Opening Prayer

Blessed Lord, I look to you for guidance as I go through this day. Show me what you would have me do and where you would have me serve.

Read 1 TIMOTHY 3:14 – 4:5

Reasons for Paul’s Instructions

14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,
    was vindicated by the Spirit,[a]
was seen by angels,
    was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory.

4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.


  1. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


May the Word dwell in us richly today.

Think Further

‘The church depends on the truth for its existence; the truth depends on the church for its defense and proclamation.’1 While not referring to a particular building, rather the body of believers, Paul emphasizes ‘God’s household’ (v 15) in terms of a pillar and foundation of truth. John Stott uses this image in describing the double responsibility of the church regarding ‘truth.’ First, truth is the foundation to hold it firm so as to not collapse under the weight of false teaching. Second, truth is its pillar, to lift it high so as to be visible to the world. This double responsibility is ours, too, within God’s household.

Paul reminds us of the truth by quoting what was most likely an early hymn (v 16). There is speculation as to why Paul includes this hymn at this point of the letter. I think there’s a clue in what immediately follows. Having held up the truth in full view, Paul returns to the issue of false teachers, instructing Timothy to stand against them. The hymn, introduced with ‘the mystery from which true godliness springs’ serves as the firm foundation of truth from which the censure of false teaching can flow.

The New Testament has many references to mysteries. What comes to mind when you consider a mystery? My initial thought is of Scooby Doo and his gang who have another ghostly puzzle to solve. Our ears should prick up when we hear of a mystery in the New Testament. I recall hearing a wise old preacher explain that a mystery, when quoted in Scripture, is best understood as a secret that God has chosen to let us in on. What a joy is ours that he draws close enough that we can hear his voice.


‘God has chosen to make known among the gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you.’2 Thank God for what he has made known to you.

Closing prayer

Thank you for making me a part of your church, Lord Jesus. Help me to be faithful in all that you have called me to be and do within the household of faith, and to reach out to the world around me.

Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by kingstar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *