“1 Timothy 4:11-16”
Categories: 1 Timothy
“Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
---End of Scripture verses---
“Youthfulness” is not a good excuse for sinfulness (verse 12). A young preacher, or any young Christian as far as that is concerned, should lead by “example” and not follow the crowd down the wide road to destruction. I am not suggesting that it is easy for young Christians to be exemplary in their faithfulness to the Lord, but the Bible shows us many examples of God’s young people doing this (Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Joseph, Solomon, David). And all of God’s children need to pay close attention to their “speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.”
We all need to “give attention to the…reading of Scripture,” whether it be in our “public” (worship services) or private lives. Learning, living and teaching sound doctrine will “ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (verse 16). I know this is aimed specifically at the duties of a preacher of the Gospel, but it applies to all of us. If we want to be able to exhort (encourage) and teach others the truth (verse 13), we must first learn what the will of God is. And not just learn it, but “pay close attention” to it (verse 16), “be absorbed” in it (verse 15).
The word of God is just too important to dabble in and fiddle around with. It is “the implanted word which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Matters of life and death are not to be trifled with. That is just as true for all people as it is for preachers of the Gospel.
By the way, I am not convinced that Timothy’s abilities as a Gospel preacher were miraculously endowed by God. It is very possible that the “spiritual gift” within him was his “ministry” to preach the Gospel that had been previously proclaimed by “prophetic utterance” (verse 14). The fact that he needed to read (study) Scripture and pay close attention to his teaching (verse 16) suggests (but doesn’t prove) that his gift was not miraculous. The “laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (elders) indicated their endorsement of him and His ministry, and not the impartation of a miraculous gift.
Please read 1 Timothy 5:1-8 for tomorrow.
Have a great day!
- Louie Taylor