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1Timothy 4:1-11

Thursday Evening Bible Study

February 15, 2018


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 3300 words  Video = 75 wpm

Video: The Bible Project – 1Timothy

The book of Acts ends in AD 60 with Paul being in Rome under house arrest.

We believe Paul was later released, and visited various places, including Ephesus.

While traveling, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to pastor the church.

Timothy had spent many years with Paul and was like a spiritual “son” to Paul.

This letter was written somewhere around AD 63, to guide Timothy to correct the problems in Ephesus.

Timothy is in his mid-forties about now.

Timothy would pastor the church for 30 years, and die a martyr in AD 97.

So far, Paul has talked to Timothy about

The importance of prayer in the church

The role of women in the church

Qualifications for “overseers” (pastors) and “deacons” (servant leaders)

4:1-5 False Teachers

: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,

:1 Now the Spirit expressly says

expresslyrhetos – expressly, in express words

An adverb based on the noun rhema, “thing spoken, word”.
The Greek here is, “the Spirit says wordily that…”

I get the sense that Paul is referring to a specific prophetic word that he or someone else has received earlier concerning the “latter times”.

:1 that in latter times

latterhusteros – latter, later, coming after; after this

Paul may be talking about the “end times”, but he may also simply be talking about a time following his own time.

timeskairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:; a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for

:1 some will depart from the faith

The word “faith” here is not referring to the act of believing, but in the body of what is considered accepted doctrine.

departaphistemi (“away” + “to stand”) – to make stand off; to go away; to fall away

The particular form here (future indicative) is αποστησονται (apostesontai), and if that sounds like the word “apostacy” that’s because this is where our English word comes from.

The bad teachings that Paul is going to mention are not under the banner of “the faith”, or accepted doctrine.

A few years before this letter to Timothy, Paul warned the elders of the church at Ephesus, the same church that Timothy is now pastoring:

(Acts 20:29–30 NKJV) —29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

:1 giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons

giving heedprosecho – to bring to, bring near; to bring a ship to land, and simply to touch at, put in; to turn the mind to, attend to be attentive; to attend to one’s self, i.e. to give heed to one’s self; to apply one’s self to, attach one’s self to, hold or cleave to a person or a thing

deceivingplanos – wandering, roving; misleading, leading into error; a vagabond, "tramp", imposter; corrupter, deceiver

doctrinesdidaskalia – teaching, instruction

demonsdaimonion – the divine power, deity, divinity; a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

I don’t believe that all “bad doctrine” is necessarily from a demonic source.

Some bad doctrines are products of sloppy study, bad teaching, and the sinful human spirit.

But the doctrines that Paul is going to mention are teachings from the pit of hell.

It may be that these teachings were initially received as a false prophet was under the influence of a “spirit”, sounding as if he was prophesying for God when it was actually a demon speaking.
They may have been things that were more subtly demonically inspired in the thoughts of a person who later shared those ideas.


Taste tests

When a person claims to have some idea that they’ve received through some spiritual means, it doesn’t mean it’s from God.
People who claim to speak for the dead (mediums) are either charlatans out to dupe people, or they are actually contacting spirits, but demonic spirits.
Be careful about these things.  They may be actual real spiritual phenomena, but they are from a source that can’t be trusted – they are demonic, and Satan is the father of lies.  He will hook people into his teachings and slowly lead them away from the truth.
Joseph Smith claimed to have received his teachings from a spiritual source.
Some of his teachings are simply ridiculous.
Others clash dangerously with Scripture.
All believers are required to test the content of what’s being taught to make sure it’s from God, kind of like a “taste test”…
Video:  Nickelodeon Taste Tests
Paul told the Corinthians:

(1 Corinthians 14:29 NKJV) Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.

The apostle John wrote,

(1 John 4:1 NKJV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

How do we test?  With God’s Word.

Paul told the Thessalonians:

(1 Thessalonians 5:19–22 NKJV) —19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

We don’t want to get so cynical about the work of the Spirit that we quench it.  We need to test things and be sure to cling to what is good.

It is vitally important that we are reading, studying, and being taught the whole Bible and correct doctrine.
I’ve got a video clip where apologist Ravi Zacharias warns about how believers in churches where there is no solid teaching are going to have trouble with confronting Islam:

Video:  Ravi Zacharias talks about Joel Osteen

Paul goes on to further describe the false teachers…

:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy

hypocrisyhupokrisis – the acting of a stage player; hypocrisy

speaking liespseudologos – speaking (teaching) falsely, speaking lies

Greek actors would hide behind masks to pretend to be something they weren’t.

You get the idea that these demonically inspired false teachers have the notion that what they’re saying is wrong.

They play the part of the “prophet” while they speak lies.

:2 having their own conscience seared with a hot iron

seared with a hot ironkauteriazo (“cauterize”) – to mark by branding, to brand, seared; in a medical sense, to cauterize, remove by cautery

With branding or cauterizing, a scar forms and you no longer have any feeling at the site.

consciencesuneidesis – the consciousness of anything; the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending one, condemning the other; the conscience

The false teacher will go ahead and speak what they know to be wrong because their own conscience no longer feels anything.

Now Paul mentions two specific false teachings…

: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.

:3 forbidding to marry

forbiddingkoluo – to hinder, prevent forbid; to withhold a thing from anyone; to deny or refuse one a thing

to marrygameo – to lead in marriage, take to wife; to get married, to marry; to give one’s self in marriage; to give a daughter in marriage

There is nothing wrong with getting married.

One particular evil heresy that would creep into the early church, and which still has forms and remnants today was called “Gnosticism”.

Gnosticism taught that only spiritual things were good, and that all physical things were evil.
God is good because He is a spirit.
Anything you can see or touch, like bodies, are evil.
Jesus was good, therefore He didn’t have a real physical body.
Since marriage is the joining of two people, two physical bodies, marriage is evil.

The forbidding of marriage would eventually creep into the church and settle within the Roman Catholic church as a requirement for those who were truly spiritual – priests, monks, and nuns.

:3 commanding to abstain from foods

abstainapechomai – to hold one’s self off, refrain, abstain

foodsbroma – that which is eaten, food

The false teachers would say that certain foods would make you less “holy” in the eyes of God.

One of the issues in Paul’s day had to do with eating meat that had been sacrificed to an idol.

False teachers had dragged into the church the thought that if you ate meat sacrificed to Aphrodite, that you were becoming one with Aphrodite. 
Yet Paul taught:
(1 Corinthians 8:4 NKJV) Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.
Paul would end up concluding that the issue isn’t the actual food that you were eating, the bigger issue was about offending people who struggled with the issue.
(Romans 14:14–15 NKJV) —14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

Yet the actual food itself didn’t make you unclean or unacceptable to God.

:3 which God created to be received with thanksgiving

receivedmetalepsis – a taking, participation

thanksgivingeucharistia – thankfulness; the giving of thanks

If you have food to eat, you ought to be thankful for God providing it.

Don’t be like the Israelites who grumbled and complained about everything.

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

:4 For every creature of God is good

creaturektisma – thing founded; created thing;

The word means literally, “a work of creation”
It actually doesn’t have to be limited to a living, breathing creature, but anything that God has created.

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

to be refusedapobletos – thrown away, to be thrown away, rejected, despised, abominated; as unclean


It’s all good

It took God six days to create the world.
At the end of each day, God said, “It is good”.
It’s not until man rebels against God that sin is introduced to God’s creation.

It’s when sinful man messes with God’s creation that we come up with things that are not “good”.

How about sex?  Paul talked earlier about men forbidding marriage.
Is sex good or evil?
(Hebrews 13:4 NKJV) Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

bedkoite – bed, marriage bed, sexual intercourse

God created sex.  He created it for mankind.

God saw that it was “not good” for man to be alone, so God created woman.  Before Adam’s fall.

God intended that “two become one flesh”

If you’ve been a believer for awhile, you may tend to think of sex as something that’s “bad” or “evil”.

Yet it’s only when man messes with God’s idea of sex that it becomes bad.

It’s when man perverts sex to be outside the boundaries of marriage between a man and a woman that it becomes a problem.

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

:5 sanctified by the word of God and prayer

sanctifiedhagiazo – to separate from profane things and dedicate to God; to purify

prayerenteuxis – a falling in with, meeting with; an interview; a coming together; a petition, supplication


Making it good

Food is sanctified through God’s Word
It’s pure because God’s word says it’s pure. Jesus taught that all foods were clean.

(Mark 7:18–19 NLT) —18 “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? 19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)

It’s not what goes into your body that makes you unclean before God, it’s the things that come out of you (like lust) that make you unclean.

As we just saw, Paul came to the same conclusion about food:

(Romans 14:14a NLT) I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat.

Food is sanctified through prayer
That’s one reason why we pray before we eat.
Some people don’t quite get this.

Video:  Christmas Vacation Turkey Dinner


A mom had invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?” I wouldn’t know what to say,” she replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the mom said. The daughter bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?

I have a suggested prayer in case everyone has already started eating…

“We thank you tonight, Lord, in the words of the Psalmist: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.’”

The church had a document known as the Apostolic Constitutions, which dates back to the 4th century.  In it (7.49) was this ancient grace, almost wholly consisting of Scripture,

“Blessed art thou, O Lord, who feedest me from my youth, who givest food to all flesh: Fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that we, having all sufficiency, may abound unto every good work in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom glory, honor, and might, be to thee forever. Amen.”

Martin Luther came to believe that this principle extended far beyond food.
He considered all of God’s creation to be “redeemed” through Jesus.
He applied this to marriage, and marital sex.  He was quite open in talking about sex.
When one of Martin Luther’s best friends got married (Spalatin), Luther was not able to attend the wedding, so he wrote this letter:

“When you have your Catherine in bed most sweetly embracing and kissing her, reflect within yourself: “My Christ, to whom be praise and glory, has given me this being, the best little creature of my God.”  And then when I have guessed the day you will receive this letter, on that very night I will also love my wife with the same act in memory of you.” (Metaxes, Martin Luther, pg.347)

I’m sorry my friend Martin, but for me that’s just too much information (TMI).

4:6-11 The Good Servant

: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.

:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things

instructhupotithemi – to place under; metaph. to supply, suggest (supply from one’s own resources)

The Old King James has “put the brethren in remembrance”

It’s good to remind people from time to time because we can tend to forget things…

Peter didn’t hesitate to say something he’d said before, because people need to be reminded of what’s important.
(2 Peter 1:12 NLT) Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.
Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?” “Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques, like visualization, association, and so on. It was great. I haven’t had a problem since.” “Sounds like something I could use. What was the name of the clinic?” Fred went blank. He thought and thought but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?” “You mean a rose?” “Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife, “Hey Rose, what was the name of that memory clinic?”

:6 you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

ministerdiakonos – one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister

Paul is calling Timothy a “deacon”.

I think sometimes we make too much of the “titles” we put on people.
We might at least put Timothy in the category of “overseer” or “elder” or “pastor”, yet Paul has no problems reminding Timothy that he’s just a “servant”.

What makes Timothy a “good minister”?

Instructing the brethren. Teaching God’s Word.

:6 nourished in the words of faith

nourishedentrepho – to nourish in: a person or a thing; metaph. to educate, form the mind


Getting fed

I can’t help but notice that Paul has been talking about “foods”, and yet the thing that will “nourish” Timothy is God’s Word.
What kinds of things “nourish” you?  What fills you up?
Video:  In-n-out Commercial, 1987
Timothy will be “nourished” as he teaches God’s Word to the people correctly.
I think that if you really want to know God’s Word, then prepare hard to share it with others.
I get way more out of God’s Word in my own time of preparation and teaching than I tend to when I listen to others teach (not that I don’t mind listening to others).
They say you won’t learn more about a subject than when you teach it.
Nourishment also comes from simple obedience.
While the disciples were off getting burgers, fries, and shakes at the Shechem In-n-out, Jesus found Himself talking to a Samaritan woman at the well.
When the disciples got back, they were surprised that Jesus wasn’t eating His double-double.

(John 4:32–34 NLT) —32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” 33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. 34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.

:6 and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

doctrinedidaskalia – teaching, instruction

you have carefully followedparakoloutheo – to follow after; so to follow one as to be always at his side; to follow up a thing in mind so as to attain to the knowledge of it; to understand, (cf our follow a matter up, trace its course); to examine thoroughly, investigate; to follow faithfully i.e a standard or rule, to conform one’s self to

:7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.

:7 reject profane and old wives’ fables

profanebebelos – accessible, lawful to be trodden; profane; unhallowed, common, public place

old wives’graodes – old womanish, old wives, an old woman

fablesmuthos – a speech, word, saying; a narrative, story; a true narrative; a fiction, a fable; an invention, a falsehood

rejectparaiteomai – to ask along side; to avert by entreaty or seek to avert, to deprecate; to refuse, decline; to shun, avoid; to avert displeasure by entreaty; to beg pardon, crave indulgence, to excuse; of one excusing himself for not accepting a wedding invitation to a feast

There are subjects that are simply a waste of our time.  Paul has already told Timothy:

(1 Timothy 1:4 NLT) Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.

:7 exercise yourself toward godliness

exercise gumnazo (“gymnasium”) – to exercise vigorously, in any way, either the body or the mind

godliness eusebeia – reverence, respect; piety towards God, godliness

Paul tells Timothy to “hit the gym”, not to gain physical muscles, but spiritual muscles.

The word gumnazo is often used in non-physical ways:

(2 Peter 2:14 NLT) They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse.
People can be trained in sin by practicing it.
(Hebrews 5:14 NASB95) But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
When we practice doing the right thing, and learning right from wrong, we are “exercising”.
It’s doing extra “reps”.
(Hebrews 12:11 NLT) No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
If we allow ourselves to learn while we are going through difficult times, we are “exercised”.
No pain, no gain.

Paul encourages Timothy to step up to the “godliness” machine in the gym and do some “reps”.

: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.

:8 For bodily exercise profits a little

bodilysomatikos – corporeal, bodily; having a bodily form or nature; pertaining to the body

exercisegumnasia – the exercise of the body in a palaestra or school of athletics; any exercise whatever; the exercise of conscientiousness relative to the body such as is characteristic of ascetics and consists in abstinence from matrimony and certain kinds of food

littleoligos – little, small, few; of degree or intensity: light, slight

profitsophelimos – profitable

Some would take this verse to mean that we shouldn’t be concerned at all with physical exercise. Not so. Paul is simply putting it in its place. It’s not worthless, it has a “little” value.

:8 but godliness is profitable for all things

godlinesseusebeia – reverence, respect; piety towards God, godliness

promiseepaggelia – announcement; promise; the act of promising, a promise given or to be given; a promised good or blessing

to comemello – to be about; to be on the point of doing or suffering something; to intend, have in mind, think to


Pump it up

We need to be going to the “gym” to develop our spiritual muscles.
Video:  Hanz & Franz train Aaron Rodgers (State Farm ad)
What are things that we can do to exercise our spiritual muscles and “pump up” godliness?
Prayer, reading the Bible, waiting on God, memorizing Scripture, worship, fellowship, witnessing.
These things are a benefit to you in your life NOW as well as in the life TO COME.
How do these things benefit us now?  How do they benefit us in the life to come?

:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.

:9 This is a faithful saying

sayinglogos – word

acceptanceapodoche – reception, admission, acceptance, approbation

We saw this use of “faithful saying” before. This is one of Paul’s ways of letting Timothy know that this is something that ought to be “highlighted” in the letter.

Paul uses the phrase 5 times, and they are all in these “pastoral epistles” – 4 times to Timothy and once to Titus.

We’ve already seen:

(1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
(1 Timothy 3:1 NKJV) This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
(2 Timothy 2:11–13 NKJV) —11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
(Titus 3:8 NKJV) This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

What is this “faithful saying”?

(1 Timothy 4:8 NKJV) …godliness is profitable for all things…

: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.

:10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach

laborkopiao – to grow weary, tired, exhausted (with toil or burdens or grief); to labour with wearisome effort, to toil; of bodily labour

suffer reproachoneidizo – to reproach, upbraid, revile; of deserved reproach; of undeserved reproach, to revile; to upbraid, cast (favours received) in one’s teeth

Both words speak of enduring difficult times, working hard, being willing to be ridiculed and criticized.

Why is Paul willing to work hard and be criticized?

To develop godliness.

:10 the Savior of all men, especially…believe

trustelpizo – to hope; in a religious sense, to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence; hopefully to trust in

especiallymalista – especially, chiefly, most of all, above all

Jesus is the Savior of all because He died for the sins of the world.

He is “specially” the Savior of those of us who believe because we have taken advantage of God’s free gift of salvation by receiving the gift through faith, through believing in Jesus.

I think this is one of the benefits of exercising godliness.

To give more people an opportunity to trust in Jesus and be saved.
To make us more effective in sharing our faith.

:11 These things command and teach.

commandparaggello – to transmit a message along from one to another, to declare, announce; to command, order, charge

This is what ministry is supposed to be all about – growing and maturing in godliness.