1 Timothy 4:1-10
1. Read 1 Timothy 4:1-10. According to the beginning of 1 Timothy 4:6, what was Timothy (and what are we) supposed to do with the truths that Paul wrote here?
2. According to verse 6, what will we be if we do this?
3. Comparing the lives of those described in 1 Timothy 4:6 with the lives of those described in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, write out at least two differences between them (i.e. who/what they follow etc.).
4. According to 1 Timothy 4:7, what are we to avoid? What are we to pursue?
Focus on the Meaning: Paul introduces an athletic image with the words “train yourself” or “discipline yourself”. The verb here is gymnaze, from which comes the English “gymnasium.” Paul often used athletic analogies to drive home the need for spiritual discipline. “Training” or “bodily discipline” is gymnasia, “exercise”, used only here in the New Testament. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament by Walvoord and Zuck)
Keep in perspective that Paul is encouraging Timothy to pursue spiritual discipline or training both for himself and encourage it in others in order to avoid the dangers shown in 1 Timothy 4:1-5.
5. In 1 Timothy 4:8 how does Paul compare physical training with godliness?
6. Adorning Yourself:
· Which is easier for you personally, to pursue physical training or to pursue spiritual training? Why?
· If you neglect spiritual disciplines or physical disciplines is it obvious in your life? Which do you think shows up more clearly? Why or how?
7. For another example of Paul’s use of athletic analogies, read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. How does Paul compare or fit together the spiritual and the physical areas of our lives in this passage?
8. Physical and spiritual development both require discipline. From where does the strength for this come? See 2 Timothy 1:7.
9. How does Galatians 5:22-23 fit into all of this?
10. Adorning Yourself: Do you ever think in terms of whether you are a “good servant” (as verse 6 described)? Think personally now. Are you nourishing yourself on the words of the faith OR do you find yourself sporadically eating the good food of God’s Word with lots of junk food of the world in between?
11. Read 1 Timothy 4:9-10. Verse 9 contains the third “trustworthy" statement (in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus). What is it?
12. Where does Paul say his hope is placed according to verse 10?
13. Compare this view to the view common in the world around us.
14. What is meant by “our hope”?
15. Read 1 Timothy 4:10 again. How can God be the savior of all men since all men are not saved? See Matthew 5:45 and John 3:16 for help.
16. Adorning Yourself: Paul described his walk in verse 10 as laboring and striving to pursue godliness. The word strive is translated from a Greek word meaning “I agonize” which is an athletic term.
· On a scale of 1 (1 being “cool and dry”) to 10 (10 being “hot and glowing”), how would you grade your effort?
· Share the practical steps you take to pursue spiritual training, or if you haven’t yet done this, think through ways that you can start training now.