Bible Commentaries

1 Timothy 4

Verses 1-16

Having thus dealt with the Church, the apostle showed Timothy how he was to fulfil his responsibility. He had a duty toward the truth, and therefore toward the Church. In order to correct errors which would arise, Timothy was to give definite instruction. Abstinence from lawful things is a matter for personal decision and action, and must never be made a necessity of religious life or godliness. The apostle then described the secrets of strength for those who were called upon to defend the truth against error. A faithful saying, and worthy of acceptation, is that God is "the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe."

The teacher must be such a man as to carry conviction. The injunction, "Let no man despise thy youth," has the force of, "Do not be despicable." How Timothy may fulfil this injunction is then stated. He is to be an example of the believers in godliness of life The apostle's final instructions concerning Timothy's duty to the truth are strikingly comprehensive in their description of the true method and habit of the Christian minister. They may be divided thus:

(1) his public work (verse 1 Timothy 4:13),

(2) his private work (verses 1 Timothy 4:14-15), and

(3) his general attitude, and its consequent issue (verse 1 Timothy 4:16). The greatest power of the preacher is personality; continuity in his work is the way of his salvation, and so also the way of salvation for others.