40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

1 Timothy 4:11-16

(1 Timothy 4:11-16) 11 These things command and teach. 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.


My Thoughts:

I love 1 Timothy, but if you ask many pastors they will tell you that they do not like it and I would bet you that most of them have not even preached it. Now the part of 1 Timothy we’re going to look at has a special significance to me personally. You see, no other part of the Bible has had more of an impact on how I approach my role as a pastor than the text we’re going to look at today.

You see when I read 1 Timothy 4 I feel that Paul is not only speaking to Timothy but he is speaking to all pastors. Because I see 3 requirements that every pastor should understand before he accepts the role of a pastor and that is, we must:

  1. (v. 1-6) Preach the Word

And what I mean by that is, a pastor must preach the Bible. Now I know that this seems like a no brainer. But the truth is to many times, as pastors we like to preach a feel good sermon every week so that when the members go home after the service, they fell up lifted and feel like they have a connection with Christ. Now understand that this does not mean that people should not go home feeling good, but as a pastor we need to insure our church is feed meat and as well as the milk. So, Paul tells Timothy to point out the truth. And the inconsistencies that others are teaching.

  1. (v. 7-12) Practice the Word

Now this should be easy, as a pastor I cannot tell you one thing, and then go home and do the just the opposite. Paul say that we must live what we preach, but the problem is to many times we read in the paper that this has not happened and because the pastor did not live what he preached, the result is his member’s have lost faith in God. And we see this is why Paul tells Timothy to stay away from Godless myths (false teaching) and Old wives tales (false traditions).

  1. (v. 13-16) Progress in the Word

“Do not neglect your gifts” as a pastor we must be willing to teach and preach the message of Christ. Be willing to go that extra mile and be wholly devoted to the people and he says that if you do this, the people will notice the effort that you making.

In our passage we are going look at four ways to make our faith in Jesus Christ public.

1. Our Example (1 Timothy 4:11-12)

We begin with (vv. 11-12). Paul’s protégé Timothy was a relatively young man, and he was having a difficult time bringing correction to the spiritual errors he was confronting in the church in Ephesus. Now the reality is that Timothy can’t stop people from looking down on him because of his youth. So the encouragement here seems to be for Timothy to not be intimidated by older people,

You see, since Timothy can’t control other people’s attitude toward him, Paul tells Him to focus on his own attitude. “Don’t be intimidated because people don’t take you seriously because of your age,” He says Instead of being intimidated, He wants Timothy to set an example. Timothy is to live as an example of what a believer in Jesus Christ looks like.

Being an “example” is profoundly public activity, so here we find our 1st way to go public with our faith. Our faith in Jesus is public in our personal example.

2. Our commitment to the Bible (1 Timothy 4:13)

Now look at (v. 13). Here Paul tells Timothy to focus on what preachers sometimes called “the ministry of the Word.” The ministry of the word is the work of communicating the meaning of the Bible to people, in other words preaching. Paul is referring to the public worship services in the church in Ephesus. This is why over half of my workweek goes into preparing for my weekly messages, because I want to convey to each of my members that. Each of us must have a commitment to understanding the Bible.

So here we find our 2nd principle for all followers of Jesus. Our faith in Jesus is public in our commitment to the Bible.

For me, the Bible is not simply a scattered collection of stories and wise sayings, and because of that we don’t have the freedom to pick and choose those parts of the Bible that we are comfortable with and reject those parts that we are uncomfortable with. The whole thing–all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments–are our roadmap to having the spiritual life we are seeking. Our commitment to the Bible makes our faith public. I mean more than a t-shirt with a Bible verse on it or a tattoo under our eyes during a football game of John 3:16. I’m talking about actually using the Bible as our roadmap,

3. Our Service (1 Timothy 4:14)

Timothy probably struggled to know exactly when he first started believing in Jesus. So for Timothy, his watershed event wasn’t his conversion–like it was for Paul–but for Timothy it was this event when he was commissioned to ministry. This was Timothy’s milestone event, the event he looked back on again and again as a turning point in his spiritual life. Whenever this event happened, at some point the elder board laid their hands on Timothy and commissioned him to service.

I like what many translations say, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you.” But the reality is that the Bible teaches that every follower of Jesus Christ has received at least one spiritual gift from God to be used in service.

So here’s the 3rd way, we make our faith public. Our faith in Jesus is made public, in our Christian service.

Maybe you didn’t have the elders lay their hands on you, but if you trust in Jesus, you will find that you have at least one gift from God to use in His service.

The question for each of us is; are we using the gift that we have been given or are we neglecting that gift. We each have a spiritual gift that is inside us, yet we learn here that it’s also possible to neglect it.

4. Our Progress (1 Timothy 4:15-16)

Let’s look at (v. 15). Paul uses two verbs here: 1st he says, “Be diligent or meditate” He says do not neglect these things I have told you like; Setting the example in teaching, in your Conduct, in Love, in your faith and in your Purity and then Paul say, “Put these things into practice.” So Paul’s challenging Timothy to a total commitment to these instructions. These are not just suggestions, but they are, absolutely essential for Timothy and essential to the lives of his congregation as well. And when we follow Timothy’s example, it will make our progress in the spiritual life evident for everyone to see.

In (v.16) Paul tells Timothy to watch his life and his doctrine because Paul knows that these things are essential for him to live a life that is pleasing to God. If he perseveres with a lifestyle of progress and accurate doctrine, he will not only save himself but his hearers as well.

This simply means Timothy’s perseverance will demonstrate the genuineness of his faith and that his perseverance will allow God to use him in other people’s lives to bring about their salvation as well.

So, here we find the 4th way to make our faith public. Our faith in Jesus is public in our spiritual progress.

This text brings me great comfort, to focus on progress not perfection. What I read here is that God looks for a forward movement in our spiritual life.

So, this text is also a warning to me, that my lack of perseverance in the Christian life and sound biblical doctrine cannot only devastate my life, but also other people’s lives.

I have been reading about a former SDA pastor who is now teaching things that are just not biblical. I have to wonder how many other people’s faith have been shipwrecked, because that pastor lost his path. So you can see why this text is both a comfort and a warning to those of us who want to live public that follows Jesus.

If you want to make your faith public, don’t settle for superficial things like t-shirts, bumper stickers and tattoos. Christ wants us to look deeper and focus on these four areas: Your example, your commitment to the Bible, your service in ministry and your spiritual progress. This is how we live for Jesus in public ways before a watchful world.


Ellen White statement:

Mrs. White {The Acts of the Apostles p 89}

To the early church had been entrusted a constantly enlarging work—that of establishing centers of light and blessing wherever there were honest souls willing to give themselves to the service of Christ. The proclamation of the gospel was to be world-wide in its extent, and the messengers of the cross could not hope to fulfill their important mission unless they should remain united in the bonds of Christian unity, and thus reveal to the world that they were one with Christ in God.


Last thoughts:

At the 1993 annual meeting for the American Heart Association, 300,000 doctors, nurses and researchers met in Atlanta to discuss prevention of heart disease. One of the things they focused on was eating healthy and eating low fat food. And then, during the mealtimes, the participants eat lots of fast-food, like bacon cheeseburgers and fries. When one cardiologist was asked whether his eating at the convention, was a bad example, he replied: “No, because I took my name tag off.” When we follow Jesus, our nametag is always there.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

2 comments on “1 Timothy 4:11-16

  1. Rosi
    April 30, 2013

    we forget that pastors need help, need encouragement and need guidance too. We pray for our pastors but sometimes that is not enough. I Timothy just goes to show how loving and how wise our Lord is. He does not forget the pastors (or anyone else). His
    Word is to be guidance, encouragement, advice and whatever we need to get through each day.

  2. john gossett
    February 19, 2014

    TIMOTHY 4:11-16 is special to me. Im only 4 years in the word now chapter by chapter and verse by verse. And for some time i was feeling like i wasn’t doing anything for God. I don’t beleive but i Know for sure God threw these verses in front of my face, and when that happened it unloaded such a burden i felt like i was carrying. Come to find out the burden was in my mind. I love the books of timothy. Timothy was a son of Paul, but not his flesh son like many scholars think. Thats whay they dont teach timothy. They are looking with their flesh eye’s and not their spiritual eyes. Timothy is a TYPE of FIRSTFRUITS. We all know that Christ was the only begotton. We look all though the geneologies and it always says BEGAT. The scholars cant see spiritualy. Timothy was BEGOTTON of paul THROUGH THE GOSPELS. He was the fruit of paul preaching the gospel and even more. I think Paul was a TYPE of ZADOCK and timothy was a TYPE of the SONS of ZADOCK of EZEKIEL 44:15.
    WHO EVER YOU ARE, KEEP TEACHING TIMOTHY, YOU MAY JUST BEGOT SOME CHILDREN BY TEACHING TIMOTHY.
    AMEN AND GOD BLESS YOU.

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2013 by in 1 Timothy, Paul's letters and tagged , , , , , , .

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