- The Explore the Bible lesson for June 23 focuses on 1 Timothy 4:1-13.
The Apostle Paul continues to provide Timothy with instruction on church administration. Further, he prepares him for situations to be aware of and steadfast in, as well as how to be an example.
This passage of Scripture is good both for young ministers and for all believers. We all should be mindful of the pitfalls of life, being diligent about God’s word and deciding to lead by example. Moreover, we must value sound doctrine, meditate on the word daily and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) amid a world of deceit.
Be Aware (1 Timothy 4:1-5)
Fighting the good fight of faith requires us to hold tight to a faithful God and to surrender our cares, fears and desire for control to a sovereign all-powerful God. In this world, we have troubles. As such, it is important for us to be aware of that some will reject God’s word and desperately will need prayer. Let’s be the ones praying and not the ones rejecting God’s word. “The prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Additionally, some will follow deceptive and false doctrines, which will intensify and spread like weeds as the day of the Lord draws near. In the last days, Christians are to remain faithful, leading others to faith in Christ and not the ones following false teachers.
Believers also should be aware as we give thanks, everything God created is good and works for our good. The good fight of faith requires us to know the word, live the word and give God thanks. Because of our faith, we are covered, protected and secured by an all-powerful God.
How do we fight the good fight of faith in a world that seems entrenched in deception? What does this fight look like and what are our weapons?
Be Disciplined (1 Timothy 4:6-10)
Paul’s instructions to Timothy not only cover being aware that some will abandon the truth of God’s word, but also include guidance on being disciplined. As with awareness, being disciplined will require fighting the good fight of faith.
God’s word lets us know we are to be disciplined to share biblical truth with others. It will require faith in God to know our sharing with other pleases God (Psalms 96:3; Mark16:15), and the Lord is faithful to provide the increase. “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).
We are to be disciplined to put an end to all myths, legends and folk stories, and to ensure ourselves fit for the work of the Lord. It is the kingdom-building work of God (praising God, forgiving others, giving and sharing with the poor, loving people, studying Scriptures, praying, etc.) that will last and is good for now and in heaven.
We are to also be disciplined to fully stand on God’s word—to place our full hope in him because he is the risen savior.
Be an Example (1 Timothy 4:11-13)
This lesson “Staying on Course” has encouraged us to be aware, disciplined and now to be an example. Praise God! Fighting the good fight of faith has led to the opportunity to be an example. Paul ends this set of instructions by letting Timothy know he is to stand as an example to teach God’s word. Regardless of his age, or our age, we are to be an example in speech, how we live and in demonstrating our love for God with fidelity.
Prayer: Lord, help us to be aware, watchful, disciplined and to be an example. Yes, help us to fight the good fight of faith we are called to. We are grateful for your instructions, help us to heed your word. Amen
Lisa M. Rainey, PhD., is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas.