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1 Timothy 4:1-8 Inductive Bible Study Notes, Cross References, Outline, and Discussion Questions

Paraphrase and Cross References


  1. But the Holy Spirit makes it clear that in the end times some will turn away from the faith and follow deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (2 Tim 3:1-7)
  2. through liars’ hypocrisy, whose consciences have become insensitive,
  3. people that forbid marriage and eating certain foods, food that God has created to be gratefully partaken of by believers who know the truth (1 Cor 10:23-33, Rom 14, Gen 2:18).
  4. For everything that God has created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with a grateful heart (Romans 14:6)
  5. because it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.
  6. If you instruct the brethren on these matters you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, continually nourished by the words of faith and sound doctrine which follow. (Rom 10:17, Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Peter 2:2-3)
  7. Have nothing to do with worldly myths, fit only for old women. Instead discipline yourself so that you can become more godly;
  8. for bodily discipline benefits little, but godliness is of great profit in all things, since it has eternal value (1 Cor 9:24-27).




I.                   Description of the Dangers (1-5)

a.      False Doctrine (1)

                                                              i.     It is spread by hypocrites (2)

                                                            ii.     It involves unnecessary prohibitions (3)

1.      These prohibitions are against good things created by God for our enjoyment (4-5)

II.                Defenses against the Dangers (6-8)

a.      Feeding on the Word (6)

b.     Spiritual discipline (7-8)




Verse 1 mentions later times? What are these times? Are we in them now?

What form might these doctrines of demons and deceitful spirits take? Do you think they will normally be frontal attacks? What are some examples (besides those in verse 3) of these kinds of doctrines?

Doesn’t Paul say in 1 Corinthians 7 that it is good not to marry? Then why does he here say that forbidding marriage is a false and evil doctrine? What should be our view of marriage?

What does verse 4 mean? Does this give us license? For example some would argue this would support sex outside of marriage.

How can God’s word and prayer sanctify these things?

What are worldly fables? Examples?

What is the profit of bodily discipline? Spiritual discipline? What is the main difference?

How would you define godliness?




Godliness- GODLINESS

“the whole of practical piety (1 Tim 4:8; 2 Peter 1:6). "It supposes knowledge, veneration, affection, dependence, submission, gratitude, and obedience." In 1 Tim 3:16 it denotes the substance of revealed religion.”




“Piety or reverence toward God (1 Tim 2:2). Godliness means more than religious profession and a godly conduct; it also means the reality and power of a vital union with God”



“applied in the New Testament to the traditions and speculations, "cunningly
devised fables", of the Jews on religious questions (1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 2 Tim.
4:4; Titus 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:16). In such passages the word means anything false
and unreal. But the word is used as almost equivalent to parable. Thus we have
(1) the fable of Jotham, in which the trees are spoken of as choosing a king
(Judg. 9:8-15); and (2) that of the cedars of Lebanon and the thistle as
Jehoash's answer to Amaziah (2 Kings 14:9).”


Teaching Points-


Everything that God created is good and is made for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17). Marriage, food, sex, entertainment, pleasure, nature, etc. are good. However, each is to be enjoyed in its proper context. God creates these things, but He also creates guidelines and principles that regulate their use so that we can serve Him through them and also achieve maximum true joy and fulfillment. (John 14:27) So they should not be forbidden, but neither should licentious behavior be endorsed. There is a balance and these activities should also be prioritized. Love, looking out for others’ interests, putting God first, thanksgiving, and etc. are some of these guidelines.


Verse 5 shows that these things are to be enjoyed in the context of studying God’s word and praying. In this way we can know that they are holy and that we are following God’s will. The world is very good at distorting what God intends as good. But through the Bible we can know how to use His creation in the proper way to keep its “goodness”.


It is not wrong for a person to say, “I will not marry so that I can be more free to serve God.” or “I won’t eat beef.” However, we cannot impose these standards on others because it is not biblical to do so.


Satan is the angel of light and works through deception.


Departing from the faith is describing apostasy. Nominal Christians or those who professed the faith knew the truth and associated with believers, but turned aside believing in Satan’s lies.


Old wives – A sort of symbol for the uneducated and philosophically unsophisticated.


1 Timothy Notes Chapter by Chapter

1 Timothy 1:1-11 1 Timothy 1:12-20
1 Timothy 2
1 Timothy 3
1 Timothy 4:1-8
1 Timothy 4:9-16
1 Timothy 5:1-16
1 Timothy 5:17-25
1 Timothy 6:1-10 1 Timothy 6:11-21


If you found these study notes helpful feel free to check out my library of inductive Bible study notes, topical Bible studies, and character studies chapter by chapter.



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