Tuesday - The Benefit of Spiritual Disciplines



Lesson Scriptures: 1 Timothy 4:1-10

Key Lesson Theme: “The Benefit of Spiritual Disciplines”


Today's Lesson: Tuesday, January 19


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1 Timothy 4:1-3


1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons,


2 through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.


3 They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth.



Commentary


We usually can’t read passages like this one without raising the question of whether this suggests those who departed from the faith had lost their salvation. First, that is not an issue Paul was addressing here. He was simply stating the fact that some were departing from the faith. We ought not to make him say more or less than he was saying. Second, we have other passages that indicate some people who profess Christ do not actually commit to Christ. Even Jesus suggests so in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-8,18-23. A saving relationship with Christ is more than hearing the gospel or saying the right words; it is living a life of faith that reflects Jesus as Savior and Lord. Third, other texts emphasize the security of the believer in the hands of a faithful God, so we must balance what we read in this verse in Timothy with passages such as John 10:27-29, Ephesians 1:13-14 and Philippians 1:6.


One of the chief purposes Paul had for writing this letter to Timothy was to urge him to deal with false teachers (1 Tim. 1:3-7). Those who perpetuated the doctrines of devils were speaking lies in hypocrisy. They pretended to be devoted teachers; in truth they were actively engaged in deceiving others.


In verse 3 Paul identified two particular false teachings. First, the false teachers were forbidding people to marry. The prohibition against marriage may have been to promote the purity of celibacy. Paul did not refute that teaching here but later in the letter he would urge the young women to marry (1 Tim. 5:14).


The other false teaching was to abstain from meats. Meats denotes food in general not just animal flesh. Perhaps this prohibition could be traced back to a distorted view of Old Testament dietary laws.


1. God created food to be eaten as nourishment to sustain human life—and other animal life for that matter (Gen. 1:29-30). 2. Such provision is to be received with gratitude as a blessing from God. 3. Those who truly believe and know the truth— Christians—will not be deceived by such a lie.



What are some lasting truths from 1 Timothy 4:1-3?


>The Holy Spirit continues to bear witness to the truth.

>Beware of those who pretend to be something they are not and espouse a false message that defies what God has made known.

>Growth in Christ comes by holding on to the truth and avoiding the distorted messages of the world.


Until tomorrow Saints...

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