1 Timothy 4:1-16 – Devotedly Trained – David Hill

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Theme sentence: Watch your life and doctrine closely.

Aim sentence: To protect the church from false teaching leaders need to look after both themselves and their hearers with the Word.

In the previous section, Paul has just pointed to the Lord Jesus as our model for godliness.

He has, in essence, said, “Live like Jesus IN THE WORLD – to make Jesus known TO THE WORLD!”

And chapter 4 follows hot on the heels of that truth.

In verses 1 – 5 Paul exposes the false teachers – one of the big problems with their teaching was that they were calling their hearers to live apart from the world – so they were having little Gospel impact on the world.

So in verses 6 – 10 Paul urges Timothy to look after himself spiritually – to live a godly life in the world – to make known the hope he has in God our Saviour.

And then in verses 11 – 16 Paul urges Timothy to look after his hearers spiritually – so that he can help them to navigate through life this side of eternity and make it safely to their final salvation.

Paul is dealing here with matters of life and death.

We need to take these warnings and commands seriously if we are going to keep fighting this battle for the Gospel in God’s church.

False teaching exposed (1–5)

Paul exposes some of the key teachings of the false teachers.

Minister, look after yourself (6–10)

Paul then shows how to protect the church from false teaching. Firstly, the teacher needs to look after himself. Nourishing himself, training himself and working hard at his ministry. This is all done through the Word.

Minister, look after your hearers (11–16)

Following on from the teacher looking after himself, the Word then lived out and proclaimed by the teachers will be the thing that protects the church.

Now what?

Pray for leaders who are watching their lives and doctrine closely. Because if they do they will save both themselves and their hearers (vs. 16).


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