1 Timothy 4:1-16 Godly Teaching
False Teachers (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
The Holy Spirit has already warned that there are and that there will be false teachers. Jesus warned His disciples about it. The Bible shows that false teachers will increase as we get closer to the return of Jesus Christ.
How are they teaching?
1. They “draw people away”
The Bible teaches here that false teachers try to take people from the church. The word here is “apostatize” which means to completely leave one’s position. This reveals that the ones who left were truly not of the faith. Similar to what the writer of Hebrews states in Hebrews 6:1-9.
1 John 2:19
2. Deceiving spirits use them
The Holy Spirit guides the Christian. Deceiving spirits draw people away from Christ. They try to keep the message from taking root. These deceiving spirits use false teacher as puppets to advance the cause of Satan.
3. They teach false doctrines through hypocrisy (4:1b-2a)
They were drawing people away, not with the power of the Holy Spirit, but of false spirits. These false spirits were helping these teachers draw people in the church away. One way to detect these false teachers was the fact that they were hypocrites. These teachers would say one thing, but they would live another. They were playing a role to get the attention of people, in order to lead them away from the Christian faith.
What are they teaching?
What is the doctrine of demons? In this case, they are teaching two ideas which clearly go against what God provided:
They were teaching celibacy and fasting and diets will provide you salvation. It is a works salvation based on lifestyle choices. God said that all food was good. God also said marriage was good. These teachers were insisting that people leave the Christian faith and follow their lifestyle, which they taught was a way to get to know anything they needed.
This is in contrast to Godly teaching. Paul encouraged Timothy to continue to teach the proper doctrine and live as a good example for others to follow.
Godly Teachers (1 Timothy 4:12)
Godly teachers also lead by example.
FIVE AREAS WHERE A GODLY LEADER CAN BE AN EXAMPLE TO THE CHURCH
Paul lists five areas in which Timothy was to be an example to the church:
1. “word” (speech; see Matt. 12:34–37; Eph. 4:25, 29, 31);
2. “conduct” (righteous living; see Titus 2:10; 1 Pe. 1:15; 2:12; 3:16);
3. “love” (self-sacrificial service for others; see John 15:13);
4. “faith” (not belief, but faithfulness or commitment; see 1 Cor. 4:2);
5. “purity” (especially sexual purity; see 3:2).
Timothy’s exemplary life in those areas would offset the disadvantage of his youth.