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1Timothy 4:12-16

Thursday Evening Bible Study

March 1, 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.

4:12-16 Timothy’s Ministry

: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.

:12 Let no one despise your youth

youthneotes – youth, youthful age

despisekataphroneo – despise, disdain, think little or nothing of

I remember as a young man in my teens holding on to this verse. 

Later I thought that perhaps Timothy was in his twenties. 

Now when I backtrack his age from his death in AD 97 in his eighties, and this being AD 63, that would put Timothy in his forties, maybe even fifties.


God uses youth

The older I get, I seem to forget how God uses young people.
I forget I was in my teens and twenties when God began to use me.
I tend to only want to listen to teachers who are at least my age.
When I hear a younger man teach, I think to myself, “Oh he has so much to learn…”
I’m afraid that some of us might run the risk of turning into grumpy old men who never have anything positive to say…

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or maybe sometimes we’re even a little stronger than that…

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The truth is, God often uses those who are younger, inexperienced, and immature.
The Philistines were constantly tormenting the weaker Israelites.  The worst came when a 9-foot-tall warrior named Goliath used to taunt the armies of Israel.

David was just a young man, perhaps in his teens.

He had never fought in a battle, but he had faced a lion and a bear.

He wasn’t experienced with things like swords and shields, but he knew how to use a sling and stones.

While the older Israelite warriors cowered in fear at Goliath, David was willing to meet the challenge.

(1 Samuel 17:45–47 NKJV) —45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

You know how that story ended.

The Lunch Boy
You might be tempted to think that you don’t have what it takes to be a warrior like David.
One time God used a simple boy was willing to share his lunch.

A huge crowd had come out to hear Jesus teach.  When Jesus realized that these people were going to need to be fed at some time, He challenged His disciples to take care of it.

While most of the disciples thought that it was impossible to feed all those people…

(John 6:8–9 NKJV) —8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

Jesus would take the little boys bread and fish and use them to feed 5,000.

Sometimes we forget that God can do amazing things with just a little to work with, as long as we’re willing to give up our lunch like that YOUNG man did.

No matter how old Timothy actually was, he wasn’t as old as “Paul”.
There will always be people who will want to compare the younger “Timothy’s” to the older “Pauls”.
There is a danger some of us will face when Caleb comes home from Hungary and after a few years takes my place as Sr. Pastor.

Some of you may be tempted to think that he won’t be as good as old guys like me.

You will be wrong.

:12 but be an example to the believers

exampletupos – the mark of a stroke or blow, print; a figure formed by a blow or impression; an example

Paul is saying to Timothy that he is the stamp that is to leave an impression on those around him.  As he presses against the people in his church, he will leave an impression.
He’s supposed to “leave a mark” on those around him.
Video:  Tripp and Tyler – That Will Leave A Mark


Leave a mark

We have lots of excuses as to why we can’t be used by the Lord.
Sometimes we’re like Timothy and we think we’re too young or inexperienced for God to use us.
Don’t hide behind your excuses.
Let God shape your life and press you into the lives of others.
Give them an example to follow, even if you think you’re an uneven, imperfect example.
Paul tells Timothy what kind of “marks” he should be leaving…

:12 in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity


The example’s character

Paul lists six areas for Timothy to be an example in.
wordlogos – word
This probably refers to Timothy’s ministry of teaching at Ephesus. 
It may simply refer to the kinds of words that come out of Timothy’s mouth.
conductanastrophe – manner of life, conduct, behavior
Not only was Timothy an example in what he says, but also in what he does.  People are watching you.
Paul wants Timothy’s walk to match his talk.
(Matthew 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The way we live, the works we do, are a light to the world around us.

loveagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence
People aren’t impressed by hearing about God’s love as much as by seeing it.
Jesus said,

(John 13:34–35 NKJV) —34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

spiritpneuma – spirit. 
This word is not in some of the manuscripts (as in NIV, NAS).
This could be talking about Timothy’s human “spirit”, or his “attitude” in life.
I wonder if it isn’t talking more about Timothy living a life dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit.
faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; fidelity, faithfulness
Paul might be talking about Timothy’s faithfulness, his ability to have others count on him without letting them down.
Paul might be talking about Timothy’s ability to trust God.

People need to see what it looks like to trust God.

They need to see men and women who are willing to take “ventures in faith”.

purityhagneia – purity, sinlessness of life
Sometimes we let others set the standards for us.  We allow ourselves to do certain things that we feel uncomfortable with because “others are doing it”.  When you are the example, you are the one setting the standard.

In his tape “Preparing for Adolescence”, Dr. Dobson tells a story about peer pressure that goes something like this:

Suppose you are about 14 years old, and you are in that crazy time of life when you are searching to find out who you are and what you want to be like.  You get a call from some of the older guys at school who want to know if you want to hang out with them.  Of course you say, “Sure”.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime.  As you climb into the car, you get the seat in the back left hand corner behind the driver.  You’re a little nervous as the car is driving down the street, hoping that you’ll fit in with these older, “cooler” guys.  There you are cruising down the street when boy who is driving pulls a bottle out of his pocket and takes a little red pill out and pops it into his mouth.  He passes the bottle to the boy on his right, who takes a pill out and pops it into his mouth.  As he passes the bottle to his right, you begin to realize what’s happening.  They’re taking drugs, speed.  You know it’s wrong, but these are the big boys.  You begin to get a little nervous as the bottle is passed to the boy in the back seat opposite you.  As each guy gives in and takes a pill, the pressure builds on you.  The next boy seems a little nervous, but the other guys tease him and tell him not to be a big baby.  The boy pops a pill into his mouth and passes it to the boy sitting in the center seat in the back, the one next to you.  As the boy starts to open the bottle, you begin to wonder how you’re going to handle this.  What are you going to say?  Would it really hurt that much if you just gave in this one time?  You’ll probably never have to do it again.  But what you don’t know is that once you’ve crossed the line the first time, it gets easier and easier to cross it each time you are tempted.  What will you do?  The bottle is handed to you and everyone is watching …

The world has lost a treasure in Billy Graham.
We may sometimes get lost in the number of people he reached for Christ, but I believe the bigger impact of his life was not his preaching, but the example his life was.

Though the message of the gospel is powerful all on it’s own, I believe when Billy preached there was a measure of power because of the example of his life – in humility, faith, and purity.

Some of us think of him as an old man that God has used, but most of us don’t realize that he started his ministry as a young man.

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:13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

:13 Till I come, give attention to …

give attendance toprosecho – 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

Paul was expecting to make it back to Ephesus one more time, though we’re not sure he did.

The things he lists here are the things that he considered the priorities for “church”.

There are the things that the church ought to be about when we’re together.

:13 to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine

readinganagnosis – knowing; a knowing again, owning; reading.

NAS has “public reading”, the idea of the public reading of Scripture. Reading it together.

exhortationparaklesis – a calling near; exhortation, admonition, encouragement; consolation

This is taking the ideas in Scripture and encouraging people to go out and do them.  It’s moving people to action.
It’s putting God’s Word into practice into our lives.

doctrinedidaskalia – teaching, instruction; that which is taught, doctrine

This involves the correct explanation of the Scriptures, getting the people connected to what the meaning of Scripture is.


Inductive Bible Study

These three things are at the heart of what we call “inductive Bible Study”.
This is the proper way to study the Scriptures.
Inductive Bible Study involves three things:
This is the “reading”, simply going through the text and observing what is in the text.
You will see on my notes on the screen a part of the text that is underlined – that’s the “observation” that I’m going to be talking about.
This is the “doctrine”.
This is getting into the meaning of the text.  What did Paul mean when he said these things?
Scripture does not mean whatever you want it to mean, it means what the author meant it to mean.
It’s our job to try to get at the root idea of what the text is all about.

In my notes you will see me add words that define, Greek definitions, phrases, all designed to get at what the text means.

This is the “exhortation”, encouraging us to think about how to put God’s Word into practice.
In my notes I will usually put a red block with a “lesson” – and this is usually aimed at some sort of practical way that we can put this text into practice in our lives.

This is how we all should be studying the Bible, whether in church or on our own.

What am I looking at? (Observation)
What does it mean? (Interpretation)
How should I act? (Application)

: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.

:14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you

neglectameleo (“not” + “care about”) – to be careless of, to neglect

the giftcharisma – a favor with which one receives without any merit of his own; the gift of divine grace; a “working of grace”

Paul is clearly talking about a “spiritual gift” here.

by prophecypropheteia – (better, “through prophecy”) – prophecy; a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events

laying onepithesis – a laying on, imposition; The imposition of hands was a sacred rite transmitted by the Jews to the Christians, and employed in praying for another, or in conferring upon him divine blessings, especially bodily health, or the Holy Spirit (at the administration of baptism and the inauguration to their office of the teachers and ministers of the church).

eldershippresbuterion – body of elders, presbytery, senate, council; of the elders of any body (assembly) of Christians

Some would look at this as some sort of “ordination” for Timothy.

It’s more likely that it just looks back to a time when Timothy was prayed for, he received certain spiritual gifts, and there was accompanying prophetic words that would speak of Timothy’s ministry.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are often given through the laying on of hands, and often through the laying on of hands by the elders.

Peter and John sent to Samaria so they would receive the Holy Spirit –
(Acts 8:14–17 NKJV) —14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The church at Antioch sending out Paul and Barnabas, involving prophetic words, the Holy Spirit speaking –
(Acts 13:1–3 NKJV) —1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
The church at Ephesus was started this way –
(Acts 19:6 NKJV) And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.


Receive your gifts

You may not know if you even have any spiritual gifts.  All you need to do is ask.
(Luke 11:9–13 NKJV) —9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
You can ask God while laying on your bed at night. 
You can ask God while having elders lay hands on you.
Will God give you some amazing supernatural ability every time you ask?  Maybe yes, maybe no. 
That’s really up to God.  Our part is simply to ask.  We will let God do the giving of the gifts as He wants.
I have some dear friends who have known the Lord for awhile, and recently they have received the gift of healing.
They’ve been going out to visit the homeless and the illegal immigrants and have been praying for God to heal these folks.
They’ve seen several hundred healings.
And God is using them to bring many to Christ.


Use your gifts

(2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
The word “stir up” speaks of the sparks of a fire that are beginning to die down.  When you “stir up” the embers, the flames come popping back out.
We all have things that make us want to stop using our gifts from time to time.
Sometimes we’ve had people make us believe that these gifts aren’t genuine.

When I was sixteen, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.  It was a huge milestone in my life and great doors for ministry started at that time. I’ve never been the same.

Six years later I went to a Bible school that taught me that the gifts had ceased to operate after the apostles died off.  I was confused and stopped using my spiritual gifts. A couple of years after seminary I went back, did my homework, and found out for myself that spiritual gifts are indeed in operation today.

Scripture does teach that certain gifts will cease, but they will cease when Jesus comes back. (1Cor. 13:8).

Sometimes we’ve exercised our gifts, and they’ve led to trouble.

Spiritual gifts may be abused.

A common abuse is to exercise authority over another person by claiming that God is telling you what they need to do.

Don’t let someone else’ abuse cause you to stop what God wants to do in your life.

The Bible says:

(1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV) Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Gifts are good.  They are meant for the good of the church.  Receive them. Use them.

:15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

:15 Meditate on these things

meditatemeletao – to care for, attend to carefully, practice

This is a related, opposite word of that translated “neglect” in the previous verse.  Instead of “not caring” about spiritual gifts, we are to “care for” them, to “practice” them.

progressprokope – progress, advancement

may be evidentphaneros – apparent, manifest, evident, known; manifest i.e to be plainly recognised or known


Keep Growing

God wants us to keep growing.
If we’re not careful, we can reach certain stages in our walk with Christ where we think we’ve “arrived”.
Maybe I’ve taken all the Servant School classes.
Maybe I’ve been a Christian for 10 years.
Maybe I’ve heard all of Rich’s jokes twice.
Timothy is at risk of thinking that he’s “arrived”.
Timothy has followed Paul for ten years now, and he finally has his own ministry.  He’s “arrived”.
Paul says he still has farther to go.
There is a danger I see happening to people when they get to the place where they think they’ve “arrived” in ministry.  They stop growing. 
Years ago I heard Pastor Romaine (Pastor Chuck’s original assistant) talk about the problem they would have at Calvary Costa Mesa whenever they would hire a new assistant pastor.  They would see a guy growing and serving the Lord, but as soon as they would bring him on staff, he’d slack off.
Romaine would say that the worst thing you could do to a healthy servant was to hire him.
As an older believer I need to be careful of thinking that I don’t have much more to learn.
In Hampton Court near London, there is a grapevine under glass; it is about 1,000 years old and has but one root which is at least two feet thick.  Some of the branches are 200 feet long. Because of skillful cutting and pruning, the vine produces several tons of grapes each year.
It may be old, but it still grows and still bears fruit.

: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.

:16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine

take heedepecho – to have or hold upon, apply, to observe, attend to; to give attention to; to hold towards, hold forth, present; to check

doctrinedidaskalia – teaching, instruction; that which is taught, doctrine

(1 Timothy 4:16 NLT) Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching.

I know I have to keep checking my own teaching.

I often look at my old notes when I teach a passage, and I often find things that I got wrong fifteen years ago.

I think that we each have our own ideas of what is correct “doctrine”.

I’ve often compared this to those old fishing nets that used to hang on the walls of seafood restaurants.  They would have colored glass floats hanging on the nets.
The glass floats are where we “place” our doctrines.
And from time to time we need to get up and move some of those glass floats to a more correct position.
Doctrines like:
Once a person is saved, are they always saved?
Does a person have a choice as to whether they can be saved?
When will the Rapture occur?
Do I need to be baptized?
Do I need to be baptized by an ordained minister?
It’s good to have opinions on doctrines like these but be aware that the more you study the ENTIRE Bible, you may need to tweak some of your opinions because you may find you didn’t know as much as you thought you did.

:16 save both yourself and those who hear you

continueepimeno – to stay at or with, to tarry still, still to abide, to continue, remain

Paul isn’t saying that Timothy is only going to be saved by being a good pastor.

We are saved by believing in Jesus Christ. 
We are saved when we realize that we are sinners, and that our sin is keeping us from coming to know God. 
We are saved when we realize that Jesus died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. 
We are saved when we open our heart to Jesus and receive the forgiveness that comes from the cross.
This is the “teaching” that Timothy is supposed to be careful about.

As Timothy stays faithful to the teaching of the gospel, as Timothy himself believes in the gospel, then Timothy will be saved. 

But not only will Timothy be saved, but those who are in his church will be able to be saved because they will be hearing the truth.