Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine

1 Timothy 4

In this letter to Timothy Paul denounces many of those forms, of error which have been the plague of the Christian church in all ages. Those who deal with spirits, or profess to do so, those who multiply forms and ceremonies, those who make religion to lie in meats and drinks, and those who attach importance to legends and traditions, are all heavily censured, as they deserve.

1 Timothy 4:1

leading on to the worship of angels, fear of demons, and attempts at commerce with the dead. In every age some deceivers and deceived ones have wandered in this direction. Far from us be such darkness.

1 Timothy 4:2

As a hot iron deadens the part which it burns, so is their conscience no longer sensitive, and they can utter falsehood unblushingly.

1 Timothy 4:3

How well this describes the Church of Rome, which combines both superstitions. Other sects also have decried marriage, and issued laws as to eating and drinking, making that to be sin which is no. sin.

1 Timothy 4:6

To hold fast the true faith is one of our first duties. To be for ever chopping and changing is a most unhappy and dangerous condition.

1 Timothy 4:8

For bodily exercise profiteth little: or a little; it may, when rightly used, promote bodily health, but that is all

1 Timothy 4:9, 10

All men derive some benefit from Jesus death. They are spared, they enjoy the common blessings of providence, and they are placed under mediatorial rule; yet redemption has its special design and effect, and these have to do only with believers. The Saviour has bought some good things for all men, and all good things for some men. Are we believers? Then, in a special sense, Jesus is our Saviour.

1 Timothy 4:14

Even when the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were in the church the most favoured ministers were to study and meditate: how much more then is it now their duty! Those who speak without thinking seldom say anything worth thinking of.

1 Timothy 4:15, 16

Or “be thou wholly in them.” Be absorbed in thy work,

Care as to our doctrine will both preserve the teacher himself from serious error, and keep his hearers from the same evil. This should lead us to be very prayerful, and careful as to what we receive, and what we communicate to others. Doctrines are not to be trifled with, they are life and death matters. Lord teach us thy truth.

 

Make me to understand

Thy precepts and thy will;

Thy wondrous works on every hand,

I’ll sing and talk of still.

 

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