"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"
That Your Progress May Be Evident (4:13-16) INTRODUCTION 1. In 1Ti 4:13-16, we find Paul telling Timothy things to do... a. Until Paul was able to come to him b. That would make Timothy's progress evident to all c. That would save himself and those who heard him -- These instructions were related to Timothy's work as an evangelist 2. Yet are there not applications that all Christians can take from this passage...? a. As we await the coming of our Lord? b. That would make our own progress evident to all? c. That would save ourselves and those near us? -- Indeed, these instructions are worthy of our careful consideration as Christians! [With this in mind, what can be gleaned from Paul's charge in this passage so "That Your Progress May Be Evident"...?] I. GIVE YOUR ATTENTION A. TO READING... 1. In Timothy's case a. It may refer to public reading of Scripture, a custom in the synagogue that was continued in the church
- Lk 4:16-20; Ac 13:15; 15:21; 1Th 5:27; Col 4:16; Re 1:3 b. It may also include private reading, for the benefit of personal growth - Josh 1:8 2. In our case a. We should certainly give attention to daily Bible reading for spiritual growth - Ps 1:1-3 b. We might also read other books to encourage our walk with God - Php 4:8 -- At the very least, reading God's Word is essential to our spiritual progress! B. TO EXHORTATION... 1. In Timothy's case a. It likely refers to public teaching or preaching, in which one exhorts others - Ro 12:8 b. It may also include private exhortation, as one encourages another - 1Th 5:11 2. In our case a. We exhort one another by our frequent assembling - He 10: 24-25 b. We can also exhort one another daily - He 3:13 -- Exhorting another person not only blesses them, but ourselves as well! C. TO DOCTRINE... 1. In Timothy's case a. This refers to the teaching or instruction he would do as a minister - 1Ti 4:6 b. It was a charge that was especially given to him - 1Ti 4:11 2. In our case a. We may teach in various ways, in public or private, in example or word, but teach we must - He 5:12 b. We may be limited where we may teach, but teach we must - 1Ti 2:12; Tit 2:3-4 -- Those who teach, benefit greatly through the preparation required to teach! D. TO YOUR GIFT... 1. In Timothy's case a. It referred to a gift given through the laying on of hands - 1Ti 4:14 b. He had a gift imparted by the laying on of Paul's hands, that required some reminding; likely a miraculous gift - 2Ti 1:6 2. In our case a. There are gifts given related to our function in the body of Christ - Ro 12:3-8 b. It is important that we administer our gift in service to our brethren - 1Pe 4:10-11 -- Certainly as one exercises their gift, their progress will be evident to others! [Paul's instructions to Timothy can easily be applied to ourselves, can't they? Let's now endeavor to apply his remaining charges to Timothy, which can be summarized by the phrase...] II. GIVE YOURSELF ENTIRELY A. MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS... 1. Dwell upon the things commanded in this passage 2. Are you reading that which will build you up? 3. Do you exhort your brethren, are you teaching them in ways that benefit them? 4. Are you utilizing your God-given abilities and opportunities, or are you burying them? -- Perhaps the parable of the talents will help in your meditation - Mt 25:14-30 B. TAKE HEED TO YOURSELF... 1. Do not neglect your own spiritual development (which is why you should read) 2. Do not neglect your own brethren (which is why you should exhort them) 3. Do not neglect your own opportunities (which is why you should teach them) 4. Do not neglect your own gift (which is why you should develop and utilize it) -- We can be so busy, that we neglect ourselves and not be prepared - cf. Lk 21:34 C. TAKE HEED TO THE DOCTRINE... 1. We must be true to the Word of God 2. We must avoid being misled by false teachings 3. We must be sure that what we teach others is true -- Fellowship with God and brethren are affected by doctrinal faithfulness - 2Jn 9-10 D. CONTINUE IN THEM... 1. These exhortations are not to be soon forgotten 2. These duties require perseverance -- Eternal life comes to those who patiently continue to do that which is good - Ro 2:7 CONCLUSION 1. What benefit could Timothy expect by heeding these admonitions...? a. He would save himself! - 1Ti 4:16 b. He would save those who heard him! - 1Ti 4:16 2. Is that not a goal worthy of... a. Giving attention to these things? b. Giving ourselves entirely to them? So if we desire to have progress evident to all, and in the process save ourselves and others, then apply these admonitions as though they were written to us...!