Daily Bible Reading for August 17, 2014, with Commentary: 1 Timothy 4-6
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Context: In chapter 4, Paul continues his instructions to Timothy. These are instructions for all believers. In the first verse, Paul refers to “later times.” This is not a reference to the last days before Christ’s return, rather, it includes the time from Christ’s ascension until His return. Paul warns against legalism, taught by false teachers. We should not judge our teachers by their earthly age, but rather their spiritual development. Paul was concerned about the welfare and reputation of the church, as we all should be. Are we part of a church that is presenting the image of Christ to the world? Paul’s personal note to Timothy in verse 23 is not an encouragement to believers to drink! Due to the location of the note, it is likely a reminder to Timothy to not conform, unintentionally to legalism and sacrifice his health. Chapter six begins with Paul talking of the relationship between slaves and their masters. One way to modernize this passage would be to apply it to relationships between employees and employers. We must learn to live in a world which has thrown out Christian values without becoming part of the world. Paul’s final instructions to Timothy are instructions we can all take to heart.