We have noted in recent visits on this program that being an effective leader in Christ’s church takes work. There are no shortcuts. There are many obstacles. And it would be easy to throw in the towel and give up. That is especially true for those who are young in the work.
Paul concludes 1st Timothy 4 with these encouraging words: “Watch you life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Again, the emphasis is on both taking care of who you are and what you teach.
Some focus on living their life as an example even though their doctrine might be fuzzy. Others focus on being doctrinally sound, while not being as careful as they should be about their behavior. If your life is exemplary people will want to find out how they can become more like you. If in your teaching you are fuzzy they will not have the grounding necessary to make the changes. If on the other hand your life isn’t in harmony with what you are teaching they will be turned off.
It is important, Paul says, to “watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Consistency and progress are essential in protecting yourself and those you serve from becoming entangled in the errors of false teachers.
The Salvation Paul refers to here is not eternal salvation, though people will not find Christ if those sharing Christ are not clear in their doctrine and Christlike in their life. He wants to save Christians from the devastating effects of false teaching.