Thursday, 11 January 2018
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16
Paul now closes out Chapter 4 with words which support what he has already said a few verses ago. He begins with, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.” Scholars generally agree that it should say “to the teaching” rather than “to the doctrine.” What is noteworthy is that Paul implores Timothy to first take heed to himself. If he cannot tend to himself, then his teaching of others would naturally be faulty as well. The words of Paul are always logical and orderly.
Next he says, “Continue in them.” Taking heed to oneself, and right teaching for the man of God, are things that are never to be set aside. Rather, pursuing these things should be a daily practice. In our walk with the Lord, there is nothing static. We are either moving forward in right conduct, or we are moving backward. This is what Paul is saying to Timothy here.
Finally, he closes out the verse with, “for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” The words appear to be pointing to works-based salvation, but that is not the case at all. In teaching right doctrine, those who are taught will be saved (if they choose to accept God’s gracious offer in Christ). In caring for the salvation of others, a minister is demonstrating that he cares for his own salvation. It is the gospel which brings salvation to men. Paul is ensuring that Timothy understands that he has an enormous responsibility in teaching the word.
Life application: Right doctrine really matters. If false teachings are introduced into a church, those who have not yet come to Christ, and are led astray by these teachings, will never be saved. What a terrible burden to bear… all for the sake of being unwilling to study and show oneself approved in that which is proper.
Lord God, thank you for Your kind hand upon us. You lavish your creatures with blessings unimaginable, and you meet our needs according to Your wisdom. We so very much appreciate all You do for us. Help us to let our gratitude shine forth by telling others about the wonderful and eternal blessings which are found in Christ our Lord. Praises to You in the highest. Amen.