Andrew Miller taught on Sunday, November 9. The video and listening guide from that lesson, followed by the scripture, are below.
Core Lesson (Andrew Miller)
1 Timothy 4
Once again, Paul continues his emphasis that Christians are in danger from malicious forces, distinct from the doctrinal difficulties faced by differing views among believers. How can we distinguish between these two, and should our responses differ?
At one time, the Church assumed that any deviance from orthodoxy was inherently the work of Satan. This led to first the Inquisition, then to an increasingly secularized society viewing religion as austere and dogmatic. We are currently much closer to the other extreme, where every difference is generally assumed to be without malice, and the inherent pride of correcting another’s theology is often avoided. One result has been an endless splintering of the church into denominations (factions), which we are warned against in 1 Cor. 1:10-13, then told are needed in 1 Cor. 11:17-19. Why is this not a contradiction, and how do we deal with both areas of danger?
What are some examples of “little things” being made “big” to the detriment of the church, or of big things being made “little,” also to the detriment of the church?
We are also instructed to forward our own Christian walks, in a way that will be evident to all. How?
1 Timothy 4 New International Version (NIV)
4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.