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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES » 1 Timothy 4:1-5

Morning Sermon: 1 Timothy 4:1-5: Set Free In Christ To Live For God’s Glory

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 100

“A PSALM FOR GIVING THANKS. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100, ESV)

Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 4:1-5

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving 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, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:1–5, ESV)

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Please excuse any typos and misspellings within this manuscript. It has been published online for the benefit of the saints of Emmaus Reformed Baptist Church but without the benefit of proofreading.

Introduction

Some time ago I remember hearing that the second great doctrine of the protestant reformation was the doctrine of Christian liberty. The most important doctrine of the reformation — the one that was discussed and emphasized the most — was of course the doctrine of justification. The reformers were right to insist that the scriptures teach that men and women are justified — that is, declared not guilty by God — not by their obedience or good deeds, but by the grace of God alone and through faith in Christ alone. Justification by faith alone is regarded as the great and central doctrine of the protestand reformation, and rightly so. But I have learned that the doctrine of Christian liberty was the second most important doctrine. And when I heard this I thought, how strange! I have heard all about the doctrine of justification, but have heard so very little about the doctrine of Christian liberty. 

So what is the doctrine of Christain liberty?

You will notice that our confession of faith devotes an entire chapter to this doctrine. Chapter 21 is entitled: Of Christian Liberty And Liberty Of Conscience. I will not read it at this time. Instead I will summarize this doctrine for you in three brief points. 

First of all, the doctrine of Christian liberty is the biblical teaching that those who have faith in Christ have been set free. Liberty means freedom. And Christians are free in Christ. We have been set free from all sorts of things. We are free from “the guilt of sin”. We have been freed from “the condemning wrath of God”. We are free from “the rigour and curse of the law”. In Christ we have been “delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation” (see London Baptist Confession 21.1). I have just read from LBC 21. It is a beautiful statement. Truly, in Christ — through faith in him — the Christian has been set free from many things that once held us captive.

Two, the Christian has been set free, not to live in sin or to live for self, but to serve God willingly and from a heart of love. The non-believer may hear this and think, well, that sounds more like bondage than liberty. But the Christian knows that this is true freedom. We are most free when we are able to live as God has designed us to live, and that is in obedience to him and for his glory. In Christ we have been set free from sin to serve the Lord. In Christ we have “free access to God”, and we are able to now to yield “obedience [to] Him, not out of slavish fear, but [with] a child-like love and willing mind” (London Baptist Confession, 21.1).

Three, the Christian is also free from bondage to the teaching and traditions of man. In other words, it is the word of God alone which informs the Christian of what it means to live in obedience, and not the opinions of man. The one who is in Christ has been set free from their natural bondage to sin. They have been set free to serve God and Christ. And it is the word of God which reveals what God requires of them. How are we to live right before God? What are we to believe? How are we to worship? Go to the scriptures, friends! God’s word is our guide. God’s law is our standard. And when men — I am thinking here of teachers within the church — go beyond the scriptures to require of God’s people what God has not required, or to forbid what God has not forbidden, they unjustly bind the conscience of the believer and violate the freedom that is theirs in Christ Jesus. 

Brothers and sisters, we have been set free by Christ so that we might willingly obey and serve him. And how do we know what God desires from us? He has given us his word, and we are bound to keep it. Not more, and not less. 

If you know the history of the protestent reformation, then you will understand why the doctrine of Christian liberty was so very important to the reformed. The Roman church in those days (and still to this present day) did heap heavy burdens upon the people. They commanded many things not found in the pages of Holy Scripture. Men were forbidden from marrying.  Foods were forbidden during certain times of the year. The people were manipulated into buying indulgences on the basis of false doctrines, to name just a few things. It may be hard for you to imagine, but the spiritual burden was very heavy. 

A reformation swept through the land because some men grew convinced that the scriptures alone are our authority, and not the traditions of man. What are we to believe? How are we to live? How are we to worship? To find the answers we must go to the scriptures! 

Now I must admit, the church does have a very important role to play in all of this. After all, we have just learned that the church, with her officers and members, is a pillar and buttress of the truth! The teaching ministry of the church is not to be disregarded, then. Tradition is not to be ignored. The great creeds and confessions of the church are rightly cherished by the people of God, for example. But none of these things are the source of truth. God is the source of all truth, and he has given us his word. The church is to submit to God’s word. The church is to preserve and promote the teaching of Holy Scripture. And when the church falls short, she is to be reformed by the scriptures.

So you see then, it is the reformed conviction that the scriptures alone are our authority for truth which undergirds both our doctrine of justification and our doctrine of Christian liberty, along with every other doctrine.  

How are men and women made right with God? The reformers were right to say, according to the scriptures we are justified, not by works, but by the grace of God alone through faith in Christ alone. 

And what are Christians bound to believe and do in their personal lives and in worship? We reply that according to the scriptures Christains have been set free from bondage to sin to live in obedience to what God has commanded in his word. To go beyond the scriptures and to command what God has not commanded is to illegitimately bind the conscience of the believer. In Christ we are free to obey God and to reject the traditions of men.  

Much more could be said about the doctrine of Christian liberty. I have only briefly introduced you to this doctrine so that you might recognize that it is present here in 1 Timothy 4:1-5. In this passage Paul is again warning against false teachers. And in particular he is warning against those forms of false teaching which forbid what God has not forbidden. This is a perennial problem. To this present day false teachers will forbid what God has designed to be received with thanksgiving. And the reason this is a perennial problem is that it is a form of legalism which does appeal to the pride of man through religion. The leagalist will say, if you are truly spiritual then you will abstain from these things also. The word “also” is important. By it I mean also, or in addition to what God has forbidden in his word. The leagalist will add to the scriptures, commanding what God has not commanded, and forbidding what God has not forbidden. And as I have said, this does often appeal to the pride of sinful men and women. The legalist imagines that they have earned something from God by living an extra strict life. They will think they are better than the rest when they keep stricter rules — rules which they have imposed upon themselves, and seek to impose upon others. This is damaging, empty, and vain. The apostle had to combat this form of false teaching in his day, as do we in ours.  

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A Warning Against False Teachers In General

As we turn now to Ephesians 4:1 let us first consider Paul’s warning against false teachers in general. 

It is quite natural for the apostle to warn against false teachers at this point in his letter. Remember he has just taught us that the church is “a pillar and buttress of the truth”. And after that he recited a hymn or saying of the early church which summarizes the truth of the gospel. So now he warns against the threat of false teaching to the integrity of the church, saying in verse 1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared…” (1 Timothy 4:1–2, ESV).

This is a very strong statement, isn’t it? I think you would agree that the apostle saw false teachers as a big threat to the church. And his concern is understandable. If the church is “a pillar and buttress of the truth”, then false doctrine is a major threat because it does damage to the very core of the church’s purpose. God’s church is designed to undergird and hold aloft the truth of God’s word and of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If the truth is distorted and the gospel is compromised within the church, then the church is corrupt to the core. 

To illustrate, when you shop for a used car you are aware of the difference between surface scratches and catastrophic damage, aren’t you? You may decide to overlook a dent here or a scratch there to get a good deal on a car that is sound — a car that will fulfill its purpose to provide transportation. But you would be foolish to overlook pervasive rust on the undercarriage or evidence of engine failure in exchange for a glossy paint job. And yet so many will shop for a church in this way. They are impressed with the glossy finish, but they have failed to notice that false teaching has corroded the church to the core. 

Paul begins his general warning against false teaching by reminding Timothy that “the Spirit expressly says…” There is some debate over what Paul means by this. Clearly, he is going to tell us about some truth which the Spirit of God has revealed. The question is, when and to whom did the Spirit reveal this truth? Did the Spirit reveal it recently to Paul (Paul being an apostle of Christ and, like the prophets, being under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit)? Or is Paul referring to something the Holy Spirit has revealed previously and through others? While the former is not impossible, I do believe that the latter of these two options is the correct view. It seems to me that Paul is reminding Timothy of what the Spirit has previously revealed to and through others concerning the presence of false teaching in the last days. In particular, we are to think of the teaching of Christ himself which was undoubtedly reiterated by others within the early church.

For example, remember Jesus’ words as found in Matthew 24. He taught his disciples, saying, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:9–14, ESV).

1 Timothy 4:1-2 does indeed seem to summarize the teaching of Christ concerning the presence of false teachers in the last days. So Paul is not delivering a new Spirit inspired revelation (though he could). Instead he is reminding Timothy (and the church of Ephesus) of the message that the Spirit has already revealed through Christ. And this same message was also the teaching of Christs’ apostles. I will remind you of what Paul said to the elders of the church of Ephesus when he met with them on one of his missionary journeys. He called them together and said, among other things, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:28–30, ESV).

When Paul wrote, “the Spirit expressly says…”, he was reminding Timothy of the teaching which was originally from Jesus and had been reiterated by his apostles. The message was this: “in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared…”

When will these false teachers threaten the church of God? Paul echoes Christ, saying “in later times”. 

If you were raised under dispensational teaching you probably think of the future when you hear the phrase “in later times”. When dispensationalists read about the “later times”, or “the last days”, they think this means the time of the very end — the last few years before Christ returns. But in fact “the later times”, or “the last days”, are here now. They began when Christ rose from the dead, and they will continue until Christ returns to judge and to make all things new. To see that this is the case one only needs to compare the passages that I have just read: 1 Timothy 4, Acts 20, and Matthew 24. The warnings found there are not only for Christians alive in the last few years before Christ returns. No, these warnings were for Christ’s disciples to whom he was speaking, to those who would believe through their word, and they are for you and me. Or if you would like a more explicit statement, consider 1 John 2:18, which says, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18, ESV). John wrote these words in the first century. It was the last hour even then. Or consider Hebrews 1:2, which says, “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Hebrews 1:2, ESV). So the last days began with the life of Christ, according to Hebrews.  Or consider Acts 2:17 where Peter explains the Pentecost event by quoting from Joel, saying, “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…” (Acts 2:17, ESV). All of these texts explicitly say that the last days began with the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. 

Brothers and sisters, we are living in the last days, as were Paul and Timothy and the saints in Ephesus to whom they ministered. When we say “these are the last days” we do not mean, there are only a few left” (only God knows how many are left), but rather, this is the last period of time — this is the last epoch in the history of redemption — this is the last phase before Christ returns to make all things new, for there is nothing left to be accomplished except the gathering in of God’s elect and the consummation of all things. As Christ himself said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14, ESV). It is indeed true that God has accomplished our redemption in various stages and through a variety of covenants, but this is the last phase. Our redemption has been accomplished. We live under the New Covenant, which is the Covenant of Grace, ratified in Christ blood. These are the last days, therefore. We await only his return and the new heavens and earth.   

So do not be naive, brothers and sisters. This age will not be a golden age. For “the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1, ESV).

Pay careful attention to Paul’s words. These false teachers are false because they, first of all, “depart from the faith”. “The faith” is not here a reference to personal trust in Christ, but to the true doctrines of the Christian religion. What did these false teachers depart from? They departed from “the faith”, that is, from sound doctrine. They abandoned biblical Christianity.

In our day and age it is not uncommon to hear professing Christians talk about “different versions of Christianity”. In fact, I heard someone talk this way not long ago, contrasting, “your version of Christianisty…., and my version of Christianity.” Now, if all they meant by that was your “style of worship”, or “the nuances of your particular tradition”, then I would have no trouble with the phrase. Indeed, there is room within the Christian church for different expressions in matters of indifference. But the comment was in reference to doctrine — core doctrine. Friends, there are not different versions of “the faith” with regard to doctrine. Granted, we may disagree on some fine points. But the Christian faith is not ours to determine — it is ours to receive. While we may differ in dress, in style, and in the circumstances of our worship, all Christians have “the faith” in common, for there is only one. It is the body of doctrine contained within the Holy Scriptures, taught by Christ and his apostles, and delivered to the church of God, who is a pillar and buttress of the truth. 

The teachers that Paul warned against were deemed false because they departed from “the faith”. And having departed from the faith they “[devoted] themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.” Again, this is very strong language. And when some hear it that may assume that Paul is referring to teaching that is exceptionally dark, twisted, and perverted. Are you following me? When you hear of teaching that is inspired by deceitful spirits and demons, some will immagine that Paul has exceptionally strange and sadistic teachings in mind? But when we finally come to the particulars of the false doctrine that Paul was combating, some may think, well that’s not so bad. Or, really Paul? This is the demonic teaching you are concerned about? I’m afraid that many in our modern age will think that Paul was overreacting. But this is not surprising given the anti-doctrinal spirit of the church today. 

Many Christians have believed the lie that doctrine doesn’t really matter. Many live by creeds such as these: “doctrine divides, Jesus unites”; “deeds before creeds”; “no creed but Christ”. Have you heard phrases like these? If you have not heard them, you have certainly encountered Christians who live by these mantras. In many churches doctrine — that is to say, biblical teaching — is deemphasized while a premium is placed upon personal experience, emotion, and good deeds. Stated differently, it doesn’t matter what you believe so long as you love Jesus, feel encouraged, and live a good life. 

And while I would not want to deemphasize the importance of loving Jesus, being encouraged, or living a good life, I will ask you, is it possible to do any of these things truly apart from doctrine? How can you love a Jesus that you do not know? It is possible to feel encouraged while believing lies. And what is the “good life”? Is it yours to define? No, God’s word is to inform all of our pursuits. And I may also ask this question: does this doctrinal approach to the Christian religion really square with the teaching of Christ and his apostles. The answer is certainly no. Christ himself warned against false teachers. And Paul warned against those who would depart from “the faith”, saying in another place, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8–9, ESV).

When we finally come to the specifics of the false teaching that Paul was combatting we may be tempted to say, really Paul, is this so bad? Is this worthy to be called the doctrine of demons? But consider this, friends. If the gospel of Jesus Christ is twisted in such a way that it becomes no-gospel at all, then that false teaching — no matter how innocent it may seem on the surface —  is rightly called demonic, for those who put their trust in this false gospel are still in their sins and will spend eternity in hell and not heaven. They have believed a lie. Their sin remains. Put differently, it is not only those who have joined the occult (or something extreme like that) who have been deceived by the doctrines of demons, but even those who go by the name “Christian” who have believed a counterfeit gospel. If Paul’s language seems too strong to you then I am afraid you have failed to comprehend what a precise thing the gospel of Jesus Christ is. The good news is that, though we are unable to save ourselves, God has graciously provided a way. Salvation is found through faith in Christ alone! To teach that we earn our salvation in one way or another turns the gospel into no-gospel. And that is why Paul speaks so strongly.  

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared…” (1 Timothy 4:1–2, ESV). 

Some false teachers teach what is false because they are ignorant of the truth. In other words, they truly believe they are teaching what is right and good when in fact they are teaching what is false. This does not change the fact that they are false teachers. It only acknowledges that some false teachers may have motives that are pure. But here Paul is warning that some false teachers are insincere. They pretend to be what they are not. They are liars, and they know it. They deceive those who are untrained and gullible. They take advantage of these to benefit themselves. And how do these men who teach falsehood sleep at night? How can they be so unashamedly wicked? Their “consciences are seared.”

What does it mean to have a seared conscience? The conscience is that part of man’s soul which distinguishes between good and evil. When a conscience is working as it should it will love what is good and hate what is evil according to God’s moral law. Even the conscience of a non-Christian will be pricked when he does what is evil. But those who make a habit of ignoring their conscience will over time sear their conscience so that they no longer feel remorse for doing what is evil. When a young man tells a lie to his parents he may at first feel a sense of shame. But when he ignores his conscience and tells lies over and over again, his conscience will be seared. He will feel the remorse less and less and find it easier to lie with the passing of time. The same thing happens to the body when pain is ignored. Perhaps you have noticed how mothers who have cooked a lot can grab things off of hot pans without feeling anything! The nerves on the tips of their fingers have been seared. That is a good thing, I guess. But to have a seared conscience is a terrible thing. It leads to great wickedness. 

How do these false teachers continue on in hypocrisy? How do they sleep at night when they teach what is false and take advantage of those who are vulnerable? Answer: Their consciences are seared. They may be compared to those who will peddle a fake vaccine during a pandemic? In fact, they are worse than these. They are peddling a false gospel. Those who believe them think they have found a cure, but there is no potency in their message. Men and women are left in their sins. The consequences are eternal.  

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In Particular, A Warning Against Those Who Forbid What God Has Not Forbidden

Let us now turn our attention from the general warning about false teaching, to the particular. In particular these false teachers in Ephesians did forbid what God has not forbidden. 

In verse 3 we learn that these false teachers “forbid marriage and [required] abstinence from foods…” This sounds a bit like the Roman Catholic church in the days of the reformation and to this present day. Obviously Paul did not have the false doctrine of Rome in mind, for that doctrine developed much later. But we should remember that there is nothing new under the sun. False teachers have always been inclined to add to God’s word, and to heap burdens upon God’s people, so as to control them by taking advantage of their fear or ap[pealing to their pride. Do you wish to go to heaven, the false teacher asks, then do these things, or abstain from these. Go on this pilgrimage. Give to this building project. Abstain from this food. Lead an aesthetic life. Live celabit, etc., and by your merit you will earn for yourself life eternal. It’s a load of garbage. It’s a false gospel which gives only false hope. 

How do we know that it is a false gospel? Because nowhere do the scriptures teach these things.   

These false teachers were forbidding marriage. Perhaps they taught that Christians must not marry so as to be free from  earthly concerns. Instead they were to remain single and devote all of their time and energy to the service of God. But God’s word teaches that God created marriage in the beginning and called it good. Marriage is good. To forbid it is to go beyond the scriptures. 

You will remember that Paul encouraged the single life. He encouraged it for those who were gifted and called to it. He encouraged it so that men and women might be free from the cares of this world and devote themselves to the service of Christ. But there is a big difference between speaking positively of the benefits of the single life for some and forbidding marriage for all. The one upholds the doctrine of Christian liberty, the other violates it by forbidding what God has not forbidden.  

These false teachers also  “[required] abstinence from foods.” You may be thinking to yourself, but weren’t the Hebrews forbidden from eating certain foods in Old Testament times? Yes! And that is the point! Under the Old Covenant God imposed dietary restriction upon the people of Israel for a time and for a purpose. They were therefore bound to keep God’s law as God’s people. But according to God’s word under the New Covenant those dietary restrictions do not apply. You will notice the central issue here: The people of God are bound to keep God’s word. They are free in regard to the traditions of men. The Christian may choose to eat with thankfulness only certain kinds of meat, or only vegetables. But these restrictions must not be imposed upon others, for they go beyond the scriptures. 

I wonder if you can imagine what it would be like to belong to a church that makes a practice of violating the doctrine of Christians liberty. What would it be like to hear your church say, if you wish to be saved, or if you wish to be blessed by God, then do X, Y, and Z, or don’t do X, Y, and Z, but for X, Y, and Z to be always changing and nowhere to be found in scripture. It would be one set of hoops to jump through after another. Do you see the danger in it? Can you imagine the burden?   

It is well known that one of things Martin Luther was troubled by when he posted his 95 theses was the selling of indulgences. The Roman Catholic faithful were being taught that one way they could free their loved ones from purgatory was to purchase indulgences, the proceeds of which were used for the building projects of the Roman church. How awful! Search the pages of the Holy Scriptures and you will never find the Roman doctrine of purgatory. And search the scriptures yet again and never will you find this teaching that those alive on earth may free their loved ones from that imaginary place by giving money to church. What a terrible misuse of church authority! What an awful violation of Christian liberty. And yet the same sort of thing goes on even to this present day even within the so-called protestant tradition as men with poor and even false doctrine do manipulate the gullible with their teaching so as to enrich themselves, or to build their churchly empires. As I have said, there is nothing new under the sun. 

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To Enjoy What God Has Given With Thanksgiving 

Lastly, and very briefly, let us consider the tragedy of false teaching from another angle. Not only does this form of false teaching, which forbids what God has not forbidden, leave men and women with a false gospel as they think they must do, or not do, something extra inorder to be right with God, it also robs them of joy in this life, which robs God of the glory that is due his name. 

What a terrible way to live to think that in order to please God one must abstain from the good things of this life — things like marriage, food, drink. So not only does the one who believes this lie live under the burden of thinking that must earn God’s love, they are also unnecessarily hindered from enjoying what God has made to be enjoyed. 

Brothers and sisters, it is right for us to enjoy the good things of this life and to give God thanks for them. This is well pleasing to God. The scriptures have a lot to say about contentment and thankfulness. God is glorified when we enjoy what he has provided and we give him thanks from the heart. 

Verse 3: These false teachers “forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving 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, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:3–5, ESV).   

I’m sure that you can hear the language of Genesis 1 in this passage. When Paul says, “for everything created by God is good”, he is reminding us of that repeated refrain in the creation narrative, “God saw that it was good.”

Paul is not here denying that the good things that God has provided may be misused by us. Food is good. It is to be received with thanksgiving. But food may be misused. It can become a god to us. To overindulge or to run to food for ultimate comfort is called gluttony. Wine is good. But to drink to the point of drunkenness is sin. Sex is good. But to engage in it outside of the bonds of marriage is sin. 

No, Paul is not here teaching that so long as we pray and give God thanks then things which God has called sin will be made acceptable. Instead, he is combating the false teacher who forbids what God has not forbidden — certain foods and marriage.

The point is this: we are bound to keep God’s law, and not the traditions of man. 

We are to abstain from what God has forbidden. But we are free to partake of what he has provided (within proper bounds) with thanksgiving. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV)

You may choose to abstain from certain things — food, drink, marriage. You may abstain if you wish, or for the sake of not offending a brother or sister in Christ who has a weak conscience or a propensity towards some sin. But never are you to impose your preference upon others. This is especially important for those who minister the word of God within Christ’s church. Christian liberty must be maintained, for the preservation of the gospel, the good of the congregation, and the glory of God. 

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Conclusion

Let me conclude by looking forward in 1 Timothy just a little bit to see where Paul goes with all of this.  Notice that in 4:7 the apostles urges Timothy to devote himself to the proclamation of good doctrine leading to godliness: “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness…”, he says. 

True doctrine will produce true godliness in true Christians. False doctrine will produce only hypocrites — whitewashed tombs who have the appearance of holiness on the outside, but inwardly there is death and decay. There is a form of religion that is only superficial. But the true gospel of Jesus Christ cuts to the heart and transforms to core as the Spirit works. Brothers and sisters, if you are in Christ you have been set free to live for God’s glory.

Posted in Sermons, Joe Anady, 1 Timothy 4:1-5, Posted by Joe. Comments Off on Morning Sermon: 1 Timothy 4:1-5: Set Free In Christ To Live For God’s Glory


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