Summary: Edification and Encouragement
"A Ministry That's Youthful”
Represent the Will of God v.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.” 4:12. At first Paul’s instruction that Timothy should not let anyone “despise” his youth might seem impossible to fulfill since Timothy could not control the actions and attitudes of others. Yet when combined with “but be an example”, the essence of Paul’s instruction becomes clear. Timothy must not be intimidated by his relative youthfulness or what others might think of it. Instead he was to offset his immaturity by living such a godly life that he would become a pattern for other believers: Because of his innocence and inexperience Timothy stood in danger of being looked down upon. Paul, therefore, reminds him regardless of your individuality, God can and will use you. This chapter deals with the life and labors of ministry…Good Ministry vv.1-6; Godly Ministry vv.7-12; Growing Ministry vv.13-16!
a. Christ-like Conversation
Having told Timothy to face this dilemma, Paul went on to tell him how to fight it! “... in word,” v.12b. Our message must mirror the Masters’ message (One who was the Word made flesh). Our everyday conversation is to be of such character, consistency, and content that it would make people continually consider Christ. We must recognize that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Prov.18:21; Eph.4:15; Ja.1:26; Prov.13:3a; Col.4:6
b. Christ-like Conduct
“... in conduct,” v.12c. Timothy was to remember that he was under the wretched eyes of Creation and the watchful eye of the CREATOR; therefore, his behavior had to be in harmony with the Bible, both privately and publicly! “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ…” Phil.1:27. You are a PICTURE of God to God's creation! “…He who called you is holy, you also be holy in your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.” 1Pt.1:15-16
c. Christ-like Compassion
“... in love,” v.12d. LOVE IN ITS PUREST FORM. Such love comes only from Heaven; it is the impression of God, interceded through Jesus Christ, and imparted by the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ love reaches out and draws us in. Here scripture admonishes us to pattern our-self after such love, when you love someone unconditionally; you are willing to give freely beyond the point of unselfishness. God paid dearly with the life of his Son, the highest price He could pay. At Calvary, God spared not His best. He gave His all, His ultimate gift to us, His only begotten Son! (cf. Jn15:13)
d. Christ-like Confidence
“…in Spirit,” v.12e. Such composure and control come only from the Spirit of God! Our human spirit is to be so occupied and filled by the Holy Spirit that our whole being would radiate the love, light and life of God. Our spirits must surrender to God's Spirit! Only through the Spirit of God can we understand the Word of God, do the will of God, accomplish the work of God, properly engage in the worship of God, and display the wisdom of God! “…because greater is He that is in you…”1Jn.4:4.