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1 Timothy 4J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Beware of false teachers: warn your people

1-2 God’s Spirit specifically tells us that in later days there will be men who abandon the true faith and allow themselves to be spiritually seduced by teachings of the devil, teachings given by men who are lying hypocrites, whose consciences are as dead as seared flesh.

3-5 These men forbid marriage, command abstinence from food—good things which, in fact, God intends to be thankfully enjoyed by those who believe in him and know the truth. Everything God made is good, and is meant to be gratefully used, not despised. The holiness or otherwise of a certain food, for instance, depends not on its nature but on whether it is eaten thankfully or not, It is consecrated by the man who has accepted the message, and thanks God for food.

6-7 You will be doing your duty as Christ’s minister if you remind your church members of these things (false teaching), and you will show yourself as one who owes his strength to the truth of the faith he has absorbed and the sound teaching he has followed. But steer clear of all these stupid Godless fictions. Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.

8-11 Bodily fitness has a certain value, but spiritual fitness is essential both for this present life and for the life to come. There is no doubt about this at all, and Christians should remember it. It is because we realise the paramount importance of the spiritual that we labour and struggle. We place our whole confidence in the living God, the saviour of all men, and particularly of those who believe in him. These convictions should be the basis of your instruction and teaching.

A little personal advice

12-16 Don’t let people look down on you because you are young; see that they look up to you because you are an example to them in your speech and behaviour, in your love and faith and sincerity. Concentrate until my arrival on your reading and on your preaching and teaching. Never forget that you received the gift of proclaiming God’s Word when the assembled elders laid their hands on you. Give your whole attention, all your energies, to these things, so that your progress is plain for all to see. Keep a critical eye both upon your own life and on the teaching you give, and if you continue to follow the line I have indicated you will not only save your own soul but the souls of many of your hearers as well.

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.


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