From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

“In I Timothy 4: 16, Paul gives another reason why disciples should be diligent students of God’s word: “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”  “Go and make disciples of all the nations…”  There are two effective means of teaching someone: by concept, or instruction and by precept, or example.  An even more effective means to teach, to get one’s point across, is to combine the two approaches.  Paul addresses this concept twice in the scripture just cited.  He admonishes Timothy to pay close attention to himself- his behavior, his need to remain disciplined and diligent in the study of God’s Word.   He also tells Timothy to pay close attention to his teaching. The best way to do so is to be rooted and grounded in your Source material.   In I Timothy 4: 13 – 15, Paul has provided Timothy with both instruction and encouragement: “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.  Do not neglect the spiritual gift (of teaching) within you, which was bestowed upon you through the laying on of hands by the presbytery.  Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all.” This requires study- diligent study.  Thus, we must be diligent students of God’s word- taking pains and being absorbed in it- because it is incumbent upon us to pass it on, to teach others what ‘thus saith the Lord’.”

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