1 Timothy 4:6-16

Godly Exercise


Here in the 4th Chapter of 1 Timothy Paul exhorts his young Pastor friend Timothy to exercise himself toward godliness.

A) I typed in the word workout routines on the internet the other day/ there were 435,000 sites that came up.


B) 100’s of Books on diet and Nutrition and exercise have been written

1) There are many plans and formulas for getting in shape and people seeking to get rich off them .


C) But when it comes to being spiritually fit – there is only one book – one set of guidelines –

1) Any supplemental book written on the subject needs to base it’s principles on this book – the Bible


In the Passage we just read Paul lays out game plan for Timothy concerning what it takes to be a good godly minister.

A) Although Paul is talking to Timothy as a Pastor – the principles he shares can apply to everyone who desires to live an effect godly life.


B) Paul lays before us Nine important principles concerning: Exercising yourself toward godliness.

1) We will look at part of them today – and the rest next time.



#1 Have a Proper Diet for godliness. V.6-7

A) One of the first things trainers will tell you if you want to get into shape is you have to eat right – can’t get around that –


B) Donuts ice cream not cut it{ Quarter pounders and whoppers are a no / no

1) Bags of Chips are not good.

2) Stay away from Junk food


C)  Well The first thing that Paul addresses is the matter of a good spiritual diet

1) And what is essential to having a good spiritual diet is the rejection of junk food here described as old wives fables.


If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.7 But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.


AMP translation –irreverent  Myths and silly legends        

 Example:  Da Vinci code


By referring to them as myths and fables Paul was pointing out how a lot of people will believe anything.

A) Article in the LA times – Supplements – Not Proven-


B) One company spends 10million dollars a yr in advertising – not proof it works

C) But people are buying if they have a 10 million dollar advertising  budget.

1) People will do anything for quick results


D) And they Don’t care about the side affects – Dizziness / nausea/ increased heart rate – increased blood pressure/ feel restless and hyper active/ nose bleeds/  blurred vision and outbreaks of acne.


E)  But Hey I am going to have bigger muscles


We live in this Give me a quick Fix mentality –

A) Listen there are no short cuts to godliness and spiritual growth –


B) Top of the list is a good diet !


C) Paul urges Timothy to give himself  to that which will feed his spiritual life.

1)  "the words of the faith, which speaks of the body of Christian truth contained in the scriptures.


D)  and good, sound doctrine."  TEACHING


You hold in your hands the greatest book ever written, the most amazing book in all the world,

A) The only place in all humanity, in all human history, where you are given the bedrock, undiluted truth about life.   IS IN THE BIBLE


The Word of God gives you the insights of God into life, the explanation of who you are,

A) What God intended you to be and what will fulfill you.


B) It is the Book that will change your life;

1)  it will lead you into fullness, freedom, liberty and beauty.


C) What are you going to do with your time? TV – Movies – Novels –video games –

1) Here is a Better idea Nourish yourself on the sound words of the faith;

2) build yourself up in the sound doctrine of the Scriptures;


D) Give your daily attention to this, that you might be nourished, strong, well-fed, capable, efficient Christians

1) Skip H How to study the Bible and enjoy it.


E) So the first step toward exercising yourself toward godliness is having the right diet.


#2 Having Focused Priorities: V.8-9 { Hand ball player from Oregon

A) One hand – Secret – Choices – I don’t have a Choice – Clear


B) Best way to Exercise yourself toward Godliness is make that your clear Choice. First Choice 

8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.

A) Why should aiming at godliness be your first Priority?   PROFITABLE FOR ALL THINGS


B)  It is good to exercise the Body physically{ But  Paul says it profits a little.

1) More Energy / live longer / feel better – But it doesn’t last.


C) Feb of this year decided I was going to get into shape –Hit the Gym hard – for about 5 months

1) Paid off I lost 20 lbs – I felt better – I had more energy – Less pain


D) Summer hit – Routine changed – didn’t go much at all.

1) It takes a long time to build muscle and get in shape

                      Get out of Shape really fast !


The results that come from Bodily exercise are small and temporary–

A) But Godliness is far reaching: Every aspect of your life is affected by it: Marriage / work / ministry:       



Around 40 years ago, Yale University conducted an extensive seven-year study on how a persons actions in life effects the lives of his or her children.

This study was focused around the lives of two men: Max Jukes and Jonathan Edwards.

Max Jukes and Jonathan Edwards both lived over two hundred years ago. They were contemporaries : 


Max Jukes was an Atheist and did not expose his children to church, even when they asked to go.

He believed in the abolition of laws and rules.


Mr. Jukes formed an organization called the Freedom Movement that preached free sex, no laws, no formal education and no responsibilities.


Jonathan Edwards was a Preacher – Sinners in the hands of an angry God”


He was a Godly man - known by all as a "disciplinarian".

Not because he disciplined his children harshly, but because he was a self-disciplined man. 

He exercised himself toward Godliness


Both of these men were chosen for their diverse beliefs, but also because they both fathered 13 children.


Here are the legacies they left behind:

Max Jukes was known to have had at least 1,026 descendants. Three hundred were sent to prison for an average of 13 years, 27 were murders, 190 were public prostitutes, 680 were admitted alcoholics.

His family cost the state of New York close to 1.2 Million dollars in rehabs / jail time dollars and does not appear to have made much contribution to society.


Jonathan Edwards was known to have at least 929 descendants.

Of these, 430 were ministers, 314 were war veterans, 86 became university professors,

13 became university presidents,

75 wrote wholesome books, five were elected to the US Congress and two to the Senate.

Three Were Governors and One was vice president of the United States.


As far as we know, the Edwards' descendants did not cost the state or society one cent, but rather contributed immeasurably to the life and strength of New England and of our entire nation.


C) Godliness is Profitable for all things


D)  The best thing is the results are ETERNAL

1) Fruit leading into eternity !


 Hughes & Sanders:


E) So if you have to Choose between body building and Bible study – opt for Bible study

1)  Have to choose between working out or worship – take worship the benefits are going to last a lot longer.


Now the word exercise is interesting:

A) It means to train yourself – taken from the grk word gumnos –Gymnastics – Gymnasium 


B) In the traditional grk contest the participants competed without clothing,

1) So that their movements would not be hindered. –


C) So the word train carried the idea of exercise naked.

1) The focus being not hindered.  Not distracted.


Training and exercise involve discipline!

A) First started going to the Gym – first 2 months I hated it –


B) But I got to where I liked it – looked forward to it.


C) Now I am back to that place of hating it again – after a summer lay off.


I was working out with a guy the other day who is new to working out – showing him some exercises

A) Showed him this one for your back – He says to me I don’t like that it is not comfortable


B) Duh – It is not supposed to be comfortable


C) Sit-ups comfortable – laying on the couch watching a football game eating chips

1) Working out is not comfortable


D) Certain exercises that are meant to stretch you make you uncomfortable – part of their Job


Sometimes the Bible needs to make us uncomfortable

                        Heb 4:12-13

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a Discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.



V.12 In the Amplified

 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.



There are times when exercising yourself spiritually can be tough

A) Get up early to read or pray – body screams I want to sleep – Have to Discipline it


B) Times when working your way thru the word – Hard difficult dry

1) Change up the routine –


C) Take a break from one year Bible – Do inductive or vice versa –

1) Take a break from Commentary do a word study –


F) Point is keep going be consistent –


Key to Bible study is the same for working our –Consistency and  A Routine

A) Guys who work out don’t randomly going from one exercise to the next there is a plan – Chest and triceps / Back and Biceps – Legs /


B) They have a Plan and are consistent



#3 Keep your eye on the Prize. V.10-11

10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

11 These things command and teach.




Being godly can be hard and suffering is sometimes accompanied with it

A) But the results are huge – People get saved. Lives touched.

B) Hard times are when believers Shine

1) Pray for our Bros/ sisters  in the south right now


C) This is there time to shine


Understanding this fact spurs the excellent minister
on to serious efforts.

A) No wonder Henry Martyn, the missionary to India,
exclaimed, “Now let me burn out for God.”


B) Because of his diligent, hard work as
a missionary to the American Indians, David Brainerd was dead before he  reached thirty.


Quote “Ministers of God are engaged in an eternal work, with the destiny  of men’s souls at stake. The urgency of that work drives them on, through  weariness, loneliness, and struggle.”


J. Oswald Sanders wrote, “If he is unwilling to pay the price of fatigue for his leadership, it will always be mediocre.… True  leadership always exacts a heavy toll on the whole man, and the more effective
the leadership is, the higher the price to be paid” (Spiritual Leadership, 175, 169).


1 Cor 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.



#4 Overcome your insecurities v. 12a

Let no one despise your youth,

A) For Timothy it was his age


B) For you maybe it is your lack of experience – knowledge or your inability to speak.


C) My greatest struggles in ministry have come from this very thing.

1) Wrestling with my incompetence – lack of skill –


D) Sometimes it has been crippling – sometimes it causes me to not minister in confidence



 Usually manifest itself when I start looking at some body else’s gifts –

A) They are funnier / smarter / more articulate / more knowledgeable


C) It is over come when I get my eyes off of looking at others and on to Jesus – I am who He made me

1) He has called me to this calling – He has equipped me in a way that He feels is right for this task. – Rest in that!


Analogy: Comparisons { Comparing yourselves among yourselves is not wise


D) It is also overcome when I am reminded of Zech. 4

Not by might not by power –age experience, training, but by my spirit says the Lord.

There is no effective spiritual ministry apart from personal godliness, since ministry is the overflow of a godly life. Kent Hughes


J. Oswald Sanders wrote, “Spiritual ends
can be achieved only by spiritual men who employ spiritual methods” (Spiritual  Leadership, 40).