Summary: Spiritual Fitness

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Are You in Fit Condition? - 1 Timothy 4 - 10/26/08

Join me in turning to the book of 1 Timothy, chapter 4. Timothy is towards the end of the New Testament, in the second half of the Bible. We have been going through this book together.

We saw that this is a letter from the Apostle Paul to Timothy, his young protégé. Paul left Timothy at Ephesus to straighten out the problems in the church there. Ephesus was a city filled with idol worship, sexual immorality, and false teachings.

Timothy, though, is a young man and sometimes people in the church did not follow his leadership and give him the respect he deserved. Timothy was timid and shy. He sometimes was sickly, or at least was so troubled by the problems in the church that his stomach bothered him. The tension in the church had him to the point of giving up. But Paul gives him a letter to encourage him to keep on going.

We saw Paul give three commands to Timothy in chapter 1:

1. Teach Sound Doctrine 2. Preach the Gospel 3. Defend the Faith

We looked at chapters 2&3 and saw what pleases God? We saw that

God is pleased when men are PRAYING! And

God is pleased when women are PROPER! And

God is pleased when leaders are PURE!

We talked about leaders in the church, elders and deacons, and how they need three traits:

Desire, Character, and a Good Reputation

Last week we talked about some steps we each could take, even if we aren’t leaders: We can . . .

Respect the leadership of the church

Pray for the leadership of the church

Encourage others to follow God’s call on their lives

Assist the leadership of the church

Make yourself available for leadership

I hope you have considered these steps this past week.

Today, we move on to chapter 4, and Paul is going to talk to Timothy about getting into shape. Paul loved sports; in fact, in several of his letters he uses sporting terms. He talks about wrestling, boxing, foot races. And today, here in 1 Timothy 4, Paul tells Timothy to make sure that he is in fit condition. He tells him to take steps to stay in shape. And that is exactly what you and I need to do as well. Let’s read chapter 4.

Read 1 Timothy 4 -- pray -- As you have just heard as we read the chapter, Paul calls Timothy to get into shape, but it’s not just a physical fitness that Timothy needs as much as spiritual fitness. Now don’t get me wrong -- we need both. Maybe just the thought of getting up and going to the fridge during the commercials tires you out. If so, you might need to focus on physical fitness. But Paul’s emphasis to Timothy is on the need for Spiritual Fitness. And that is an area of life that we all can improve upon. In this chapter, Paul touches on 2 aspects to fitness. First, He points out the . . .

1. Dangers We Face - Now, when we are talking about physical fitness, it is easy to identify the dangers we face. It may be that we just have a sedentary lifestyle - we don’t get enough exercise. We are couch potatoes. We go from bed to easy chair to couch and back again. We sit in front of the TV for hours on end. We have so many labor saving devices that we have to artificially bring exercise into our lives. Hence, we have Gold’s gym memberships or YMCA memberships, and for the ladies, we have Curves - a place to go meet other ladies and bring exercise into our lives. We identify the dangers physically with all kinds of labels - MSGs, saturated fats, or in old terminology fried foods, fats, and sweets.

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