NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: 1 Timothy 4:1-13
— How would you rate your daily diet? What changes could be made to make your diet more balanced and healthy?
— How would you rate your spiritual diet? What changes could be made to bring more balance to your spiritual diet?
Food for thought:
I like fruit, especially apples. The problem is my favorite way to eat an apple is encased in dough and fried to a golden brown. Most of us have our weakness when it comes to junk food or a less than healthy choice. The best thing we can do is be disciplined in our food choices. Professional athletes pride themselves in avoiding things such as cheeseburgers, sugared cereals and carbonated drinks.
If we eat a fresh raw apple before going into a place that serves fried apple pies, we are more likely to resist the temptation. Our stomachs are full of the more nutritious items so we really don’t have room for the fried option. The more disciplined we are in eating the better options, the less appeal of the unhealthy options.
In 1 Timothy 4, Paul reminded his protégé that he too must focus on his diet. He was not encouraging him to eat his veggies but rather to focus on his spiritual diet. The best defense against false teachings is to regularly study God’s Word. This would require the same kind of discipline as was needed by athletes who trained.
Instead of dabbling with foolish ideas disguised as the newest spiritual truth, Timothy was to studiously avoid these falsehoods. By being disciplined in his study of God’s Word, Timothy would immediately recognize the false teachings and be able to point to the truth. Consider all the teachings and ideas surrounding us today portrayed as “truth.” We need not look very far to encounter a person with a platform proclaiming some special insight that will unlock all the secrets of the universe. We could spend all our time dissecting and pouring over these “new insights” or “deeper truths,” that we ignore the real truth found in God’s Word.
What was true for Timothy remains true for us today. We must be disciplined in our spiritual intake, being so filled with the truth of God’s Word that we are not tempted to take a bite from a fried or half-baked “truth.”
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.