- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.