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The Lord's Slave

Anchored In Truth / Jeff Noblit
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2022 8:00 am

The Lord's Slave

Anchored In Truth / Jeff Noblit

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Well, grab your Bibles and go to 2 Timothy as we continue in our exposition of this wonderful New Testament epistle. As the Apostle Paul is riding from the Roman prison to Timothy, he's left Timothy in charge of the church at Ephesus. And he, in effect, is superintending through Timothy the pastoring of this church and particularly how to organize it and how it should function.

And I call this beautifying the bride. If we do the work of the church, the local church, God's way, then God gets glory. And that's what the church is for. His beauty is shined forth out of the church. The church is his theater by which he portrays who he is, his power, his wisdom, his beauty. So as we obey what the Word says in the power of the Spirit, we are reflecting our God to the world. And that's the most important thing that God is glorified. So we come to 2 Timothy, chapter 2, and today's section is verses 23 through 26. Yes, this is somewhat repetitive, but that's the way Paul is.

He keeps hitting on certain things because he knows Timothy needs it. The church at Ephesus needs it. And the church of every age needs the reminder. Verse 23, An escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. I've entitled this exposition The Lord's Slave. Paul has been using a lot of metaphors in this letter. He used house and household.

And we talked last week about the vessels, our utensils in a house and how he used them figuratively. He uses the metaphor from the age that he was living in, and that was that slavery was very common. It was common throughout the world. Matter of fact, in world history, almost every corner of the globe had extensive slave practice. And it was certainly true in the ancient world in which Timothy was living.

But here, Paul uses it for us, Christians, believers in Jesus Christ. We are slaves, bondservant, same thing, of Christ. You see, everyone is held captive. Everyone hearing my voice or who lives in the whole world is in bondage. Everyone is a slave. You're either in the captivity of or in bondage to or a slave of Christ or of Satan and sin. But everyone is. There is no exception.

And there is no neutral ground. Those who would claim, well, you know, I may not be a Christian. I'm not really committed to God and committed to his Christ, but I'm no servant of evil either. I'm a good guy.

You're the worst of the worst. Those of you who think you're on neutral ground somewhere in between, you're the best instrument Satan has. You're the best message that you can be, quote, somewhat ethical or clean or morally upright, but not a fanatic, not really sold out to Christ. You can lead more people to hell than anyone could.

Well, there's no neutral ground. You're either Christ's slave or you're Satan and sin's slave. And in our text today, he picks up on that metaphor. And we see it in verse 24, the Lord's bondservant, the Lord's slave.

So that's what I've entitled this. The Lord's slave. Roman number one, he says about the Lord's slave.

Let's back up a second before I unpack this. Now, this is written to Timothy, the pastor of a local church. So it has special application to church leadership, but it certainly has instruction and application for all of us who name the name of Christ and belong to his church. Well, Roman number one, he's to reject foolish and ignorant speculation. He's to reject foolish and ignorant speculation. Why should I reject that?

Now, we're talking about within the church when there is what Paul terms here, foolish and ignorant speculation comes up in a church body. Why are we to reject that? Why don't we just try to keep everybody happy and kind of accommodate some of these strong personalities who want to have their own spin on things of their own viewpoint? Well, the reason we have to do it is because we're not our own boss. We have a boss. We're slaves of someone else and our master said to reject it. And that ought to be enough. Can I get amen?

There's something called authority and God has all authority. Well, first of all, reject foolish and ignorant speculation. A, because it's foolish and ignorant. I mean, that's exactly what he says here.

And I want to unpack this. The word refuse has an idea of hearing, understanding and then setting it aside. So you're to hear their narrative, if you will, their viewpoint. When you find out it's just speculation, it's extra biblical. There's no sound Bible basis for their viewpoint, their teaching or their movement. Then you're to reject it. Don't let it get a foothold in God's church. The same word is used in 1 Timothy 4-7 where he says, have nothing to do with worldly fables.

Don't entertain it. Now then he says it's foolish and ignorant. The word foolish comes from a base word that the scholars say has the idea of one who is dull.

You will like this. One who is stupid. One who is block-headed.

One who is without reason or what of mental sanity. He said, now Timothy, there's going to be those groups. Now this is especially true in immature churches.

They haven't had a chance to reform to any good level of biblical spiritual health. When you're in those churches, there are going to be these guys pop in and pop up among you. And they're going to say, man, we think we ought to move this way. Now we think this is a better teaching than what Paul's doing or what Timothy's doing. You ought to hear us out. Now, Timothy, when you realize they're going on human emotion and speculation, not on sound biblical exposition, then you're to understand something that's stupid.

That's what Paul's saying. That is stupid and block-headed. It's foolish. It's the words of a fool or at least one who's acting foolish and you're to reject it.

So not only foolish, i.e. dull, stupid, block-headed. He said it's ignorant.

It's like Paul says, I can't put enough superlatives on this to make my point. Ignorant has the idea of half educated or uneducated. So these are stupid, block-headed arguments from people who are half educated. And all it is, is speculation.

Speculation has the idea of questionings. And brothers and sisters, always remember that. And for moms and dads, this is very true about your children. There are evil forces out there who want you to always say, I don't know about the pastor and the elders there.

Just to get you to call into question. Moms and dads, there are evil forces. And by the way, in the mechanism, they've taken over public education. Now, thank God we still have godly influences out there. And God bless you if you're in public education. We need to pray for you.

You're the front line of the war. But there are strong forces. And if they can do anything, they'll start with, you think mom and dad's morals, mom and dad's values, they're not right. And they want to start this wickedness in kindergarten. And that's all it is, is speculation and disputation, questionings. Well, in our context back here, Paul is writing to the church. He says, and Timothy, this stuff is foolish and it's ignorant. This disputing and questioning is not to be allowed, refuse it. The idea again is hear it when you understand what it is, reject it and shut it down.

Proverbs 26, four and five ties in strongly here. Do not answer a fool according to his folly. In other words, you're not to answer a fool according to his argument of foolishness. You're to answer him according to what he deserves. So what does a fool deserve? To be shut down.

He's not to be allowed to be heard. Now, it's been, we can say decades now since we've had any out and out foolish, ignorant speculations trying to trouble this church. And thank God for that. Can I get an amen on that? We now can say going on decades, we've had such a long season of sweet, spiritual, God-centered unity and blessedness here. And I praise the Lord for that. And that's the mark of a church that has not arrived, but has matured in Christ. But there are those times and for our church plant pastors and pastors trying to reform typical churches to biblical health, there are going to be times when you have to have a backbone and you have to shut some things down. There are people that you're going to have to say, we're not hearing you again.

There's no biblical basis. In those early days when we went through long, long years of difficulties and strife and speculations and divisions, it was hard. And I had a common phrase I would tell people.

I would say, bring me an open Bible, prove to me thoroughly from Scripture where we're wrong, and I'll agree with you. And I mean that. This isn't about me, brothers and sisters. You can't stand the way we've stood for these decades if it was about us. You can only stand the way we've stood for these decades if it's about him, because then he gives you the strength to stand or you won't be able to stand it.

Anytime, anywhere, anyone, I mean I extend it, anchored in truth family. If you think we're off track, bring me clear Scripture and I'll agree with you. And by the way, we've had a person, I was going to say a person or two, but actually a person in recent years come and after we presented the budget said, I think this ought to be like this and this ought to be like that. And I looked at what he was saying and it amounted to no change in doctrine and no problem in the church. So I said, okay, we'll change it.

And he just looked at me like, I thought we was going to have to fight. No, no. You wanted 5,000 here rather than 5,000 there? That's just a figure of speech. That's not exactly what he was saying. But it was just an interesting little thing. I said, okay, we'll do that. Why not? But now if he got down to foundational doctrines of church structure and function, then I'm not dogmatic.

I'm bulldogmatic. Some things you have to refuse. Well, these kinds of foolish and ignorant speculators do not promote the faith and morals of the church and the spiritual unity of the church, just the opposite. He says there in verse 23, he continues, they produce quarrels, the very end of the verse. I'll speed through this because this just means they produce divisions.

It literally means produce has the idea of a breeding ground. It's a breeding ground for fighting when you allow those people to have a voice in the church. In one sense, everyone has a voice, but not if you're trying to undermine the church's doctrine and purposes that are decently, if not thoroughly biblical. Now, we do know that in the early church, they had a lot of this going on and there was a lot of difficulty. Matter of fact, Paul, when he leaves this church before he's arrested, he tells the elders of this church, I don't know if Timothy was already installed to oversee at that point or not, but he tells the elders, the elder body, there's going to be savage wolves come in from without and rise up within and try to lead away the flock.

He told them this is going to happen. Now it's happening and he's telling Timothy, fight against it, don't let it have a foothold. We must reestablish our conviction that all basis for all teaching in the church must be sound doctrine from the word of God. There are those who would like to come in and take their speculations and paste on a scripture here and there to try to make it look orthodox when it absolutely is not.

All discussions must have the scriptures as the ground of authority. We do not allow doctrinal discussions to carry on without or apart from the sound exegesis of the biblical text as the ground of authority. We must not entertain teaching based on man's opinion. Paul says that's boneheaded, stupid and uneducated and it's speculation and you are to refuse it. Well, a third thing, not only is it foolish and ignorant, so that's why you refuse it.

Not only does it produce fights, it's a breeding ground for fights. Thirdly, and I bring this from the systematic context of all of scripture and that is it does not serve God's purposes and God's glory. It does not serve God's purposes and God's glory. The purpose of the church is to glorify God, bring him honor and praise and glory.

And who is he? He's the God of all truth. So if we allow, quote, in order to not hurt people's feelings or, quote, in order to not upset so-and-so because he has a strong impression about something, he'll get his feelings hurt and try to hurt the church. If we allow them to have their way and have their say and they're not really grounded on truth, then we're dishonoring the God whom we're supposed to be glorifying.

We're casting forth and non-truth rather than reflecting and emitting out from us God's truth. So these things have to be dealt with because God's purpose is that his church glorify him. Ephesians 3, 21, again, it's somewhat of a theme verse for our ministry here, to him be glory in the church. This is written to a local church and all we know until the glorified state occurs when Jesus returns is local churches.

To him be glory in the local church and in Christ Jesus, harvest on a plane there. He puts them side by side, Christ and his church because they are one both for time, what's he say, to all generations and then forever and ever. So it doesn't serve the purposes of God and his glory.

All right, that's number one, refuse foolish and ignorant speculation. Now, why? Because you're the Lord's slave, Timothy.

This isn't fun, this isn't easy. Matter of fact, if a lot of pastors were honest, being an effective pastor is too often defined by a guy is able to keep the power brokers in the church happy by letting them have enough of their way. Well, that might be easiest for a while, but what are you gonna do when you face Jesus Christ to whom you were supposed to be a slave and you were supposed to pastor God, his church, his way? That's an idolatry, we can't do that. Now, Romans 2, avoid quarreling.

Why? Because you're the Lord's slave. So Timothy, when you're dealing with some of these things, it's going to be a temptation for you to get in the flesh and just be quarrelsome, if you will. And that's the phrase he uses here in verse 24, look at it. The Lord's bondservant must not be quarrelsome. Now, I think in the context, what Paul's most likely saying here, if you entertain these foolish and ignorant speculations, you yourself are producing an atmosphere of quarrelsomeness.

Timothy, you're adding to being a quarrelsome environment. You're supposed to hear it, identify what it is, and if it's not biblically thorough, to shut it down. When you are hearing these things and you are observing these things and you do shut them down, then you are doing what the Bible says to earnestly contend for the faith.

And that's our first sub point here. You shut down quarrelsomeness by contending for the faith. So Timothy, you're contending for the faith when you shut down these extra biblical speculations that want to divide the church. Now, contending for the faith includes silencing unbiblical speculation and doing the hard work of expositing the biblical text so the church knows the truth. Not only contending for the faith is to avoid quarrels, but secondly, by being kind to all. That's what he says in verse 24. Timothy, on top of this, as a lot of people are ugly and harsh and mean, you may have to be very firm, but you can maintain a kindness.

It has the idea of being gentle. I see a note of Paul's maturity here as he's saying, now, Timothy, you have to be balanced. Yes, there are times when you have to be like Jesus when he rebuked the Pharisees over and over and he publicly, scathingly, precisely, powerfully embarrassed them, called them a brood of vipers, called them dead men's bones, which in the Jewish context, the place of death was uncleanness.

I mean, that's pretty manly when you, in this context of 2,000 years ago, in Jerusalem, looked at the religious authorities and said, you're a bunch of dead men's bones is all you are. So sometimes Jesus was real straightforward, real harsh and real convicting and rebuking. There's a time for that, but Paul says, Timothy, also, and by the way, unless you're called to be Jesus our pastor, this probably isn't your role so much. There's a difference between called to expound and lead and over expound the truth and lead and oversee the church and the way the laity should respond. Every now and then somebody rises up in the church and they appoint themselves John the Baptist. You know, John looked at Herod and said, you got another man's wife and just publicly shamed him. That's probably not the role of the average church member. But let's be balanced, Timothy, verse 24.

Let's be kind to all. You need to have the wisdom to know the difference, Timothy. There are some times when you're hard like steel, but most of the time you're to be soft like velvet. Would they say that Abraham Lincoln was steel velvet?

I want to be more like steel velvet. So this includes the spirit and the tone. It has the idea of patience, and we'll pick up on that in a moment. And we have to remind ourselves in a church environment, or really in any environment where there's truth and error raising up and the truth is combating the error, that sometimes even God's elect can get crossways in the war and they need the continual kindness of the shepherd to guide them back to the truth. But in balance, we're reminded if they do not receive the shepherd's kind exhortations, they may end up receiving the shepherd's excommunication.

Titus 1, 10, and 11 reminds us of the same thing in the Isle of Crete as Paul's telling Titus to get those churches in order. He said, there are many rebellious men. Notice empty talkers, there's the speculation.

There's the speculators again. Verse 11, who must be silenced. That's strong again, because they're upsetting whole households, messing up God's church. But in balance, Timothy strive toward being the Lord's shepherd as a patient and gentle one, correcting the error so that some of the genuine sheep caught in the crossfire can be guided back to the truth. Now, this happens really every Sunday when the word is preached. There is a shepherding of our hearts back to the truth. There's a shepherding of our thinking back to biblical thinking. There's a shepherding of our values back to biblical values. There's a shepherding of our priorities back to biblical priorities. Why? Because we're not our own, we're somebody else's slave.

You understand a bond slave had no rights. And that's the Greek word Paul uses readily for believers and here for himself and for Timothy, but obviously it's true of all of us. Well, thirdly, avoid quarreling, not only by contending for the faith, that is excluding those who are quarrelsome, secondly, by generally being kind to all, thirdly, by being patient or rather able to teach, being able to teach. This has the idea of solid teaching and tireless teaching because as I just said, the sheep are constantly needing correcting and reminding. But something that's been so real in my heart for many years now is my growing love for the sheep.

I love you, I really mean that. And there's not anything in me that enjoys a harsh correction. I would do it if necessary, but quite honestly, it hadn't been necessary in a long, long time. So generally, as much as possible, the shepherd wants to lead with that gentleness and patience in his teaching the sheep to get back on track. And then fourthly, patient when wronged. If you're gonna be a leader of God's church, if you're called to preach or by the way, if you're gonna be in a sound church and faithfully serve God in it, you're gonna need this truth, patient when wronged. A.T. Robertson, Baptist, most esteemed Greek scholar says the phrase patient when wronged means putting up with evil. If you're gonna be faithful in doing God's work, you're gonna have to put up with evil. And the idea here is there will be evil done against you and it's gonna be continually done against you if you are a faithful under shepherd of Christ, the chief shepherd. And Timothy, you can't retaliate every time they attack you.

There's not enough you to retaliate that much. Balance again, Paul did defend himself and retaliate against some of the false things said about him. He did it quite exhaustively, for example, to the Corinthians. But he did it because if they can diminish Paul's reputation they diminish the effectiveness of his office of apostle. And so a pastor has to discern when are these attacks diminishing my reputation therefore they're diminishing Christ's effectiveness through my ministry. Now that's serious.

I may not matter but Christ's ministry through me matters. But in balance of things overall, you're gonna have to just be patient and endure through a lot of that because there's a lot of that going on. I don't know if you're aware of this but maybe more so in the past. Matter of fact, I'm sure more so in the past there's been a lot of strange stuff said about me and us. Are you aware of that in the community?

Just strange stuff. The one that never lets go is you have to turn in your W-2 when you join the church so they can make sure. Every one of you that was asked to turn in your W-2 when you join Grace Life Church, would you raise your hand?

All right, if you're listening out there in radio and television internet land nobody's raising their hand. But yet those kind of things to put the leadership in a bad image you're just gonna have to live with that. And I do feel a lot like Spurgeon when Charles Haddon Spurgeon was pastoring in London he had the public media that hated him because he was incredibly popular and influential in London. Secondly, he had the Armenians that believe you helped save yourself. They hated him because he was a staunch Calvinist held to sovereign grace. But then he had the hyper-Calvinists who didn't believe in calling men to repentance and faith or doing missions, they hated him.

So he was hit by every side. And Spurgeon one day said, well, they can't hurt me anymore. Everything that's possible that you could possibly say about somebody has now been said. And I've gotten through all of that. They can't hurt me anymore. Well, here's what I'm saying. If you're a leader in a church, are faithful member in a church, are a small group leader in a church, are a deacon in a church, are an elder in church, are the preaching pastor of the church, you're gonna have to be patient when wronged. Because Brother Steve, there's a lot of that out there.

You just gonna have to be patient. Matthew 5, 11, Jesus said it so clearly. Blessed are you not if, but when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you. Now notice, listen to this. When they do all of that, all that evil against you, here's what Jesus said, because of me.

It's because of me. Paul had experienced so much of this. Paul is in prison. Paul is on death row. Paul will soon be executed because they persecuted him and said evil about him. That was untruth because of his love for Jesus. Paul knew it.

Timothy's younger. He's right into Timothy and Timothy need to be reminded that this goes with the territory. But we need to remember if one is a man of God or a woman of God, the attacks against him are against the God of the man. They hate Christ and they will hate you.

John 15, 18 and 19. If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you are of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world.

Ecclesia, the word for church means the called together ones, the assembled ones. I chose you out of the world because of this, he says, the world hates you. So real quick, how can we continue then as pastor and people to teaching God's truth and standing for God's truth? How can we continue to be kind to all? How can we continue to be patient when the world and so many others are against us? Let me give you three quick thoughts and we'll just hit this and run on, okay?

This is a long outline. You don't have time to get it all down. Just try to remember what the spirit wants you to remember. How are we gonna do that? Number one, remember it's not against you and it's not about you.

Can you remember that? It's not against you. If you're standing for God's truth, it's not against you, it's against Christ. It's not about you. You're to be crucified with Christ.

I'm to be crucified with Christ. It's not against you, it's not about you. When we were going through difficult, difficult years, I should say, I was gonna say days, but years, Ms. Pam would often remind me and she just seemed to hold up real well in it and she said, I knew you were God's man and this was God's work. They were against God. And she just had a peace in that. She did better than I did.

She's also said through the years, Jeff, have you not seen the long-term results of those who so viciously raised their head to undermine God's work? They didn't do well. Their lives didn't do well.

Their families didn't work out well. It's not against you. It's not about you.

It's about the God we love and serve. That's who they're attacking, folks. Number two, it's predicted and expected. Remember, Jesus told us very clearly, and by the way, are you listening to me, church? Our world is not the same world it was 20 years ago. You understand we're really square pegs in a round hole now. So it's predicted and expected we could get some backlash. Paul says in Philippians 1, 28, in no way alarmed by your opponents.

That's all I want to hit on here. What did he say? Why are you shocked that you got people to oppose you? Why are you shocked that many who claim to be God's people oppose what you're teaching and preaching? Paul says, why does this alarm you?

This is the way it is. So that's why you can keep on teaching and keep on being kind and be patient when all this is happening. Well, number three, another reason why we can do it is not only is it not against you, not about you, not only is it predicted and expected, but thirdly, as the church matures, it will diminish.

And that's why I can say that whatever evil that arises, we're not seeing it come up within the body anymore. We saw that a lot in years past, but it's been a long, long time. And so I want to, you just don't know how much pastors out there that follow our ministry need to hear that word because they're right in the middle of it.

They're thinking, will it ever end? Will the undermining, will the backbiting, will the questioning, will the speculation, will the slanders against my character, will it ever end? If you'll hang in there, brothers, it will diminish greatly, greatly. Psalm 133, one says, behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. That's a picture of a mature spiritual fellowship and it's good and it's pleasant. All right, hurrying on, Roman number three, as the Lord's slave, you're to be correcting the erring who will listen. Correcting the erring who will listen. That's one of the difficult parts of pastoring or leading in the church is, it's a continual role of correcting. That's what preaching the word does. It corrects me as I'm studying and preparing to preach it, corrects you as it goes out, but we're blessed to be corrected from God's word. Verse 25, with gentleness, correcting those who are in opposition.

Now, this is those who are not quarreling any longer. They're willing to listen to their shepherd. They're willing to say, okay, I need to understand better. Help me understand better then. Well, how are you to do that?

A, with a gentle tone and tenor. This is the second time he's hit on this idea of gentleness. So let that be a word for you, parents. Sometimes as a parent, you got to crack the whip.

You got to have a harsh word. I get that. There's part of parenting. But most of the time, if you'll speak the truth, now listen to me, not with a lot of drama, but just a clear word with the tenor and the tone of gentleness.

It's powerful. The Bible says a gentle answer turns away wrath. There's a lot to that.

A lot to that. If they're not obstinate and brazen and harsh, then you use that tone and that spirit, that gospel humility in you ought to produce that. Galatians 6, 1 says to restore an erring one in a spirit of gentleness. Now again, the context is, if they're willing to listen and they're going to try, then look, brothers and sisters, we're all erring ones.

Amen? If you weren't erring ones, I could just preach to y'all one time for about two hours and we'd just dismiss until we get glorified. But every week I err and you err.

Sometimes I call it you leak. Every week we need correcting again. And people would say, why do you enjoy that strong preaching and correction? Because I've got a new love in my heart for the God who's holy and perfect. And it's my joy to want to be more like him and I need the preaching of the word. It's my food. The psalmist said it's better than silver and gold. It's better than the morsels I'll eat.

I don't know about you, but I need it. I've been listening to old Dr. Vance Habner some lately on podcast, Manhights Enriched My Soul because Dr. Habner in 1950s and 60s was saying what we're saying today about the church. He turned over, well, he's in his grave, so I guess he is turning over in his grave. If he could understand what's going on in the church today, he couldn't imagine how far we've gone. Well, gentleness correcting, he says. Actually, the word correcting there means disciplining.

It means instruction with correction. So we're not going to leave someone in sin and error with gentleness, small group leader, with gentleness, brother to brother, sister to sister, with gentleness, pastor to people, if they're trying, gentleness, never harshness, never coldness, correcting one another. This foolish and worldly concept that, well, I can't discipline my children because I'm not going to discipline my children because I love them.

You need to repent. You don't get to raise your children according to your emotions. You raise your children according to the one to whom you serve as slave. He tells you how to raise your children. You have to raise your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. And that's a lot of unconditional love. That's a lot of forgiveness and that's a lot of gentleness.

Directing discipline. You see, if you don't discipline your children, it's not because you love them. First of all, it's because you don't love them. You don't love them if you don't discipline them. Secondly, if you don't discipline your children, you have the sin and idolatry of your feelings because you're putting your sentiment in your feelings. And by the way, that's what's running our culture today.

It's about the silly, nonsensical, immature, childish feelings and emotions. Well, I feel it. It's my truth. You don't have your truth. God is the God of truth.

God is truth. We tell our feelings, submit to our God. You'll find out if you'll commit to what's right, your feelings catch up. Pretty soon you'll feel good about what's right, not about what's wrong. You're making an idol out of your sentimentalities, your feelings over God's wisdom. You don't discipline your children or anyone because quote, you think you love them.

Then if they remain in error, their life is dishonoring to God and Rob's God of the glory he deserves. Well, first of all, correct the erring who will listen with a gentle tone and tenor. Say, pastor, you didn't preach that with a gentle tone and tenor. Well, I mean to. I just want you to hear it.

Those folks in the back of the balcony, it takes a lot of volume to get up there and help them. I'll never get you out of there, Willa. You're you're just you've nestled in up there. You scrunched up with Mama. I see you, Randy, scrunched up there with Mama. And you'll never come down. You're in Moab. You need to come down. I'm teasing.

I'm glad you're up there. So you won't spread your germs all over us down here. That's what we're doing. We're spreading out so the germs won't get us.

B. Correct the erring ones with a gentle tone and tenor. Correct the erring ones with the hope that endures. Oh, my goodness.

Strap in for this. Verse twenty five with gentleness, correcting those who are in opposition. If perhaps God may grant them repentance.

The phrase if perhaps is a word that literally means that any time God could do it. You don't know when you start gently correcting one that's willing to listen. These aren't the brazen obstinate.

They get a firmer hand. But these are the ones who said, OK, I'm open. Because you don't know at any time God may grant them repentance. This is a powerful, encouraging truth.

We never know when God's spirit may move on a person's heart. Keep on loving them with the truth. Keep on teaching them with the truth. Keep on correcting them with the truth. Keep on gently shepherding them by the truth.

You never know when God may move in. Romans ten, sixteen and seventeen. However, they did not all heed the good news.

Preaching the good news. A lot of people reject it. Paul's writing to the Romans saying a lot of people rejected it.

Probably context. Here's the Jews. The Jews overwhelmingly rejected the good news of their Savior Christ. For Isaiah said it was going to happen this way. Romans ten, sixteen, seventeen.

Lord, who's believed our report? So faith comes by hearing. Present tense. Hearing and keep on hearing. Hearing and keep on hearing.

And hearing what? The word about Christ. Hearing the truth about Christ. This is the context of believing for salvation. We know that if they keep on hearing, some will repent and be saved. God will grant repentance. And no, folks, no, brothers and sisters, to bring someone to Christ is not that we want to give them the least amount of truth and stop. We want to give them the most amount of truth about Christ. The more we can get them under Bible preaching and teaching, the more we can get them in small groups, the more likely God is to grant them repentance. That's a hope that endures.

Listen to me, folks. If God does the granting, therefore God does the saving, listen, no one, no one, no one is without hope. It may be the last moment of a terrible tragedy and a rebel is going out into eternity, but if they've heard the gospel, it's possible that in the last moment, they cry to God and are gloriously converted.

I'm not promoting deathbed conversions, trust me. What I'm promoting is there's great hope. This hope endures all the way to the last breath because it is God that saves. But if you tell me this person's got to jump through this hoop, he's got to jump through that hoop, he's got to walk this aisle and do this thing and that ritual and that sacrament, then there's not hope for a lot of people. But if God does it in the heart, there's hope.

There's hope. The word grant here is the same thing that was said in Acts 11 18 when they were worried about all the Gentiles coming to Christ. Even the Jews first thought only Jews could receive the Savior. And all of a sudden, all these non-Jews, these Gentiles start getting saved and they had a meeting about it. And when they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God and saying, well, then God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.

Praise the Lord. Repentance is a change of heart. It's a change of mind.

It requires both. When the mind changes, you begin to grasp who is truly wise. You begin to say, I'm not the wise one, God is. I don't know how to run my life, God does. I can't trust my eternal future to what I think.

I must trust it to God's Christ and rest on him. Your mind changes. Your mind goes from silly man-based speculations to the truth. But also repentance is not only a change of mind, it's a change of heart. From your heart, what you've been looking to and what you've been embracing as your joy and your pleasure has changed.

And we might say continues changing. Now you find your delight in this triune holy God. Now you find your joy in his Christ who died for you and loves you immensely. Now you find joy in hearing his word proclaimed straight and true because your joys have changed. Now, trust me, brothers and sisters, that does not, now listen, it does not mean that this old unredeemed human humanity we're housed in doesn't still have its quote joys and pleasures, but there's at least the strong germ of the new joys and the new pleasures in God that's in there.

You just need to keep feeding it and cultivating it and growing. Because guess what? All the joys in this world will pass away and do nothing for you. The joy in Christ will increase on forever into eternity. What a gift God's given us. Now listen to me, what a gift God's given us to give us the capacity to find joy in him.

That's repentance. I've turned from thinking I'm smart and know the way to thinking only Christ is. And I've turned from thinking that I can have joy and pleasures in this world and that's all that really matters to saying no, that still appeals, but something else appeals to me. It's joys and pleasures in Christ. Have you had that change?

Has that changed in you? What the Bible calls the new birth. That's what the Bible calls being made alive in Christ.

That's what the Bible calls believing on Jesus Christ. Our hearts change because you see the heart of our problem is the problem of our hearts. The person who disputes against the clear teaching of scripture has as his root problem, the problem of from his heart, living sin. That's what his heart embraces.

The problem is not an intellectual problem first, it's a moral problem first. From the heart, the lost man loves self and he loves sin. And that's why he develops theologies, speculations about what teaching ought to be right instead of going to the book.

You remember the, well, most of you weren't here, but in the sessions during the true church conference, I talked about John 7, 17. If anyone's willing to do his will, he will know the teaching. In other words, if there's a heart change and there's something in you that says, I want to please God now, I want to glorify him.

Not what I think, not what the world thinks, but what does God think? I'm drawn to want to do that now. He says, if that's your heart, then you'll identify. You'll be able to know what is truly authoritatively God's teaching and what is not.

It's a process, but that changes when your heart changes. You will begin to reject the speculations that have no real biblical foundation that the world would bring into the church and you anchor your soul on the truth of sound doctrine from the word of God. Now verse 26, and I'll close. He said, God can grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the church truth. Verse 26, and they may come to their senses. It's the idea of going from insanity to sanity. An escape from the snare of the devil having been held captive by him to do his will. Pretty powerful denunciation of the speculators that we saw in verses 23 and 24, is it not? They're held captive by Satan and they're doing his will.

Paul tells Timothy, here's a way that you might win some of them. That they come from the insanity of their unbiblical viewpoint to grasp the new viewpoint and come to sane. And actually the insanity word in the great text is usually moron.

It's a word that we get moronic from or moron from, to go from moronic thinking to sane thinking. Until that happens, Satan has complete power over them and they live, so many of them, in open denial. Have you ever seen that? People who are blind think they see it all. Satan's blinded their eyes, but they think they can see. And they flaunt their freedoms.

Do we not have the most gross unbiblical immoralities being flaunted today under the guise of we're free? They flaunt their freedoms, yet they are in chains. The Bible says they're held captive by Satan.

They're both blinded and bound. Their minds and their lives are captive to Satan and he turns them whether so ever he wishes. This is the pitiful course until the power of Christ changes them. They know not freedom until they become the captives of Christ.

We live a paradox, you know that, don't you? We're slaves and we love it, he's freed us. We're captive to Christ and it's a wonderful captivity that we long for more of. You see, because every one of you is a slave to somebody. Every one of you is held captive by something. Every one of you has a master, it's either God or Satan.

Every one of you. Who is it? Bob Dylan after he made his profession of faith in Christ, however genuine it is, I'm not real sure. But he did write some powerful biblical lyrics and very simple ones.

I play them sometimes because my wife hates Bob Dylan. And I just think what he says is so good. He's got a song called You Gotta Serve Somebody.

He goes all through there no matter what you are and he gives all these places in life. He says, you're gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil or it might be the Lord but you gotta serve somebody.

He's right. Are you a slave of Christ? Well, in our context, here's the way to deal with certain things. Whole, whole, whole lot more being a slave to Christ than what this text points out. But this text points out how we deal with issues, conflicts, problems in the church, as a slave of Christ should do it.

But what powerful parallels there are for your life, your home, your marriage, your family, your world. You gotta serve somebody. It may be the devil.

It might be the Lord. But you're a slave of somebody. Listen to me right now. This moment. You're a slave. Is it the glorious freedom of Christ? The terrible wrath coming bondage of Satan.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 21:47:18 / 2023-05-20 22:06:38 / 19

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