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1 Timothy 4:1-16 Discussion Guide

By March 27, 2022March 30th, 2022Small Group Study Guide


1 Timothy 4 

Group Discussion Questions: 

As you reflect on the sermon this week, how did the Holy Spirit speak to your heart? Was there a verse/passage that stood out to you? Share why the verse or passage struck you. How would you summarize Terry’s message? 

In a Nutshell: Paul got very specific as he discussed false teachings. He also gave personal commands for Timothy to stay faithful in leading God’s people and diligent in personal godliness.1 

Main Idea: The outward life of a person flows from his or her inner spirit. Those who discipline themselves to follow after Jesus Christ, who are focused on living out the truth of God’s revelation, will develop a life of growing intimacy with Christ. They will delight God, producing goodness and godliness in what they do. 2 


Read and discuss verses 1-6 

  • Paul is once again (still) concerned with sound teaching. Look again at verses 1 and 6. Note the words “follow” and “following.” What is being followed in verse 1 as opposed to verse 6?
  • What are the protective benefits of sound doctrine (teaching)? What are some examples of wrong teaching that Timothy is encountering? 

Read and discuss verses 7-10 

  Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.  Earning is attitude, effort is action. Dallas Willard

  • What does it look like to “train” yourself for godliness rather than “trying” to be godly? What’s the difference?
  • V. 8 What does godliness have value for? When does godliness have value? 
  • Terry said: “Training for godliness is non-spectacular.” If training is difficult for you, what can you do to reorient your perspective on the value of training? Why do we train? (v. 10)
  • Consider verse 15… How can you give yourself wholly, so that everyone may see your progress?   

Read and discuss verses 11-16 

  • Look back over the qualities that Paul tells Timothy to set an example in: speech, life, love, faith, purity. How are you exhibiting these qualities? Where do you need God’s grace to help you today? 
  • Henry Blackaby has said: “Our relationship with God is personal, but it is never private.” What do you think he meant by that statement?  

Application: As Terry said: “Grace is the foundation for training.  You can’t work for his love.  Your effort is to be from joy, not from insecurity or pride.” 

The goal of godliness is a God-centric life. The path of godliness is training, with grace as its foundation. The spiritual disciplines are part of training. Terry mentioned some disciplines: Word, prayer, obedience, relationships, confession, thanksgiving. 

How is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about your training? What is your personal training plan? 

Your small group members are your training partners. Spend some time discussing how you can encourage and challenge one another as you train for godliness.  Make a plan.

And don’t let the enemy discourage you about your ongoing need for growth. We are all in the process of being transformed into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). Take that next step forward and continue (or start/restart) your training.   

Be confident of this… “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6).  Ask Him for the power of his grace as you walk in his truth. Train for godliness, train for joy.

1 1 Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 200). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

2  Larson, K., p. 202). 


A great resource if you or a group member is looking for more on the spiritual disciplines:  

“Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald Whitney

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