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January 3, 2021 7:00 am
Doctrine is not a popular topic in the modern church.
It's been replaced by a modern emphasis on love and acceptance in the self, but that was not the case in the early church are welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically in stark contrast to much of today's Bible teaching the content of many of Paul's letters dwelled on doctrine because like today.
There was an excess of false doctrine seeping into the church join Dr. Boyce as he begins his study of Paul's letters to Timothy and his spiritual father's advice to a son in the faith on the importance of sound doctrine in the church. I like to begin a study of the pastoral epistles in first and second Timothy gauze hi and imagine a portion of the word of God that is more appropriate or needful Rawson these days.
These are letters written by the apostle Paul to Timothy is successor is younger man who now upon the death of Paul Sundar, would have upon himself the burden of ordering the charges and a large portion of the Roman Empire at a very much-needed kind of divine inspired and inerrant instruction that the apostle of the Gentiles could give. I say this is relevant and important office because we find ourselves in something of the same situation were not pioneers, at least not in the sense that Paul wants were not blazing new ground in the sense of establishing churches to new areas working out all of these things for the first time where more the role of Timothy and we very much need this kind of instruction. I think to we probably can easily identify with Timothy as a man because Timothy was not the kind of figure Paul wants Paul was undoubtedly a power of strength and an aggressive personality, so much so that people didn't always like him and Timothy. By contrast was young and timid and not even a man who so far as we can tell from various references in the Scripture had very good health.
We read this and I'm sure we can take it in a very personal way.
Interesting that Paul begins with doctrine was one of the things that he could say to Timothy here. All of the things Timothy needed to know he was giving of a course in pastoral theology. It could've been a long long course containing many elements, but the first thing he begins with his doctrine.
And that's because Christian doctrine is the basis of the law.
I like to do is read these opening verses, then develop that theme, or other things mentioned in here with doctrine and sound doctrine and that is central thing Paul wants to say. So as I read that Barrett and mine, then we want to talk about these verses. Verses one through 11.
Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope to Timothy, my true son in the faith, grace, mercy and peace from God the father in Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you and I went into Macedonia stay there and emphasis so that you may command certain man not to teach false doctrines any longer, nor devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promotes controversies rather than God's work, which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these turned meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they did not know what they are talking about our what they so confidently affirm. We know that the laws good of a man uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for good men but for lawbreakers and rebels. The ungodly and sinful. The unholy and irreligious for those who kill their fathers or mothers for murderers for adulterers and perverts for slave traders and liars and perjurer's or whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine conforms the glorious gospel of the blessed God which he entrusted to me. I read those verses watch steps out of them. First of all, and strikes me forcefully is this repetition of the word doctrine. You haven't once in verse three where Paul speaks of false doctrines and the word is plural. Then you have it again in verse 10 where Paul speaks of sound doctrine and word is singular, I may say so between that contrast both that which is false and that which is true, and between the plural and the singular.
You really have the burden of these verses because there are false doctrines or are today and there were in Paul's day, and in contrast with the. Burns, which unfortunately find themselves even within the church. You have sound doctrine, which is one which was committed to the apostles by the Lord Jesus Christ and has been taught in the church down through the ages and is taught today doesn't mean of course that we don't sometimes see you differently and there are problem areas we don't fully understand. Christians are not always agreed within the main matters that which pertains to the blessed gospel itself through the oneness of the wholeness and intactness to this doctrine, which has been preserved down through all the ages of the church and will and deed by very definition exist to the end because where the doctrine is preached and proclaimed there you have the church of that will prevail until Jesus comes again, so I'd say we're going to begin to study these letters to Timothy and a practical way is that first of all we have to give attention to that which is a sound doctrine of the word alcohol mentions. Her accent as he does so I think we have a clue to what he had in mind the kind of problems that were plaguing the churches to which you sent Timothy. He gives the clue in the way talks about them. Obviously there can be all kinds of false doctrines and there may have been many ways talking about here is the kind of doctrines that had to do myths and endless genealogies. I don't think that has to do with the kind of genealogies that you find in the Old Testament is a divide in the early chapters of Genesis. For example, or genealogies so that Abraham or David or the genealogies of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the kind of thing Paul is talking about here. He combines this reference to genealogies with myths for anyone who is familiar with the kind of writing that was going on in the time it's fairly evident these two go together because there was in this early Christian century and a floured board in the next century. It kind of thinking that is known today collectively by the name of Gnosticism, but which in that early date of many many different forms to do a lot with what we would call mythological genealogies. Now it wasn't true.
Genealogies in the sense that Abraham had a son named Isaac and he had a son in that type of thing was not at all. This was the kind of genealogies that had to do with the origin of things as we know them and the supposed emanation of all that we know from the God's would be one God and the Gnostics would give a certain name to that God then that God would produce to God, one male and one female in the Gnostics would give a certain name those gods and they would produce other gods and they would produce other gods and there was a whole genealogy of this kind of thing all the way up out of thin air. The idea was because all of this grew out of the basic topical groundings of Greek thoughts that God by very nature can have contact with that or produce that which is material. God is in the nature of spirit spirit can have anything to do with that which is material and so the only way you can explain the generation of all things is by a generation of gods so that the one who actually brings about the creation of the world is so separated from the true God but the true God is uncontaminated by such: Paul contrast this false doctrine is sound doctrine. What he saying is go to the churches and make sure they stick with that which God has given, and which is delivered once for all of the saints for their health and spiritual welfare. Take a moment to say a little more about Gnosticism because we have modern forms of doesn't go by that name. Gnosticism is one of those things that's bad scholarly circles. Nobody would confess to be a Gnostic.
Yet many are Gnosticism and to basic tenets and then from the point of view of Christianity and had two bad consequences in the bad consequences grew out of the two bad tenants. I suggest what they are. First of all, the Gnostics put a premium on the intellect and the maintain that salvation was by the intellect and not by anything that was done there came in the con brass with Christianity.
Nothing Christianity doesn't have food for the elect doesn't teach doctrine.
That's the very thing Paul is saying we must do preserve the doctrine of the Gnostics is that salvation was by the intellect. That's what the word Gnostic means. It comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means knowledge. Their idea was that if you had knowledge of certain things by that name in some of these endless genealogies and the mythologies. The go with them, then you're safe in that way your saved on the mantle of the spiritual level according to the Gnostics.
This intervention of God in history. Christianity talks about really didn't mean anything at all. How does the say that you are well aware that there are many kinds of modern theology that operate on that level.
Second tenant of Gnosticism was what I alluded to a moment ago. This divorce between the spirit and the flesh are between God and matter. This was an unbridgeable gulf. According to Greek philosophy, and found its way into Gnosticism, and this was why you were saved by the intellect and not by deeds at this unbridgeable gulf of the body can't be saved only the mind can be saved with the body does doesn't matter what God does in the physical level doesn't matter. What matters is how you think, because salvation is the salvation of the bond. One day, what is going to die by the flyway that was salvation. That's the way they were thinking. I notice an icon of the system and hear the bad consequences. You can have an incarnation can have God in human flesh.
That was the direct antithesis of the wisdom of the Greeks, is why they had so much trouble in Athens receiving the gospel when Paul brought it on the first occasion to think that God will come in human flesh. I was just impossible almost think of. According to their philosophy and secondly there wasn't any basis for ethics and that because you see when you splints the line from the body. The body can do anything it wants long as the mind is pure. You can practice all kinds of immorality and then you can retreat into your little intellectual world and say well my mind at least, is uncontaminated by what my body does.
That's not right.
Actually, that's not right.
We know that today sometimes we swing the other way today and we think that there's hardly a life of the mind apart from the body, but we know perfectly well that the body does affect the mind and people at mental breakdowns and even physical breakdowns because of what they think what they do will affect what they think we know that to be true and we also know it because of Christianity.
You see, Jesus taught not to salvation of the mind of the soul alone, but the salvation by grace received through faith which touches all of the personality so our thinking is transformed and our actions are transformative. Our actions are not transformed.
Our thinking is not been transformed and were not say go together yet this is what Paul was facing his day out, recall some years ago, when John Gerstner was here preaching at one of the Philadelphia conferences of reformed theology, told of something that happened during his student days he was doing a doctorate at Harvard University. At that time, and Harvard University, which was as liberal as it could possibly be in the good sense in that it was really open to all kinds of ideas recognize the down in New York, Ronald Niebuhr, the neo-orthodox theologian of the most distinguished neo-orthodox theologians. This country has entertained was preaching and receiving a hearing liberal theological faculty at Harvard, but they better have the neo-orthodox theologian update invited property gave a lecture and the lecture hall was just packed with the students and others would come here this great theologian and he decided to preach on Jesus Christ and the breach that Jesus Christ was no mere man and he preset over and over again, and he rang the caller's on the fact that Jesus Christ was no mere man and it was Donna's. Gerstner says, in a way that would've made even Jonathan Edwards proud after was over it was a question and answer. And some of the students stayed around, ask questions and one of them stood up and said Dr. Niebuhr, you have made perfectly clear in your address tonight. Jesus Christ was no mere man, do you mean to say by the fact that therefore Jesus Christ was gone and Weber replied no. He did not mean that because he certainly did not mean to teach that Jesus Christ was of the essence of God, or on sick God. The very essence of the Trinity and he gave that answer. Another student stood up and said Belen Dr. Niebuhr, you made perfectly clear that Jesus Christ is no mere man and you have made perfectly clear that Jesus Christ is not God. At least in the traditional Christian sense. What do you mean when you use the word God of Jesus as he had done in his address and he replied what he meant is that Jesus Christ is symbol and the students did know what that meant. Gerstner didn't know what that meant, and to this day. Gerstner doesn't know what that means and needed a liar.
Anybody really things about us. What is that symbol that's just kind of a divorce from the issue of truth where the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned, and it's an expression in our time are relatively modern times of the same kind of divorce you had back there in Paul's day, in the matter.
Gnosticism let me give another more contemporary example Mansfield paceman.
You know the man who denied the deity of Christ when he was being examined serve in the church at Rockville, Maryland, was re-examined this past week and he was asked a number of statements.
Now I just want to give these to let you know where he stands and then I want to give my illustration. Do you believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. No, do you believe in the vicarious atonement know you believe in the bodily resurrection.
Notably, the Jesus Christ was sinless know of course not you believe the Jesus Christ was the son of God in a unique sense using those words in a way that can't be applied to the rest of us know it was examined for about three hours and before that he write a brief paper and in the brief paper was his own understanding of how he would like to think of theology, and I quote the sentence for me.
I go back and analyze this for me, God worth knowing is found more in the integrity of love, the purity of dogma more in the quest of liberation that in the pursuit of orthodoxy or in the process of becoming and the satisfaction of having arrived. If most of you that sounds like Niebuhr's answer. The Jesus Christ is symbol you're not far wrong. But the theologians hear the seminarians understand what that's all about what you see three things in here.
First of all, he starts off for me, others a relativistic view of truth. This is the way I think is not be the way you think you got all that we talked about that before. First of all, relativism no.
Secondly, the God worth knowing is humanism and is the oldest form that I just have to stop and talk about that. Can you imagine a human being mere mortals made by God standing on God's earth, breathing gods, they are living the life God gives him looking up Abbott inside God worth knowing is going to be like this humanism in its words form is man saying God come down here. I want to see what you're like, because if you don't measure up to my expectations of what gonna be back up there. I don't want to think about you again.
That's what that means know what Paul does is bring in the contrast, Paul says, look I wanted to be like that with you and I don't want to be like that with the churches. What I want you to do. By contrast, to stand in those churches for the truth of God once revealed the saints. Make sure that the churches stand for that as well. That's what he means when he talks about sound doctrine one doctrine itself explains some of those elements are going to see them more fully as we go on, let me just suggest them to use some of them are evident right here in the passage.
First of all there's a law which God is given eternal which comes an awareness of sin. You see, when Paul says the law is good and it's not made for good men but for lawbreakers and rebels. He's not saying you see, although it might read that way, that there are those of us were good men.
And then there very bad man in the laws only for the very bad man and those of us were good men to ignore the law is not saying that at all because Paul himself in the very next person says one of himself. He says I am chief of sinners. So in Paul's definition longer bad and the laws given the bad men and women to show them that they are bad and to turn them from trying to achieve their own righteousness, which will condemn them in the sight of God and Jesus Christ were alone. That righteousness may be found that if you will, there's a sense of having found righteousness in Christ and serving God a love for Christ. A lot is not quite the same relationship to us as it had before the course of the revelation of the will of God as part of Scripture which is given and is profitable for inspiration, for instruction in righteousness and all those things but he begins with a lawn here it is. Secondly, he talks about Jesus in the third chapter he has a little section, which is printed in verse and probably was something like a little verse, perhaps even a ham that was signed in the early days, Jesus appeared in the body was vindicated by the spirit, seen of angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world taken up in the glory.
It's a little attractive you well. It's a little Freda little synopsis of teaching regarding the Lord Jesus Christ, not only in that verse, but throughout these pastoral epistles.
The apostle Paul holds up Jesus from beginning to end is that which is the basis of the Christians hope he talks not merely of his incarnation, though we emphasizes that in view of the gnostic heresy.
He talks about the fact that he died for men as well.
First Timothy 115 here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. First Timothy two verse five. There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men. Testimony given in its proper time. That's the gospel concerning Jesus Christ. Notice the third place that he speaks of grace to sinners. This was his experience all the one who in all of his religious self-righteousness when he thought he was serving God was actually going about trying to destroy God's work and persecute the church God by grace. One is sinful to say turn them around and he discovered what he was persecuting was actually the one that he should've been serving Jesus Christ and he can't get over this. He talks about it again and again. Race bought the grace of God. Christ, people like him. That's part of the gospel. Then finally just of this brief summary, there's that matter of faith which he mentions here several times in these verses. These promises these promote controversies rather than God's work, which he says is by faith and he goes on the goal of this commandment is law would come from a pure heart a good conscience and a sincere faith because Paul, you know, not Luther was the one who taught justification by faith alone.
Luther merely discovered it in Paul and Paul said yes.
You see all these things are true. We talk about our need to talk about the work of Christ. We talk about the grace of God in the gospel.
But these things become hours when we personally by the grace of God, believe them and receive the Lord Jesus Christ under salvation. This is a gospel slot another gospel. Only one gospel. This is what Paul had in this is what he gave to Timothy, this is what Timothy and his turn pass on churches.
That's what we have today because of faithful men and women were gone before us. Notice how Paul ends anything else contrary to sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. Paul entrusted in his turn to Timothy and Timothy to others, those who have gone before us in the faith of entrusted the glorious gospel to us as well. We believe we really live by, or is it just something that floats around appear in the minds doesn't get down and affect how we live.
It doesn't affect how we live. We haven't really entered into it just ideas things come and go as really ours is our gospel is a been entrusted to us and we received it on so then we have this great task of letting other people know about an oath by word and by deed. This is what the world needs to know this is been entrusted to us. This is a precious possession of the gospel which it contains is precious as well. Precious beyond all possible price gardens. Love it. Let's live in its readers, but study it, but sharing let's talk about and then by the grace of God. Others will come to love these truths to let us pray father was your word to us. We do want to study it. We thank you for this great gift teaches the value even more than we do now and give us grace as we seek to share its contents with other men and women, and thus point them to Jesus Christ.
One. Who is our Savior from sin and who indeed is even life itself bright in his name, listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. Dr. Boyce invites us to make truths. Our guest in a free CD entitled man's doctrine God's doctrine in this important message. Dr. Boyce reminds us that God's unchangeable truth is the best of all gifts to have in our homes and in our hearts. This free CD offers sour way of saying thanks for listening. Simply call us at 1-800-488-1888 and will be pleased to send you a copy of man's doctrine God's doctrine that number again is 1-800-488-1888 we at the Bible study our would like to take this opportunity to thank all the loyal listeners who support this ministry with your prayers and financial gifts. It is never given to the Bible study our would like to invite you to become a part of this ministry and help keep the truth of God's word on the air and on the Internet you can make your monthly pledge or a one-time donation by calling us directly that 1-800-488-1888 or visit us online at the Bible study.
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True doctrine when really understood produces the very things which the modern church claims are absent in the Orthodox joint Dr. James Boyce as he continues his study of Paul's letters to Timothy on the importance of sound doctrine and how that doctrine came to him is next time one Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically