Nepaug Bible Church -
Men's Leadership Support Group Meeting notes -

Part VIII: Protecting Subordinates From Evil By Occupying Ourselves With God's Gifting And Word
(1 Timothy 4:1-16)
  1. Introduction
    1. Since effective Christian leadership is the same in essence in the Church, family or any level of society (Lesson I of this series), the PROTECTION of one's subordinates against the forces of evil that threaten to harm them is the same in essence as applied to the realms of the Church, family or society.
    2. Well, 1 Timothy 4:1-16 provides us the means of protecting subordinates against evil forces (as follows):
  2. Protecting Subordinates By Occupying Ourselves With God's Gifting And Word, 1 Timothy 4:1-16.
    1. Paul warned that the latter days of Church History would see a spiritual assault on man's sense of right and wrong that would threaten to destroy that sense by undermining man's value system, 1 Timothy 4:1-2:
      1. Paul wrote the Holy Spirit clearly indicated that in the latter days of Church History, men would leave the true beliefs of the Christian faith and heed doctrines of seducing demons, 1 Timothy 4:1.
      2. This apostacy would arrive as men would resist the Holy Spirit's leading and convicting to where they would have their consciences seared from discerning right from wrong, 1 Timothy 4:2.
      3. As Satan tries to destroy man (John 8:44), this assault would also occur in the realm of social order!
    2. Accordingly, men affected would promote a spiritually destructive, confusing assortment of beliefs, and Paul illustrated what these would be by giving us two examples of those errors to come, 1 Timothy 4:3a,b:
      1. One demonic doctrine Satan will bring will be the denial of sexual contact in marriage, 1 Timothy 4:3a.
      2. Another error will be a submission to dietary restrictions for religious purposes, 1 Timothy 4:3b.
      3. Of interest, BOTH of these errors have been promoted by religious groups for many years; some groups in Christendom have long denied marriage for priests and promoted dietary restrictions at Lent!
    3. [Paul then briefly countered these errors: he noted God does not deny any creature He has made for the believer's diet providing he receives that food with thanksgiving to God, 1 Timothy 4:3b, 4-5. Also, by way of implication, marriage and sexual contact with one's partner in Biblically sanctioned marital bounds is honorable providing the believer does not delve into excessive, worldly indulgence, but function in moderation, cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to 1 Timothy 4:1-5; see also Hebrews 13:4.]
    4. To COUNTER this evil assault on the sense of right and wrong in himself and his subordinates, Paul admonished Timothy to be personally preoccupied with God's gifting and Word (1 Timothy 4:6-16):
      1. As his overall goal, Timothy was to remind his hearers of this coming apostacy so they would be aware of their need to resist the shift in others to nullify the sense of right and wrong that would arise, 4:6.
      2. However, to be able to implement this overall goal on a lifelong basis, Timothy needed to watch his own mind and heart, and Paul laid out a careful plan of action to that end (as follows), 1 Tim. 4:7-16:
        1. Timothy was to REFUSE to be preoccupied with or to allow seemingly bland, relatively harmless myths and stories about Biblical characters (cf. 1 Timothy 1:4; Hendriksen, I-II Tim.-Titus (NTC), 1974, p. 150); since a preoccupation with extrabiblical material could open the door for ANTIbiblical views, Timothy was FIRST to be NARROW-MINDED, refusing to adopt extrabiblical content in his own life and ministry, 1 Timothy 4:7a, 7b-11 in light of 1 Timothy 4:13.
        2. In place of these extrabiblical sources for ideas, Timothy was to give himself to godly living (4:12) and to the ministry of Scripture (4:13 where "reading" (KJV) is the "public reading of Scripture," "exhortation" (KJV) is "preaching" and "doctrine" is "teaching," Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to 1 Tim. 4:13.
        3. Timothy was also to use his spiritual gift as pastor in this venture, and to be preoccupied with this venture as his whole way of life, 1 Timothy 4:14-16a; doing so would salvage himself and his subordinates from Satan's assault on society's sense of right and wrong, 1 Tim. 4:16b with 4:1-2.
Lesson: (1) Today, Satan tries to destroy man by UNDERMINING his SENSE of right and wrong and thereby eventually ruining man's social order and so finally man himself; (a) Satan seeks to do so by starting to get man occupied with seemingly harmless but extrabiblical content (b) only to replace it subtly with error that destroys man's conscience and thereby eventually man himself. (2) The antidote is for Christian leaders to (a) use their spiritual gifts (b) to REJECT EXTRAbiblical input and (c) get FULLY OCCUPIED with SCRIPTURE in thought, life and influence with their subordinates!