Read 1 Timothy 4
Questions to Consider
1. Study verses 1-5. In what ways does this passage contrast truth with falsehood? List the individual words in these verses that convey the idea of falsehood or dishonesty. List the words that convey the idea of truthfulness. Who is the origin of all falsehood and deception? Compare “deceitful spirits” and “demons” (1) with John 8:44. Who is the origin of truth? Compare the statements about truth in 2b-5 with John 14:6, 17:17.
Recalling that 1 Timothy is a letter breathed out by the Holy Spirit to a pastor about the church, explain why it is important to God, to pastors, and to the church body that the church be a place of truth rather than a place of deception, false teaching, and lies.
2. Examine verse 1. What does it mean that “some will depart from the faith“? Does this mean that some people whom Christ has genuinely saved will lose their salvation?
3. Look closely at the way false doctrine and false teaching are described in verses 1-2. Is Paul wrongly using a “harsh tone” or being “unloving” toward false teachers as some Christians might accuse him of today? (Again, Who breathed out these Scriptures?)
4. Compare 4-5 with 2:9. Is there anything inherently sinful about braided hair, gold, pearls, or an expensive garment – these objects themselves, and/or owning/wearing them? Explain the primacy of the attitude of our hearts when it comes to these objects, marriage, and food (3). What does verse 5 mean when it says that these things are made holy “by the word of God and prayer”? How does this apply to your “relationship” with the things you own, wear, or participate in?
5. What is Paul instructing Timothy to do when he says, “If you put these things before the brothers,” (6)?
6. Examine 6-16. In chapter 3, the Holy Spirit gives a list of character qualifications for pastors – what they are to be. In 4:6-16 the Holy Spirit gives a list of instructions for pastors – what they are to __. Work your way through these verses and make a list of the things the Holy Spirit wants pastors to do. Circle or highlight any of these instructions and principles that do not apply to the laity (Christians who are not pastors). If pastors are supposed to “set the Believers an example” (12) what does that tell us about the need for us to follow the instructions in 6-16 that apply to both pastors and non-pastors? How does 2:11-15 apply to the way women are to follow these instructions? Is there any way in which the qualifications for pastors and deacons in chapter 3 should inform the way in which men follow these instructions? (For example: compare 3:2’s “able to teach” with 4:11’s “teach these things”. If a man is not “able to teach”, should he be in a teaching role in the church?)
7. What metaphor does Paul employ in 6-10 to describe training for godliness? How is spiritual training like physical training? How are they different?
8. Look closely at verse 9. We see this same phraseology four times in 1-2 Timothy. What does this statement mean, and why do you think Paul says it so often?
9. Compare the way Paul again inserts the gospel smack dab into the middle of his instructions to Timothy (10) to the way he has already done this in chapters 1, 2, and 3. How does this motif help us to see that everything we do in the church and in our own lives should revolve around and point back to the gospel?
Can you think of any churches, denominations, religions, cults, or movements today that “forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods” (3) for its leaders and/or members? Do some research, find out what is forbidden for whom, and examine the major points of the organization’s doctrine (ex: the nature of God, how people can be made right with God, etc.). Does it match up with biblical doctrine?
Suggested Memory Verse