Sunday, December 5, 2010
I Timothy Chapter 1
I Timothy Chapter 1
- Paul is writing to Timothy as his mentor. He calls Timothy his “true son in the faith”.
- Paul took Timothy under his wing so to speak. The older teaching the younger how to imitate Christ.
- This faith is all about connection and learning from each other. Children learn from their parents and grandparents... and in turn, they themselves grow up to be parents and grandparents teaching their own offspring.
- If you are young in the faith, find a mentor. Someone who has been at this for a while who can sit down and talk to you about spiritual things. Someone who understands what you're going through and can help you work through it.
- Everyone should find a more mature person in the faith who is a living example of what it is to not only be a godly husband/wife, father/mother, man/woman of God.
- And if you can't find every attribute in one person, find three or four mentors. When you're having problems and you need prayer, seek them out to pray with you, to advise you...
- And those of you who have been in this walk for a while, take the time to get to know the younger people in your church.
- I have a friend who once told me that there was nobody in his church that he could go to with a particular problem that he had, because there was nobody in his church who had been through what he was going through and that they'd just look down on him if he asked them for prayer.
- That should NEVER be what someone young in the faith has to say about someone older in the faith. We should always be ready to help them out.
- Titus 2:1-15
- II Timothy 1:3-18
- Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to carry on in his stead. He in essence posted him as a pastor over the church in Ephesus.
- Titus 1:1-5
- Paul wants him to stop those teaching things contrary to the truth.
- footnote- “The church at Ephesus may have been plagued by the same heresy that was threatening the church at Colosse—the teaching that to be acceptable to God, a person had to discover certain hidden knowledge and had to worship angels (Colossians 2:8,18). The false teachers were motivated by their own interests rather than Christ's. They embroiled the church in endless and irrelevant questions and controversies, taking precious time away from the study of the truth. Stay away from religious speculation and pointless theological arguments. Such exercises may seem harmless at first, but they have a way of sidetracking us from the central message of the Good News—the person and work of Jesus Christ. They expend time we should use to share the Good News with others, and they don't help people grow in the faith. Avoid anything that keeps you from doing God's work.”
- If something does not line up with the Word, don't follow it. No matter where you hear it, or how true it sounds, go back and line it up with the Word. That includes sermons on Sunday morning... (doesn't hurt to study up after listening anyway... : )
- Paul talks about endless discussions about myths and religious pedigree.
- A lot of this had to do with Jew and Gentile at this point in time. But now it also applies to those who keep trying to figure out when the exact date is for the second coming of Christ. Or those who are trying to go back to follow the laws of Moses. Or those who sit and argue over methods of baptism or ways to do communion...
- Yes those things are important... but they shouldn't outweigh the fact that Christ died for our sins and is our savior. The rest, is just extra. If we sit and argue over things all the time, we just tear apart our relationships with fellow believers.
- Galatians 1:6-24
- Paul goes on to tell of things that our teaching and our lives should exude.
- He says that the purpose of his instruction “is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”
- Paul's not teaching for personal gain or for prestige. He is teaching so that all of us will be filled with the love of God. And the love of God comes from a pure heart—the very heart of God. Who else would have a pure heart?
- A pure love that comes form the very heart of God. And with this heart of God comes a clear conscience. The blood of Christ has cleared all of our sins away and with that cleansing, we now have a guilt-free conscience.
- A genuine faith is one founded on truth and one that is not an act that is put on or something that is founded on what your parents have told you and nothing that you yourself have studied or experienced.
- Paul says that some have missed the whole point of his teaching. They have turned away from the good teachings of Christ and of Paul and have turned to meaningless discussions. They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses.
- Titus 1:10-16
- They go and research all the old laws and know them backwards and forwards. They come to know all they can cram in their brains... and yet they don't really know what they're talking about. Even though they speak with the greatest of confidence.
- Titus 3:4-11
- It is good to know the law. It is good to understand it... to apply it... but what was the purpose of the law in the first place? Was God just trying to put us under a bunch of rules?
- The law was not intended for those who do right. The law was written as a guidebook for the “ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders... sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the Good News.”
- The law was written so that we would see our indiscretions. So that we would see our sin and know that we needed a savior. Nobody is born to naturally do what is right. We all do wrong things... and the law was written to show us which was which. If there wasn't anything to tell us that we were wrong, we would just assume that whatever felt right to do, WAS right to do.
- Romans 13:8-14
- The Good News or the Gospel is the message of the death and resurrection of Christ. The story of God coming as a man to die on a tree to rescue us from our sin.
- The law was a precursor to this. The law was given with a sacrifice in mind. Blood cleansed the people from their sin... but it wasn't perfect. It wasn't enough because it wasn't perpetual. Every year, they had to renew the sacrifice and shed more blood in order to be free from their sins. With the sacrifice of Christ, that perpetual sacrifice was in place.
- footnote- “The false teachers wanted to become famous as teachers of God's law, but they didn't even understand the law's purpose. The law was not meant to give believers a list of commands for every occasion but to show unbelievers their sin and bring them to God.”
- Galatians 3:1-29, 4:1-31, 5:1-26
- II Timothy 4:1-8
- God gives us the strength to do His work. He has appointed each of us to a position in which to serve His Kingdom. God has entrusted us with His message and with the command to spread His message throughout the world.
- Colossians 1:24-29
- Philippians 4:10-14
- Romans 5:12-21, 6:1-23, 7:1-25, 8:1-39
- Even though we are unworthy... even though we used to be in sin... Even though we used to blaspheme the name of Christ... Paul says even though in his insolence, he persecuted God's people...
- Even in all of that, God still had mercy on us because we were ignorant in our unbelief. God wiped it all out. Cast as far as the east is from the west, our sins have disappeared in the blood of Christ.
- How great is our God?! How gracious?! Amazing...
- Paul says that there's a trustworthy saying that should be accepted by everyone. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I am the worst of them all.”
- As bad as each of us were, Christ still came to save us. But God had mercy on us so that “Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners.”
- I Corinthians 15:9-11
- Jesus loves us so much, loved ME so much that He sacrificed Himself for our sins so that we could be free. The worst of us... no matter what we've done, no matter who we've become... He still loves us... and still wants us...
- Luke 15:3-32, 19:9-10
- He uses us as an example to show the rest of the unsaved world. If God can save us, can turn our lives around... Then surely He can save them! Surely He can turn their lives around!
- If we can believe in Him, then why not them as well?
- Glory to God! “He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; He alone is God.”
- Paul leaves Timothy with some instructions. They ring true for us as well...
- Cling to your faith in Christ. Never let anything get in the way of that. Let it be the rock we cling to with our last ounce of strength. Don't let anything tear you away from that which you know is Truth.
- II Timothy 3:14-17
- Keep your conscience clear. Maintain your relationship with God and be careful you don't fall away. Be cautious of others who come to try and justify your sins in some way. Keep your conscience clear according to God... not by man's standards.
- There are those who have deliberately violated their consciences. As a result, their faith has been destroyed. They have been “shipwrecked”. They have hit the rocks and the water is filling up their vessel.
- Paul gives two examples of Hymenaeus and Alexander. He threw them out of the church and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.
- footnote- “We don't know who Alexander was—he may have been an associate of Humenaeus. Humenaeus's error is explained in II Timothy 2:17-18. He weakened people's faith by teaching that the resurrection had already occurred. Paul says that he handed both of these men over to Satan, meaning that Paul had removed them from the fellowship of the church. Paul did this so that they would see their error and repent. The ultimate purpose of this punishment was correction. The church today is too often lax in disciplining Christians who deliberately sin. Deliberate disobedience should be responded to quickly and sternly to prevent the entire congregation from being affected. But discipline must be done in a way that tries to bring the offender back to Christ and into the loving embrace of the church. The definition of discipline includes these words: strengthening, purifying, training, correcting, perfecting. Condemnation, suspicion, withholding of forgiveness, or permanent exile should not be a part of church discipline.”
- I Timothy 5:1-13