“Set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” 1 Timothy 4:12
Read the context of 1 Timothy 4:6-16 to get the full picture.
At its simplest, godliness is taking on God’s character. It is imitating God. This has been the essence of godly living from the earliest times. The Old Testament law was premised on this injunction: “Be holy for I am holy.” In the New Testament it is the same. In Ephesians 4:24 Paul tells us to clothe ourselves “with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
So, it stands to reason that, as we become more godly, others will see it outwardly and perhaps imitate us as we imitate God!
So, let’s look closely to these 5 key areas of training yourself to have a godly demeanor:
1. DEMEANOR OF A________________________ James, the brother of Jesus, wrote this about our speech in James 3:2, “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect (meaning mature or complete), able to keep their whole body in check.” One key to godliness, therefore, is to control the tongue, what you say.
For Timothy, and for us to be godly, it is two things:
- The refraining from B______________________ speech, and
- The inclusion of C___________________________ speech
2. DEMEANOR OF D___________________________ Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:10-11: “You know all about my teaching my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings…” Paul is exhorting Timothy to silence his critics by his conduct. Plato was once falsely accused of dishonorable conduct. “Well,” he said, “we must live in such a way that all men will see that the charge is false.” Remember this:
our E________________________ behaviors reveal your F___________________________ desires.
3. DEMEANOR OF G__________________________ In 1 Timothy 1:5, Paul in speaking of false doctrines contrasts that with the concept of “advancing God’s work” – which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Read the wisdom Paul expressed in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Jesus said this, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NIV).
4. DEMEANOR OF H___________________________ Paul reminded Timothy of this, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” 2 Timothy 1:5. Faith, for Timothy, came in two packages:
- His commitment to the I_____________________________________. 3:15-17 “from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures…”
- His commitment to J__________________________________ God in all things. 2 Timothy 1:12 “I know whom I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
5. DEMEANOR OF K_____________________________ In 2 Timothy 2:22, Timothy was instructed to “Flee the evil desires of youth…”
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘NO’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” Titus 2:11-12
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
Using the five areas of being an example in the message, think about or discuss the following.
- Read the complete teaching on the proper use of the tongue (speech) in James 3. What are some of the takeaways that speak to you as being significant? There are so many categories involving speech, evaluate yourself as to where you need to grow in having a more godly way of speaking to others.
- The following statement is made in the message: “Verbal defenses of yourself may not silence criticism; but your conduct will speak volumes.” How has your life shown the validity of this statement? What do our outward behaviors tell others about the condition of our hearts?
- Since love is the “greatest” of all qualities, give some thought as to your understanding of the love of God. How is that love demonstrated in your life? We are also taught in scripture to “grow”, to “abound” in love more and more. What are some ways you could do that? How could your church do it also?
- Faith comes in many ways into our lives. How has the Bible become the source and the sustainer of your faith? How has the example of others, maybe your family, contributed to your personal faith? In what areas of your life do you need to trust God more?
- On purity, read the story of Joseph in Genesis 39. Then read Titus 2:11-12. How does the “grace of God” lead us into a life of purity?