Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
When Paul wrote to Timothy he was leaving him in charge of the church in Ephesus. Timothy was charged by Paul to carry on the correct teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I Tim 1: 3-4
3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.
In the next several veses Paul makes the case for not living by the letter of the law but living from a heart of love for God and for what pleases God our Father. Paul says that he is the chief of sinners and that God’s grace has been demonstrated in his own life. He was one who went around persecuting Christians because he was a man of the Law himself. God revealed Himself to Paul in a dramatic way and helped him to see that NO One could possibly live by every letter of the law, not even a devout person who has determined to do everything right, ie Paul.
I Timothy 1: 5-7
5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. 7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.
I Timothy 1: 15-17
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
Paul tells Timothy in verse 19, to CLING to Your Faith and Keep your conscience clear. This is that place inside us where we make those moral jusdements of what is right and what is wrong.
Put down faith stakes! What in the world do I mean by this? I mean that we have to study and pray and draw near to God and know who He is and what He is like and decide that we are going to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him and we put down stakes, that we might not be moved.
Last weekend my family camped in tents and one of the first things we did after setting the tents up was to stake them down. Did we need the stakes this weekend? Not really. There was very little wind to blow them around. The only problem we had was when Samuel would run around them in his 4 wheeler and he would run over the corners of the tent. Had the stakes not been there we would have been putting them bak in place time and time again. I remember a few years ago setting my tent up in the yard to air out after a camping trip and soon my neighbor was knocking on the door because my tent had blown down the road and into his yard.
We need to put down stakes (cling to our faith) in order to make wise moral decisions. It is too late when there is a moment of temptation upon us and we don’t have that faith to cling too.
I Timothy 2: 1-6
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
Paul tells Timothy there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. We are to pray for the salvation of every person and then we are to work hard to see it through to reality. Jesus gave His life to purchase Freedom for everyone.
I Tomothy 3: 1-12
2 So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. 3 He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
6 An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. 7 Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. 9 They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. 10 Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.
In these verses Paul is laying down what the guidelines are for leaders in the church and I have bolded all of those things Paul lists. the interesting point here is in verse 11. the word translated wife here can also be translated woman. That would change the meaning significantly. It would mean that Paul was recognizing that women as well as men were leaders in the church and not just men. There is a lot of debate over how this word is to be translated and irt should be translated based on the context of what comes before and after it. Again that is difficult to do. You can google the difficultues around these various translations but I have come to the conclusion that “woman” is the best translation in this verse.
That said, men and women hold the same positions in the church.
I Timothy 3:14-16
I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, 15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.
Paul is saying that the church is the foundation for people to look to when it comes to faith. Therefore the leaders have to be mature, faithful, devoted, and above reproach. When people think about Jesus Christ, they think about the church. When people think of the church they take a close look at the leaders.
I Timothy 4: 1-5
1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.
3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 5 For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.
Some will turn away from the true faith. What is the True Faith? True faith is belief in Jesus Christ, trust in what Jesus has done on our behalf. It is not the Law but Grace. Paul mentions food and marriage. He is talking about the people who come along and they have moved back into the realm of the Letter of the Law.
How could that relate to us today? I think of the following: Steeples, form of dress, style of music, use of technology, etc…
There are going to be people, even well meaning people who will tell us that we can only listen to one type of music and there is no biblical basis for it. There will be people who will tell us that we have to dress a certain way in church and there is no biblical basis for it. There will be people who tell us that we have to worship on Sunday morning at 11am and there is no biblical basis for it. The list goes on and on…..
I Timothy 4: 6-11
6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. 7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. 11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.
Explain these things to others!
Don’t spend any time arguing about these things with those who disagree!
Spend your time in training to be Godly!
Teach these things and do it with urgency! (True Faith, belief in Christ) (no wasting time arguing over cultural likes & dislikes)
I Timothy 4:12:a
12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.
Here is the verse that so many people never really see the whole picture.
Teenager-this term never existed until the 1950’s
There were no teenagers in Jesus time on earth
The concept of teenager is not mentioned in the Bible
When Jesus was twelve years old, He was found confounding the experts in the Jewish law as He sat in the temple and answered their questions? Jesus recognized the watershed between childhood and adulthood. There was no such thing as a teenager in Jesus’ time. You were either a child or you were an adult. In this scripture at 12 years old Jesus is still considered a child.
Probably after the age of about 12 a person was then considered a youth or young adult and eventually after the age of 40 an adult only. We do not have a set age for Timothy, we simply are not told. In my study I believe it would be safe to say that Timothy was between the age of 20-30, give or take a few years one way or the other. I distinctly remember having issues as a 20-30 year old with people not respecting my opinion or answer because of my youth and now that I am 44 it seems to many of the youth my opinion doesn’t count because I am too old, lol
By the way, I still have times when in the company of people who are older that I am who believe that my youthfulness prohibits me from being heard and taken seriously.
What am I getting to here? I am getting to the point that “youth” those between the age of 13 to 40 are a huge part of today’s church. They are not the church of tomorrow, don’t ever say that again, it is mis-leading. Timothy as a “youth” was helping to pick and appoint the leaders of the church. Timothy was teaching the church and instructing them in the “ways of the Faith”.
Here is the problem with the reading and mis-understanding of this verse. We read the part of not letting anyone look down on us because of our youth, our age and stage in life but we all too often miss the next part of the verse.
I Timothy 12:b
Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
Wait a minute, hold on, stop the presses, no more facebook post about don’t despise my youth. We are to set the example! We are to lead the way in the “faith”. We are to teach others what it means to follow Christ! Wow, this is a huge responsibility. What to do?
Be an EXAMPLE
Make an IMPRESSION
The Greek word used literally means “blow” it is the impression made by the repeated blows of a hammer.
What you say, how you live, the things that people see you do and hear you say, over and over, they make an impression on the people around you.
Hmmm, great things can be accomplished with the blows of a hammer. Houses can be built! Hmmm, horrible things can be done with the blows of a hammer, people have been killed!
Be an example to all believers
in what you say – obvious
in the way you live – way of life – conduct – the things you do
in your love – your concern for others
your faith – complete trust or reliance on God
your purity – this word has different uses but here Paul appears to be talking about moral puriuty – staying away from sexual sin
Therefore the things you say, your conversation, the way you live your life, your care and concern for others, your giving of yourself and your resources, your complete trust in God for life and every need that you could possibly have, especially your trust in the future, ie, eternity and finally your moral purity. Yes in todays world it appears that the church has gone the way of culture in many cases, rather than living by the standard plainly lain out in scripture.
Our culture today says it is ok and even normal for a man and a woman to live together outside the covenant of marriage. Our culture today says it is ok for two men or two women to have sexual relationships, our culture todays says that it is perfectly normal to do just about anything sexually that you might feel the urge to do. That is what our culture says. That is what a lot of people ascribe to and practice. If a person is not a Christian these cultural views are perfectly cultural norm.
It is not God’s plan for us to live outside the guidelines He has given us in His Word. The design in scripture for sex is between a husband and wife in the Covenant of Marriage. What you choose to do in your marriage sexually is between you, your spouse and your understanding of scripture.
In the Bible there is no other provision for sexual relations of any kind outside the Covenant of Marriage. So the question of how far is to far is the wrong question. If you are asking that question you are on dangerous ground.
I Timothy 4: 13-16
13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching.
Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
NIV Translation of vs 16 “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers”.
Build up, strengthen, encourage the believers and save the lost.
Don’t neglect your own spiritual growth, your walk with your Father the Creator of the world. Live your life before others that they may be able to look to you and see your example and thereby be saved.
By doing these things you will not only spend eternity in heaven yourself, you will take a lot of people with you.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because of your youth but set an example for them to follow. If you do this no one will have a reason to look down on your youth.
One comment on “Thoughts on I Timothy”
This is an awesome post! Very encouraging and exciting! There’s a song that Point of Grace sings called ” How you Live…” your post reminds me of that song! It’s how we live…it’s not who we know, it’s not where we’ve been, it’s how we live!