Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 12th February 2017
Quarter Theme: Foundation For Christian Living
Topic: False Teachers and true teachers: Give attention to doctrine.
Texts: 1 Timothy 4:1-16
Memory Verse: ‘Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Tim. 4:16 NIV)
In our last study of 1st Timothy 3, we saw Paul give Timothy instruction on leadership in the house of the Lord, emphasizing how important it is for the church to have well prepared godly and accountable leadership. In chapter 4, we will be looking at Paul’s instructions to Timothy on how to handle the thorny issue of false teachers and his personal life as a minister. The false teachers and teaching are to be fought, not with ideology alone, but with the right doctrine (truth), discipline and right living. The real mission is that the church be healthy so that Jesus Christ is communicated through it in words and deed.
Paul laid down a plan for Timothy in the text so that he could prepare himself, the church he served, as well as individual leaders he nurtured. The plan in the text were in the form of direct instructions and personal “disciplines”, which are summarized below:
- Expose evil doctrines & teachers (4:1-6a)
- Nourish your own soul spiritually (4:6b)
- Reject all forms of profane & empty living (4:7a)
- Pursue personal godliness (4:7b-10)
- Command and teach others to exercise themselves in godliness (4:11)
- Live an exemplary life (4:12) 7.
- Attend to your personal mastery of God’s Word (4:13)
- Use the gifts God gave to him (4:14)
- Devote yourself to Christ (4:15)
- Never stop regularly examining your own doctrines (4:16)
Paul emphasized that he pays attention to the right doctrine. Today, we pay attention to many things: forex forecasts, sports fixtures, current events and social media posts, among many other things. But do we pay close attention to our doctrine as a believers? Doctrine are the words, thoughts and ideas that we believe based on the teaching and study of the Word of God we receive. If we are to expose false teachers and teachings, we have to be prepared in the Truth based on the word of God. It is the truth you know that sets you free. A key aspect to note is instruction to train to be godly. It emphasizes discipline, which is a key requirement for a believer who understand that what is at stake in the race is eternal life. The fact of eternity, of the living God and salvation should motivate us to discipline ourselves for godliness. Our walk with Christ is the necessary basis for our work for Christ.
- (a) According to 1 Timothy 4:1, what are the three dangers that will mark the latter days? (b) What are the nature of these doctrines of demons? Verses 2-3, Gen 3: 4-5 (c) Discuss other examples of “doctrines of demons” that is being witnessed in 21st century and how we can guard against them.
- (a) How can one train himself or herself to be godly? (b) Why is godliness so important in the life of a believer? Verse 8, 1 Timothy 6:6 ( c) What are some “good” (not sinful) hindrances to discipline you struggle with
- Discuss the areas we are called to set an example for believers in verse 12. Why were these aspects of our lives mentioned as important?
- Why was Timothy asked to devote himself to public reading of scriptures, preaching and teaching? Does it not look like a show off?