The Church’s Teaching Ministry

MEMORY VERSE: “All scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” —II Timothy 3:16,17

I TIMOTHY 4:6-12

THIS letter to Timothy is often referred to as one of Paul’s “pastoral epistles,” in that it encourages this young Christian, whom Paul refers to as his spiritual “son,” to give attention to preparing others for the ministry, and to be faithful in this respect himself.

Faithfulness on the part of Timothy would be indicated by his putting the brethren “in remembrance of these things.” If you will do this, Paul wrote, “thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.”

“But refuse profane and old wives fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” One of the struggles of the Lord’s people throughout the age has been to keep myths from replacing the Word of God and its teachings. Myths, traditions, opinions, and speculations are no part of the Gospel of Christ, and do not contribute to sound doctrine and a pure faith.

“Bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Paul is not here condemning all forms of bodily exercise, but merely emphasizing that whatever value it has pertains to the present life only, and not to the life which is to come.

“We both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.” Those who believe and proclaim the truth will suffer reproach, and we should rejoice in this; but let us not suffer because we insist on others believing our myths which are not supported by the Word of God. God is the Author of salvation for all men. He made provision for salvation through the death of Jesus. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”; that is, they do not remain eternally dead because of Adam’s transgression, for if, when the opportunity is given to them, they believe and obey, they will be specially saved—entirely released from sickness and death and given an opportunity to live forever.

“Let no man despise thy youth,” Paul wrote to Timothy. Instead he was to be an example of what all true believers should be, “in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” In other words, if Timothy conducted himself as a mature Christian should, none of the brethren could justly despise his youth even though he was younger than some of them.


Paul’s reference to Timothy as “my son” denotes his great love for him, and his interest in his highest spiritual welfare. He admonished him to be “strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus” No Christian can be truly strong in his own strength. We all need the grace of the Lord from the beginning to the end of our walk in the narrow way of sacrifice.

Paul speaks to Timothy of the things he had heard of him “among many witnesses” Timothy traveled somewhat with Paul, and would have gained a thorough knowledge of the Gospel as it came from his lips. Now Paul was instructing him to communicate these truths to faithful men, “who shall be able to teach others also.”

Paul realized that his earthly ministry was drawing to a close, and he was laying the foundation for a continued ministry of the same glorious “Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation.” (Rom. 1:16) And the Gospel message did continue to be preached by faithful men. But as Paul had forewarned, ambitious men arose to draw away disciples after themselves, and there came a great falling away from the faith.

Our memory verse is important. The word “scripture” simply means writing, such as a script, for example, used as the basis of a play. All writing, all scripture, is not given by inspiration, but that which is constitutes the authoritative Word of God, and “is profitable” for the “man of God.”


What were the “these things” which Timothy was admonished to teach the brethren?

Why is the inspired Word of God the only true authority for the truth of the Gospel?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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