READ: 1 Timothy 4:3
- Though it comes over half-way through the paragraph, the heart of these opening verses is “who believe and know the truth” [v3]. It’s also the heart of the entire chapter, though the word truth doesn’t occur again. The word truth is used only 6 times in 1 Timothy, but the concept permeates the letter. In just the first few verses, truth is emphasized when Paul calls attention to the faith [positively] and to depart, deceitful and liars [negatively].
- Truth and truthfulness is key to the entire letter as Paul informs Timothy concerning false teachers and teachings, inappropriate approaches to leadership and failures in ministry focus. He wants to guide Timothy in the oversight of the congregation by insisting that faithful people are faithful in their propagation of the faith.
- Jesus’ self-description includes, “I am the … truth.” Nearly all of Scripture revolves around either teaching what is true or correcting what isn’t. That could easily be because of what Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” When we abandon truth we are abandoning the source of our hope, our direction and our insight into life. We dare not abandon truth lest we abandon the very heart of who we are.
- Why would truth be such an important issue? In what ways has truth been sacrificed today?
- Go through the chapter and highlight either phrases that emphasize truth or that call attention to its opposites.
- Describe a time when the truth set you free from something or a lie held you captive.
PRAY: Thank God for being the author of truth. Pray that you can recognize the truth when you hear it. Pray that the leadership of Madison Park stays attuned to the truth.