I enjoyed Carly’s thoughts on chapter 3, so today I will focus on chapter 4.
In speaking to Timothy, his true child in the faith (1:2), Paul says:
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only a little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all man, especially for believers. Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, Faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (4:7b-12)
This is a very important passage. It’s something we can’t just unpack today in one simple reading.
I think we get pretty caught up in eternity (ie. heaven or hell) and what we’ve got to believe to get here or there. We miss the wealth of Scripture when we don’t see the importance of application now.
There seems to be a way in which the Lord saves all mankind (v10) but especially saves believers. I assert that the way in which we accomplish a special salvation is in reaping the benefits of knowing Him now, in life. Godliness is profitable for all things!
The commands of God are healthy and thoroughly beneficial. Historically, the Jews survived numerous plagues unknowingly because of their application to the Mosaic Laws of diet and hygiene. I know I repeat this all the time, but God doesn’t give us commands to ruin our fun. He, as our Creator, knows the best way for us to live abundantly. This takes a measure of faith!
It’s not about age, in this case, either. Anyone who lives in submission to the instructions of God can be an example for others.
What will that look like for you? How can you be an example of love, faith and purity?