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November 30, 2021 3:00 am
People today are starving for God's word but they don't know it, they realize the vacancies in their life. The hollow places the shallow places they cannot solve the problems and dilemmas of life.
They are starving for God's word and they do not know and are being offered a lot of substitute nurse at a time you want to stick around. As John shows you why he teaches and why all pastors should teach the Bible and only the Bible, the study begins today is titled simply why I teach the Bible John for that listener who may be new to grace to you. I think the next several programs are going to be an excellent first exposure to what it is that we do because what they're going to hear is a sort of representative dose of your fundamental philosophy of ministry in concentrated form explained that we are behind everything we do is driving divine mandate and it really comes down to what the apostle Paul said to Timothy presort in season and out of season approve, rebuke, and exhort with all patience and long-suffering so we teach the word because that's exactly what we have been commanded to do. There are more reasons than just the command and were going to explore those other reasons. The fact is that the word is the only agency in the world today that is God's tool for transformations were saved by the word were sanctified by the works of this is very very important understanding backing up what grace do you has always done now for the next couple of weeks. I just want to let you in on what our programming is going to be today through Thursday going to have a series called why I teach the Bible and it goes right to second Timothy three which talks about the fact that we need to preach the word gets to that in the fourth chapter, but it gives you all the reasons why leading up to that call to preach will look at why you should attend church. The effect the Bible has on our lives. Trends in the church that have moved it away from a priority of the word of God which is a tragic reality and will look at five compelling reasons why I do what I do from the pulpit and hear on the radio and I think the study is going to provide food for thought about your own church and how it handles the word of God might even help you search for a new church. So that's through Thursday and then Friday through next Wednesday one of my favorite passages in all the Scripture Psalm 19 God's own defense of Scripture. Yes, God defends Scripture in that Psalm so then look at the claims Scripture makes about itself a powerful defense of its veracity authority and ability to transform lives. And then next Thursday and Friday will look at Matthew 28, 16 to 20 which is the great commission reaching the world a message that will fortify and motivate you to carry out your God-given responsibility proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.
These are very special, strengthening days, so make sure you stay with us.
Yes, do stay with us. These are the kinds of messages that will really fortify your trust in God's word and increase your love for it and your desire to share its truth with others.
And so, without further delay, here's John launching his study why I teach the Bible preach the word. Be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction that brief verse defines biblical ministry in one central command preach the word along with that you could add first Timothy three where pastors and overseers and elders are to be did Dr. Koss in the Greek skilled in teaching and preaching. We are to preach the word skillfully.
That is our calling and this verse is definitive as few others of that calling because it speaks so concisely and precisely preach the word now. You will notice that the apostle Paul adds the time and the tone here.
The time in season and out of season. We could debate what that means but if I can lead you to a very simple conclusion. Whatever he may have had in mind, specifically about in season and out of season is only possible to either be in season or out of season. Therefore, it means all the time preach the word all the time. There is no time when we change that commission. No time when that method of ministry is set aside for something else preaching the word is to be done all the time. The tone is given. Also in the verse.
There is a negative aspect of reproving and rebuking and that is we take the truth of the word of God and we confront error and sin, and then there is the positive side we take the truth of God, and we exhort with great patience and we instruct negatively we confront error and sin positively. We teach sound doctrine and godly living.
We exhort people to be obedient to the word and we have great patience and allowing them the time to develop maturity in their obedience very simple verse preach the word all the time, both with a negative and confrontive aspect, by which we confront error and sin in the positive one by which we instruct in sound doctrine and call people to holy obedience. If every word of God is true in every word of God is pure and Scripture says, and every word of God is food than every word of God is to be proclaimed. People today are starving for God's word but they don't know it there starving. They're hungry there reaching out and grasping, they realize the vacancies in their life. The hollow places the shallow places the lack of insight, the lack of understanding they cannot solve the problems and dilemmas of life. They are starving for God's word and they do not know it and are being offered a lot of substitutes that don't help, God has ordained that his word be brought to them that his word alone can feed them in the delivery method is through preaching. How shall they hear. Paul said without a preacher. Martin Luther said the highest worship of God is the preaching of the word. That's true because God is revealed through his word, therefore preaching his word is preaching his character and his will and that defines him in true terms and exalt him as he is to be exalted. Our mandate then comes not from the culture. It comes from heaven is the God of heaven who has mandated us through the pages of Scripture to preach the word to preach every word and to bring to starving souls.
The only food that feeds and that is the truth of God.
We understand that command but I don't want to just leave it at that, because surrounding this verse is a potent portion of Scripture that gives us five compelling reasons why we must obey this divine mandate five compelling reasons why we must obey this divine mandate. Let's go back to chapter 3, verse one and identify the first of these five. The concise and clear unmistakable unequivocal command to preach the word is supported by five compelling realities that become for us strong motivation in each of these five is very potent.
Each of them could stand alone in being enough motivation for Amanda preach the word of God together they provide a formidable set of motivations like no other text of Scripture number one we are to preach the word because of the danger of the seasons because of the danger of the seasons chapter 3 verse one but realize this, Paul tells Timothy that in the last days and the last days began when the Messiah came the first time I little children. John said it is the last time Christ appeared once in the end of the age is the end of the agent is the last days they began when Jesus came in in the last days difficult times will come.
Difficult times is the phrase that I want you to grasp for a moment actually could be translated seasons rather than times. It's not clock time. It's not calendar times. The Greek word Kai Ross, which means, seasons or epics or movements and the word difficult is really the word dangerous. It could even be translated and is savage, savage seasons will come dangerous times will come perilous times in some translations of translated they threaten the truth, they threaten the gospel. They threaten the church and according to verse 13. If you'll drop down to verse 13 they will increase in severity because evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived from the beginning of the last days until Jesus comes, there will be an escalating severity and an escalating frequency of these dangerous epics were talking about movements here epics. They began when Jesus came and started the church in relation to the preaching of the gospel and they have continued and continued cumulatively. They don't come and go, they come and stay, and then more come and stay in more common, more common and so there is greater danger now than there's ever been in the sense of having accumulated. These damnable epics they define for us the danger threatens the life of the church and threatens the truth. Let me just suggest some of these to you the first and most prominent great epic of danger that was thrust upon the church began in the fourth century began with the development of the Holy Roman Empire and Constantine and all of that and eventually developed into the danger called sacramental is him sacramental is him was the development of the Roman Catholic system. Salvation was by automatic ritual. The church became a surrogate Christ in you connected to the church and the system rather than a personal relationship with Christ. Sacramental is and became the enemy of the true gospel and the enemy of grace and faith and was the instrument of persecution and execution of true believers. It wasn't really until the Reformation in the 16th century that the back of sacramental is an began to be broken wasn't long after the Reformation you coming to the 18th century and you have the development of the second great epic in the church. That's the epic of rationalism out of the Renaissance and out of the Industrial Revolution and even out of the Reformation. Once the back of this great monolithic institution was broken. And man got his own identity back in his own life and begin to think for himself and as you begin to discover things and invent things and develop things and feel is freedom again to worship his own mind and human reason became God of Thomas Paine wrote the age of reason in which you debunk the Bible and affirm that the human mind is God. And so the Bible came a slave to rationalism and rationalists assaulted Scripture and denied its miracles and denied its inspiration and denied the deity of Christ and denied the gospel of grace in the name of scholarship and human reason that didn't go away either. Still have sacramental religions in the world. We still have rationalism destroyed every seminary in Europe all the educational institutions of any history across the world been infested with rationalism which discredits the Bible never forget being in St. Andrew, Scotland going to the Saints elevators chapel at the University of St. Andrews and standing in the pulpit were John Knox launched the Scottish Reformation. Rome was in power. John Knox came in preach the gospel of grace and faith in the midst of that works system.
He really took his stand against this massive powerful system stood in this wooden pulpit. I stood in the very pulpit from which he, he launched the Scottish Reformation.
He preach the gospel of Jesus Christ nearby that pulpit outside that little chapel in the cobblestone streets. There are some initials three sets of initials are there. There are the names of three young students were in their late teens or heard the preaching of John Knox and believe the gospel and turn to Jesus Christ by faith and embrace Christ and were burned at the stake on that spot by the church, burned there for their faith in Christ and his attributes of them. There was a great martyr's memorial placed right down by the St. Andrews golf course right by the first tee by the clubhouse. You can see in the background but on that spot where they actually were burned there initials are in the street right across from that cross the street is the theological college of the St. Andrews University where there's not one person who believes the Bible is the word of God or believes the gospel and every day. The theological faculty walk from there to the pub across the street stepping across the initials of the martyrs who died for the truth that they reject that's rationalism is worshiping the God of human intellect and denying the veracity of Scripture. That's a dangerous season is a formidable foe and then that was followed by Orthodox is him even in Europe the dead cold in different orthodoxy.
The 19th-century mass printing came in Bibles were mass printed and people got the Bible in their hands, but it didn't seem to matter their orthodoxy was dead and cold they lacked zeal, their spirituality was either nonexistent or shallow. We still have that we still have dead orthodoxy.
Then came political system where the church became preoccupied with political power. The church became politicized and develop the social gospel and reconstruction liberation theology and then we come into the 20th century and become of the 1950s in the next dangerous season was ecumenical him and that was really big when I was a student and and they were talking about unity and let's set aside dogma. Let's all be wine and let's not divide over these doctrinal issues, and let's get sentimental sentimentality became the issue. There was a new hermeneutic for interpreting Scripture call the Jesus ethic and they determine Jesus was a nice guy never would've said anything that was bad so will take all the bad part out all the judgment all the retribution they begin to tolerate evil disdain doctrine and the legacy of that was a lack of discernment in the 1960s came the dangerous season of experiential is him truth comes from feeling truth comes from intuition truth comes from visions or prophecies or special revelations, and you no longer look to the objective word of God which look to some subjective intuition to determine truth and that has posed an immense danger to the church and draw people away from the word of God and then in the 1980s came subjectivism when psychology captured the church and we all got in a narcissistic naval watching and we were all concerned about whether we could bump ourselves up the comfort letter a little bit and get more successful make more money and we developed a man centered theology and needs-based theology and personal comfort became the goal then in the 90s came mysticism we could believe in absolutely anything didn't really matter. You can believe whatever you want to believe also in the 90s came pragmatism and pragmatism basically says appropriate means for ministry are defined by the people, give them what they want. Do a survey they'll tell you what they want, you get what they want. Truth is the servant of what works. Preaching was then viewed expository preaching was then viewed. Of course, is a pony express method of delivery in the computer age to a lot of folks who didn't want it in the first place.
The church decided that the key to effective ministry was image or style rather than content and then later in the 90s came syncretism.
All religions are monotheistic all worship the same God and all monotheists are going to have an and one man wrote a book about he took a trip to heaven, he met Confucius there, and emit rooted there and emit Mohammed there and emit Orthodox Jews. There he met atheists were seeking true therapist. Truth is God, and they didn't know they were seeing God, but they were seeking God and all monotheists are there and that syncretism and silicosis. One dangerous epic after another that they never come and leave the just come and stay in come and stay, we accumulate and accumulate and accumulate. We take some photos. This is a formidable war out there a formidable set of fortresses. According to the terminology of second Corinthians 10 were for the destruction of fortresses.
These are these are very, very well designed, strong fortifications, ideological fortifications must come smashing down in order to do that. It takes some very skilled men. It's not easy to be discerning in our time. It's not easy to understand the issues that face us is not easy to bring the appropriate portion of Scripture to bear upon these imminent dangers all around us, and most of Christianity really doesn't care.
But we do all of these dangers accumulating mingling, worsening, and with it a lack of discernment in the church and a disdain for discernment and a growing disdain for doctrine. Now Paul starting in verse two defines a little bit more about these dangerous seasons. In general, descriptions of of the people that are behind them and the people to get involved in them. They are lovers of self, they are lovers of money, boastful, arrogant revivals, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Now if you stood up and apply that list to anybody today. It would be seriously politically incorrect, wouldn't it.
I mean way beyond that.
Can you imagine someone confronting someone in error and just going through that list. Reminds me of Jesus approach how well it worked. Today, he went up to the religious leaders of his day, who were in error and he said you snakes you vipers you dogs, you filthy stinking wretched tombs painted white, pretty direct stuff these dangerous people are described here as to the absence of any virtue or character. They are the instruments of Satan to produce these great dangers verse five.
Sort of sums up they have a form of godliness, the outward form the face that they want to portray is of godliness, but what is absent is power. They don't have the power of God because they don't know God, you avoid those kinds of people they come into households and they get in there today through the media means and as well as personally and that they target women who are designed by God to be protected by faithful men, they captivate those weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses and they teach them, and there always learning but they never come to know what the truth just like Janice and jammers to the magicians in Egypt opposed Moses.
These men oppose the truth. They are men of depraved mind, and they should be rejected. There's Paul's description of the people who are behind these dangerous seasons and the people who get caught up in them dangerous seasons men of corrupt mind opposes of the truth. Beloved, we need men who can go into the fray.
Men who can go into the battle who understand the word of God clearly let me tell you something. Satan's deceptions are not without subtlety, you understand that it's not always obvious on the surface what's really going on. It takes formidable men. It takes men who understand the word of God clearly carefully.
It takes men to understand the issues of their time and it takes men who have a holy courage who are willing to step into the battle and identify the enemy and assault the enemy graciously, but assault the enemy relentlessly with the truth. Paul says in second Corinthians 10. Our job is to smash fortresses ideological fortresses and bring everybody captive there into obedience to Christ. We want to set free the captives held in the fortresses that these dangerous epics have erected were called to guard the truth were called to preach the truth. We can do either. If we don't understand the truth. The second reason why they must preach the word, not only because of the danger of the seasons and the word is the only thing that cuts through the air.
But secondly, because of the devotion of the saints because of the devotion of the saints go down to verse 10, but you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patients love, perseverance, persecutions and sufferings.
Timothy, you followed me you are my disciple and I went through the patterns of ministry for you you you saw my ministry duty and what was my ministry duty teaching and living. You saw how I taught it, and I lived it. That's integrity, and then he says in verse 10, and you saw my purpose my focus. The man was focus relentlessly focused on the responsibility had to proclaim the truth and you saw my face better faithfulness faithful to that purpose, and patient to see it fulfilled and loving toward the people and toward God and persevering in the face of persecution and suffering. You saw how I minister both of you saw the way I did it I did it.
Would love I did with focus I did it relentlessly. I did it patiently.
I did it lovingly. I took the flak I took the pain. It took the suffering. It took the hardship I took the imprisonment that took the beatings the whippings the stoning's you sought you were there to Antioch and I chromium list for you sought whispers. Where was stoned and left for dead.
You sought then verse 14 you, however, continue in the things you've learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you've learned who from me.
What is he saying to Timothy. Timothy just do exactly what I told you to do just do exactly what I told you to do.
You know that's so important everybody today wants to reinvent ministry. Have you noticed Paul. Just as we do it just exactly the way I told you to do it down in verse 17 he calls Timothy, the man of God as a technical term used only twice in the New Testament.
Both times of Timothy use over 70 times in the Old Testament every time it means a preacher every time it's used. It means a preacher Timothy luck you're just another man of God was a long long line of these men of God series of men called by God gifted by God to proclaim his truth.
You're just one in the long line you can't get out of step. You can't go your way. Invent your own approach. You're just one in the long line of men who were called to preach the word.
What you do. So we bring God to people through his word. That's the only way we can do it. People are starving for the knowledge of God. As I said they just don't know it, but when we start delivering they find out it was said of Martyn Lloyd Jones. I think by Jim Packer. He brought more of the sense of God than any other man what a commendation. Join me in prayer father. What a glorious wonderful occasion. This is, and we thank you for it.
We thank you that we don't need a wanderer and some fog about the direction of life and ministry. We thank you that you have clarified it to us. We thank you that you are raising up these men.
We thank you father for their devotion and commitment to the fulfillment of this command, O Lord, grant them power and faithfulness and integrity of life defectiveness as they endeavor to serve you carry out this commission continue father raise them give you all the glory in Christ.
This is grace to you with John MacArthur thanks for tuning in today. Today's lesson looked at five reasons to preach the word. It's part of John's study titled why I teach the Bible, you know, friend, even if you love God's word, read it regularly and want to know exactly what it means that can be challenging without the right tools for help with that.
Let me remind you about the MacArthur New Testament commentary series is a 34 volume set that gives you an in-depth explanation for every verse in the New Testament, clearing up confusing passages in helping you go deeper into your favorite chapters to place your order. Contact us today. Call toll-free 855 grace or visit our website TTY.org you will enjoy a significant discount if you order the entire 34 volume set all at once, which includes a helpful index of the entire series. Also, we recommend you place your order. Very soon, if you want to use our free shipping option still receive your books before Christmas again to order the MacArthur New Testament commentary series, call 855 grace or shop email@example.com and when you visit our website TTY.org. Make sure to take advantage of all of the opportunities you have, to study God's word can supplement your personal Bible study with daily devotionals written by John or read articles on hot button issues facing the church on the Gracie blog watch grace to you television and download any of John's more than 3500 sermons. All of that Bible teaching, and more is available free of firstname.lastname@example.org now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John looks at how to use biblical truth to lovingly confront people who are trapped in error join us for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one person at a time on grace