1 Timothy

Chapter 4 Discussion Guide


Section A: Chapter 4:1-5 (CSB)

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.

Discussion Questions

Paul says “Deceitful Spirits” & “Teachings of Demons” use false teachers, with seared consciences to lead believers astray.

  • What does it mean to have a “seared conscience”?

  • Who are the false teachers we hear today?

The Point: The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, encouraging us to repent. This is a gift from God, reminding us that Sin leads to Death, and Christlikeness leads to life.

 If we continue in a sin without repenting, He will no longer give that Gift of Conviction through the Holy Spirit. This is why, the more we Sin, the less we’ll see it as a “big deal”. God will let us walk away from Him if we so choose.

False Teaching in Ephesus claimed marriage is bad, and certain foods shouldn’t be eaten

  • What false teachings do we hear today?

  • How can we “test” teaching to see if it is truly from God?

The Point: God is perfectly consistent – He does not change. Since we have the completed Word of God, we can compare any teaching against it to see if it lines up. If it does not line up, we know that the “new” teaching we’ve heard can NOT be from God, since it contradicts what we KNOW to be true about Him.


Section B: Chapter 4:6-10 (CSB)

If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Discussion Questions

  • What does “nourished by…” mean in v6?

  • How might this be important for Timothy? How about us?

  • Why does Paul warn Timothy about “pointless and silly myths”?

  • Does this mean we can’t have conversations with non-Christian friends, or learn about other faiths?

  • What does it look like to “train yourself in godliness”?

The Point: We’re not to wall ourselves off from the world, or strive to never hear false teaching. Instead, we’re to befriend non-Christians, pursuing them with the love of Christ. We’re to listen to them, prove that we care, and tell them the truth in love!

 Since Christ is the source of Life, the more we’re ‘away’ from Him, the more we’ll feel ‘fatigued’ and worn down by the world! Paul knows that being close to Jesus’ Word will nourish us, and give us the ‘fuel’ we need to continue. So we’re to engage non-believers, but remain grounded in Truth, returning often to Him, understanding that we cannot ‘do the work’ in this world apart from Him.


Section C: Chapter 4:11-16 (CSB)

Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching. Don’t neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Discussion Questions

  • Which of Paul’s instructions for Timothy “overlap” to us?

  • What can we learn from Paul’s instructions for Timothy that DO NOT “overlap” to us?

  • How can we uncover our own spiritual gifts?

  • Must these by “bestowed” through prophetic utterance, laying on of hands?

The Point: Though Paul’s instructions are for Timothy – a Pastor – the “format” can apply to us, in different roles within the church:

  • When you speak the Word, don’t allow others to dismiss what you’re saying based on who you are – Young or Old, Black or White, New Convert or Lifelong Christian – We’re to encourage, remind and rebuke one another with God’s Word.

  • Walking as Christ sets an example, and safeguards us from being discredited, disregarded

  • We are to know our spiritual gifts, and not neglect to use them for God’s glory!

  • Perseverance in our walk and in use of spiritual gifts will save us and others



  • What do we learn about God from 1 Timothy, Chapter 4?

  • What Example can we set through Youth at HCC, to bring God glory?

  • How will we help each other to grow in Christlikeness this week?