1 Timothy 4:6-10 (CSB) If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Let us walk through this passage and get into the good news.
Go back to verse 6:
If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus
What are these things?
1 Timothy 4:4-5 (CSB) For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.
Philippians 4:8-9 (CSB) Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
We are called not to reject anything that God has said to be good but to receive all things with thanksgiving to God.
How do we know if it is good or not good?
since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.
If the word of God declares it to be good, then it is good. Receive that good thing with thanksgiving to God.
Continue on in verse 6:
nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed
This is absolutely where gifts of the Spirit, which are given freely and abundantly to all of God’s children, which like any gift of God, was never meant to terminate on ourselves but shared with one another. For example, when it comes to spoken words, this is why we are to give words of encouragement and prophecy to one another and sit under the good teaching of the word and preaching of the gospel to one another.
I would encourage each us to do so continuously. Now you might say, “We cannot do so perfectly.” I would agree with you except (look at verse 7)
We are to have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths
I would completely agree that we cannot perfectly be nourished by the words of faith and good teaching. However, as a point of reference, I would encourage everyone right now to look how much time we spent on our phones and in front of screens. Sure, my Instagram account might contain some good wholesome Christian memes. But is that all that my timeline is about? Be honest. What about yours about? Do you see my point?
What about Facebook? or TV watching? What are we really doing with our time here on earth?
Spiritually speaking, what are we snacking on? What are we feasting on? You spend 1 to 8 hours on social media a day? What would it look like for your soul and your heart if you started exchanging that with the word of God and prayer and time with one another?
Let me tell you: like the best things in life, the word of God and time with God isn’t going to just happen magically. We want to hear from God but how much effort are we putting into studying his word? If you want it, you will find a way to stay connected to the word of God and to each other.
In other words, verse 7:
Rather, train yourself in godliness
And when you sit under the word of God through prayer, reading, listening, and meditating constantly, what is happening? You are being trained in godliness. R.C. Sproul said it best, and I loosely quoting,
“There is no transformation of the heart through head knowledge alone. However, the heart will not change unless the head knows it first.”
As my old professor, Sinclair Ferguson, also said:
“We are to work at bible study. The Scriptures do not disclose their riches to lazy minds and hearts.”
You think you knowing nothing and pursuing nothing of God will automatically train you in godliness?
Hebrews 5:11 - 6:3 (CSB) We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.
Therefore, let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits.
There are a few new Christians reading this. That exhortation ain’t for you. But for those of us who have been in church a while and called themselves Christians for a long while, you should have been mature. You should have move past the basic teachings of the Bible. But because you learn not, God will not let you go on into maturity.
For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come
Look at the opposite of that direction:
Hosea 4:6-8 (CSB) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I will reject you from serving as my priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I will also forget your sons.
The more they multiplied,
the more they sinned against me.
I will change their honor into disgrace.
They feed on the sin of my people;
they have an appetite for their iniquity.
In other words:
Romans 8:3-8 (CSB) For what the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
I don’t care what the Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and the rest the world wants you to believe: there ain’t no third way. There is only eternal life or eternal wrath and death. There is no middle ground.
In other words, you are either in Christ under his protection or you are in his wrath. No neutral third way in this life.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance–For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe
Romans 8:18-25 (CSB) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
What is the good news?
We do all of this not in vain. We do this because all of the Christian’s hope is found in Christ alone. He is the only one who will reveal His glory to us. He is the one who will continue to save each and every one of his people. And one day, we will be finally set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children and into perfect satisfaction (Psalm 17:15), eternal life, fullness of joy, and pleasure evermore because we will forever in his wonderful presence. (Psalm 16:11)
Show us your precious glory so that we can start to hope and groan for the Son to come back and make all things right with Himself. We wait for the fullness of our adoption and the inheritance that we share with the one who is heir of all things. Redeem our time here, Lord and turn our hearts towards you. Amen.