1 Timothy 4
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
11 These things command and teach.
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Christian history reveals that over the centuries Satan has infiltrated Christianity with many false teachings, just as verses 1-3 predict. Satan is able to use pseudo Christianity for his evil purposes. Four times in these sixteen verses we find the word, “doctrine,” meaning “teaching” (vs. 1,6,13,16). We are not to be turned aside by every new idea that is promoted.
The Lord told Adam and Eve what to eat. After humans sinned He added to what could be eaten as food and also told of things which are not to be eaten. Saying a prayer over food and drink which has not been “set apart” by the Word as suitable for humans does not make the food or drink holy. Fasting can be beneficial but to think that abstaining from food makes one holy is a mistake. Physical exercise is important, but should not be all-consuming. Godliness, reflecting the character of Jesus, is of much greater importance. It is of eternal value.
This chapter reminds us that prayer, the teaching of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are able to set us free to live Christ’s way.
David Manzano, Retired Pastor
Member of the Retired Workers Association
Collegedale, TN U.S.A.