Friday, April 27, 2007

As we continue our look at 1 Timothy 4, I would like to bring to your attention six verses this morning:

1 Timothy 4:11-16 1 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

In this short section of verses there are 10 imperatives. That is amazing. Let me break them down for you and hopefully this will spur you on towards Godly living!

1) Prescribe- this word has the idea of "command." It is also found in 1:3 and 1:4 for "commanding ones..." It is a military term used here for young Pastor Timothy to prescribe the dogmatic truths from Scripture. This is his authority. The word of God IS sufficient.

2) Teach these things - again, this is a present active imperative, "you must make it your habit to constantly be teaching these things." This is also the word for doctrine. A Pastor/Teacher must be one who teaches doctrine. He must command certain ones how to live as well as teach them biblical doctrine from the Scriptures.

3) Let no one look down on your youth- This command is from Paul to young Timothy because, apparently, he was timid (2 Tim 1:7). No matter how old a Pastor is. He must not let others look down on his youth. How does he do this? He does this by being an example (Lit. a tupos) for them in: speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.

4) Be an example - If we as Pastors were to heed this and be an example for our flocks in these various ways, our flocks would respect us all the more and follow us more fervently as we seek to exemplify the true Shepherd. The sheep are longing to be led. They are eager to follow the shepherd. May be set for them this example in the way that we live life. May we truly be a "type" or an "example" of Christ (Eph 5:1-2).

5) Give Heed - in verse 13 Paul commands Timothy to give heed to 1) The public reading of Scripture; 2) Exhortation; 3) Doctrine/Teaching. He is to make it his habit to give all his effort and energy to these things in the local church. Do we as Pastors and Shepherds give all of ourselves to the reading of God's Word, to Exhortation and to Doctrine?

6) Do not neglect - the spiritual gift which was given to Timothy through the laying on of the elder's hands is not to be neglected by young Timothy. All this means is that the elders of the church confirmed and validated the office of Pastor/Teacher to young Timothy there in Ephesus. Timothy is commanded to not neglect this gift. He must determine in his heart, soul and affections to always be exercising his gift of pastoring and shepherding his flock at all times.

7) Take pains with these things - The idea here is that with these things (namely, 12-13 - being an example and devoting himself to the public reading, exhortation and doctrine) he must take pains. It is in the negative form meaning that he must "not be unconcerned" with the things of the local church ministry.

8) Be in Them! - this is the positive flip side to the previous imperative. He must "BE in them!" Constantly make it his life goal to be in the Word of God, Exhorting the people of God, and teaching clearly, boldly, accurately and unashamedly the full counsel of God.

9) Give Heed to yourself - This imperative is for Pastor Timothy to never forget that he must always be watching HIMSELF closely. He is their shepherd. He is their leader. He must be careful how he lives, what he believes, how he teaches, what he teaches, etc. He must pay attention to his own life and to his own doctrine and make sure it is characterized by 2 Tim 2:15 - 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.

10) Abide in them - For in so doing these things, Timothy has saves his own soul and he will save the souls of others as the instrument by which God saves a person's soul out of the realm of Satan and into the realm of Light. May we be the shepherds that are constantly abiding in the Word of truth. For it is only the Word of God that can save a person's soul from hell.

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