Summary: In a single verse in his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul exhorts the young disciple to be an example of those who believe, providing some keys areas for us to consider in our lives today.
Be an Example!
Text: I Timothy 4:12
As we discussed in class this morning, the followers of Jesus are called upon to minister the gospel, the good news, to the world today. In a single verse in his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul exhorts the young disciple to be an example of those who believe, providing some keys areas for us to consider in our lives today.
1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”
I. An Example in Speech
A. What’s so special about words?
1. Our words create impressions that either facilitate or complicate all other communication.
a. Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
b. Ephesians 5:3-4 “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”
c. Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
2. Words which come out of our mouths reflect our thoughts which reflect our hearts.
II. An Example in Conduct
A. Our lifestyle must be rooted in the gospel
3. Philippians 1:27a “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…”
4. We must conduct ourselves as ambassadors of Jesus Christ even (perhaps especially) in the details of daily living.
a. 1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
III. An Example in Love
A. Our motivation must come from love
1. If we say the right words and live the right way but lack love, we fail to meet God’s expectations for His children.
b. Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
2. After words and actions have had their say, love makes the message ring true or false.
a. 1 Corinthians 13:13 “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
IV. An Example in Faith
A. The source of our conviction and strength
1. Eventually those around us will need to understand what drives our speech, our conduct, and our love.
B. Examples are available for us to follow
1. Hebrews 11--The hall of fame of faith.
a. How did they get there?
b. Not because any ability, not because of intelligence, but actions
V. An Example in Purity
A. Sinlessness in life
1. A rarely used term for virtue and chastity, it implies integrity and consistency and reinforces the entire list.