SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In the first seven verses Paul warns Timothy about false teachers and false teachings.
- In verse eight Paul says that godliness (or spiritual training) has greater value than physical training. It helps us and holds promise not only for this life but also for the life to come.
- In verse 14 Paul says that there was a gift given to Timothy "through prophecy" when some of the elders of the church "laid their hands on" him. Sometimes when Christians pray for someone they put a hand on them. This happened in the Bible when someone was being sent out as a missionary or commissioned as a leader. Apparently, at one point this happened with Timothy and somehow in that a gift (ability) God was giving Timothy was revealed.
- Paul’s last words of this chapter are about perseverance in life and doctrine. A doctrine is simply a principle taught as truth. Paul says that sticking to life with Jesus and the principles he teaches will bring benefit for Timothy and for those who hear his preaching.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to beware of false teaching (teaching that contradicts the truths of the Bible) and watch our lives and doctrine closely.
- We need to do spiritual training so we are continually growing in godliness.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What are some ways that you can train spiritually to grow in godliness? There are many, but daily bible reading and prayer is a great place to start. How could you build habits like these into your life? And how could spiritual training benefit you in this life and after you die?
- What principles (doctrine) do you live by and where did you learn them? What principles have you found from reading the Bible? How are you doing at living those principles out?