1 Timothy 4:11-16
1 Tim 4:11 (KJB)
These things command and teach.
Paul now gives Timothy some practical advice concerning his ministry. The word “command” is in the Imperative Mood which means that in addition to the teachings which Timothy will be doing, there are also commands in the Gospel which are irrefutable and must be obeyed. In the four Gospels, Jesus had given many commands which were to be obeyed and not debated.
1 Tim 4:12 (KJB)
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.
Despise - To think against, disdain or have a low opinion of
Example - A pattern
Since there would obviously be older men in the congregation, there would be those who would look down upon the young age of Timothy. Paul is basically stating here that Timothy should give them no cause to disdain his ministry because of his youth. Then Paul gives six ways in which Timothy can stop anyone who tries to make a case against him out of envy of his age.
1) Word - Timothy was to teach the true Gospel and when he is not teaching, he is to speak words which are wholesome and never speak any vulgarity. If there is one thing people pick up on quickly, it is the two-faced person who speaks one way in the pulpit and another way outside the pulpit.
2) Conversation - Along with his speech, Timothy was also to be an example of Christian conduct. He was not to act one way in the assembly and then when outside, to act like an unbeliever. His Christian conduct was to be a continuum which characterizes true Christianity.
3) Charity - He was to be an example in charity. Many see this word as only “love” but love can be requited where charity cannot because those who receive charity are normally destitute and unable to repay. Timothy was also to accept and treat those who are destitute with the same love he treats those who are wealthy, there should be no chasm of difference in how we look at people. (2 Cor 5:16 KJV) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. We look at all people, whether rich or poor, as having a soul which live on in eternity. We must look beyond the outward appearance and discount their social status because in Hell there are no riches and in Heaven there is no poverty.
4) Spirit - There are two meanings attached to this word in this verse. First of all, Paul is telling Timothy that he must exercise the spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit has placed in him. It should result in speaking of spiritual things and away from the secular things which always pervade the churches. I remember once I was discussing with some friends some biblical things after a church service and in the middle of it some guy sticks his nose in trying to sell tickets to some sports event. Instead of joining the spiritual conversation he went to others to try and sell tickets to that event. You can see what god he was worshipping. Paul is saying that Christians must speak spiritual things and exercise the spiritual gifts were given to grow in the faith. Then the second meaning of “spirit” would mean to have the zeal to continue on in the ministry to pastor the flock and see people grow in the faith. There must be more of a zeal for spiritual things than for secular things in the life of a Christian.
5) Faith - One of the greatest characteristics of a true Christian is they have great faith in God. (Gal 5:22 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, We are given faith as a fruit of the Holy Spirit and when we pray about something, we must have the faith to believe that God will work on our behalf, but in His timing and His way. The reason God gives us faith is because we may pray about something and the answer may not come for a while and we need to have faith that God never forsakes us, even as time goes by and we see no answer to our prayer yet. It is faith that helps us not to lose faith in God!
6) Purity - Timothy was to be pure in two areas. First, he was to teach a pure unadulterated gospel to his flock. He was not to add or subtract anything. Too many Christians today like to ignore the passages they don’t like because they are too self-convicting but that is where true growth takes place. Secondly, he was to remain morally pure because in Ephesus there was a temple with many prostitutes and probably many of the women were walking around scantily clothed. He was to be an example of moral purity showing that the gospel has the strength to keep a person pure. (Psa 119:9 KJV) BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
1 Tim 4:13 (KJB)
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Paul had desired to come to Ephesus and this verse shows his desire to visit Timothy. Up to the time that Paul comes for a visit, Timothy was to have a three-fold public ministry which would be in the church.
1) Reading - (Acts 13:15 KJV) And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. One of the tenets of synagogue worship was the public reading of the word of God. The reading of the Word of God would prepare the mind for the rest of the service which would probably revolve around the passages of Scripture which were read. This is why it is important for the public reading of God’s word in a church or other worship setting because it focuses and prepares the mind for the teachings to come.
2) Exhortation - Once the Scriptures were read, then comes the exhortation which is the public preaching of the Gospel. The Greek word for “exhortation” carries with it the meaning of “encouragement or comfort.” Not all preaching is meant to chastise since in this world the Christian has many woes because of the world system. They are consistently facing trials and tribulations and need to hear encouragement Sunday morning when they come apart from the world. The Christians in the church should never be exposed to “sheep beaters.”
3) Doctrine - Another major tenet of the teaching ministry of a true church is the preaching and teaching of doctrine. Doctrine is the tenets of the Christian faith. For example, the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of God, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the doctrine of salvation, etc. When doctrine is being preached, it builds up the Christian in their faith and also strengthens their belief and this will aid them in giving answers to those who seek. (1 Pet 3:15 KJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1 Tim 4:14 (KJB)
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
Neglect not - Disregard or not to care for
Presbytery - Assembly of Elders
Every Christian has been given a spiritual gift or two for the purpose of being empowered to fulfill the ministry which God has for them. In Timothy’s case his gift could have been the gift of teaching along with exhortation and Paul wants Timothy to exercise the spiritual gifts in ministry. As a Christian continues to use the spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit gives them at their day of salvation, the Christian becomes more astute in their ministries increasing their value for the Kingdom of God and those who are ministered to. Since the Bible was not yet completed, God was still giving prophecies in the church and it seems that if there were prophets in the church at Ephesus, one of them must have prophesied that Timothy would be the pastor of the church by God’s declaration. When this prophecy was made and confirmed by the other prophets, then the leaders of that church had brought in Timothy and confirmed his appointment by the laying on of hands. (1 Cor 14:29 KJV) Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. This was not like today’s ordination where someone is ordained who follows whatever the church teaches, regardless of whether it is biblical or not, or the pastor of the church ordaining someone who is a rubber stamp for his ideas and methods. Timothy was chosen by direct choice of God and not because he would follow anything or anyone. This is why so many churches have gone under because the Pastor is a spiritual gift and not a church office. (Eph 4:11 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Just because somebody attends seminary does not mean they are pastoral material. If they do not have the true pastoral call going into seminary, they will not have it when they leave.
1 Tim 4:15 (KJB)
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
Meditate - Practice, cultivate, to care for
Profiting - Advancement
The word “meditate” in the Greek is in the Imperative Mood which means that it is a command. Paul has just given Timothy much material to reflect on. Paul goes on to state that Timothy must never enter the ministry with half a heart. If he is to pastor this church, he must do it with a full heart. He must study, preach, exhort, and teach doctrine because these are the things which help Christians grow and become stronger in the faith. He must never retreat on teaching any of these but must always teach the whole counsel of God, not what sounds good but what is good and necessary. Paul uses a term “profiting” which has nothing to do with money but has to do with both the advancement of the Gospel of Christ through both the church ministry and individual ministries of the Christians. This way all who are in attendance and even those outside the church will see the spiritual growth of these Christians. You see the Church is not about the pastor or his salary or his gifts. It is all about giving the truth so the true gospel can be advanced throughout the world, one community at a time.
1 Tim 4:16 (KJB)
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.
Take heed - Give attention to, hold fast, or hold upon
Continue - Continue, persist, or persevere
Paul gives two commands to Timothy because they are eternal in nature. First, he is to take heed or give attention to himself, not in an egotistical manner but to examine himself to make sure that he is being a good example to the flock. Then in concert with this he is to make sure that he is holding to and teaching true biblical doctrine. He must make sure that he has not deviated from the truth of God’s word in any manner. If he is still holding to the truth, then Paul commands him to continue in that true doctrine, because if he is holding to and teaching true doctrine, then that gives indication that he is saved and those that hear the gospel he is proclaiming will be able to become saved when they hear the truth of God being proclaimed. False doctrine and false teaching cannot save anyone. (Rom 10:17 KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.