WHAT WAS THE FIRST EXERCISE? In Paul’s systematic plan for Timothy to stay healthy and fit for God. Paul first instructed Timothy in these six verses, with an ongoing exercise. That first spiritual exercise is:
Timothy: Expose False Doctrines & Teachers (4:1-6a)
Now before we examine what the extent of this first exercise or discipline may be, why would we think in terms of v. 1-6 even as being an “exercise”? Where is that in the text? Look back at v. 7.
Each of these lessons Paul taught to Timothy in this chapter are built around and surround the message of v. 7. In that verse, Paul teaches Timothy that he was writing to him a series of choices. These choices were then to become ongoing, not just single-use. In fact, as we look more closely, the Spirit of God inspired Paul to use a word from the arena of sports as a very graphic illustration.
So what is first in this list of disciplines, or exercises? The Discipline of Truth is the exercise God wants all of His children to be well-practiced in.
Truth is such an amazingly vital starting place for this series of Disciplines that Paul set down for Timothy twenty centuries ago, and for us also today. Because:
EXPOSING THE FALSE MEANS KNOWING THE TRUTH
If Timothy is to expose false teachers and teachings, that means that Timothy was to be well prepared in the Truth. The only way to expose what is false is to know what is truth.
Hence this exercise or discipline is the discipline of knowing, understanding, loving, and defending the Truth. This morning, go back with me to Christ’s ministry, the living and breathing One who perfectly explains what God the Father desires, and shows us the invisible God in human flesh.
Have you ever thought about how often Jesus used the word “truth”? Turn back to the Gospel by John and look at John 1:14 (NKJV):
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus came filled with truth, and explained that worship was only possible through truth. Look at the pathway to God in worship that Jesus reveals in (John 4:23-24)
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
This first discipline is foundational to everything. Everything we are as believers today is tied to the Truth. Think of the connection we all are to have to the Truth today:
First, the Discipline of Truth is Knowing Jesus Christ. Listen to a verse most of you already know by heart. Jesus said:
John 14:6 (NKJV) “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
JESUS CHRIST IS THE TRUTH
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