1 Timothy 4

Departure from the faith in the last days  1
Be a good minister; reject fables  6
Your youth not to be despised; spend time reading, preaching, and so on  11
Text Comments
.1 ¶ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
 2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
.3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats [foods], which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
  1 - Depart from the faith A prediction that Christians would pick up pagan doctrines. And that is exactly what happened. They still called themselves Christians, however. A few remained faithful but the majority did not! So today we need to judge every doctrine by the word of Scripture. is0820, 2th0203, ac2029. Compare re1613.
  2 - Lies ... conscience seared Lying can become a habit and generally hurts people lied to or about.
  3 - Forbidding to marry "Not long after Paul's time the superior holiness of the unmarried life began to be preached in the church, and this resulted at last in monasticism and a celibate clergy." (People's NT Commentary) The Gnostics introduced the idea in into Christianity. Their Greek mystical religion taught that matter was evil and that the flesh must be repressed. Paul disagreed 1co0701, he1304. So did Jesus jn02.
  3 - Abstain from [foods] Notice that these are items given for food, a vegan diet ge0129, which was modified at the time of the flood when most vegetation had been destroyed. Also see on ge0903 and on ge0621.
 4  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
 5  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
  4 - Every creature Technically this includes poisonous plants, scorpions and even people. Paul assumes that Timothy would already avoid animals specified as unclean le11, v3. At the beginning of his letter 1ti0104, he warned Timothy against myths (temptation for the Greeks) and genealogies (temptation for the Jews). See v1 above. The myths may have included diet taboos or fasting rules. Also see on Peter's vision of animals let down on a sheet ac10.
  5 - Sanctified Unclean creatures would not become clean by prayer.
.6 ¶ If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
 7  But refuse profane and old wivesí fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
 8  For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
 9  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
 10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
  6 - Nourished ... words Preparation for ministry. We are all ministers although some need to have more preparation that others.
  7 - Refuse ... fables These non-biblical ideas may have been passed down for generations, thus the "old wives."
  8 - Bodily exercise For good health we must not neglect bodily exercise. Let's consider how Paul's statement is true. He lived in a time of sports competition (as we do today). To win required practice and exercise. In contrast, our glory is Christ's and our "life ... which is to come" depends on spiritual development. This should be our great goal by His grace. We can exercise, too.
  9 - Faithful From pistos, worthy of trust. See 1ti0301.
  10 - For therefore The text should read, "for to this end," which from verse 8, is the character we all are expected to attain.
  10 - Trust with hope ro0501-5, ro0824,25; ro1513; Tt0307, he0306, 1pe0103,4, 1jo0302,3.
.11  These things command and teach.
.12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
 13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
.14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
 15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
 16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
  12 - Youth The term now implies much younger people than it did then.
  13 - Till I come Paul expected to be set free.
  13 - Attendance to reading The Scriptures would be read as Jesus had done lu0416. This was ages before Guttenberg's press. Scriptures were hand copied and therefore expensive.
  13 - Doctrine Literally "the teaching."
  14 - Neglect not That is, "be careful."
  14 - Gift From charisma, "a gift of grace." Timothy had ability 1ti0118, 1ti0411. He was able to direct people to truth in the midst of error.
  Presbytery From presbution, counsel of elders. The term bishop was also used. See on ac1130, 1ti0301.
  15 - Meditate From meletao, or "to attend to carefully."
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