1 Timothy 4:6-16
A Good Servant of Christ Jesus 6 i If you put these things before the brothers, 1 you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have j followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, k silly myths. Rather l train yourself for godliness; 8 for while m bodily training is of some value, godliness n is of value in every way, as o it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is p trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, 1 because we have our hope set on the living God, q who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 11 Command and teach r these things. 12 s Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers t an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 u Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you v by prophecy when the council of elders w laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, 1 so that x all may see your progress. 16 y Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save z both yourself and a your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:6-16
6 Ταῦτα ὑποτιθέμενος τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς καλὸς ἔσῃ διάκονος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ἐντρεφόμενος τοῖς λόγοις τῆς πίστεως καὶ τῆς καλῆς διδασκαλίας ᾗ παρηκολούθηκας• 7 τοὺς δὲ βεβήλους καὶ γραώδεις μύθους παραιτοῦ. Γύμναζε δὲ σεαυτὸν πρὸς εὐσέβειαν• 8 ἡ γὰρ σωματικὴ γυμνασία πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶν ὠφέλιμος, ἡ δὲ εὐσέβεια πρὸς πάντα ὠφέλιμός ἐστιν ἐπαγγελίαν ἔχουσα ζωῆς τῆς νῦν καὶ τῆς μελλούσης. 9 πιστὸς ὁ λόγος καὶ πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος• 10 εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ κοπιῶμεν καὶ ἀγωνιζόμεθα, ὅτι ἠλπίκαμεν ἐπὶ θεῷ ζῶντι, ὅς ἐστιν σωτὴρ πάντων ἀνθρώπων μάλιστα πιστῶν. 11 Παράγγελλε ταῦτα καὶ δίδασκε. 12 Μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω, ἀλλὰ τύπος γίνου τῶν πιστῶν ἐν λόγῳ, ἐν ἀναστροφῇ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ἐν πίστει, ἐν ἁγνείᾳ. 13 ἕως ἔρχομαι πρόσεχε τῇ ἀναγνώσει, τῇ παρακλήσει, τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ. 14 μὴ ἀμέλει τοῦ ἐν σοὶ χαρίσματος, ὃ ἐδόθη σοι διὰ προφητείας μετὰ ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν τοῦ πρεσβυτερίου. 15 ταῦτα μελέτα, ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι, ἵνα σου ἡ προκοπὴ φανερὰ ᾖ πᾶσιν. 16 ἔπεχε σεαυτῷ καὶ τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ, ἐπίμενε αὐτοῖς• τοῦτο γὰρ ποιῶν καὶ σεαυτὸν σώσεις καὶ τοὺς ἀκούοντάς σου.
Train yourself for godliness Introduction 'piety' / 'pietistic' often criticised. The problem is not piety but false piety. 'godliness' = 'piety' what is godliness? Devotion; given-ness. Fully given and yielded to God. Dead to self. Dwelling with God, walking with God like Enoch. Abiding in Jesus. Which takes serious effort at times. God-ward-ness. Fear, love, desire. ' The practice of godliness is an exercise or discipline that focuses upon God. Godliness is more than Christian character: It is Christian character that springs from a devotion to God. But it is also true that devotion to God always results in godly character. The essential elements of devotion must express themselves in a life that is pleasing to God. So godliness can be defined as devotion to God which results in a life that is pleasing to him.' false dichotomies. G odly living - no problem of 'expertise'/vendor/agency without accountability. since it is total devotion to God, it is inseparable from healthy doctrine Intimate passage to Timothy. He is to be the worked example for the church. v6 Teach on godliness and you'll be a good servant of Jesus v6 'these things' - ie the secret of godliness, the goodness of created things. v6 good deacon 'trained' (or 'nourished') in the words of the faith. This mystery of godliness takes 'training' - cf Titus, how grace 'trains' us for godliness. Hence reason for fluency, and going over things again and again. Above all, new ways of thinking. v6-8 Godliness is of value in every way - unlike myths or physical training v7 reject profane myths that old women tell; gullible is the point. Or what old women tell children, but which are totally inappropriate for actual life. Godliness has to be built on actual truth! v8 'if you don't go to heaven before you die, you won't afterwards.' Rather train yourself for godliness. Train - gymnaze, physical. Different word to v6. nb there is some relation; the hardness of physical training, and enduring of pain etc ['it's ok to feel pain'], is a strong metaphor for the Christian life. Also, the training in itself doesn't make the health or growth, it is the means for the process - already in built - to happen. HOW to 'train yourself for godliness' v9-10 The foundation of godliness is God our hope and saviour v9 hope and Saviour again - cf the introduction. v9 'saying is trustworthy' again. v10 toil and strive (where we get 'agonise' from). Godliness, and calling others to godliness, is lots of effort and toil. v10 'especially' - same construction as 1 Timothy 5.8 and 1 Timothy 5.17 and denotes the main category in mind. Shows emphasis; full assurance of salvation. Or, it may be translated 'namely' or 'that is' - saviour of all, that is, of those who believe. And remember the backdrop problem of the narrow view of the false teachers; that there are certain enlightened or eligible ones for salvation. Whereas the gospel is universal - all and anyone who comes to Jesus will be saved. v11-14 Be an example of godliness in private and in public v12 an example in word, in behaviour, in love, in faith, in purity/chastity. [illustration of climbing a mountain with others. You have all the same challenges, but must be an example to them, and at the same time teach and correct and help] v14 charismatos; an undeserved favour. A grace-gift. It would appear that this gift was a teaching gift. Plus, note that when given a charismata you must still develop it, steward it. It is not a static thing. So even if you say 'I have a gift of XYZ', we can still say that it needs to be developed further before putting you on a platform. This is even more obvious when we realise that 'marriage' or 'singleness' are charismata. v14 why would he have been tempted to neglect the gift? Because it seemed to hard, ineffectual? So unappreciated? NB how the teaching priority is unpopular, even with teaching churches. It takes time and investment. I am so grateful for your support of this. cf freed up for ministry of the Word. [Illustration - my conversation at a wedding years ago] v15-16 Be totally absorbed by godliness v15. Devise/plan these thing; be (exist) in them, in order that your development/advancement is apparent/manifest/clear to all. Absorbed in them. [Another wedding - older pastor's advice] persist in these things; those who persevere to the end will be saved. 'Persistence is not the meritorious cause but rather the ultimate evidence of our salvation' - eg Hebrews 3.14 You will [be the means to] save yourself and your hearers. v16 close watch. Like relentlessly swimming upstream or cycling into the wind when you could just turn around and go home. v16 keep a close watch on yourself and the teaching; persist in them [implication that he's be tempted not to persist, that it would be too hard or discouraging, or progress too slow]. The gospel centre God's glory. The Living God is our Saviour and hope. He gives this new life now. We get to bask in his reflected glory. FCF. We despise or dismiss godliness; rather get absorbed with irreverent, meaningless things. Neglect the duty of godliness. We are not devoted in our hearts. Jesus - his person. Shows godliness. Not only outward obedience but love and true communion with the Father. Shows the persistence and priority in this, amidst the demands and attractions of the world Jesus - his work. The godly for the ungodly. Devoted for the wayward. The ungodly put the godly one to death. Crowned as God's king. Union with Jesus. Godliness has been secured by Jesus. A new life in my soul. The life of the Spirit, one of godly devotion, battling the old life of the flesh. Grace always ready and sufficient and certain for godliness - we have all we need for life and godliness 2 Peter 1. Since he has gone before and become my hope, I can hold my nerve and persist in these things to the end. There is a life in him which I already enjoy. Conclusion Train yourself for godliness. Devotion; given-ness. Fully given and yielded to God. Dead to self. Dwelling with God, walking with God like Enoch. Abiding in Jesus.