1 Timothy 4:9-11

In 1 Timothy 4:9-11 Paul has just reminded Timothy that godliness is really the life we need to pursue as Christ Followers and he needs to teach and train as a spiritual leader in the church. Paul reminds us that “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.”

Godliness is the only guarantee of a life blessed by God. There are many pleasures or achievements in this world that do not even pretend to offer anything for the life which is to come. We can try to do good things and find meaning in many ways, but it is our pursuit of godliness that will deliver blessing from God.
Guzik wrote “Only godliness is the path to eternal life and happiness.

  • Sin and vice offer nothing for the life to come.
  • Genealogies and pedigrees offer nothing for the life to come.
  • Worldly success and wealth offer nothing for the life to come.
  • Personal fame or beauty offer nothing for the life to come.
  • Achievements in learning or the arts offer nothing for the life to come”.

Spurgeon explained the pursuit of godliness this way: “Vice dares not say, it never has had the effrontery yet to say, ‘Do evil and live in sin, and eternal life will come out of it.’ No, the theater at its door does not proffer you eternal life, it invites you to the pit. The house of evil communications, the drunkard’s bottle, the gathering-place of scorners, the chamber of the strange woman – none of these has yet dared to advertise a promise of eternal life as among the boons that may tempt its votaries. At best sin gives you but bubbles, and feeds you upon air. The pleasure vanishes, and the misery is left.” Godliness is the only thing that gives us the promise of eternal life.

The pursuit of godliness is a journey that we should spend our entire life working toward. Paul and Timothy were on that journey, and we should be as well. “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”

Our motto as Christ Followers should be these words: our hope is set on the living God, Savior of all! Spurgeon wrote “But our God, in whom we trust, is a God with a great, warm, loving heart, a thinking God, an active God, a working, personal God, who comes into the midst, of this world, and does not leave it to go on by itself. Although he is a stranger in the world, even as his people also are strangers and foreigners by reason of the revolt that men have made against their liege Lord and Sovereign, yet it is still his world, and he is still in it.”

How did Paul view the importance of godliness. He tells Timothy to “Command and teach these things.” Paul issues an order with the note of authority. This was not a mere suggestion, but is written like direction with a chain of command. Timothy was not to enter the pulpit with the mere speculations and opinions and theories of men. He was to fearlessly bring God’s Word before those he was shepherding and ultimately before God.

Paul knows well that God’s truth isn’t necessarily what the church wanted to hear, but that doesn’t change the requirement to preach boldly and faithfully only the truth. We need to always proclaim the truth as Christ Followers and in particular as leaders.

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