Q. Could you please explain the significance of 1 Tim 4:16, to OSAS? In this verse, it seems Paul is speaking to those in ministry, and it does appear he is saying that they must make certain they keep their own salvation as well as that of those they are teaching by what they are teaching. It would seem from what is being said in previous verses that these leaders are saved, but could be in danger of losing it (salvation) through wrong teaching, as well as their recipients not receiving it. If anyone can give a clear understanding and clarity to this, I believe you can.
A. Here’s what 1 Tim. 4:16 says;
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
If you were to read this verse in a vacuum, you could make such an assumption. But no statement in the New Testament (especially not one of Paul’s) can contradict his promises of eternal security for Church Age believers (2 Cor. 1:21-22, 2 Cor. 5:5, Ephesians 1:13-14). These verses make it clear that having already been saved, Timothy could not be in danger of losing his salvation if he didn’t adhere to correct teaching.
Therefore, 1 Tim. 4:16 has to be understood as Paul telling Timothy that if he watched his doctrine carefully the end result would not only be saving himself (already happened) but also those he would be teaching (going to happen). I think Paul was stressing the importance of adhering to correct doctrine in assuring a fruitful career, rather than warning him that the failure to do so could endanger his salvation.
This is good advice for all pastors and teachers, and goes along with Paul’s admonition to present ourselves to God as workmen approved, who do not need to be ashamed of the way we’ve handled His word (2 Tim. 2:15).