Progress, Please

We're expected to grow in our salvation. 1 Timothy 4.15, 16

The Pastoral Epistles: 1 Timothy 4 (6)

Pray Psalm 12.6, 7.

The words of the LORD are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
You shall keep them, O LORD,
You shall preserve them from this generation forever.

Read and meditate on 1 Timothy 4.15, 16.

Reflect.

1. Why should Timothy meditate on and give himself to the things Paul had written to him?

2. What did Paul want for Timothy and those who heard him?

Meditate.
We can assume that Paul’s exhortation to meditate on these things refers to everything he has written thus far. The purpose of meditation is to allow truth to sink more deeply into our soul, so that it can work with transforming power to make us more like Christ. If we meditate on the truths of God’s Word, we will be much more likely to give ourselves entirely to them, because they will have shaped us from within to be more favorably disposed to obedience.

Thus we make progress in the faith. Paul expected Timothy to make progress in his salvation, so that the people who heard him could make progress in theirs as well. That’s the sense of what he wrote in verse 16 about Timothy saving himself and his congregation. They would realize more of their salvation, growing to be more like Christ, if they would hide the truths Paul wrote to Timothy in the depths of their souls.

Pastors and teachers have an extra responsibility and duty in the church (Jms. 3.1). They are entrusted with the Word of God, to read and meditate and study it so as to teach others in the church how to know and serve Christ. The more faithful they are in this, and in keeping a close watch over their own walk with the Lord, the greater will be the likelihood that those they serve will see their progress in faith, and will want to make progress of their own.

We have to persevere in this (v. 16), disciplining ourselves for daily times of reading and prayer, and for maintaining an effective self-watch. We’re not naturally disposed to do this, so it’s going to take some effort. But the Lord Jesus expects progress in faith of all His followers, beginning with those who preach and teach.

Reflect.
1. What progress are you seeking in your salvation?

2. Are your spiritual disciplines – especially prayer and reading and meditating in Scripture – what they should be? How might you improve them to make even more progress in salvation?

3. How would you recommend to a new believer that he maintain an effective self-watch over his soul and life?

Again, a pastor is said to save himself, when, by faithfully discharging the office committed to him, he serves his calling; not only because he avoids that terrible vengeance which the Lord threatens by Ezekiel, ― "His blood will I require at thy hand," (Ezekiel 33:8,) but because it is customary to speak of believers as performing their salvation when they walk and persevere in the course of their salvation. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 1 Timothy 4.16

Help me to make progress in my salvation today, O Lord, especially as I…

Pray Psalm 12.

The Word of God is the only true shelter in an age replete with lies. Let God’s Word illumine your path and drive out any darkness in your soul as you pray through this psalm today.

Sing Psalm 12.
Psalm 12 (Hamburg: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross)
Help, Lord! The godly cease to be!
They who believe in Christ are few.
Falsely the wicked confidently
flatter, deceive, and mock Your truth.

Stop, Lord, the lips that utter lies,
all those who speak with boasting tongue!
See how Your holy Word they despise,
while their own praises they have sung.

Rise up, O Lord, and rescue all
Your precious children sore distressed.
Save those who faithfully on You call.
Grant them deliv’rance, peace, and rest.

Your words are pure and proven true,
like silver seven times refined;
You will preserve Your Word ever new,
and keep the heart to You inclined.

Proudly the wicked strut and stand;
Your indignation builds on high;
Men may exalt their wicked plans,
but You will judge them by and by.

T. M. Moore

Whatever our calling in life, we are sent to bring the joy of Christ to the people around us. Our book, Joy to Your World!, can show you how to fill your Personal Mission Field with more of the Presence, promise, and power of Christ and His Kingdom. Order your copy, as a supplement to our study of 1 Timothy, by clicking here.

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Scriptorium as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button  at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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