1 Timothy 4

False teachers

1 God's Spirit tells us clearly that, in later times, some people will stop believing the message about Jesus Christ. Instead, they will listen to bad spirits who want people to believe wrong things. They will listen to the message that comes from demons. 2 The people who teach those false things are hypocrites. They no longer understand that what they teach is wrong. 3 They say that it is wrong for anyone to marry. They tell people not to eat certain kinds of food. But God made those foods for people to eat! We should understand God's true message and trust him. Then we will receive the food that he has given us and we will thank him for it. 4 Everything that God has made is good. So, we should not refuse anything that he has made. Instead, we should receive it and thank God for it. 5 God has said that it is good. We should pray that he will bless it. Because of that, it becomes good and clean for us to eat.

4:5The Bible says that everything that God has made is good. See Genesis 1:31. God also showed Peter that we may eat all different kinds of food. See Acts 10:9-16.

How Timothy can be a good servant of Christ

6 You must explain these things to the believers and teach them God's true message. If you do that, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus. Continue to study the message about Jesus that you have already learned. That will help you to be strong. 7 But you must refuse to listen to false stories. Stories like that are not from God and only silly people believe them. Instead, learn to live well in a way that makes God happy. 8 People say this: ‘If a person works to make his body strong and healthy, that will help him a little. But if a person works to live in a way that makes God happy, that will help him much more. It will help that person in his life now on earth, and it will also help him in his future life with God in heaven.’ 9 We know that those words are true. Everyone should agree with them. 10 So, that is why we work to serve God well. We continue to work, even when we have trouble. We do this because we believe that God will help us. He is the one who lives for ever and who saves all people. Certainly, he saves those who believes him.

11 Teach people to do these things. 12 You are still a young man, but everyone should respect you as the leader in the church. Show the believers how they should live. Be a good example to them in these ways:

  • What you say;
  • What you do;
  • How you love people;
  • How you trust God;
  • How you do only what is right.
  • 13 Until I come, be careful to do this: Read the Bible aloud to people. Teach them to understand and to obey the message about Christ. 14 Remember the gift that God's Holy Spirit has given to you. You received that gift when the group of church leaders put their hands on you. They spoke messages from God about how you would serve him. So, do not stop using that gift from God.

    4:14The leaders of the believers put their hands on people when they prayed for them. They did that when God chose someone to serve him in a special way. The Holy Spirit helped people to serve God. He helped them with gifts so that they could serve God well. See Acts 8:17; 13:3. Timothy received a gift from the Holy Spirit when they chose him as a leader for the church in Ephesus.

    15 Be careful to do all these things well. Then everyone will see that you are serving God better and better. 16 Think carefully about how you live, and about the message that you teach. Continue to teach God's true message. Then God will save not only you, but also those people who listen to you.