1 Timothy 4:16 says, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

This chapter begins with Paul warning Timothy of apostacies that would shortly come upon the church.  The remainder of the chapter has to do with instructions of how to fight against and overcome apostacies.  Paul exhorts Timothy (and all believers), “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” (Verse 6).  It is a simple principle that we must TAKE IN before we can GIVE OUT.  If we are nourished in faith and correct teaching, we will be able to be good ministers of Jesus Christ, warning and teaching others. 

We won’t look at all the exhortations we have here, but I would like us to consider what we have in verses 13-15, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”  How important are these words to the believer!  These all tend toward individual growth and maturity.  We are encouraged to meditate upon the lessons given in this chapter.  When we do that, we will profit, and IT WILL SHOW!

Now, let’s look at verse 16 a little closer than we have with the rest of this chapter.

TAKE HEED UNTO THYSELF AND UNTO THE DOCTRINE – Notice the order here.  It is so important that we maintain a constant and righteous testimony (inwardly and outwardly), setting an example for others.  Then we take heed unto the doctrine!  We read in Ezra 7:10, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”  Many prepare the mind, but do not prepare the heart.  With a prepared heart, Ezra could then do the will of the Lord.

CONTINUE IN THEM – The teacher of the truth must be vigilant in his life and his teachings.  Paul would later say, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” (2 Timothy 3:14).

FOR IN DOING THIS THOU SHALT BOTH SAVE THYSELF, AND THEM THAT HEAR THEE – The word ‘save’ here has nothing to do with salvation of the soul.  It is speaking of safeguarding oneself from all the snares and difficulties that come from inconsistency in the believer.  When we continue faithfully in the Lord’s things (and only a believer can do that), we spare ourselves from the pain and distrust that comes from inconsistency.  Those that we are able to influence will flourish when our testimony is reliable.  How many times has a person’s message been rejected because his life does not reflect his words?  May we be reminded of the importance of our words and actions to those around us, to those we fellowship with, and with those we minister God’s Word to.  It is usually when we do not separate ourselves from the world, that we tend to let slip the precious things of the Lord.  After that, we will find that we are not continuing in the path the Lord has given us to walk.  Dear fellow believer, may we fix our eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  May we follow Him and Him only.  We will be blessed, and we will be a blessing to others.  (437.2)