Daily Bible Nugget #587, 1 Timothy 4:12

The Nugget:

1Ti 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

My Comment:

Paul encouraged Timothy to become an example of the believers about six things. The second thing Paul specified is that Timothy should be an example of the believers in conversationConversation is the word used by the King James translators to represent a word in the Greek text which means behavior. I was taught long ago that “conversation” in the KJV would be better represented in modern English by “manner of life.”

Does our manner of life bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, then we must shape up and change our behavior!

Here are the cross references for in conversation as I have gathered them in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury: 

in conversation. or, manner of life. Gr. anastrophē (S# G391, Gal 1:13). +*Jer 10:2, *Rom 12:2, Php 1:27, 1Th 1:5, 2Ti 3:10, Tit 2:12, Heb 13:7, +Jas 3:13, 1Pe 1:15; 1Pe 2:12; 1Pe 3:2, **2Pe 3:11, **1Jn 2:15, 16, 17.

The above cross references are “live links” and should automatically bring up each verse upon mouse-over. For those reading this site on a platform that does not display this feature, I have supplied the referenced texts below with some added comments.

Jeremiah 10:2
2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
King James Version

The Lord commanded the prophet Jeremiah to “Learn not the way of the heathen.” That is pertinent advice for every Bible-believing Christian today as well. We are to live according to what we are taught in the Bible, not according to what the surrounding society happens to favor at the moment. If your manner of life does not identify you as a Christian, then you are not living in a manner that Dr. Bob Jones, Senior aptly spoke of as being “show window material” for the Lord Jesus Christ. Just what is “show window material”? Years ago large downtown department stores had large windows, behind which the best of what they had for sale was displayed. That gave rise to the expression “I’m going window shopping,” which meant you were taking a good walk along Woodward Avenue in Detroit, for example, to view the featured displays. It also was a term which meant that you were just looking, not intending to immediately make a purchase. The point is, our lives must reflect positively upon our Lord Jesus Christ at all times. We are to represent Him well by all we say and do.

Romans 12:2
2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
King James Version

The Bible is clear. We are not to be conformed to this world. Our values, our focus, our purpose, our way of living, is to be patterned after the principles taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, not the values and motivations and behavior of the “in crowd” or the world around us. We have a much higher calling.

Philippians 1:27
27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
King James Version

Even when we think no one is looking, we are to always follow a manner of life or life-style that honors and is in accordance with the gospel of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:5
5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
King James Version

If you have really got hold of the gospel, or better, the gospel has got hold of you, your life will exhibit or show forth the power of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. If this is not happening, you do not yet have the real thing. To get the real thing, keep reading your New Testament daily until it makes a difference in your life.

2 Timothy 3:10
10  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
King James Version

Paul could confidently assert to Timothy that Timothy knew by Paul’s manner of life, and so well knew the validity of Paul’s doctrine or teaching and his full display of the listed spiritual qualities. If you are following Christ the way Paul advocated, others will see these things in your life too.

Titus 2:12
12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
King James Version

If we follow the teaching of the New Testament, we will live a life that denies ungodliness and worldly lusts. We will live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. We will live a life of holiness, an absolute requirement for salvation, according to Hebrews 12:14.

Hebrews 13:7
7  Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
King James Version

One of the major problems I have seen in many churches today is a lack of living examples for new or younger Christians to follow. I was fortunate enough as a young person to have examples, good examples, of others around me who demonstrated Christian commitment and maturity. I looked up to them and worked to reach their level of Bible knowledge and understanding and commitment to Christ. When such examples are missing, this represents a devastating loss and hindrance to the outreach of the Gospel of Christ. Nevertheless, even lacking such living examples, we all can reach toward the goal Christ has set before us by reading and studying and then applying His Word as recorded in the Bible.

James 3:13
13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
King James Version

1 Peter 1:15
15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
King James Version

Notice that Peter stresses the importance of holiness in everything we do.

1 Peter 2:12
12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
King James Version

Live such a careful, positive, exemplary life before others that they will have no basis to honestly speak against you.

1 Peter 3:2
2  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
King James Version

Your life should be an example of reverence, of godliness, of absolute moral purity. We must not engage in behaviors characteristic of society and the world around us, such as premarital sex, and any other unchaste behavior or speech.

2 Peter 3:11
11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
King James Version

2 Peter 3:11 is a very interesting verse in Bible prophecy. Peter’s prediction is largely misunderstood today. Peter is speaking of the utter destruction of wicked men, not the total destruction of this physical planet, as anyone can verify by carefully studying the context (2 Peter 3:7), and most importantly, the predictions Peter makes reference to found in the Old Testament. In any case, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ for those who believe in Him will be unannounced. It will be sudden. The point is, we do not want to be caught by surprise at His return, doing anything or living in a manner displeasing to Him.

1 John 2:15-17
15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
King James Version

In his first letter, John speaks very plainly about what our focus should be: doing the will of God. We must not be so caught up in the affairs and pleasures of this world that we choose to live a lifestyle that is not pleasing to Him.


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