“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16
When the flight attendant gives the safety briefing just before take-off, most people tend to look at their phone, a magazine, or stare out the window. But something struck me on a flight once that I’ll never forget. When she was giving instructions about putting on the oxygen mask, she said to first put on your own mask before helping the person next to you. The reality is, if you pass out, how can you possibly help anyone else, right? Salvation is the same way. God wants us to receive it, then help someone else.
In Paul’s letter to his spiritual son, Timothy, he instructs him to be very mindful of what he preaches and to stay true to the Gospel of Grace so that in doing so, he Sozo’s himself and Sozo’s the ones he’s teaching. The word “save” in 1 Timothy 4:16, as it is throughout all of the New Testament, is the Greek word Sozo, and it is literally defined as “to save, heal, deliver, preserve, protect, prosper and make whole.”
Paul knew how important it was for Timothy to stay true to the Gospel of Grace that had brought him into the Kingdom and led him to this Sozo Salvation. Paul knew that Timothy’s trueness to this doctrine would keep him walking in the Abundant Life that Jesus had spoken about in John 10:10 and would also bring others to this same Abundant Life.
We must remember that while the Law demands, God’s grace supplies, and we must not allow even a smidgen of works and self-righteousness to creep in our teaching and believing.
Today, grab your oxygen mask of Salvation, then allow the Holy Spirit to use you to help someone else get theirs on.