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The Book of 1 Timothy - Step Down!, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2022 6:00 am

The Book of 1 Timothy - Step Down!, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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October 4, 2022 6:00 am

How do you live for Jesus in a culture that’s hostile toward your faith? I mean, what can you do when your co-workers and neighbors think there’s something wrong with you just because you’re a Christian? In this program, Chip continues his series from 1st Timothy – by explaining why humility is crucial for every relationship, especially with people we disagree with.


How do you follow Jesus in a culture that is hostile or even suspicious of your faith? How do you follow Jesus when people at work or even your neighborhood just think that because you say you follow Jesus, you must have some agenda?

There must be something suspicious or wrong about you. We're going to cover that today. Stay with me. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the daily Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Cruey, and in just a minute, we'll continue our newest series based in the book of 1 Timothy. Now, last time, Chip described the prominent role humility should play in every believer's life. Today, he takes it a step further by unpacking how that trait should influence our relationships, especially with those we disagree with. But before Chip dives in, if this is your first time listening to Living on the Edge or you just want to learn more about what we do, go to

There you'll find tons of resources on a wide range of topics and countless programs for you to enjoy. Well, if you have a Bible handy, turn now to 1 Timothy 2 for the second half of Chip's message, Step Down. See, when you and I read the Gospels, we forget how powerful the life of Jesus was. When we read all the woman at the well in John 4, a man would never talk to a woman, let alone a Jew to a Samaritan. When the woman who washed his feet with her tears and wiped it, no Jew, no rabbi would ever let a woman touch him in public. Remember the woman with the issue of blood, she touches him.

Do you remember his words to her? Not, you thing, daughter, your faith has made you well. He elevates women, and so now they're realizing that we're co-heirs with the grace of God. The Greek background was even doubly difficult. In high Greek society, they actually had prohibitions in what's called the mystery religions because they would adorn themselves with braided hair and gold. Pliny is a historian, and Pliny writes that one woman in her wedding dress was worth, it was written a while ago, 400 in today's money, 432,000 pounds, which is way over a half million dollars in US currency.

That was her wedding dress. And now these little house churches are starting, and the apostle Paul is speaking into them and saying, I want the men to adorn themselves with prayer without anger and disputing, and then notice what he says in that context. Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modesty and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive apparel, speaking of the high society, but rather by means of good works as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

He says, I don't want you, don't come off like those high society ladies. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. That was true in the Greek and the Roman culture. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created and then Eve. And it wasn't Adam who was deceived but the woman who was deceived and became a wrongdoer.

But the women will be preserved through childbirth if they continue, here's our phrase, in faith, love and sanctity with moderation. What you need to get here is don't read our current world back into this text. His instruction to women fundamentally was, you can't act in these little house churches in ways where the Roman government thinks you're undermining a culture. You need to understand that 50% of the Roman empire was slaves and about 80% of the church were slaves. So now you have these transformational cultural things where a slave might be an elder in a church and his master might be in the church.

And then they gotta get up on Monday morning and he has to treat his master like the owner. And he's saying, we have these cultural norms about how life and women, he goes, we wanna bring about change but the big change has to start with the gospel. And it's interesting but there's multiple translations, opinions about this passage.

There's only about three legitimate ways you can go. One you can say a woman can never talk at any church meeting ever. And gosh, see now Philip, he had daughters that prophesied.

I guess that one doesn't play out too well, right? Or there's no justification whatsoever but Paul makes some of his arguments about there is a role between men and women and as Christ is the head, the man is the head. So there's a servant leadership here. Here's the main point of this passage that we often miss. The main point of this passage to men, if you wanted to bring about change as a man, how do we tend to do it? We power up. I'm gonna bring about change and this is the way I'm gonna do it. And what's he tell them to do? Pray up. And if you're a woman and you wanna get your way, there's a couple ways, right? I mean women have been doing it for centuries.

Is your sexual attraction or your adornment to be impressive? And see underneath both of those, the real issue is about power. The real issue is about how do you exert power to bring about change and yes we have rights, yes we have opinions and what Paul's really helping Timothy do is say you gotta back away and understand there's one mediator between mankind and God and it's the man Christ Jesus.

Make sure we do the number one priority and if we do that, guess what? Over time, slavery gets abolished. Over time, women are viewed equally. Jesus was the greatest liberator of women in all of human history. But what could have taken the entire project down was if women were acting or men were acting in ways. You go against the Roman government, I got news for you.

You just die. So he says we wanna live these quiet peaceful lives. We don't wanna make waves of some of the cultural issues that are so systematic yet. What we wanna do is we wanna from the inside out be light and salt and light and love and what happened over time was we changed the Roman Empire. In 300 years, the emperor becomes a Christian and it wasn't because of external power.

It was because of an internal transformation and I think there's probably some pretty big application for us especially in America. Here's the truth. He says this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior who wants, circle the word again, all people to be saved. I know I'm pounding on this a bit. All men, could you just bring to mind some people that maybe emotionally you don't really want them saved. That you just have anger. That when you talk about them, you talk about them like they're the devil incarnate and they voted for so and so or they didn't vote for so and so.

Or can you believe it here? I mean I'm watching Christians and this vitriol coming out of people's mouths about secondary issues. That's not exactly the agenda. Come to a knowledge of the truth for there is one God mediated between God and man, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for who? All. That includes the people you don't like and I don't like. The people that are different colors, different orientations, different political views, different countries. It's why the gospel transformed the world. Our response is I want men in every place to pray lifting holy hands without anger or dispute, arguments or quarrels. And so what I would ask you and I kind of know the answer, are you praying for all people? I mean this would be just a great application to think about whatever the side of the political aisle you are to start praying for the other side. Whoever in your church who's super ticking you off, start praying for them.

So what's really going on? You'll notice in your notes Paul's coaching for us, 2 Timothy 3, 16, 17 says, all scripture is profitable for doctrine and proof correction and instruction in righteousness that the man of God, the woman of God might be fully equipped for every good work. And so all I want you to know is that all this stuff talking about women and hair and whether they speak or don't speak in these first century house churches or men, there's application for us. The subject here is power and it's how to fight the good fight in a culture of persecution and suspicion. And this is for the glorious gospel as our number one priority instead of our tribal interest and we all have them. I mean I live in the most highly diverse city in America, more than New York City and it's been one of the most wonderful places in the world because we all come with our backgrounds and God has allowed me to be there for a lot of years and to recognize that you know what, everybody from everywhere is just in desperate need of Christ. And what they need is someone to listen to them and not judge them and make assumptions about them.

Just like I don't want them to make assumptions about me. The underlying issue here is love from a pure heart and it's revealed in our conduct and our practices that promote the gospel ahead of our personal agendas. You never budge on truth but when you move to the middle toward understanding and how could we bring about some unity? How could we care about one another?

How could we agree to disagree on seven minor issues but agree on this big issue and treat each other in how we speak and what we do? I will tell you you'll get blasted from both sides just like Jesus did and God will really use your life. The underlying question here is am I willing to follow Jesus' example of love and return good for evil to those in positions of authority in my life?

I mean that's what he was asking those women. Position of authority in your life, are you willing to voluntarily do what Jesus did? Jesus said I could have brought down angels, bam, we can solve this in a New York minute. But his power was in his surrender to the Father.

His power is like a grain of wheat falling to the earth and dying and therefore it brought much fruit. The action required, you have to step down, you have to kneel down, you have to release anger and resentment and you have to refuse to verbally attack or disrespect those who oppose you. Post about convictions you have, don't attack anybody.

It doesn't accomplish anything. We're not called to be American Christians hopefully to get our way. We're called to be followers of Christ. And you do understand, I mean this isn't rocket science, you understand the people that were most antagonistic toward Jesus were Israelites, powerful religious people who even after they saw Lazarus risen from the dead, many believed and the text says and some of them went to the religious leaders to plot to how to kill him. And then these were their words, because he's going to take our power and our nation.

And a lot of what we see in America is Christians concerned about your power and your nation more than the calling of God for the gospel. The unspoken need is to develop humility. How do you develop humility? First of all you have to know the truth. I would encourage you, Matthew 5, 43 to 48, I want you to listen to the words of Jesus. You have heard it said, you shall love your neighbors and hate your enemy but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Well why would you do that? So that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven for he causes his son to shine on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, therefore you are to be perfect. The word is teleos, you're to be mature, you're to grow up even as your heavenly father is perfect. Have this attitude in yourselves which is also in Christ Jesus, Philippians chapter 2, who although he existed in the form of God did not require equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself literally veiled his attributes taking the form of a bond servant and being made in likeness of men, being found appearance as a man, he humbled himself becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For a long time I wanted to be humble and I tried to be humble and my pride would go out the door and then it would come in the window and then it would go out the window and come in the attic and I just, I was such an arrogant young man and then I was an arrogant middle aged man and then I'm fighting becoming an arrogant older man and I'll never forget a wise mentor said, stop trying to be humble.

Really? He said, be a servant. Just be a servant.

Get up and say, what's my wife need? Be a servant at work. Be the guy that brings coffee and donuts. Be a servant. Let someone else go first. Be a servant. Just develop a mindset to consider others as more important than yourself. Just be a servant. And you know what?

It's this weird kingdom principle like so many other things. Give and you receive. Need a friend? Be a friend. Be a servant.

And I don't understand it. It's just the economy of God. As you become a servant, God says, I will lift you up.

I will exalt you. And he'll give you a reputation of someone that people talk about in coffee shops different than other people. You know, he's the kind of guy when everyone else is leaving is taking down the chairs. He's the guy that no one knows that secretly is, man, that family that couldn't even get in, he paid their way.

The only reason I know is because the little girl behind the desk said, I can't believe that man did that. You just become a servant. Second is know the truth and then live the truth. For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, Mark 10 45, but to serve and give his life a ransom for many.

The Philippians 2 three through five passage is one I memorized and it both haunts me and encourages me. Do nothing from selfishness or vainglory is the old translation or empty ambition, but consider others as more important than yourself. By the way, rather than doing that way out there, get up and say, what's my wife need? Honey, why are you doing the dishes?

Being a servant? How come you took the trash out? I didn't even ask you. How come you actually lined up the babysitter and ask if we could go on a date?

Are you okay? You know, why did you say, you know, I think we need to sit down and look at our bills together and think through our plans for the future because most wives take care of all that stuff in most marriages and they feel the weight of that instead of a man saying, I own the provision and the protection and the planning. Now she may be much better administratively than most of us, but meeting with her every two weeks, I meet with my wife and we have a folder and we pay all of our bills and then we talk about where our money is going and why.

And I didn't do that about the first three or four years and she felt crushed under the weight and responsibility because she saw all the numbers and I didn't. Finally, let me encourage you to practice. With a head, we know the truth. With our heart, we live the truth. And with our hands, we share the truth.

After Jesus lived this out in Luke chapter 10, he sent them out two by two to do the very thing, to heal, to cast out demons. And then in Romans 12, 14 to 21, perhaps my favorite passage on this, bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not. Later on, I'll talk if your enemy's hungry, feed him.

If he's thirsty, give him a drink. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God toward the end. Do not be overcome with evil, overcome evil with good. And when evil confronts evil, it's like gasoline on the fire and that's what we have in American culture today. And it's happening in the church.

I understand it out there. They're lost. They haven't met the mediator yet. Lord, will you forgive us, please all of us, for being so culturally numbed by our American consumeristic mentality that when we don't get our way, that we pout and we cast stones and we take our money and leave and we say evil and negative things, even about other brothers and sisters in Christ and friendships of five and 10 and 20 and 25 years have been broken over secondary things. Will you have mercy on us? Would you grant us the grace to seek first to understand rather than to be understood?

Would you give us the grace to figure out why people do what they do when it doesn't make any sense to us, but it does make sense to them? God, would you help us be bridge builders of reconciliation? Your church is in peril. Help us to step up and then step down. In Christ's name.

Amen. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, Step Down, from his series, The Book of First Timothy, Life Coaching from the Apostle Paul. Now, if you look at that word coach in the dictionary, you might see phrases like one who teaches, gives instruction, or provides special training.

The question is, who's coaching you and who are you coaching? In this new 12-part series, Chip dives into one of the most well-known mentor-mentee relationships in the Bible. He'll unpack what we can learn from Paul and Timothy's bond and how to apply these lessons to our lives and pass them on to others.

If you've missed any part of this series, the Chip Ingram app is a great way to catch up anytime. Well Chip's with me in studio now, and Chip, as we're talking about Paul coaching Timothy, it made me think there may be some Christians out there in midlife or beyond that don't feel like they have much to offer, either in the church or in mentoring young people. What would you say to them?

Well Dave, I think that's true, and I think it's a lie. Those in my generation or some a little bit older can feel like I'm rusty or my skills are outdated or, you know, I've done my time. You know, I'm 40, 50, 60 years old, and I'm going to leave it to the next generation. The fact of the matter is, God has a different purpose for every person in every season, but I'm going to ask you, as someone maybe in midlife or beyond, to really think about the wisdom, the advice, the feedback, the experience, the person you could be in the body of Christ. You see, you're innately wired by God with gifts and experiences that He wants to use and He wants to use now.

The real question is, do you know what they are and how to use them? Well, here at Living on the Edge, we've created a brand new resource called The Real You. It's an online questionnaire designed to provide insight into how God wired you. This is more than spiritual gift test. You'll identify the patterns in which you think, what motivates you, and why teams need someone just like you.

It'll take about 20 minutes to complete and it won't cost you a thing. Then based on your responses, The Real You will offer suggestions about how you can practically live out God's purpose for your life, whether that's at home, in the office, at church, or in your community. As a Living on the Edge partner, we want you to be the first to access this resource. Head over to to learn more. That's

Most Christians don't know how to leverage their God-given wiring and experiences for the kingdom. We want to change that. Thanks, Chip. Well, as you can tell, we are really excited about this new resource. We hope The Real You will help you not only discover who God made you to be, but how he made you to think, act, and live. As Chip said, you can sign up for this free assessment by going to Or if it's easier, text the word REAL to 74141. That's the word REAL R-E-A-L to 74141.

App listeners, tap Special Offers. Well, Chip, it seems like it's getting harder and harder to share our faith or just make simple connections with others. So, as a way to close this program, give us a few practical ways we can build meaningful relationships with others in what's become a very combative society. Well, Dave, we do live in a very divisive culture.

I don't need to list all the things that Christians are accused of or the stereotypes. And I think we need to be very honest that, you know, some of these stereotypes we've brought on ourselves by the behavior of some of us as followers or some of our leaders and some moral failure. But I think if we're going to reach people today, we need to change the paradigm and our attitude. And what I mean by that is we need to ask a lot more questions about where people are coming from before we tell them what we believe and why we believe it.

The title of this message was Stepping Down. I think Paul is saying to Timothy in a hostile culture, kneel and pray. I think he's saying instead of being, you know, angry and resentful toward this culture that doesn't understand you, the fact is they're not Christians.

They're not going to understand. So, release your anger and your resentment. Refuse to verbally attack or disrespect those who oppose you.

You know, we're living in this toxic communication on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. And I cringe when I see people that I know are believers making these comments. And I know they're sincere and I think they think they're standing for Jesus, but it's undermining our faith. I think the Apostle Paul is teaching Timothy in that day, the number one thing is to develop humility. Yes, the truth never wavers, but we need to present the truth in faith, in word, and in attitude with humility. And those people that are really reaching the next generation or people hostile to the gospel are not people yelling and screaming and fighting. It's people who lean in and realize whatever people who are anti-God or anti-Christian, they're coming from somewhere and they've had some experiences and they have some presuppositions or assumptions that it makes sense to them. We need to find out what those are and care for them as people first.

And I think God will give us an opportunity then to speak to someone who's open to hearing. Great word, Chip. Thanks. Well, before we go, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. 100% of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. Now, if you found this teaching helpful, but you're not yet on the team, would you consider doing that today? To send a gift, go to or text the word donate to 74141. It's that easy. Text donate to 74141 or visit App listeners just tap donate. And let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, join us next time as Chip continues sharing more coaching lessons from the Apostle Paul found in the book of 1 Timothy. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-27 09:29:20 / 2022-12-27 09:38:54 / 10

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