Thursday, December 29, 2022

2022.12.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Timothy 4:6–11

Read 1 Timothy 4:6–11

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom (1 Timothy 4:6) should Timothy instruct in Christology (1 Timothy 3:16)-based sanctification (1 Timothy 4:5) unto a thankful (1 Timothy 4:3-4) life? Of Whom will he be a good servant in that case? By what must such ministry have been nourished? And what does such a ministry do with such good doctrine? What two things must Timothy reject (1 Timothy 4:7a)? Unto what will the careful following of the one, and the rejection of the others, exercise him (verse 7b)? What do people already know (1 Timothy 4:8a)? But what is true with even wider impact (verse 8b)? And what other superiority (verse 8c)? What does 1 Timothy 4:9 say about the statement “godliness is profitable for all things”? Whom are we trusting when we pursue godliness by Christology (1 Timothy 4:10b)? What are we willing to do for this sort of ministry (verse 10a)? Why must it be Him Whom we trust for godliness (verse 10c, d)? How does 1 Timothy 4:11 summarize this instruction?

How should ministers serve the brethren? 1 Timothy 4:6–11 looks forward to the second reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these six verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that ministers serve the brethren by teaching good Christology and commanding its application to life.

The brethren must be instructed in Christology-based sanctification that produces a thankful life. The church has this wonderful truth about Jesus (1 Timothy 3:16) that produces thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:3-4) that flows from a life made holy through the Word and prayer (1 Timothy 4:5). But manmade religion (1 Timothy 4:2) flows from the sort of myths and babble that old women tend to come up with (1 Timothy 4:7). These must be watched against and avoided.

Pastoring God’s way because he’s a servant. Timothy isn’t at liberty to teach what is easy, natural, or popular. He’s a minister (“servant,” literally) of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 4:6). So, he must teach that foundational (1 Timothy 3:15) truth about Jesus, that holiness that comes through the means of grace, that thankful simplicity of life and heart.

Pastoring God’s way because it’s efficient. Thinking through good doctrine and applying good doctrine exercises the minister (and the brother) toward godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).  All rational people know that bodily exercise is profitable (1 Timothy 4:8a). And the church apparently had a saying that godliness is profitable for all things (verse 8b). Well, shouldn’t we make sure to get our “spiritual exercise”?  The apostle affirms that the saying isn’t merely human but faithful and worthy as from God (1 Timothy 4:9).

Pastoring God’s way because we’re dependent. The minister himself must be nourished by this same doctrine and faith (1 Timothy 4:6). The minister himself must follow well, with his life, this doctrine that nourishes him (verse 6). And ultimately, the minister pastors this way because he “trusts in the living God” (1 Timothy 4:10). 

God is not distant or idle but near and active—living. And He is the One Who is saving. With believers, we have the added encouragement that biblical ministry to them has a 100% rate of fruitfulness; He is the Savior “especially of those who believe.” That is to say that when we minister to believers, we may do so with the glad knowledge that it is being blessed to their eternal profit. 

A minister who is doing God’s assignments in God’s strength will be much more willing to “labor” and to “suffer reproach” in that service than if he were crafting his own ministry. We can endure much, if we endure it as those who are trusting in God!

Who is saving the members of the church? What is his method of exercising us in godliness? What theology should be foundational? What must we be watching out for? What are some examples of manmade religion that is followed in the churches? When do you get your “spiritual exercise”?

Sample prayer:  Lord, forgive us for entertaining manmade ideas and methods in Your church. Truly, we ought to minister doctrinally, but we often fall back on trying to sway feelings. Truly, we ought to be exercising in the means of grace, but often we want growth to come easily. Truly, we ought to be willing to work hard and to suffer reproach, but we shrink from hard work and bristle or crumble under insult. In all of this, we expose how little that it is actually You Whom we are trusting. Forgive us, O Lord! And restore us unto diligence and zeal and courage and joy in Jesus Christ, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN!

ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus”

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