Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 4:5-6:2

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Word of God and prayer - 1 Timothy 4:5

the word of God and prayer. Only God can purify us, and consecrate our activities. We engage God by hearing God's word and responding with thanksgiving and obedience. In addition to the refrain from Genesis, that God had made all things 'very good,' Paul may well have in mind 'God's word' to Simon Peter making both food and people 'clean,' a word that was ratified by the Jerusalem conference, and delivered to the churches by Paul, Silas and Timothy (Acts 16:4). He did not need to elaborate this to Timothy, since he helped deliver that word.

Best antidote to False Teaching - 1 Timothy 4:6-16

Paul Reminds Timothy that the Best Antidote to False Teaching is 'Healthy Teaching' and Godly living. Having countered the asceticism of the false teachers, Paul shifts positively and constructively back to the centrality of the Gospel, the nourishment of the Scriptures and the aim and practices of love and godliness as Timothy's most important resources for his service to Christ, including his confrontation with false teachers.

A good servant of Christ Jesus - 1 Timothy 4:6

a good servant of Jesus Christ. As he described earlier in his letter, regarding 'deacons' (see note 3:8-13), Paul uses the same word to describe the standard of 'good service' for Timothy. He or she is able to 'point out these things' to brothers and sisters, not as an academic exercise, but from his or her own 'nourishment in' and practice of 'the truths of the faith.'

Train yourself in godliness - 1 Timothy 4:7

stories loved by old women. See note 1:4. Instead, train yourself in godliness. Both here and in 4:8, Paul has the ascetic teachings on food and marriage in mind. While acknowledging that self-denial in physical training has some value, he has consistently aimed at the value of 'good works,' which also express self-sacrificial love in service to others. See note 2:10.

This message is trustworthy - 1 Timothy 4:9

This message is trustworthy. See notes 1:15 and 3:1.

The Living God, who is the savior of all people - 1 Timothy 4:10

the living God, who is the Savior of all people. In his fourth gospel summary of the letter (see 1:15-16; 2:5-6; 3:16), Paul combines two key elements of his doctrine of God: 1) There is only one, true and living God, the God of Israel; and 2) Israel's god not only saves Jews, but all people who put their faith in him (cf. Isa 43:10-11).

Let no one despise your youth - 1 Timothy 4:12

Let no one despise your youth. The negative command here may denote some timidity in Timothy (cf. 4:14; 2 Tim 1:7), but also the reality that some, even beyond the false teachers, may not have accepted his authority or mandate from Paul. Again, Paul urges both correction and a constructive example. Instead, set an example for those who believe. Moral authority is gained and sustained by a good example in words, deeds and relationships. Indeed, this short summary echoes the character qualifications of church officers (see note 3:1-7 and 3:8-13).

Healthy Relationships in God's Household - 1 Timothy 5:1-6:2

Paul Describes Healthy Relationships between Groups in God's Household. Having addressed Timothy's critical responsibility of correcting false teachers, Paul now addresses Timothy's constructive pastoral relations with identifiable groups in God's household. The apostle's summary instructions (5:1-2) indicate that his household imagery is substantial, not merely metaphorical. Timothy is to relate to church members as family members. Though this section does not take on the formal characteristics of 'household codes' (see Eph 5:21-6:9; Col 3:18-4:1; 1 Pet 2:13-3:7), Paul articulated particular patterns for Timothy to model in relation to widows (5:3-16), elders (5:17-25), and slaves (6:1-2).

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