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’.”


William H. “Bill” Hicks is a graduate of Wesleyan University, BA, Religion, 1971 who also holds a Masters in Public Health Degree (MPH) from the University of Oklahoma Hudson College of Public Health (1973). Bill also has studied at the Dallas Theological Seminary. He grew up in Harlem, New York City, USA during the 1950s and 1960s, graduating from high school before attending Mount Hermon Preparatory School and undergraduate school in Connecticut. He has spent most of his professional life in the public health arena, while being constantly in ministry. He received his license to preach the Gospel at Oklahoma City, OK in 1971. He has written extensively on Christian topics. He enjoys life in Chattanooga, TN with former District Public Defender Ardena Garth Hicks, his wife of 30 years. They have two daughters, Rachel (BA, University of Memphis magna cum laude, 2014) and Sarah (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, Global Scholar, University of Tulsa, 2017).
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