Continuing his first letter to Timothy, Paul returned to the problem of false teachers (333). Apparently, false teachers in Ephesus were also distorting God’s law with their own embellishments. Specifically, they were trying to persuade the Ephesian believers that God did not want them to eat certain foods or to marry.
But Paul says that God created all foods and that God ordained marriage. Regardless of our human weaknesses, things like diet & marriage are never ungodly when done in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. In that spirit, things like diet & marriage actually help us grow closer to God.
Because people don’t care what you know until they know that you care, Paul then counsels Timothy to be sure to practice what he preaches. His personal example will often be a more powerful teacher than his words. Powerful preaching depends both on studying the inspired scriptures and on living by the inspired scriptures.
Paul also gives Timothy some practical guidelines for the church:
- The church should support godly widows who have no opportunity to re-marry or to support themselves.
- The church should also support godly leaders who faithfully work alongside Timothy in leading the church.
- All godly employees should be taught to serve their employers faithfully.
Paul encouraged Timothy to warn his co-leaders & all the believers against being tempted by the desire for money & material comfort. Remind them often that we can’t take it with us, when we pass from this life to the next.
Paul wanted Timothy to teach the people to be rich in good works rather than material possessions, because this can yield blessings for others here on earth and spiritual riches in heaven.
(333) 1 Timothy 4-6