Paul s Admonition to a Young Preacher

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1 Paul s Admonition to a Young Preacher 1 Timothy 4:12-16 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 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. NKJV Introduction: It is unknown as to how old Timothy was when Paul wrote this letter to him. He is described as a youth. It was an age that he would be liable to youthful indiscretions and follies J. W. Shepherd The Romans divide life into three ages: Birth to age 18 Age 18 to 44 Age 44 to death -Childhood -Youth -Old Age It is interesting to note that the life expectancy in the United States in 1900 was 47.3 years. People are living longer now than in years gone by. I remember when I was a child that if one lived to their seventies; they were considered old and most died before that age. Today, many live into their 80s, 90s, and even into the 100s. Despise defined: To look down on. There is a tendency to look down on youth. Why? The usual reason is because of inexperience. They have not had the opportunity to graduate from the University of Hard Knocks. Example: Going to a new doctor and finding out he or she looks like a child. I don t want that kid operating on me. We have an Old Testament example of a youth being looked down upon by those who were older.

2 1 Samuel 17:28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab s anger was aroused against David, and he said, Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle 1 Samuel 17:32-33 And Saul said to David, You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. What did Paul mean when he said, Let no man despise your youth? Could Timothy keep older people from looking down on him? Perhaps Timothy could not change the attitude of some, but there were some things that he could do to improve his status among the older, more mature Christians. The way Timothy could help himself out in respect to being respected, was to be the proper example to those who were older and not give them occasion to find fault with him because of his youthfulness. I. BE AN EXAMPLE TO THE BELIEVERS 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. NKJV Example: A pattern, template, mold, type. Titus 2:7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, NKJV A. Being an example to the believers meant being an example of the believers (KJV). 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. KJV And being an example of the believers meant that he was to be an example to the unbelievers.

3 Timothy was to be a proper example of what a young Christian man should be. Matthew 5:13-16 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. B. Christians were to follow the examples of faithful men. 1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. NKJV 1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, NKJV Philippians 4:9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. NKJV II. TIMOTHY WAS TO BE AN EXAMPLE IN WORD 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. NKJV A. What does in word mean? RSV but set the believers and example in speech. The admonition from Paul seems to be that Timothy should be careful as to what he said and that the manner of his speech was to be a proper example to other Christians.

4 B. What kind of speech should Timothy have? The Bible warns about the following sins of the tongue. Flattery Slander Talebearing Whispering Backbiting Lying Gossiping Corrupt communication Filthy conversation Psalm 52:2 Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. NKJV Psalm 52:4 You love all devouring words, You deceitful tongue. NKJV Psalm 64:3 Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows bitter words, NKJV Proverbs 4:24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. NKJV Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. NKJV II. BE AN EXMPLE IN CONDUCT 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct (conversation-kjv), in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. NKJV A. This refers to the life style of Timothy. B. Many passages speak to the kind of life we are to live.

5 Ephesians 2:3 among whom (sons of disobedience-v.2) also we all once conducted ourselves (past tense) in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Ephesians 4:22-26 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and do not sin : do not let the sun go down on your wrath, Philippians 1:27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. NKJV James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. NKJV 1 Peter 3:1-2 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 1 Peter 3:16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. NKJV III. BE AND EXAMPLE IN LOVE 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct in love (charity-kjv), in spirit, in faith, in purity. NKJV Love- agape, ag-ah'-pay; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast:--(feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love.

6 Charity, as used in the KJV is a proper word, though not one we use very often, except when we give to those who are in need. Charity carries with it the idea of giving without hope of anything in return. This is what true love is. A. Christians are defined by love. Love is something you do! (Not just something you say.) 1. We are to love God. Mark 12:30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. NKJV 2. We are to love man Mark 12:31 And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. NKJV 3. We are to love our enemies. Matthew 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, NKJV 4. Husbands are to love their wives. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, NKJV 5. Wives are to love their husbands. Titus 2:4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, NKJV 6. We are to love the brotherhood. 1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

7 7. We are to love the Lord and all things will work for our good. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. NKJV V. TIMOTHY WAS TO BE AN EXAMPLE IN SPIRIT The expression, "in spirit" is not found in a number of ancient manuscripts and is, therefore, left out of a number of translations, including the RSV and the ASV. "These words, "in spirit," are not found in the Syriac, Araic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Latin Vulgate, and the Itala manuscripts. They may have been added at a later hand.". (Adam Clarke) Spirit- Probably refers to the manner in which timothy was to do all things. Many times holy or charitable work is done in an unholy, uncharitable spirit. Such work is fruitless. A. We are to have the proper spirit when we worship. John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NKJV B. We are to produce in ourselves the fruit of the spirit Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. NKJV C. We are to possess a spirit of gentleness (meekness). Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. NKJV

8 VI. TIMOTHY WAS TO BE AN EXAMPLE IN FAITH Timothy's faith was to be so strong that his faith would serve as an example to all. Let us look at a few of Paul's admonitions to Timothy concerning faith. 1 Timothy 1:19-20 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister-of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. NKJV 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. NKJV 1 Timothy 6: Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge- 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen. NKJV 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. NKJV VII. TIMOTHY WAS TO BE AN EXAMPLE IN PURITY Purity- One that is perfectly free from falsehoods and is a devout and religious person. Purity of body and mind. Paul seems to be saying, "Keep yourself pure." 1 Timothy 5:1-2 Do not rebuke-an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. NKJV 1 Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure. NKJV 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. NKJV

9 James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. NKJV Conclusion: Paul was concerned as to how people would respond to a young man preaching the gospel. In this passage, we have the words of wisdo l1l from an older man, encouraging a younger man as to how he should conduct his life. I believe we can all profit from Paul's words.

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