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The Book of 1 Timothy - Step Down!, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2022 6:00 am

The Book of 1 Timothy - Step Down!, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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October 3, 2022 6:00 am

If you looked up the word coach in the dictionary, you might see phrases like: “one who teaches, gives instruction, or provides special training.” In this program, Chip continues his series called “The Book of 1st Timothy.” He’s gonna unpack the next valuable life lesson the Apostle Paul taught Timothy – that we all need to be reminded of today!

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I've got a story to tell you today that you've got to hear. A great coach gave me a great piece of advice at a very critical moment, and you won't believe how it came out.

Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher for this daily discipleship program, Motivating Christians to Live Like Christians.

I'm Dave Druey. Well, we're in the middle of our newest series called The Book of First Timothy, Life Coaching from the Apostle Paul. So far, Chip's highlighted the first six valuable lessons Paul taught Timothy that still apply to us today. Now, in this program, we're going to learn number two, and let me tell you, this is a life lesson we all need to be reminded of. Now, before we get going, to help you get the most out of this message, let me encourage you to download Chip's message notes. They contain his outline, scripture references, and much more. You can get them by going to the Broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org, at listener's tab, fill in notes.

Well, with that, here's Chip for his talk, Step Down, from First Timothy chapter two. It's my senior year. It's our year-end tournament. It was NAIA. We were playing the number one team in the nation. They were in our league. There was a reason why we were playing them in the first round.

You do the math. We had the game of our life. We're down two. There's a jump ball, and some guy hacks me.

The crowd goes silent. The other coach calls timeout to ice me. I got the one-on-one, no time left, well, one second left on the clock, and it's like, I mean, I've just been waiting for this my whole life, you know? I'll never forget. We went through about four or five coaches that year.

It was why we were six and 26. The AD came in. He goes, look, Ingram.

Ingram, he was a former Marine. He goes, look, look, you're tired. We haven't substituted. You've played the whole game. Aim for the back of the rim. I'm thinking, I guess that's what some old Marine guy thinks. He doesn't understand. Dude, I've been playing for a long time.

I'm like, I'm 20 years old. I always drop it right over the front. I remember there's about 10,000 people, and it's a big tournament. It went through my regular routine, breath, knees, follow through. It's nothing but net because I can feel it. It came up just a little short because my legs were tired. I remember the next day, I was in a little diner. I was eating breakfast, and of course, we were out of the tournament. Some guy says to another guy, pulls out the paper, can you believe that? West Liberty State took on the number one team in the nation, and some idiot couldn't hit a one-on-one. Think about that.

I know it's hard for you to believe that was a lot of years ago for me because of how young I look. But I remember that because I willfully remember thinking, I know better. I'm not going to listen to him. God has things to say to all of us, and if you're not really careful, the world's pounding at you, there's other people, and you can kind of have this.

You don't even have to stick out your chest and say, I know better. Coaches can't help you, and God can't help us unless we're humble learners. So the apostle Paul is giving counsel to his young son, and remember, he said, step up. Are you willing to stand for the truth for my church? There's a lot on the line, and what's on the line is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And Timothy, if you don't step up, a lot of people will never know or ever hear. The context is Nero is the emperor, and this is going to be really important. I mean, he's persecuting Christians. I mean, to step up and be a follower of Christ, he wasn't saying like someone might say something bad about you on social media.

What he was saying is there's a good possibility that you're going to end up dead, but are you willing to live for Christ? Women at this time in world history were viewed as a piece of property. I'll give you some data on that from an expert a little bit later, but for example, a Jew who treated women the best would get up every day and say a prayer. Lord, I thank you that I'm not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.

A good rabbi would not say a word in public to his wife, his daughter, his sister. They were viewed as a piece of property, and it was much worse in the Greek and Roman world. The cults were flourishing. I mean, there were just religions, mystic religions on every corner. And the great mystic religions of Corinth with Aphrodite and the Temple of Diana in Ephesus, they were called priestesses, and they were part of your worship.

They were called temple prostitutes. And it's in that environment that Paul has now said, okay, do you remember what he said? Fight the good fight. Keep the faith.

And now in chapter 2, he's going to tell him how. Follow along as I read as he's going to give him an urgent call for prayer. So fight the good fight, and then so what's the first thing you're supposed to do? First of all then, okay, here's the game plan.

This is how we're going to fight. I urge that request, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people. Circle the world all in your Bible.

He uses four different words for prayer. Request, prayers, general word, intercession. Stand between them and God that God would have his way in their life. Give thanks. Give thanks for what you do have. Give thanks that God will work the difficult out for good. And then imagine, you're a young pastor.

In fact, don't imagine. Imagine you live in America or the Ukraine or in Russia or maybe in China. And you read this and it says, I urge you to pray for all people, for kings.

That would mean Nero. Everyone in charge, pray for them. What kind of prayers?

Intercession, thanksgiving. Ask God to work. Ask God to move in their heart. Ask God to actually bless their life.

For all in authority, that would be like the governors of the provinces. And then notice the purpose clause, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. In other words, I want you to pray for the cultural chaos and the pressure and the persecution so that God would allow peace because more than your protection is we want to have the kind of lives that would be attractive to the gospel. And then notice he goes on. He says, this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior who wants, circle the word again, all people to be saved.

And I'm thinking to me, even Tim's going, Nero? Yeah, Christ died for him. And to come to a knowledge of the truth.

And then here's the big purpose clause. Why, why, why should I pray that way? I don't want to pray that way. Paul, are you crazy? This is not good advice. I don't want to take your advice.

I want to do it my way. For there is one God and one mediator, that's someone who stands between two groups. Between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. And what did he do? Who gave himself as a ransom, put a box around that word.

For then circle the word all again. The testimony given at the proper time. A ransom is right if you have ever heard of someone who's been kidnapped.

How do you get them back? You pay so much money to get them released. Jesus saw all of mankind in the chains of sin, and to get all of mankind released, he, being fully man and fully God, would voluntarily hang upon a cross, and his blood would be the purchase price for all people of all time. The scope of his work was for all mankind. However, like every great and magnificent gift, the only people that benefit are those who receive it. John would say, as he would write his gospel later, as many as received him, Jesus, to them God gives the power, literally the Greek word is authority, to become children of God, even to those that believe in his name. And so all I want you to get is, sometimes you get advice, and I don't know about you, I did not want to aim for the back of the rim, because in my driveway was the front of the rim.

The problem is, I hadn't played 40 minutes in my driveway before I made most of those shots. And there's a way to look at life right now, that I have a lens, and you have a lens by your culture, and Chinese have their culture, and Russians have their culture, and the people in the Ukraine have their culture, and we all have our own vested entrance, and way above all of that, just like then and just like now, the apostle Paul is saying to this young pastor, I want you to intercede and pray and give thanks, and I want you to stand between the living God of all time and eternity, and I want you to pray for kings and those in authority, and people that you disagree with, in fact, people that you might find even hate in your heart toward. Because this is good and pleasing in the sight of our God and our Savior. And what he longs for us to do is be the kind of people that live such winsome lives, who are so kind and so loving and so Christ-like. Do you remember how Jesus prayed, Father, can you help me? Forgive them?

They don't know what they're doing. Jesus understood that the enemy wasn't the fallen people, the enemy was the evil behind it. Stephen prayed as they were stoning him, Father, forgive them.

Does it mean you agree with people? And I think we can pray very strong prayers. I have very purposely prayed for, well, I'm praying God would break down strongholds and world leaders and things that are happening, and I'm praying for our president. I pray for our president when he's a blue stator and I pray for our president when he's a red stator.

Are you starting to get it? Because there's something bigger than all those secondary things. There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Now, look at what Paul says. For this purpose, I was appointed as a preacher, proclaim it, an apostle, one who is sent.

I am telling the truth and I'm not lying as a teacher to help people grow of the Gentiles. And then here's our word again, in faith and truth. Christian life always boils down to, am I willing to trust in what God has said? And so that's the context.

And now he's going to apply it to two groups. And before I read the next set of passages, here's what I want you to get. We tend to read the Bible out of our own world. So when you read the word church or worship, what do you think of?

You think of what you do on Sunday morning. You understand the first 300 years of the church, there wasn't a cathedral? Church was six or eight people meeting who invited some of their friends.

Usually they shared a meal together. Someone would take a scroll that one of the apostles had written. The early church for the first years were all eyewitnesses of the risen Christ. And these little house churches are popping up all over the place. And their lives were, they were just, they were doing silly, crazy things.

I could show you ancient Greek documents of one person who's investigating Christianity during one of the persecutions. And he goes, they hide in caves, they give their money to one another, they greet one another with a holy kiss, and they're taking all the babies that we throw out on the dump heaps. We have no idea, they're crazy. In fact, we think they might be cannibals because they keep talking about drinking someone's blood.

Completely misunderstood. Gracious, loving counterculture. By the year 313, experts tell us the Roman Empire had about 60 million people, of which 33 million were followers of Jesus. Rodney Stark, I don't know where he's coming from. Theologically, he's a sociologist. He tried to answer the question, how do you account for this expansive growth of the early church, I mean, apart from the Holy Spirit or anything supernatural? And what he would say is in that first 150 to 200 years, there were three major pandemics that wiped out, I mean, whole huge cities of hundreds of thousands of people. The rich people and the people with power could go to the mountains where it was safe and they would all die down and come back, and the only people that stayed in the cities were Christians. So you would come back to huge metropolitan areas and the only people were Christians who happened to survive and people who were ministered to by the Christians. And so he said as people came back, they were literally when someone died serving those who were dying of pandemics, they were actually called martyrs. It was that kind of radical Christianity. That's a little bit different than I go to church and I'm trying to be a nice person. I don't cuss as much as I used to Christianity that we've been sort of peddling for the last few decades. So now he's going to give an application. I don't know about you, but if I was Timothy, I would think, you know, Paul, you give me a lot of counsel.

This is not one I really want to take. Notice verse eight, it says therefore. Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting holy hands, it's a picture of purity and earnestness. In other words, you're praying like you mean it. And then notice without anger and without dispute or literally arguments and contention.

I would maybe just shift this for our day just a bit. What would happen if godly men prayed with holy hands lifted up with pure hearts and not just prayed, but that's what they posted? They would never attack the people they disagree with.

They would never be tribal. They would be strong in what they believed, agree to disagree with those in the body of Christ, but people who prayed knowing that people are vulnerable during difficult times. And God is looking for men, regular, ordinary men who would pray about his agenda that's bigger than your agenda or my agenda or a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda.

Are you ready? Or even an American agenda, but a gospel agenda. And that's what he prays. I think Timothy, when he gave that message, I'm not sure that really went down very well in Ephesus, but I think they obeyed. He says this is what I want you to do, and then he says likewise, I want women to adorn themselves. In other words, so adornment is the clothes you wear, how you come off, what people see. He basically says what I want Christian men to look like is those people that lift holy hands, that have great convictions, that see the big picture, and then he's gonna reach into a couple areas that were common in the day, one in Greek high society and one where women were just pieces of property, and this new experience they've had with Christ as he liberated women was causing them to act in these little house churches in ways where as new people were coming into it, they're going whoa, wow, they're trying to take down the kingdom.

They're subversive, they're doing wild stuff. See, when you and I read the gospels, we forget how powerful the life of Jesus was. When we read all the woman at the well in John four, a man would never talk to a woman, let alone a Jew to a Samaritan. When the woman who washed his feet with her tears and wiped it, no Jew, no rabbi would ever let a woman touch him in public. Remember the woman with the issue of blood, she touches him. Do you remember his words to her? Not you thing, daughter, your faith has made you well. He elevates women, and so now they're realizing that we're co-heirs with the grace of God.

Let me read before I read the text, a fellow named William Barkley, I think, spent most of his life doing background. He says the second part of this passage, speaking to women, cannot be read out of its historical context. The Jewish background was a Jewish woman would eat in a separate quarters and not with her husband. A Jewish woman would not be able to go to the synagogue. A Jewish woman was not even allowed to teach her own children. A Jewish woman who was respectable would never attempt to speak to her husband or any man outside. She was to be the keeper of the home, and she heard her husband pray every morning, and I think, God, I'm not a slave, a gentile, or a woman.

How'd that make you feel? The Greek background was even doubly difficult. The average Greek man, especially in high society, if he had any wealth, had three women in your life. One was your wife, and she was to give you children.

Second was a slave girl so you could have sex when you wanted it, and the third was a temple prostitute. In high Greek society, they actually had prohibitions in what's called the mystery religions because they would adorn themselves with braided hair and gold. Pliny is a historian, and Pliny writes that one woman in her wedding dress was worth, it was written a while ago, 400 in today's money, 432,000 pounds, which is way over a half million dollars in US currency.

That was her wedding dress. And so there's this Greek society of I'm gonna impress people with my power of how I dress. There's others who are gonna manipulate through their sexual favors because that's the only role they had, and now these little house churches are starting, and the apostle Paul is speaking into them and saying, I want the men to adorn themselves with prayer without anger and disputing, and then notice what he says in that context. Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modesty and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive apparel, speaking of the high society, but rather by means of good works as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

He says, I don't want you, don't come off like those high society ladies. You've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Step Down. He'll be right back with his application to this teaching from his series, The Book of First Timothy, Life Coaching from the Apostle Paul. Through this new study, Chip identifies six pieces of godly wisdom Paul passed on to his protege, Timothy, and how these truths apply to you and me. Hear why characteristics like humility, dedication, integrity and respect are still critical to our relationships with others and God. I hope you'll listen to every part of this series, either through the Chip Ingram app or livingontheedge.org.

I really think you're going to learn a lot. Well, Chip's back with me in studio, and Chip, in this message, you highlighted a lot of the resistance and persecution the early church faced. You know, the truth is, there's still a lot of hostility toward Christians today.

Now, you're in contact with a lot of people. How are believers handling this pressure? I think as Christians, we see two responses, neither of which is going to bring about long-term positive change. And one is a combativeness, an anger, a sort of the culture is the enemy. And the other is what I call, instead of being combatant, we capitulate. And so go with the flow.

You know, who am I to judge? Let's just all be loving. And so the one has truth with no grace, and the other has grace with no truth. And so at Living on the Edge, we've spent the last 20 years developing resources, whether it's audio or books or teaching or CDs or my favorite, small group material, to help people live out truth and grace. And we've had very generous people partner with us to create all those resources, to pay for airtime, to hire staff. We are living in a day where if Christians do not live like Christians, we will see America go right down the tubes. And so there's never been a day when we need to do more and we can't do more without the prayers and the financial support of our Living on the Edge partners.

And so if you've never given to Living on the Edge, let me tell you, now is a wonderful, wonderful time. We will be true to scripture, and we'll be true to equip people to live out both grace and truth and the power of the Holy Spirit. So thank you for those of you that support us. Please continue to do so. And for those of you that have not, I would highly encourage you, get on board today. We can make a difference together.

Thanks, Chip. Well, if partnering with Living on the Edge is an idea that makes sense to you, we'd love to have you join us, helping Christians live like Christians will change the world we live in. To give a gift, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or text the word donate to 7-4141. That's donate to 7-4141, or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org.

App listeners, just tap donate. Thanks for taking time to help others benefit from the work of this ministry. Well, Chip, you wrapped up this message at the end of 1 Timothy 2, as Paul was giving some really intentional coaching to both men and women in Timothy's church. Now, why did he single out men and women, and how can we apply these truths to our lives?

Well, Dave, great question. And I think this is one of those, you know, classic controversial passages, and I certainly understand. There's different perspectives on this. But I think the most important thing that gets missed is the context. I mean, Paul is right into this young pastor, and the church, I mean, they are public enemy number one. And Paul's giving him instruction, and he's basically saying, hey, men, here's what you need to do.

This is counterintuitive. I want you to pray for Nero. I want you to pray for the authorities.

I want you to pray. I want you to live the kind of lives where instead of making waves and sort of fulfilling the public narrative that you are these evil people, and you're anti-Rome, and you burnt down Rome, I want men to model the exact opposite. And then on the other hand, the cultural context. We may say it's sad, it's difficult, but women were viewed as a piece of property, no rights whatsoever.

A man could divorce a woman, but a woman couldn't divorce a man. They were just used and abused in so many ways. And so as Jesus liberates women, and they were experiencing this liberation, the apostle Paul's going, hey, now look, the goal is the progress of the gospel. Make sure these women aren't acting in ways, especially as new believers are coming to these house churches, don't have them be acting in ways that literally are going to undermine the message. You know, I think about what it would be like, we do a lot of work in Muslim countries, if, you know, you did a Bible study in a mosque, and by the way, that's happening right now in multiple places. People were very open. And if the thing you led with was, hey, tell those women to take, you know, all those head coverings off, and that's not really important.

I mean, wait a second. You don't want to talk about things that are super culturally sensitive. It would be about the gospel and who is Jesus and why you can trust God's word. And now it's a whole nother subject, Dave, to talk about the role of women and what Paul teaches about that in some other passages and where and why. But the focus here is him saying, the progress and the integrity of the gospel is more important than any individual rights or any personal expressions of who we think we are and what we think we ought to do. It was causing a problem, and he's trying to deal with the problem in a way so the church would not be viewed in a negative way at a time where they were viewed as public enemy number one.

And I think the principle holds true today. Thanks, Chip. Well, if you'd like to do a deeper study with Chip on this particular passage of scripture, we've got just the resource to help. We've reached into our archives to share with you a classic message from Chip called Feminism and the Bible. In this teaching, Chip looks at the issues of feminism and gender equality through the unchanging lens of scripture. Don't miss how God defines the sexes, the important roles he's given men and women, and what this all means for us today. To listen to this entire message, go to SpecialOffersAtLivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app. We even have some message notes there to help you remember what you're hearing. Again, to access Chip's timeless message, Feminism and the Bible, go to SpecialOffersAtLivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app. From all of us here, this is Dave Druey, thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 17:17:35 / 2022-12-28 17:28:32 / 11

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