1 But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], 3 who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from [certain kinds of] foods which God has created to be gratefully shared by those who believe and have [a clear] knowledge of the truth. 4 For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified [set apart, dedicated to God] by means of the word of God and prayer.
A Good Minister’s Discipline
6 If you point out these instructions to the (a)brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished [through study] on the words of the faith and of the good [Christian] doctrine which you have closely followed. 7 But have nothing to do with irreverent folklore and silly myths. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. 9 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying worthy of full acceptance and approval. 10 It is for this that we labor and strive [often called to account], because we have fixed our [confident] hope on the living God, who is the (b)Savior of all people, especially of those who believe [in Him, recognize Him as the Son of God, and accept Him as Savior and Lord].
11 Keep commanding and teaching these things. 12 Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to public reading [of Scripture], to preaching and to teaching [the sound doctrine of God’s word]. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the (c)elders laid their hands on you [at your ordination]. 15 Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
a. 1 Timothy 4:6: Lit brethren.
b. 1 Timothy 4:10: God is the Savior of all mankind in the sense that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient for the entire world (1 John 2:2); however, personal faith is essential for salvation.
c. 1 Timothy 4:14: Or presbytery.