1 Timothy 4:1-5

Apostasy

1 But 1the Spirit explicitly says that 2in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to 3deceitful spirits and 4doctrines of demons,
2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars 5seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
3 men who 6forbid marriage and advocate 7abstaining from foods which 8God has created to be 9gratefully * shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
4 For 10everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is 11received with gratitude;
5 for it is sanctified by means of 12the word of God and prayer.

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1 Timothy 4:1-5 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 TIMOTHY 4

In this chapter the apostle foretells a dreadful apostasy which should happen in the last times, the particulars of which he gives; and on occasion of one branch of it, discourses of Christian liberty in eating all sorts of food fit for use; and delivers out exhortations to Timothy to various duties relating to himself, his doctrine, and his charge. The prophecy is in 1Ti 4:1-3, the author of this prophecy is the Spirit of God; the manner in which it was delivered was very clear and express; the time when it should be fulfilled, the last days; the thing itself, a departure of some from the faith; the means whereby it would come about are, some giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, and the hypocrisy and hardened consciences of others, who would forbid marriage, and order an abstinence from certain meats; the evil of which last is exposed by their being the creatures of God, and by their being made for this purpose to be received with thankfulness by all believers, and who know the truth: and the reasons why they should be received and used follow; because they are all good, as they are the creatures of God; and because there is nothing to be refused, provided it be received with a thankful heart; and because every creature is sanctified by the word of God, and prayer, 1Ti 4:4,5. And then Timothy is exhorted to put the brethren in mind of those things, by which he would show himself to be a faithful minister of Christ, and well instructed in the doctrines of the Gospel, 1Ti 4:6, and to reject things profane and fabulous, but use himself to internal and powerful godliness, since outward worship signifies little, but the former has the promise of this, and the other world annexed to it; which is a true saying, and to be depended on, 1Ti 4:7-9 and which is confirmed from the practice and experience of the apostles, and therefore should be taught with authority, 1Ti 4:10,11. And then the apostle gives Timothy some advice, which being taken, would prevent his being despised, on account of his youth; as with respect to his life and conversation, so to behave as to be a pattern to others, 1Ti 4:12, and with respect to the exercise of his ministry, to make use of such means, as reading and meditation, that his profiting might be manifest to all, 1Ti 4:13-15 and with respect to the doctrines he preached, to abide by them, whereby he would be a means of saving himself, and others, 1Ti 4:16.

1 Timothy 4:1-5 In-Context

1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;
5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.
7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;
8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.

Cross References 12

  • 1. John 16:13; Acts 20:23; Acts 21:11; 1 Corinthians 2:10
  • 2. 2 Thessalonians 2:3f; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 18
  • 3. 1 John 4:6
  • 4. James 3:15
  • 5. Ephesians 4:19
  • 6. Hebrews 13:4
  • 7. Colossians 2:16, 23
  • 8. Genesis 1:29; Genesis 9:3
  • 9. Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:30; 1 Timothy 4:4
  • 10. 1 Corinthians 10:26
  • 11. Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:30; 1 Timothy 4:3
  • 12. Genesis 1:25, 31; Hebrews 11:3

Footnotes 1

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