All right, we are back to 2 Timothy.
Actually, it was August of last year when we broke off. As you know, I took a long part of my 40th anniversary leave that you so graciously gave me last fall, and I went deer hunting a lot and did some studying, and we're just now getting back to 2 Timothy. We're calling it Beautify the Bride because Paul is riding, at this point, definitely from prison. He's in his last days, and he's actually, in one sense, pastoring the church at Ephesus through Timothy. So he's writing this letter to get things in order in the local church at Ephesus. Do this with the men, fix this with the ladies, elders should be this way, teach young men to do this, just to get everything in order.
And why? Because the church, the local church, is the centerpiece of God's purposes and God's glory for both time and eternity. It's important what the church believes, obviously, and it's very important how the church is structured and very important how the church functions.
Because this beautification that happens when we're pleasing to God is a reflection to the world of who our God is, the God who is worthy of all honor and dignity and praise. So church, you've got to think that way. This can't be just all that preacher talk.
No, this is us talk. We, as a body of Christ, the way we love each other, minister together, hold to the doctrines of the faith, function the way we're called to function biblically, then we show forth the great wisdom, beauty, and glory of our God. It's just a powerful thing. So Paul is helping Timothy to beautify the local church, the bride of Christ, both as to her fashion and her function. Now we come to 2 Timothy chapter 2 and we'll be reading verses 14 through 18. Let me say one quick thing to the body of Christ. We've got a good crowd here today. I'm looking up in the balcony and I'm thinking I'll never get you out of there again. It's just, I don't know, it's worse than cocaine.
You get in the balcony, it's like I can't come back down. But it does spread folks out. And, you know, we were in a pandemic and I understand all of that. But I don't think, matter of fact, I know there's just a few people that need this. And my heart goes out to some of them because I know there's genuine concern and genuine fear.
And that's not something we want to make light of. But the pardon to miss church is over. The pardon to miss God's church is over. After 40 years of preaching to the Word of God about the local church, if I have to explain to you why at least showing up is essential and explain to someone that being faithful to the assembly of God's churches should be without discussion, then somebody's failed greatly.
Me and my teaching are you and you're listening or understanding. And if you have a genuine issue, look, we're with you 110%. If you can't come, we understand that.
You and your doctor, whatever you decide. But if you're in fear, it's time to rebuke that fear and get back to God's house. It's time to get back to church.
Now, again, actually, our attendance has been strong overall. And I'm very grateful for your hearts and your convictions. But as your pastor, I love you.
And in that love, I want to exhort some, let's get back to church. And we'll keep these side areas for those who are more vulnerable. I think that's a wise thing. We'll continue doing that.
But the pandemic pardon is over. We don't judge you. You go out on vacation.
You have to miss. I get that. But this just staying out at this point, we need to move on past that. Except for those few that have really legitimate reason.
And of course, we love you and we support you if that's the case. All right. Now, that out of the way, 2 Timothy 2, verse 14. Remind them of these things and solemnly charge them in the presence of God, not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.
Stopping for a moment. Isn't it interesting how Paul just gets real practical and down to where the rubber meets the road about church issues here. Verse 15. Now talking to Timothy, the pastor here specifically, the apostle writes, Now you be diligent to present yourself approved of God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. He kind of gets back to what's going on, the nonsensical problems in the church. Verse 16.
But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who've gone astray from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place and they upset the faith of some. Verse 19. What a powerful verse. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal. The Lord knows those that are his and everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.
Just real quickly, he uses that phrase. However, nevertheless, the foundation of God stands. That's referring to God's church, God's local church. Timothy, no matter what's going on, no matter what's happening, the Hymenaeus and Philetus crowds kind of split the church and a lot of people probably left. Timothy's discouraged, but he says, Timothy, the foundation of God stands.
I'm going to unpack that in a few moments. But listen, it matters where you stand. Now, as we conclude, we're going to look at these two things quite thoroughly. As a true child of God, you individually in your church must stand on the essential foundational doctrines of the faith.
They're not to be toyed with, they're not to be adjusted, they're not to be massaged so the culture will like us better. We must stand on the faith once for all delivered to the saints. All right? Also, we're to stand against the world and for God when it comes to morality and uprightness. We don't stand with the world, we stand for God. So we stand over here on sound doctrine and sound moral conduct, all based on scripture. What Satan wants the church to do is to get over here and get kind of waffly on doctrine. Get kind of loose on doctrine and get loose and waffly if not an out and out embracing of the immoralities the world is presently standing in. So God says don't stand over here with the world either on changing your doctrine to fit in better, that's what they'd tell us. You'll be more effective if you leave these doctrines off, etc. Don't do that, you stand on sound doctrine and stand on biblical morality. Don't stand with that crowd, stand over here, true doctrine, true biblical morality.
We'll get to that in a moment. Now, I've simply entitled this be rigorous and remember. He's telling Timothy the same things Timothy I want you to be rigorous about and some things I want you to remember. Now, this is to a pastor, a young pastor, but the truth's parallel for all of us so you listen with attentiveness and discipline as we unpack this together. First of all, Roman I, Timothy be rigorous in preaching the essential doctrines of the faith.
We've been talking about that. That's what he means in verse 14 with the two simple words, remind them. Timothy, remind them, that means go back and keep bringing up again, keep teaching and preaching again the foundations of the faith. And we see that really clear in verses 11 through 13 the preceding context.
It's a present active imperative, which means I'm commanding you Timothy and I'm commanding you to do this continually. It should be a cyclical part of your preaching and teaching to keep bringing up the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith. You see, faithfully preaching the word means we are constantly reminding the flock of things they already know.
That's important. And as we look here at this very point and we go further in a moment to look at the fact of don't allow these word regulars, this fighting over words and not essential fickle things. Don't let the church be divided over those things.
He's already mentioned those things a time or two already in this letter. So Paul himself is doing this cyclical reminder. He said, Timothy, keep reminding them. The repetition of basic foundational truths throughout scripture is no accident.
Now, practically for all of us, let's pull something out of this. Why is that true? Why do you need to be reminded afresh and in a continual way?
Because you leak. You get out of whack out in the world and not the least of which, and I get so weary, trust me, I get weary of what I'm about to tell you. And that is there's just unceasing wave after wave after wave of false doctrine that comes against God's church. And it's the preaching pastor to stand up afresh again and again and again, and knock that wave off of his local church.
So it just has to be done over and over. I mean, there's slippage in all of us. There's leakage in all of us when it comes to the things that matter. Let's be humble about it.
Just admit it. Amen. I mean, we're supposed to be brand new. We're supposed to be brand new in Christ.
We're not supposed to leak back down to look like the world. We're to be the new man in Christ. The Bible says we're given a new covenant. The Bible says we have a new standing. The Bible says we're a new creation.
The Bible says when we're saved, we're given new life. The Bible says we're of a new lump, lump of dough. The Bible says we have a new prophet. We have a new priest.
We have a new king. The Bible says we follow a new teaching. We follow the new commandment.
We're of the new wine of Christ and his truth. We have a new song in our hearts. We function according to a new love.
The agape love was placed in there by the spirit. We now have a new family, our local church. We have a new hope. We have a new Jerusalem. We have a new future, the future heaven and earth. No wonder Jesus said in Revelation 21 5, Behold, I'm making all things new. It's all new. Are you walking well in the newness of who you now truly are? Well, the problem is you got a good dose of getting filled up and walking afresh in Christ if you were at the True Church conference.
But about Tuesday, you started leaking again. And we all do. In Ephesians 4 24, the apostle uses another metaphor of this new man, this new life we're to live out. In that metaphor, he uses a garment of clothes when he says, Put on the new self, which is in the likeness of God, been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. Put on the new self, that new creation, your new creation, put it on. And it's like putting on a garment. Putting on a garment.
It's an aorist tense verb here, which means you put it on and you keep it on. And it's a full wardrobe. You're to walk in the totality of the new man. You've been given new spiritual undergarments, new spiritual shirts and pants, new spiritual socks and shoes, new spiritual vest and jackets and overcoats, new spiritual scarves and hats.
All is made new. You've got a complete new, metaphorically speaking, wardrobe. New spiritual man that you walk in. Now, some of you come in here to church on Sunday and you know clothing is about gone. Your hat's off and your spiritual overcoat's gone. One's spiritual shoes off. Some of you come in on Sunday morning with a little more than your spiritual underwear on. You're spiritually naked because you leaked out during the week.
There was seepage. Your mind's not on the things of God like it was early in the week, maybe on Sunday. Your heart's not in tune with Christ like it was maybe on Sunday and you've gotten in the world a little too much. You come in here on Sunday morning looking like you've been in a tussle. And you have. It's tough out there.
It's tough out there. That's why we need to get together and get with one another again. Well, you've come to the right place because I'm going to do for you what Paul commanded Timothy to do for the ancient church at Ephesus. I'm going to go back to the old book and remind you afresh of the old truths and you're going to get spiritually redressed. Now I'm not going to give you some new fancy garment. Lord knows we don't need the garments of Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive. We need the old garments of the old truth once we're all settled.
Get ourselves back in line with that afresh. I'm going to see to it that if you lost some of your spiritual clothing this last week that we get it back on. Put your spiritual socks back on and put your spiritual shoes back on. Put your spiritual trousers back on and your spiritual shirt and your spiritual jacket back on and your spiritual overcoat and your hat and your scarf. Get fully clothed back up. Get filled up and clothed back up with the nearness of Christ and your devotion to him.
Led me to a thought in my study and what's even more grievous to me today is the physical dress of some. Even many pastors and pulpits, we had a family that went up to Nashville for a couple of years. He was finishing up some schooling. He said, Pastor, we'll be back. I got to go up there and get this degree and I'll be back to continue my job. And I said, all right, I'll pray for you to find a church.
Now find a good one now. And they came back time or two, you know, and they'd been there for a year, year and a half. And we talked, they were visiting church here. And I said, well, how's it going? Do you find a good church up there? And we were kind of teasing about, do you find anybody wearing a coat and tie anymore than the pulpit? And this is what he said, Pastor, no. Matter of fact, in the summer months, it's hard to find a pulpit where the pastor's not wearing short pants and sandals and an untubbed shirt. Now, I pray that if I'm gone one day and a man comes up here to this pulpit and he's got cut off blue jeans, sandals, and an untubbed shirt, the godly men will go up to him and put their hand on his shoulder and say, sir, you can't preach here dressed like that. It's beneath the dignity of our Lord that we serve.
Now listen to me, let's be back. Outer appearance is not everything, amen? But it is something. It does make a statement. I don't think that the man of God should come to the pulpit of God dressed like he just left a chicken fight from the woods of Franklin County.
He should look like something. It's not everything and I'm well aware you could be dressed in elaborate, beautiful robes and clothing and your heart be far from God and that's wickedness. There is a sense of dignity in our outer dress.
Well, look, I digress. That's not the point of the text, but I just thought I'd throw that in this morning. Paul says, Timothy, remind them, remind them. They've lost some of their spiritual clothing during the week and they need to get filled back up and get the spiritual garment back on and walk in the new man in Christ Jesus. So, Timothy, be rigorous in a continuation, a repetition of preaching the sound essential doctrines of the faith. Roman 2, Timothy, I also want you to be rigorous in rejecting the crafty dividers.
In rejecting the crafty dividers. Look at verse 14, we have the conjunction there. Remind them of these things, solemn charge them in the presence of God, not to wrangle about words.
Actually, the conjunction is not there, that's in another verse. But anyway, the point is, not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of hearers. So, first he said, now, Timothy, make sure when you preach, you go back to the old truths.
Look back, but now, say, now, looking forward, there's some issues in the church there and you're going to have to deal with these issues. He says they like to wrangle about words. In other words, there's a war of words. These are those that would rise up in the church and start nitpicking. And they would start disputes and divisions over things that really don't matter. Trifling things. Because really their point is not their point, their point is that they want power and control.
Their point is they want a following. So they'll start some little trifling, well, you know, if you view the verb this way and really the subjective means this and really the pastor's missing the point. All this little trivial nonsensical, even silly nonsense to cause divisions and disputes in the church. Things that don't matter.
Now, sometimes things really do matter. Matter of fact, included in the balance of the context here, there was false teaching and it really was serious that that false teaching be stopped and be corrected. But then this whole matter of making big deals out of non-biblical or scriptural non-essentials, I think is the main thing what they were doing when they were wrangling about words. Referring to these same folks he's already told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6, 4, when guys do this kind of stuff, he says they're conceited and they understand nothing but has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words.
Out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language and evil suspicions. Now, we know that the oratory and the rhetoric of the ancient Corinthian culture was a big deal. Their philosophers were schooled and powerful oratory. Their oratorical skills, if you will, had to be up here. And the people were drawn in by that kind of word salads, if you will, and capacity to communicate. Matter of fact, Paul would say himself that he wasn't that good of a communicator, but he did tell them the truth.
They don't think somebody's special and ought to be heard and followed just because they have eloquent speech and enticing delivery of their message. Matter of fact, a very strong phrase here in verse 14, look at it, solemnly charged them in the presence of God. And I think one of the reasons Paul uses this powerful or heavy command, solemnly charge you, is because Timothy's a young pastor. And beyond that, he's just naturally timid.
He's just naturally insecure. And Paul's saying, Timothy, there's times when you're going to have to get tough as a pastor. There's times you're going to have to deal with some of this stuff because they're going to ruin the church. There'll be wolves in the flock, and that's what Paul, you know, Paul met with this church just before he went into prison. And he preached there for a good while, and he told them about how he preached the whole counsel of God to them. And then he said this, recorded in Acts 20, 30.
He said to the elders of Ephesus, from among yourselves, men will arise, speaking, there's that word again, words, speaking perverse things to do what? To draw away the disciples after them. That's what they want. They don't want you to get to God. They want you to come to them. They're just using the cloak of religion and the cloak of spiritual elitism to try to win you to their faction. These are crafty dividers. They are crafty, Timothy.
Watch them. In verse 14, he continues and says, all this stuff is useless. These disputers are but self-exalting troublemakers. They have no real profit to the church, and they can't help anyone. Matter of fact, he says in verse 14, if you let them go on, Timothy, it leads to the ruin of the hearers. They'll ruin people's faith.
They'll pull them down. And that's the very thought here. They're bringing people down spiritually when they claim they're building them up. And Timothy, you do right the opposite.
You build people up. And that's where we get to in Roman numeral three. A third thing he says to be rigorous about, first of all, about preaching the old truths over and over. Be rigorous in denying these crafty dividers any foothold in the church.
Thirdly, Timothy, be... Now, let me pause just a moment. You say, well, that's stuff preacher ought to know. Yes, but you've got to stand with the preacher when he has to deal with these things. So you need to understand these things too, amen?
And again, I was deeply touched. Even in my study this morning, I get up early on Sunday mornings, and I thought afresh about the number of our church plants and our church partners who are right now going through these very divisions in their church Paul talks about. And there are pastors who didn't get to come to a church like you that's generally mature and above this junk. And they look out at people that are against them and trying to divide the church and trying to pull the sheep away to follow them.
And that's painful and difficult. So those pastors need some people in their churches that will stand with them because they understand this is going on. They see it.
They know what it is. Well, thirdly, instead of wrangling with words, Timothy, and harassing with that stuff, you, verse 15, be diligent to present yourselves approved of God. That's be rigorous in study and preaching. So instead of trying to be a word wrangler, just preach the word. Study well and get ready to preach. You see, one of the key ploys of the enemy of God's church is to keep the pastor stressed out with troublemakers, those who go to seed on non-issues, if you will, or non-essential issues, or even those who would very outwardly try to attack the sound doctrine of the church, or maybe they're junking on secondary issues that don't deserve much of a hearing or attention, and they keep the pastor so drained he's unable to be diligent, like Paul says, in studying and preaching.
It was a real battle for me in the early years of my pastorate here. Maybe some well-meaning people, any, but a lot, a lot, a lot of people were critical about everything I did. I know I'm not likable, but nevertheless, it would drain you. You would try to talk to them.
You'd try to be humble and listen. And by the way, I didn't need to grow and mature. I wasn't embezzling money or teaching false doctrine, but I'm still growing as a Christian, so it helped me grow, yes, but it's so draining. There were so many years I came to the pulpit with just enough energy to get through that message.
Satan loves that. That's why churches and pastors, and that's why he's so clear to Timothy, pour your energy here, and don't let that other crowd get your energy. He continues in verse 15, present yourself approved of God.
The idea of present there is give yourself over to this and don't be distracted by other things. Approved of God means tested by trial. It means you're shown to be approved. By burning your energy out in the study and in preaching of the word of God, you show you're one who's approved of God. It shows to the true saints and the true sheep whose side you're on and who you represent.
Then he says so that you're not ashamed. I think one of the points Paul's making here in the flow of the context is, if you spend your time wrestling and wrangling with these people who are just trying to cause trouble and you don't have time to study and preach, you ought to be ashamed, Timothy. So do right the opposite. He's not saying Timothy isn't doing this, but he just means keep on pouring your primary energies into studying and preaching the word. Verse 15 continues, accurately handling or rightly dividing the word of truth. Again, in contrast to the troublemakers who misuse the word of God, who twist and put a spin on the word of God to teach false doctrines to draw men away after them. Timothy, you're right the opposite. You rightly divide the word of truth.
I think that means you interpret the text in its grammatical, contextual, historical, cultural, and overall systematic context. Give the people what the word is actually saying, which is what I'm striving to do here. Cut it straight, he says.
That's what accurately handling means. Cut it straight, Timothy. The word cut it straight, one scholar said it's like a stonemason. He has to cut those stones straight and square or the house will be off. It's like an engineer who builds a road. He's got to have the slopes and the angles and the crown. Everything's got to be right on that road.
It's got to be cut straight. Now, I actually jumped over verses 16 through 18. 16 through 18 is an amplification of what he was dealing with when he told him to reject those crafty dividers.
Let's just read it even though it's going back a point. He says, again, but avoid worldly and empty chatter for it would lead to further ungodliness. Well, that's what he's already said in verse 14 when he said don't wrangle about words and it leads to the ruin of the history.
I'm not saying there's nothing additional here, but I'm saying it's the same vein of thinking. Then he says what they'll do, verse 17, to show you the depth of their evil and the problem, their talk will spread like gangrene. It's the idea of a gnawing sore. He said it'd be a gnawing sore on the local church, Timothy, if you let these crafty dividers get a foothold. He said, Timothy, do you remember Hymenaeus and Philetus?
End of 17. Verse 18, they went astray from the truth, saying the resurrection had already taken place and they upset the faith of some. They were trying to form a new group. Follow us.
Philetus and, what's his name? Hymenaeus would say, follow us, we've got a new understanding of things. And he's just saying, Timothy, this has already happened and so stay the course with rigorously repeating the sound doctrines of the faith. Stay the course with rigorously denying these crafty dividers and stay the course with pouring your primary energies in studying and preaching.
Now, number four. And also, Timothy, be remembering the seal of assured success. This was a point of encouragement. Paul is saying here, Timothy, God's church cannot fail.
Here's the way he says it. Now, again, it's likely Hymenaeus and Philetus had split the church. We see that in verse 17 and 18.
And they had other issues too. And so Timothy's probably very discouraged. Timothy's thinking like I thought many times as a younger pastor, this isn't working. This thing's going down.
It's not gonna work. I'm discouraged, I'm depressed. That's probably where Timothy is. So Paul writes to him, nevertheless, verse 19, the firm foundation of God stands. Timothy, no matter what they do, no matter what they say, no matter how many people follow them, no matter how deep you are discouraged, you gotta understand something. The church is God's work and God cannot fail. The firm foundation of God stands.
I like that. You see, God's true local church will stand. It is the anvil that has worn out many a skeptic and malicious attacker's hammers. They just pound on it and pound on it and pound on it, but the church still stands. First Timothy 3, 15, remember back in that book, he said the church is the pillar and the support of the truth. The church is God's human agency to be the pillar, the support of the truth.
Not any other ministries out there, those are good, but not like the church. Timothy, that's what you're about. Be encouraged. Now he uses this word seal. Let's unpack this seal. Look at it in verse 19.
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands. Having this seal, the Lord knows those who are his. Now, there are two parts to this seal. And the first part is Timothy, the seal meant authentication, by the way. The seal typically reflected on the king putting his signet ring in the wax droplet on a papyri or a parchment sheet. And the herald would go through the cities of the king's country and he would show them the seal with the signet ring impressed on it. And that let everybody know, the herald has the authentic message from the king.
We better straighten up and watch this. So it speaks of authenticity. So here's what Paul's saying.
Timothy, God's building his true church through you no matter what's going on and how much you're discouraged and how much the Hymenaeus and Philetus dividers may have gained a foothold. God's gonna bid his church because it has God's seal of authenticity on it. Now the seal's got two parts. Part one of the seal is, are you ready? Sovereign election.
Sovereign election. That's what he means in verse 19. The Lord knows those who are his. Now from a human perspective, if we were writing this, we'd say, because those who believed are his.
That's true, but that's not what he says. He wants you to see it from God's sovereign perspective. God knows those who are his. And the point is, those who are God's cannot perish. Those who are God's cannot fail. Those who are God's will not long follow the dividers because God saved them and God keeps them.
And it's divine sovereignty that you rest in. Here's some verses that have that same type of phraseology in them that I think are powerful amplifying cross references. John 10, 14, Jesus said, I'm the good shepherd and I know my own and my own know me. 1 Corinthians 8, three. But if anyone loves God, he is known by him. Yes, we love him, but that's only because we were first known by him.
Let me jump down to number 16, five. This is probably the most direct parallel to this passage here. And he spoke to Korah. Remember, Korah, the Bible says, was a man of renown and he decided that he would overthrow Moses. And Korah, and by the way, being a man of renown meaning he probably had great leadership skills, great organizational skills, great communication skills, great personality and charisma. I mean, from the human perspective, you say Korah and say, Korah ought to be leading us.
Moses can't even speak well, remember? So Korah rose up and he spoke to Korah and all this company saying, tomorrow morning, the Lord will show who is his. The Lord knows who's his.
Now here's the point. God has his elect remnant in the earth and he will preserve them. It's the truth of sovereign election. And that's the seal, part of the seal of authentication that we're really God's, we're really of him and he will really keep us. And this is a seal, if you will, that is within each of us. Well, pastor, how is it revealed to us that we have the seal of sovereign election? Well, we're taught of the spirit who dwells in us that we only love him because he first loved us. 1 John 4.19. There's that thing in you that as your pastor, as Paul told the Ephesian elders right before he left them, I have declared to you the whole counsel of God. I didn't leave off some of the doctrines that men don't like so much.
I gave it all to you. And that includes the doctrine of sovereign election. And something happens in your heart when you're God's, when you hear that truth, you glory in it. You don't understand it, but you begin to grasp it and you think, oh my goodness, if he chose me to keep me so that he might glorify himself through saving me, then this is gonna stand because I didn't start it, God did. I didn't get it accomplished, God did. The truth of sovereign election is the seal of authentication.
So it's gonna stand. He's taught us from the word and by the spirit that our assurance and our confidence is that we are his by his sovereign election. And we joyously and gladly are his captives. He came and took you captive for his own. Not as a slave, but hallelujah. He came and got me and he's enslaved me to himself and he will keep me as his own. We neither started this journey nor can finish it.
He started it and he will finish it. So Timothy, if the church blows up, the so-called church, at least the congregation, if it blows up in disputes and divisions, the people will stay with you, their faithful pastor, shepherd, because you feed them the words of life and the sheep come to sheep food. They won't be led away by the dividers. They'll be led to the man who gives them the truth.
We cannot follow emotions and run away with the dividers. God chose us and he placed us, or rather placed in us a deep desire for and a connection to the truth and we stay with the truth and with the truth preaching pastor. That's what Paul's telling Timothy. Thus by this, the firm foundation will stand. Timothy, God started it.
Now it might get down to a remnant. This church will stand, not going away, not going to dissolve, not going to dissipate. Now that's the one part of the seal of authentication.
Here's the other part of the seal of authentication. The last part of verse 19, and there's my conjunction I was looking for a while ago. It's in the wrong verse.
And, no it's not, it's perfect. It's the word of God. And third time I've said it, everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.
Interesting. I call that sanctified living. The first part of the seal of authentication is sovereign election. The second part of the seal of authentication is sanctified living. The saints of God just do not live like worldlings. And that's a seal that they're the authentic thing.
They're the real thing. Now notice, is this not interesting to you that he puts on a parallel course sound doctrine and truth, i.e. sovereign election, and parallel to that, moral sanctified living. You see, false teaching or unsound teaching is the corruption of sound doctrine. And corrupt doctrine is almost always accompanied by the corruption of morals.
Did you hear that? Don't wonder why the Methodist church, the Anglican church, the Episcopalian church, the liberal Presbyterian denominations, and now Southern Baptist, got weak and light on Bible doctrine, and now they're starting to talk about, well, gay marriage, you know. Well and homosexual as a priest might be, it's okay. Unsound doctrine and corrupt morals always flow together. That's why he says here, the sound foundation that you stand on, including sovereign election, and abstaining from wickedness are the seals of authentication.
Real quick, Jude 1, three through five. In Jude 1, three, he talks about how we're to earnestly contend for the faith, that's sound doctrine, that's the body of doctrine once for all, handed down to the saints. He said, because, verse four, certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long before marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who toy with doctrine, this is what he says, who turn the grace, the doctrine of grace, into licentiousness. They take the glorious doctrines of grace, I could preach on them for a hundred years and never exhaust them, and they put a spin on it so that they say grace means you have a license to sin. Unsound doctrine and corrupt morals always go together.
That's what he's saying. We don't have time, but 1 John says the exact same thing again in verse John 5, 18 through 20, if you want to jot it down. So note the parallels. These two cards always run beside each other, unsound doctrine and unsound morals. These are the kinds you said that they're not for the doctrine once for all, committed to the saints. They will take the doctrines, twist them so they can justify indulgence in wickedness. Now when an individual or church begins to descend in wickedness, here's the descent into wickedness, I'll just mention it and go on. First there is toleration.
They begin just, well, we know these guys are living openly in this immoralities, but you know, we won't do anything about it. Then there's association. Well, but now he's a really big giver, so you know, he's in open sin. Folks, we're not talking about a brother who's struggling with a sin, he's broken about it, he's repentant and he wants to do better. That's a different thing. We put our arms around those brothers and sisters and help them, amen?
We're talking about a guy living openly, embracing wickedness, like the world does. Secondly, association. Well, you know, he's a great singer, but we'll just let him come in, we'll associate with him. You listening, brother Tom? I said that because he's already said amen when I first said it the first time.
Then propagation. Then you as God's church, correct that, a professing church of God, that's different than truly being one, begin to propagate the very wickedness that God saved you to come out of. You begin to embrace it. Here's what am I saying? You went from standing on sound doctrine and biblical morality, to now you have made your new stand, unsound doctrine and worldly ungodly wickedness. Dr. Tim's seal, it's happening all over the Southern Baptist Convention, it's happening all over our world.
Tim knows that because that's one of the reasons he's here, he got sick of all the stuff out there. Now, when we see the word abstain in verse 19, we're talking about this is the seal of authenticity. In other words, if you've made your stand on immoralities the world is celebrating and promoting, isn't our world celebrating and promoting immoralities? If that's where you stand, you embrace that, then you lack the seal of authenticity. You lack the seal of, you're not the genuine thing.
You're an imposter. I didn't say are you struggling and repenting and fighting, I'm saying you've made your stand with them, which is what we're seeing happen. The word abstain here comes from two words, abstain from wickedness, he says last verse 19. That means to depart from and to take a stand.
So what he's saying is, which side was the world? Over here. You used to be right here when you got saved, you decided that's no longer who I'm standing with, that's no longer what I'm standing for, that's no longer what I'll embrace or promote or believe. I've got a new place I stand on what God's word says. It may cost me something in this world, but I can do no different. I've been taken captive by sovereign election. I'm his.
I'm his. And by the way, that's not a drudgery for me, that's a joy for me. And it is for every true child of God. Vines, the very trustworthy Greek scholar says, the word abstain means to withdraw or absent ourself. You withdraw from that position, the world's position, and you go to another one.
A.T. Robertson, the greatest Baptist Greek scholar that's ever lived said it means to stand off from. You don't take your stand with him anymore, you stand on what the Bible says is right in these areas. A believer may struggle with moral purity, but we do not stand for it. We do not approve of it. We do not celebrate it.
We do not glorify it. We're repenters of it when we find it in our minds, our hearts, and God forbid, in our lives. This is the seal of authentication that separates the true Christian and the true church from the false. When the Methodist church began to embrace homosexual marriage and embrace abortion, they lost their seal of authenticity. When the Episcopalian church began to say, we'll have homosexual men in the pulpit, they lost God's seal of authenticity. When Southern Baptists began to say, well, you can live in adultery and stay on the church row. You can live in open fornication, stay on the church row. I didn't say fall into it and struggle, I'm saying live in it. There's great tensions in the Bible that make that very clear.
Oh, you can live in it, and we'll keep you on church row. Now some of them are saying, well, you know, these moral perversions in our culture, we're not so sure they're so bad after all. I'm going to tell you what Southern Baptists are losing if have not lost God's seal of authentication. What Paul says, Timothy, these guys causing you all this trouble? These guys that want to teach doctrines contrary to what I taught you to preach and teach? You notice in their lives, they embrace the ungodly sexual perversions and immoralities of the Corinthian culture, don't they?
You know why? They're not God's own. And they don't abstain from wicked sanctified living is what I call it.
And Timothy, you just remember this, they've lacked the seal of authentication. They're not God's, but Timothy, you are. So stay strong and keep going on for the glory of God. Parents, are you listening to your pastor? Don't quit. Don't quit. Now look, we're always loving and compassionate to any person no matter what they're involved in because they're made in the image of God, amen?
All people are image bearers. But we must not encourage and God forbid celebrate what the Bible calls wickedness. Because if you can walk down that road very far, you're proving I do not have the seal of the authentic Christian on me. Don't quit, parents. Keep teaching it right. Teach it straight. Let's teach our sons and daughters. Hey, little boys, you're gonna grow up to be masculine and you're gonna grow up to be a man if it kills all of us.
Little girls, you're gonna grow up to be a lady, a woman of God. Quit believing these lies of the world. We don't stand over here with them. We abstain from wickedness. Ours is a sanctified life.
We've been set apart. We stand with what our God says because we are those who are the objects of his sovereign election. That's part of the seal of authentication and those who wanna walk and not stand with wickedness. And that's the other part of our seal of authentication. Y'all know this book's 2,000 years old? The exact same thing's happening in our culture that was happening in the Corinthian culture and the exact same thing is happening in our churches that was beginning to happen in these churches. It's a divine book, brothers and sisters. And here we stand, amen?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-25 01:46:18 / 2023-05-25 02:05:19 / 19