Summary: This message is intended to help us see the need for a life of godliness that will keep us safe from false doctrine and provide us with spiritual fruit for both now and eternity.
A LIFE OF GODLINESS
A. Picture this:
1. You are driving down the highway and you spot what looks like a deer off to the right side of the road, fairly close
2. As you look harder you realize that it is a herd of deer and you begin to count: 1, 2, 3…
3. All of a sudden your counting is rudely interrupted by a blaring horn!
4. You had drifted into the left hand lane unaware of another car
5. Your rear left quarter panel and the other persons front right quarter panel contact throwing you both into a skid and off the road into the ditch!
6. Think about these questions for a minute:
a. How did it all happen? Inattention!
b. Was the accident intentional? NO
c. Could things have been worse? YES
d. How do you keep it from happening again? Pay Attention to the most important task at hand!
B. Now I gave this little story to help us understand something about a life of godliness.
1. Often we are headed down the highway of life and we get distracted
2. This distraction often puts us and others in the way of danger – spiritually speaking - and can cause accidents
3. It does not usually happen on purpose but it happens none the less
4. How do we keep it from happening or happening again?
5. We must discipline ourselves to pay attention to the most important task at hand – godliness!
C. With this in mind, we come back to this letter the apostle Paul has written to a young preacher, named Timothy.
1. After instructing him in how to find good leaders he now turns to Timothy and speaks directly to him.
2. Paul wants to warn him about the dangers that lie ahead, for both him and the church.
3. And though these words are to a young man in the ministry (making them especially applicable to ministry personnel) they apply to each of us as ministers of the gospel
4. Here Paul gives two beneficial admonitions. The first is
a. A Warning About Duped Saints
b. An Exhortation To Godly Saints
5. It is the responsibility of the pastor to bring these things to the attention of the congregation, in general and to himself specifically, thus Paul states in 1 Tim. 4:11 These things command and teach.
6. Let’s pray and ask God to help us in this life of godliness and protect us from those who would draw us away.
We will begin this morning by looking at
I. A WARNING ABOUT DUPED SAINTS 1 Tim. 4:1-6 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
A. The Warning: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,…
1. We are not talking about something that might happen: we are talking about something that will happen and not just out there but right here.
a. Some will leave the faith because of some seducing spirit or devilish idea.
b. But here is the cunningness of Satan’s tactics – he does it without our being aware of it
c. C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, …if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people drift away?
2. It happens as we are giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils…(3) forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them that believe and know the truth.
a. In this case we are talking about giving way to false doctrines and distortions of the word.
1) Don’t marry, Don’t eat; as if accomplishing these things made someone more spiritual (Asceticism)
2) That is what the false teachers were saying
b. But there is another even more subtle way many “depart from the faith”
1) Something small happens at church, some event takes precedence, some person gets our attention (some of these things might even be good in and of themselves)