Sunday, 9 October 2016

Encouragements - 1 Timothy 4

Having given directions about leaders, Paul returns to the main theme of the letters - dealing with false and erroneous teachers. He has stern words: deceiving spirits, hypocritical liars and so on! But rather than going on and on, he quickly moves on to what amounts to six encouragements for Timothy.
  • The first is in the midst of the false teaching problem. Dealing with people applying parts of the Old Testament law (and seeming to add other layers on top) Paul focusses to the goodness of God. Everything created by God is good - Timothy is encouraged to receive with thanksgiving.
  • In v6 Paul affirms Timothy as a good minister. Cheering him on he effectively says 'you can do this!'
  • v8 calls for training in godliness. We know about fitness training in the gym, but what is our soul training regime, you discipleship habits? The latter has eternal value, applying in the now and the not yet. This is one of Paul's trustworthy sayings, the 3rd we have encountered so far
  •  v12 reminds Timothy that his lesser years are not a barrier to ministry. God can use young and old. We should be more open-minded as to how God can work through our youth and even children.
  •  In v14 Paul looks back to how the Spirit gifted Timothy, equipping him for ministry. This was accompanied by some kind of prophetic word. We should be encouraged that God speaks today, and equips us for ministry too.
  • Finally in v16 Paul re-iterates that it is His saving work - we are participating with God in bringing people to Himself. Let us keep that clear in our thinking.
In the service everyone was invited to explore these and other themes in Timothy in more depth, through a variety of different learning zones. The resources for these zones are available by clicking here

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