(1 Timothy 4:9-16) – A trustworthy saying.
“This” – The first word in verse 9, refers back to the statement made in verse 8.
“…Godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Paul says that it is for godliness that we labor and strive. We are to expend great energy in becoming more like Jesus.
This is somewhat of a mystery since becoming more like Jesus is ultimately a work of God. Philippians 2:13 explains it as a both/and rather than an either/or.
We are not striving in godliness for personal gain or as an attempt at self-justification before God.
We are striving in godliness as a response to the miraculous saving work of Christ; a work that we have placed our eternal and daily hope in.
The difference is the object of hope. One journey places faith and hope in self, the other places both in God. Both are worship, one of self, the other of the King of Kings.
Paul finishes the chapter by giving Pastor Timothy some pointed encouragements for his ministry.
– As a Pastor, teaching God’s word publicly is critical.
– Your character is what counts, not your age (or lack thereof).
– Spiritual gifts must be cultivated and used, they are not meant to be stared at. Don’t be afraid to use what the Lord gave you.
– If you want to grow, you can’t be half-hearted. Jesus must become your obsession.
– Constantly examine your heart before the Lord. Never detach yourself from the truth that you’re communicating. You need the truth just as much as those you’re speaking it to.