This passage has two main thoughts–first related to false teacher, the second gives a series of commands for Timothy.
As you discuss the first section realize that the passage does not answer some of the questions we wish it had answered. And, while this is a passage that deals with theological issues, the real challenge comes from applying this to ourselves and those we know. Therefore like most theology, it is practical.
Small Group Questions
1.Â Have you had anyone close to you that has “departed from the faith”?
What could you have done about it?
2.Â What leads peoples to reject what they have been taught and accept something that at one time they thought to be false?
3.Â Paul challenges Timothy to “train yourself for godliness.” (4:7)
How are you doing this?Â What could you do?Â What help do you need?
4.Â How do you know when you are focused on what is important or when you might be interested in or arguing about pointless?
5.Â When Paul challenge Timothy to “let no one despise you for your youth” (4:12)
Why would someone disrespect someone for their youth?
What would cause an older person to respect a younger person?
What characteristics does Paul challenge Timothy to develop in order to give no one the opportunity to disrespect him simply for being young (he is probably 34-39 years old)?
What is gained with age, what can be learned with training?
6.Â What does Paul list as the core components of a church service (4:13)?Â Why are these important and central?
7.Â How does the challenge to let others “see your progress” encourage or challenge you? (4:15)Â When is it easier to let people see you grow and what types of growth might be harder to reveal?
What growth have you notices in the members of your group?Â Takes some time to share or encourage each other.