recipe for failure.  It says that bodily exercise profits little, but godliness is profitable unto all things.  We should be more concerned about “Spiritual” exercise and reading the Bible than worrying about toning up our muscles.   With God in control and a mind stayed on Christ, little will bother us in the long haul.   And every Christian needs to look at situations from the long view.   So many times we let little minor things bother us, when it truly has little affect on us beyond a day or two.   Look to the Lord and follow after God’s laws and commandments.  These are faithful, and it says in verse 9 that it is worthy of all acceptation.

J. Vernon McGee in his “Thru the Bible Commentary” said this about verse 8.

“For bodily exercise profiteth little.” There are those who believe that Paul is downgrading physical exercise. I don’t understand it that way at all. Paul spent about three years in Ephesus where there was a great coliseum in which the Olympic Games were held at times. The coliseum seated 100,000 people, and foot races were often held there. Paul uses the figure of the race and compares it to the Christian life and walk in 1 Corinthians 9:24–27. I believe Paul knew something about exercise. I stood in the city of Sardis one time and observed the Roman road that was being excavated to the east and the west of that city. Paul walked that road nineteen hundred years ago, preaching the gospel of Christ. He didn’t travel in a bus or in an automobile. He didn’t ride a horse or even a donkey. Paul walked there, and it took a rugged individual to cover the ground that he covered throughout the Roman Empire. He may not have done much jogging, but he did a great deal of walking.

Paul’s emphasis on godliness rather than on physical exercise is because the Ephesians were a people given over to games and athletics. We are also that kind of a nation. Many of our cities have coliseums where great spectacles are conducted, and many believers put more emphasis on athletics than they do on the things of God. There are church officers who spend more time during the summer in the ball park than they spend in prayer meetings. Paul is not saying bodily exercise is wrong. He is saying, “Let’s hold things in correct perspective.”

“But godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Bodily exercise will help you only in this life, because when you get a new body it won’t make any difference whether you’ve exercised this one or not. “But godliness is profitable unto all things.” Those who argue that a Christian can fall into sin and can always come back to God on easy terms are right. But, my friend, a godly life pays off not only down here, it will pay off in eternity. The Prodigal Son lost a great deal by going to the far country, and any Christian who lives a careless life rather than a godly life will find that even in eternity he will pay for it. Are you as anxious about godliness as you are about physical exercise, about athletic events? The physical ends at the end of this life, but godliness is carried over into the next.  [1]

IV.  God is the Savior of All Men

1 Tim 4:10  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.

The difference in Christianity and all other religions in the world is that we have a Living redeemer.  All others were started by men or women and they lived and died.  Christ did die that day on Calvary, but after 3 days and 3 nights, he arose out of that grave and is alive and seated on the right hand of God today.  And Jesus, part of the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is the Savior of all men.   His blood was shed for the sins of all mankind, but only those who believe in Him can have salvation.

Acts 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


1 Tim 4:11  These things command and teach.

The true teacher and preacher of the truth will teach the doctrines that Jesus taught his disciples.  And we will spread the Gospel to those around us, and tell them that Jesus is the name that is a name above every name, and by turning to Christ, we can have our sins forgiven and receive eternal salvation.


V.  The Preacher as an Example

1 Tim 4:12  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.

Verse 12 implies that Timothy was a young man at the time Paul wrote this letter to him.  But even at this early age, God had called Paul into the ministry.   All of us should take this command seriously and realize that the future of our church and our nation lies in the youth that are coming up.   And we should do our very best to set a Godly example that they would want to follow and glorify God in doing so.   He says be an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.  A minister by living a Godly life should cause us to have great respect for him, and certainly respect the office of the pastor.    Pastors are the only ones that have a clear calling from God as to their vocation.  God guides all of us as to what we should do, but when it comes to the ministry, God specifically chooses and calls men into the ministry.

1 Tim 4:13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

1 Tim 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Paul tells Timothy to read and study the word of God.  The church needs to be uplifted and exhorted, and taught true bible doctrine.  Young Timothy had a special gift that had been foretold.  He received that special gift when the hands of the presbytery was placed on him.

VI.  Meditate on These Things

1 Tim 4:15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

1 Tim 4:16  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.

All of us need to be thinking on the things of God.  By meditating, Timothy would be a blessing to all of those in whom he ministered and came into contact.   Paul admonishes him in verse 16 to pay close attention to himself and the doctrine he taught.  Everyone who teaches should be cautious to teach truth and be sincere and accurate in all things.  Paul says do not only teach the truth, but continue in those things that will lead others to Jesus Christ.   In following after Godliness, this would save Paul from many snares and difficulties, and would encourage others to draw nigh to God.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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