Rebuild & Renew: The Post-Exilic Books
Beginning the Journey (for new Christians).
1, 2, and 3 John
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy
2 Peter, Jude
7 Last Words of Christ
Christ Powered Life (Rom 5-8)
David, Life of
Glorious Kingdom, The
Jesus and the Kingdom
Lamb of God
Names of God
Names of Jesus
Sermon on the Mount
4. Setting a Godly Example
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
(1 Timothy 4:1-16)
James J. Tissot (1836-1902, French artist and illustrator), "David Praying in the Night," OT watercolour series. Jewish Museum, New York.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. †(1 Timothy 4:1-16)
One of the strong themes of the Pastoral Epistles, godliness and godly living, finds its center in this passage. The false teachers in Ephesus tended to be legalistic, focused on observance of an external law.
Jesus had a similar conflict with the Pharisees of his time, who sought godliness through legalism. If they kept all the points of the law, they reasoned, they would be truly righteous people. The problem is that they were outwardly righteous, but inwardly corrupt.
The theme of this chapter is the same: outward righteousness vs. inner godliness.
Paul begins this section by exposing the corrupt inner core of the false teachers:
"1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." (4:1-2)
This phrase "The Spirit says...." is an interesting one. We see this phrase several times in the New Testament†as: (1) a contemporary prophetic utterance (Acts 21:11; 1 Corinthians 12:3), (2) a word of guidance spoken to an individual (Acts 8:29; 10:19), (3) referring to the Scripture (Acts 1:16; 28:25; Hebrews 3:7; 10:15, 19), and (4) as a phrase in the Letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation repeated to each church (Revelation 2-3; 14:13). Here it may refer to Jesus' prediction or to a word of prophecy spoken through a prophet in one of the congregations with which Paul was associated.
"Abandon" (NIV), "renounce" (NRSV), "depart from" (KJV), is aphistēmi, "to distance oneself from some person or thing," here, "go away, withdraw."176 The verb is used by Jesus in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:13). The related noun is apostasia (from which we get our word "apostasy"), used in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to refer to the coming rebellion to be caused by the "lawless one" or antichrist. †Jesus himself had foretold this falling away in the Last Days:
"At that time many will turn away177 from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Matthew 24:10-13)
Paul reminds Timothy of this prediction so that he will not be surprised or overwhelmed by the chaos he sees in the church at Ephesus.
Paul attributes this false teaching to Satan himself. The false teachers, he says, "... follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons" (4:1b). Then he condemns the character of the false teachers:
"Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." (4:2)
"Hypocritical" refers to the false teachers' two-faced and purposeful subversion of the church. Since they have deliberately forsaken the truth, their consciences have been injured to the point of insensitivity. The word translated "seared" is kautēriazō, from which we get our word "cauterize."178 Perhaps Paul is suggesting that their consciences carry Satan's brand, now unable to discern truth from falsehood.
Recall the Pharisees of Jesus' day. They saw Jesus perform instantaneous miracles on people they knew. But instead of giving glory to God, Jesus' success prompted them to conspire even more aggressively to kill him. How do you explain this kind of irrational behavior? A seared, desentized conscience which can no longer recognize truth when stared in the face with it.
Q1. (1 Timothy 4:1-2) Why does Paul remind Timothy (and
the church) of predictions concerning widespread apostasy? What effect should
this knowledge have on his ministry and the church's perception of the
As discussed in the Introduction above, the false teachers were strongly influenced by the Jewish Law -- but they misinterpreted it!
"3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain179 from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." (4:3-5)
Forbidding marriage seems a strange teaching for Jews. However, it seems to be some kind of asceticism, perhaps a denial of the physical similar to what Paul had to correct at Corinth (1 Corinthians 7:1-7, 25-28).
As to rules about food, Paul had met this kind of legalism many times before, with Judaizers insisting on circumcision of Christians, scrupulous about keeping a kosher kitchen, and refusing to eat with Gentiles. The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) had ruled that Gentile Christians were not required to follow Jewish dietary laws. But now the false teachers were commanding the opposite and causing confusion in the church.
In this passage Paul teaches clearly about the essential goodness of all food. The points of this teaching are:
- Everything God created is good.
- Food is made clean for us ("consecrated, sanctified"180) by our prayer of thanksgiving181 offered before partaking, as was the Jewish custom.
- Food is also made clean for us by our understanding of the truth -- that is, "the word of God."
Paul explains this in Romans 14 as strong faith, fully taught faith:
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables." (Romans 14:1-2)
Mark interprets Jesus' own teaching in this way, as well:
"For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body. (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods 'clean.')" (Mark 7:19)
To the church at Colossae, Paul wrote:
"Why ... do you submit to its rules: 'Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'? ... Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence." (Colossians 2:20-23)
Legalism seems attractive, since it appeals to a sense of self-righteousness, but it is unable to restrain the inner corrupt person. Only the Holy Spirit can create a truly godly person. Now Paul turns to the matter of true godliness.
Q2. (1 Timothy 4:3-5) Why is performance of legalistic
requirements so attractive to people? What fruit does it produce in a
person's life? In what ways is this emphasis so different from the true
"6 If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales...." (4:6-7a)
"Point out" (NIV) is better translated "to provide instruction, teach."182 Teach the Word of God! Paul exhorts Timothy. Instead of letting the false teachers' doctrine stand unchallenged, teach the truth. That way you will be serving Christ well.183 The "truths of the faith" and "good teaching" (verse 6) are the antidotes to false teaching.
Paul is disdainful of the false teachers' "godless184 myths185 and old wives'186 tales." Have nothing to do with them, 187 he insists. The implication is that instead of trying to expose and refute these myths and tales on their own terms -- and so generate more exposure, discussion, and controversy -- he is to reject them firmly and focus his attention on teaching the truth.
Train Yourself in Godliness (4:7b-8)
Physical training is of some value, but training in godliness much more so. Myron (ca. 460-450 BC), "The Discus Thrower" (Discobolus), found at Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, now in the British Museum. Larger image.
For Paul, the opposite of the controversies stirred up by the false teachers is godliness. He uses the athletic analogy188 of "going to the gym" to make his point:
"... 7b Rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (4:7b-8)
"Train" (NIV, NRSV) or "exercise" (KJV) is gymnazō, "to train, undergo discipline"189 (from which we get our word "gym" or "gymnasium"). The root is gumnos, "naked." Greek men used to exercise in the nude. The noun form of the word, gymnasia, "training" appears in verse 8.
The idea of physical training is to so practice something that you get good at it in two ways. First, your muscles become stronger. Second, you develop muscle memory so that your throwing, for example, becomes accurate and repeatable.
Physical training may have some value,190 Paul says, but spiritual training, training in godliness, is of value both in this life and the next.
So just what is godliness? First of all, "godliness" is not a synonym for "boring." Our culture caricatures godliness as boring. But Jesus certainly wasn't boring. His wit is evident, his sense of humor well developed. Paul's life didn't seem boring. Rather godliness should be seen as good, clean-living enjoyment of life and of God -- healthy, balanced, God-oriented living.
The word "godliness" comes from a Greek stem seb-, which meant originally "to step back from someone or something, to maintain a distance," then "to have awe at something, especially something lofty and sublime."191 This stem is combined with eu- ("abundance, fullness of") to form eusebeia, which means in classical Greek, "awe, respect for the divine, for the social order."
In the New Testament, the word is used in the sense of, "awesome respect accorded to God, devoutness, piety, godliness."192 The word group appears in the Pastoral Epistles as a verb, an adjective, and an adverb.193 Paul also contrasts for us the opposite of godliness (asebeia): "godless, ungodliness, impiety."194
Godliness and Ungodliness in the Pastoral Epistles
Let's look at the occurrences of this word group in the Pastoral Epistles195 to get a feel for it, for it occurs here much more often than anywhere else in the New Testament.
We also know that law is made ... for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious....
Pray... for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
... But with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God (godliness, KJV, theosebeia).196
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great.
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things....
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching ... who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Turn away from godless chatter....
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
... Having a form of godliness but denying its power.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
... And the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness.
It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
Godliness and Lifestyle
The spread of false doctrine at Ephesus is producing ungodliness, ungodly behavior, unrighteousness.197 So Paul is very concerned that the Christians in the church at Ephesus are practicing godliness in their everyday living. He isn't dealing in some kind of theoretical theology. Rather, he is adamant that healthy doctrine produces healthy behavior. Unhealthy teaching produces a kind of lifestyle that is only a "form of godliness," a kind of outward religion and religious belief, but one which lacks its real essence and power (2 Timothy 3:5).
Fearing the Lord and Godliness
The idea that best expresses the idea of godliness in the Pastoral Epistles is the Old Testament expression, "to fear the Lord," which was almost a synonym of "believer" under the Old Covenant. Someone who fears the Lord does not live in terror of God, but has a healthy respect for God and seeks in both heart and in action to "love God" and not be offensive to God.
I have friends who have grown up in the church, who have even graduated from seminary, but who joke about God and holy things in a way that demonstrates a profound disrespect. I did that myself for a while when I was young, until God brought me up short.
Our respect for God shows not only in the way we joke, but by how we live. Godly people live in such a way as to please God. Ungodly people don't really consider or care what God thinks about their way of life. Hypocrites lead double lives -- one for others to see, alongside a secret life that is unseen -- except by God.
Godliness as an Attitude of Seeking to Please the Lord
Paul exhorts us:
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing198 to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1-2)
Godliness has this attitude:
"So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." (2 Corinthians 5:9)
"Live as children of light ... †and find out what pleases the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8, 10)
Godliness and Love for God
Godliness is not just avoiding sin in order to escape punishment. It is avoiding things which we know don't please God, because we love him more than we love sin, more than we love our own way. Godliness fulfills the first great commandment:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:29-30, quoting Deuteronomy 6:4).
This is why godliness can only be the fruit of love for God -- not an outward obedience or legalism, but an inward seeking of God in love.
Examples of Godly Living
What does godliness look like in action? Consider in 1 Timothy 3 the qualities one is to look for in an overseer or deacon.
"Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money...." (1 Timothy 3:2-3)
"Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain...." (1 Timothy 3:8)
What are the qualities of a godly life? The spiritual fruit that comes from a pattern of yielding again and again to the Holy Spirit within us.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
Godliness comes from seeking to please God, from submitting as a way of life to the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit, as well as to his occasional rebuke.
Godliness, Training, and Discipleship
Do we sometimes fall short of these qualities? Oh, yes! But when we do, we repent, ask forgiveness, and get up to follow our Lord once again, washed in the forgiveness of God (1 John 1:7, 9).
And so we come back to Paul's teaching to Timothy about walking in the Spirit, using the example of disciplined athletes who see themselves in training:
"Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Timothy 4:7-8)
Are you a top spiritual athlete? Not yet, perhaps, but you are a disciple in training, learning how to love and please God.
Q3. (1 Timothy 4:7-8) How would you define
"godliness"? What produces godliness in a person? How is godliness
different from embracing a strict morality?
At this point in the letter Paul mentions another "trustworthy saying":
"9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe." (4:9-10)
The question, however, is: What is the "trustworthy saying"? Probably the saying itself is the second part of verse 8:
"... Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying...." (4:8b-9a)
What does Paul labor and strive for? (4:10) The promise of life found in godliness (4:8b). That is the focus of his life and ministry. This isn't working to gain salvation, but working to point everyone to life in Christ.
Why do we hope in the living God? Because he is the Savior of all! He is the Rescuer! Then Paul adds the phrase, "especially199 of those who believe" (4:10b) to clarify that, while the scope of salvation is universal, Paul isn't advocating universalism -- the doctrine that all will be saved regardless of their faith.
The final verses of chapter 4 contain a series of exhortations to Timothy about how he should conduct his ministry in Ephesus.
"11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you."
"15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (4:11-16)
For Timothy, who tended to be a bit timid and perhaps withdrawn, these are a bracing series of eight positive and negative commands:
- Command200 and teach these things (4:11).
- Don't let people discount201 you because of your youth (4:12a).
- Set an example202 for the believers, especially in moral purity203 (4:12b).
- Devote204 yourself to public Scripture reading, preaching,205 and teaching (4:13).
- Don't neglect206 your spiritual gift (4:14).
- Be diligent;207 give yourself wholly to these things (4:15).
- Watch208 your lifestyle209 and doctrine carefully (4:16a).
- Persevere,210 persist in this path without wavering (4:16b).
I'd like to conclude this chapter by highlighting some of these commands.
The Power of Example (4:12b)
"Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." (4:12b)
If it is godliness that we leaders are trying to teach, we cannot do it just with words. People learn to do what they see in action. Therefore, people must see practical, godly living demonstrated in the lives of their leaders.
If one of the losses of our time is in godliness, then regaining it begins with you and with me.
Q4. (1 Timothy 4:12b) Rigid, unsmiling orthodoxy can teach
right doctrine, but cannot produce godliness. Why not? Why is a strong
example of godliness in church leaders essential to a healthy church?
The Power of Perseverance (4:13-16)
In Paul's exhortation, three commands seem to be nearly synonymous. The effect of them, one upon another, is powerful!
- Devote yourself (4:13)
- Be diligent (4:15)
- Persevere (4:16b)
In the face of huge and seemingly intractable obstacles we may feel overwhelmed -- and just give up. Oh, we go through the motions, perhaps, but our heart is no longer in it. Paul's letters to Timothy are designed to re-fire his heart for the task, to induce him to fan again the flame of his spiritual gifts (2 Timothy 1:6). In God's mercy these letters are designed to have the same effect in your heart and mine.
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Are you tired? Have you become weary? The voice of the Spirit through our brother Paul is calling us afresh to strengthen our feeble arms and weak knees (Hebrews 12:12). And to give ourselves wholly -- afresh and anew. Let me share two Scriptures that have strengthened me when I've been discouraged:
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:10, NIV)
"Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58, NRSV)
Father, I pray for my brothers and sisters who are studying with me. Many are discouraged. Please work by your Holy Spirit to renew and refresh their spirits with your power; renew their faith and vision with your anointing. And work godliness in us all and in all we influence on your behalf. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.
"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." (1 Timothy 4:4-5)
"Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Timothy 4:7b-8)
"We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:10)
"Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching." (1 Timothy 4:13)
"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."†(1 Timothy 4:16)
176. Aphistēmi, BDAG 157, 1a.
177. Skandalizō, "to cause to brought to a downfall, cause to sin ... fall away" (BDAG 926, 1a).
178. Kautēriazō, BDAG 530.
179. "Order to abstain" (NIV), "demand abstinence" (NRSV) is apechō, "to avoid contact with or use of something, keep away, abstain, refrain from" (BDAG 103, 5), used in Acts 15:20, 29, to instruct Gentile churches to abstain from food offered to idols, blood, things strangled, and sexual immorality.
180. Hagiazō, "set aside something or make it suitable for ritual purposes, consecrate, dedicate" (BDAG 9, 1).
181. "Thanksgiving" is eucharistia, "the expression or content of gratitude, the rendering of thanks, thanksgiving" (BDAG 416, 2).
182. "Point out" (NIV), "put these instructions before" (NRSV), "put in remembrance of" (KJV) is hypotithēmi, "to provide instruction, make known, teach something to someone." The lexicographers suggest that "this sense appears to fit the context better than 'suggest' or 'point out something to someone'" (BDAG 1042, 2).
183. "Minister" (NIV, KJV), "servant" (NRSV), is diakonos, "one who serves as an intermediary in a transaction, agent, intermediary, courier" (BDAG 230, 1).
184. "Godless" is bebēlos, "pertaining to being accessible to everyone and therefore devoid of real significance, pointless, worthless" (BDAG 173, 1).
185. On "myths," see more on 1 Timothy 1:4.
186. "Old wives'" is graōdēs, "characteristic of an elderly woman" (BDAG 207).
187. "Have nothing to do with" (NIV, NRSV), "refuse" (KJV) is paraiteomai, "reject, avoid" (BDAG 764, 2bβ).
188. Paul often uses examples from athletics (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Galatians 2:2; 5:7; 2 Timothy 2:5; 4:7; see also Hebrews 12:1).
189. Gymnazō, BDAG 208.
190. "Value/valuable" (NIV, NRSV), "profiteth/profitable" (KJV) is ōphelimos, "useful, beneficial, advantageous" (BDAG 110).
191. Werner Forester, sebomai, ktl., TDNT 7:168-196, especially p. 169. Walther GŁnther, "Godliness, Piety," NIDNTT 2:90-95.
192. Eusebeia, BDAG 413.
193. The verb is eusebeō, "be reverent, respectful, devout," in the New Testament "to show uncommon reverence or respect, show profound respect for someone" (BDAG 413). The adjective is eusebēs, "pertaining to being profoundly reverent or respectful, devout, godly, pious, reverent" (BDAG 413). The adverb is eusebōs, "in a godly manner" (BDAG 413).
194. The noun asebeia is used "vertically as a lack of reverence for deity and hallowed institutions as displayed in sacrilegious words and deeds: impiety." The verb asebeō means "to violate the norms of a proper or professed relation to deity, act impiously." The adjective asebēs means, "pertaining to violating norms for a proper relation to deity, irreverent, impious, ungodly" (BDAG 141).
195. Eusebia and related words are used elsewhere in the New Testament at Acts 3:12; 10:2, 7; 2 Peter 1:3, 6-7, 9.
196. "Worship" (NIV), "reverence" (NRSV), "godliness" (KJV) is theosebeia, "reverence for God or set of beliefs and practices relating to interest in God, piety, godliness" (BDAG 452). Eusebeia suggests an abundance of awe, while theosebeia suggests awe towards God in particular.
197. Forester observes that eusebeia is "right conduct towards the gods," to be distinguished from dikaiosunē, "righteousness" (which is coupled with "godliness" in 1 Timothy 6:11) as "right conduct towards one's neighbor."† Sophrosunē or egkrateia are seen as right conduct towards oneself (Werner Forester, sebomai, ktl., TDNT 7:176).
198. "Pleasing/please" in these passages is euarestos, "pleasing, acceptable," in the Greco-Roman world commonly said of things and especially of persons noted for their civic-minded generosity and who endeavor to do things that are pleasing (BDAG 403).
199. "Especially" is malista, "to an unusual degree, most of all, above all, especially, particularly, (very) greatly" (BDAG 613, 1).
200. "Command" (NIV) is parangellō, "to make an announcement about something that must be done, give orders, command, instruct, direct" (BDAG 760).
201. "Look down on" (NIV), "despise" (NRSV, KJV) is kataphroneō, "to look down on someone or something with contempt or aversion, with implication that one considers the object of little value, look down on, despise, scorn, treat with contempt" (BDAG 529, 1).
202. "Example" is typos, "an archetype serving as a model, type, pattern, model," in the moral life, "example, pattern" (BDAG 1020, 6b).
203. "Purity" is hagneia, "the quality of moral purity, purity, specifically chastity" (BDAG 12).
204. "Devote yourself to" (NIV), "give attention to" (NRSV), "give attendance to" (KJV) is prosechō, "to continue in close attention to something, occupy oneself with, devote or apply oneself to" (BDAG 880, 3).
205. "Preaching" (NIV), "exhortation" (KJV, cf. NRSV) is paraklēsis, "act of emboldening another in belief or course of action, encouragement, exhortation" (BDAG 766, 1).
206. "Neglect" is ameleō, "to have no care for, to neglect, be unconcerned about someone or something" (BDAG 52).
207. "Be diligent" (NIV), "put into practice" (NRSV), "meditate upon" (KJV) is meletaō, "to improve by care or study, practice, cultivate, take pains with" (BDAG 627, 2).
208. "Watch" (NIV), "pay close attention to" (NRSV), "take heed unto" (KJV) is epechō, "to be mindful or especially observant, hold toward, aim at" ... "take pains with yourself" (BDAG 362, 2).
209. "Life" (NIV), "conduct" (NRSV), "conversation" (KJV) is anastrophē, "conduct expressed according to certain principles, way of life, conduct, behavior" (BDAG 73).
210. "Persevere" (NIV), "continue in" (NRSV, KJV) is epimenō, "to continue in an activity or state, continue, persist (in), persevere" (BDAG 375, 2).
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