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May 19, 2020 7:00 am
Well good morning everybody.
Hey, it's wonderful to have you here. Thanks so much for being with us to take the Bible out of a study together. Acts chapter 16 to be continuing in our study of the life of a great man. The apostle Paul. Acts chapter 6 unit I want to begin today with awesome riddles. So here we go see what you think of what you call 47 man watching the Super Bowl together on television answer Dallas Cowboys I got the more I got more on this.
I got more limited.
What do you do to keep the Dallas Cowboys away from your your answer. Set up a goalpost where number three why why doesn't Fort Worth have a pro football team because then Dallas would want one. How about this one. What do you say to a Dallas Cowboys in a three-piece suit with the defendant.
Please rise now here's my favorite is my favorite of all, what do the Dallas Cowboys and possums loans have in common answer they both play dead in home and get killed on the road.
Effective cowboy football is just Coyote ugly these days. But you know it didn't used to be that way. Between the years of 1991 and 1996 the Cowboys had a record of 70 wins 26 losses. They won the NFC East four years in a row. They won super Bowls and 92, 93, 95, the point of all this is that teams are wonderful when they work and are ugly when they don't and you don't post everywhere we go in our world today.
The talk is all about team industry in government in the military in athletics in church work. All we ever hear about his teams but we're all smart enough to know I'm sure that teams are only as good as the team members that comprise those teams and so what we want to look at today as we continue in our study of the life of the apostle Paul. We bought a look as God puts together one of the most incredible teams that has ever been assembled a team to change the world. A team that worked and the reason this teamwork is because of the people who made up the team because of the qualities of character of the people who made up this team and what we want to do is use this passage as a springboard to let God hopefully talk to you and me about being these kind of team members here at McLean Bible church, or on whatever team God ever puts us on. We want to be team members of the caliber that were about to see here in this team the gospel together so that's the plan. Let's go back and do a little background first make sure were altogether.
Remember in acts chapter 15 the apostle Paul came to Barnabas and said a Barnabas. We were partners on their first missionary journey. Let's go back now and let's visit all those cities where we lead people to Christ and established churches and see others doing Barnabas said that's a great idea.
Let's do it Barnabas to tell you what I want to bring along my cousin named John Mark Paul said what are you kidding are you crazy are you nuts John Mark. He went on the first journey with us and deserted us.
He's not going on the second journey to get it. I'm not taking chapter 15 verse 39 says that the apostle Paul and Barnabas had such a sharp disagreement over John Mark that they parted company and the rest of the verse. Barnabas took John Mark and sailed for Cyprus. While Paul chose Silas Silas was a Jewish believer that he had met when he was in Jerusalem at the Jerusalem Council earlier in acts 15.
He invited Silas to come along with him and he went all into Syria and Celestia and Paul came to Derby and mentalist room where a disciple named Timothy live, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek, and the brothers at Lister and I Coni from spoke well of him Timothy. What we see in these verses. Verses one and two are three reasons why Timothy was a perfect third musketeer to add to this team that Paul was building and there are the three reasons are these number one we see in these verses that Timothy's mother, Eunice, was a Jewish believer that because his mother was Jewish. Timothy would've been considered to be Jewish by any Jewish community anywhere that he went. Also, because his mother was Jewish. She obviously taught him Jewish customs Jewish rituals. He was familiar with all of that. She also being a Jewish mother taught him the Old Testament. The Bible says.
Second Timothy 315 from infancy Timothy you have known the holy Scriptures. How did he know the holy Scriptures from an infant. The answer is his mother taught in the Scripture. He therefore would've been fluent in Hebrew, we would have been fluent in Aramaic, the language of the Jewish people of the day. So the first advantage that Timothy brought to this team is that everywhere Paul went and work with Jewish people.
Timothy would've been a huge help you to plot. He didn't need Timothy Silas Silas was a Jewish believer. While that's true, but Timothy brings more to the team and that the second thing we learn here is that Luke, the writer of the book of acts tells us that Timothy's father was a Greek knowledge. Ever wonder why. He said a Greek and not a Gentile. There's a reason for that to William Ramsey, Prof. of classical archaeology and languages. Oxford University 100 years ago, wrote a wonderful book called the cities of St. Paul deeded excavations in Lister and what he found in list drug is that there were three classes of people who made up the city of Lister in the days of Paul. There was an elite Roman aristocracy who ran and ruled the city was a large mass of common people who just will let local native people and then there was a small middle-class of Greek merchants who grew rich on the tray that move through this city and so Luke didn't say he was a Gentile.
Luke said his dad was a Greek because his dad was a member of this Greek middle-class, a wealthy member of this Greek middle-class and actually by using this once again the Bible confirms that Luke was there and knew more about Lister than people of known for almost 2000 years, and he was more accurate than just saying Gentile. Now William Ramsey says this and I quote he said the fact that Timothy's father was accepted in the Gentile Society of Lister, even though he was the husband of a Jewish lady proves that he was a person of some standing in Lister you understand what he saying that you would have been able to keep your standing in this Greek middle-class marrying a Jewish lady unless you were pretty big mockery understand what I'm saying all right now.
The reason that's important for us is because this means that Timothy was no country bumpkin being the son of a wealthy merchant, he would've had the best tutors in town, he would have the best education secularly speaking Intel he would've been fluent in Latin. He would've been fluent in Greek he would've known all the customs and practices of Roman culture he would've known all about the religion of the Roman world and why was that it made him a great as an addition to this team because Paul doesn't know it yet, but this team is going into II affect Roman Europe and having a guy like Timothy along who's been educated in all these things and and culture rated in all these things would be a huge advantage.
Third, the third reason he was a great advantage to the team is verse two says the brothers at Lister and I Coni him spoke well of him. Timothy now is little doubt that the apostle Paul had led Timothy to Christ. On his first journey. Several places he calls Timothy my child in the faith, but in the intervening two years. Timothy is going on to become a real man of God, so much so that his reputation has spread beyond just Lister 25 miles away. Do I Coni him and the apostle Paul. Remember John Mark. He remembered that when things got rough. John Mark ran away. He knew we needed somebody that had spiritual death and spiritual character and spiritual commitment for the second missionary journey and this was Timothy everybody in the region said this is your man. So for these three reasons.
Number one is Jewish background in biblical training. Number two is secular education and his Roman enculturation and number three is personal integrity and his spiritual commitment for these three reasons the apostle Paul invited Timothy to join the team. Now there was one small problem. Verse three and Paul wanted to take him along on the journey so we circumcised him because of the Jews lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek when Timothy was born he wasn't circumcised according to Jewish tradition because his dad being a Gentile would let it happen.
Everybody in town knew about that just there will why was it their business friends in the Jewish community. When a baby get circumcised at the community event.
Even to this day. Everybody in that town knew that Boyd not been circumcised and we know as we been studying at we know what a huge stumbling block that would be for Jewish people all over everywhere. So Paul said they Timothy you know what I would love for you to go with me son. There's just one thing we need to take care of before we do this I tell you what, without modern anesthesia without modern pain medications. One can only imagine what it must've been like to get circumcised as an adult is matter fact I think we prefer not to imagine what it must've been like, but if there was ever any doubt in Paul's mind that he had a spiritual winter on his hands and Timothy. This removed it. I mean Timothy Cipolla I want my life to count. I want to be part of this team.
I want God to use me and I've got to get circumcised as an adult for that to happen then so be it. I'll do it. Verse four and after Timothy had healed at the next.
To say that, but we know that's true. And after Timothy had healed. They traveled from town to town and deliver the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
Remember now this team. Paul, Silas, and Timothy. They only thought they were good at making a 100 mile circuit and ever-growing.
That's all they plan to do. Little did they know what God really had intended for these guys that God was going to take this three-man team and he was going to use this team to change the entire history of the world for the next 2000 years. You know this team stuck together till the apostle Paul's that they were together over 20 years. Paul Silas Timothy in the world you live in today is different than it would've been because of this one team. These three men that will stop here will look at the rest of this in the weeks to come but we got a really important question to ask and swear body ready for this already. Okay here we go ready 123 right away is a long, so what I mean, I really feel bad for Timothy but what difference does this make in my life. I mean the difference to me what the I think there's a great principle in here for us as team members, of whatever team on to talk about it until history is known some great teams. For example, there's been the Lone Ranger and Tonto right there's been that man and Robin have been Popeye and olive oil right Sherlock Holmes and Watson Johnny Carson and McMahon mold Marianne currently right maverick can will God bless you couple of people you got that right. You not know that interesting thought to be an American and not become maverick can lose. Thank you very much but you know, folks, this team Silas Paul, Timothy has to rank as one of the most powerful and effective teams in the history of the world. But as we said earlier, teams are only as good as the team members. What made this a great team was the quality of the team members that were on it and you know it is it's always God's plan to use teams. The greatest missionary outreaches in history have been team the greatest campus ministries in history have been team the greatest church works in history have been team and we have a job to do in the city. God is called us to make an impact on the city for Jesus Christ, the only way were going to do it is to be a great team and the only way we can be a great team is to have team members with the qualities that the guys on this team have want to spend the last little bit of time I got today looking at Timothy. There were four reasons there were four values. There were four virtues that he had made him the incredible team member that he was if we can figure out what they are and copy them will become better team members. This will become a stronger team and will be able to carry out our mission a lot better.
So this is for you and me these things will work for secular team, but they really are important for us on this church team. So let's figure out why does Timothy such a great team member number one because Timothy was trust worthy. Listen to what Paul says about in Philippians 2 verse 19 he says I hope to send Timothy to you soon, for I have no one else like him. A person who will genuinely look out for your interests. For everyone else looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
But you know of Timothy's proven record. What is the apostle Paul really saying about Timothy here. I'll tell you friends. You simply saying that Timothy is a man I know I can trust. I can send them in any situation and I can trust this man. I can putting with any group of people I can trust this man. I can give you many assignment I can trust this man that he will do the righteous thing.
The honorable thing. The godly thing. The biblical thing I don't have to look over her shoulder, and I don't have to micromanage and I can trust this man. He's proven and it seems to me the trustworthiness is probably the single most important ingredient in being a good team member. We can build teams with people we can't trust a few years ago I had a person was on our our church they appear. Someone came to me and said some things that were too complementary about something this person at dawn so I asked this person to join me in my office and we were talking I said, here's what somebody told me about your is a trial and this guy looked me right square in these gorgeous blue eyes. My reason for my wife says but anyway me writing you guys and said to me absolutely not true absolutely false to me completely different explanation did it with passion did with believability.
That's okay I believe you must know my team.
Of course I believe you. Well, it turns out I found out a little while later that what the person he told me was true and that this the staff person had stood there, eyeball to eyeball with me and blatantly to me. I mean boldface wide to me. I could not believe it and I called in it and I said you know what I really like you betrothed me just that simple because I can have people on the team that I can't trust I can trust you.
You can stay on the team having lied to me like that, you know friends we learn here McLean Bible church.
When we look for new staff members that the number one criterion were looking for is not a seminary degree. The number one criterion were looking for is not skills. There a lot of people with wonderful skills that have lousy character and you can't know team with were looking above everything else.
When we look for a member of our team were looking for integrity were looking for character looking for people we can trust were looking for people we can send in any group in any situation into any kind of an arrangement and we know we can trust in the conduct themselves in a biblical, honorable, godly way and and that's the kind of people God wants you to be in the kind of people he wants me to be the kind of person where people can trust us. We say something we do it we commit to something we follow through which they were going to be there.
Were there to conduct ourselves in a way that doesn't embarrass and disgrace of the people. People can trust us. The first issue would be a great team member is to be trustworthy.
Number two Timothy was a great team member because number two. He was humble. Timothy was humble that what we mean when we say somebody was humble. What we mean friends it took to be humble is is is to somebody that you can approach somebody that you can talk to somebody that you that you can you can correct somebody that's teachable, approachable, that will own their stuff and will make appropriate changes. Look here second Timothy chapter 1 Paul writes team insist Timothy. I remind you to Kindle afresh the gift of God in you. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power and love and self-discipline.
Therefore, do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me his prisoner.
Rather, join with me in suffering for the good news. Now unless I misunderstand the Bible here Paul is reprimanding Timothy in these verses. Apparently, Timothy had become a little lukewarm. Maybe he just got a little embarrassed about the Lord maybe got a little adverse to the suffering that comes when you stand up and go public. Called and like Paul's writing him and correcting him and rebuking him, and folks, you know what Timothy could've really got become like a porcupine. He could've really said hey what what you know why one week of correcting me want to write me in private. Why put in the holy Bible for 2000 years.
Everybody reads about, he could really become just huffing and puffing about this whole thing.
This was an approachable guy.
He listen to what Paul said and he made the appropriate changes you say how do you know that I know that because Eusebius the church historian tells us that after Paul's death.
Timothy became the bishop of Ephesus, and he died in 97 A.D. at the hands of a mom stoning to death because he stood up for Jesus Christ and refused to back down. So they killed them out in the street, city, take to heart what Paul told me about not being ashamed not being embarrassed of the Lord yes he did friends listen.
Humility is another essential quality of being a great team member, being teachable, being approachable, I mean we all wish we got it right all the time, but we don't and having the ability to let somebody come and talk to us and correct us in and rebuke us is important. You can't build teams with porcupine. They don't make good team members number three Timothy was a true servant. What we mean by a person being a true servant friend is true servant as a person is willing to put the needs of others and the welfare of the team ahead of themselves. Remember what Paul said about Timothy chapter 2 verse 20 of Philippians, he said, for I have no one else like you are person who will genuinely look out for your interest for everyone else looks out for their own interests. Timothy was a guy like this Timothy was a guy was willing to put the welfare of the sheep who was willing to put the welfare of the team ahead of his own welfare. We see it again in acts chapter 18 verse five there says that when Timothy and Silas arrived in Coren.
Paul was able to devote himself exclusively to preaching now in the verses just before this, we learn that before Timothy arrived.
Paul was working for a living.
He was making tense and the only time he could go out and preach was after he got off work. Timothy arrives and now Paul's able to go exclusively to preaching. Why will the implication is clear. Guess who went to work. Timothy did. That's what freedom Paul to be able to go out and preach all the time and you a lesser person. Timothy would've said hey hey hello hello just here to sign on to this team to go out and work in trouble, nor whatever.
So you could go preach to stay back and listen my own house and doggone were I came on this to preach. I came on this to be a big shot for God. Paul, why do you get to go preach but you know what that is not what Timothy did.
Timothy said hey Paul, you're the star. This team hey Paul, you're the one who should be out there preaching and Paul. If I have to go to work so that you can go out there and preach phenomena go to work and Paul you go preach. This was a guy with the welfare of the team ahead of himself, which is what made them such a great team member is Avalon. This is wonderful. You say trustworthiness, humility, being a true servant. These are great qualities, but my question is I mean I look at my life and I'm not exactly the way I be on all three of these things have a lot get better at these things. How do I become more like Timothy well I'm glad you asked that Lisa number four and that's this that Timothy was steeped in the Scriptures. You see friends. These values of trustworthiness and humility, and servant hood. These are biblical values. These are values that are taught and extolled and modeled for us in the word of God. You not going to learn these values reading Time magazine Newsweek magazine, or God forbid the Washington Post not going to learn these values to see the modeled on Capitol Hill when I go to see them being lived out in the law offices of Washington DC where we going to go to see these values in action and had to be challenged to live this way. There's only one place working to see these values rubbing off on us and that's as we read the pages of the BID LE. These are biblical values, they are not secular values. You will not hear our culture lift high. These values of trustworthiness, humility, and servant hood and how to Timothy become the man that he was very simple. We start earlier.
Second Timothy 315 from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures.
This was a guy who was steeped in the Bible. The Bible was his authority. The Bible was his model. The Bible was his guy, his mother and put in any before he even was old enough to know what it meant. And that's how you get a Timothy coming out the other end when he was an adult. He kept doing it already survey recently of Christians in America and the survey found that the average Christian in America said that they spend less than two minutes a day reading and studying the word of God. Now would you call that steeping ourselves in the word of God should friends. I steeped my tea. This bag stays in the water longer than two minutes and and how in the world are we going to become the men and women of God like Timothy was with a minute and 1/2 a day in the word of God was not going to happen. Some of us think God brought swivel dust from heaven and that's how Timothy's happen. Not true, not true, not true. Timothy's happen when people begin living out a biblical worldview and people get a biblical worldview and encouraged to keep a biblical worldview by spending serious quality time in the word of God. That's the only way it's done that's how Timothy became Timothy.
That's how Paul became Paul. And that's how you and I are going to become men and women of God is the only way to do it. There is no willful DOS not here McKay Bible church if you're a follower of Christ. I believe God brought you here not to be consumer. I believe God brought you here not to be a spectator.
I believe God brought you here and he brought me here to be a contributor to be a team member in reaching the city for Jesus Christ, but this team. As I said earlier, is only good as we are team members and I'm here to challenge you today I'm here hopefully to motivate us today to say were not going to be content with the world's definition of a great team member working to rise above that to a biblical definition of a great team member. A person like Timothy and what made Timothy a great team member number one Timothy was a trustworthy individual.
When Timothy told you something friend you could take it to the bank when you asked Timothy to do something you never had to think about it again in any situation. This was a person you can count on to do it right and never embarrass you with the team. Number two Timothy was a man with personal humility. You could talk to the man you could approach the man you could correct the band and you own is soft and you make the changes necessary heat except fault if there was Paul.
Number three Timothy was to serve. He put the welfare of the team and the welfare of God's sheep the welfare of people ahead of his own personal welfare at that. That's a true team member and number four. And finally, Timothy had a biblical worldview.
He saw the world through the eyes of the Scripture. And you know how we did that, he did it because he steeped himself in the word of God. He immersed himself in the word of God.
And that's how he got all these other values in his life, folks. I'm here to ask you today to aspire to be one of these, team members with us. I'm here to ask you today, to commit to be in the word of God so you can grow in these areas of being trustworthy being humble, being a servant of looking at all the world to biblical eyes. This is what makes great team members and great team members make a great team and a great team here at McLean Bible church that we can rock the city. That's how it all works starts with you and me. May God help us to rise up and say Lord Timothy is my model and that's where I want you to get the spray father everyone of us here today is a team member on some team were on a family team.
Laura and industry team.
Laura athletic team government team of military team. The question is not whether were team members. The question is whether we are good team members. My prayer is that you would use what we talked about today to inspire us to rise above our secular definition of a good team member and rise up to biblical definition that you would use what we talked about today to motivate us to want to be like Timothy, a person of trustworthiness, humility, a person of biblical worldview and servant hood in God as you make us better team members that I pray you would make us a better team this so that we could impact the city the way you called us to do to change our lives as we were here today, change the life of McLean Bible church as we were here today and we pray these things in Jesus name a man