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August 15, 2022 8:00 am
When you hold the Bible in your hand you are holding the very word of God you have in your hand in the written word of God. What the mind of Christ is you have in your hand the way that God things with Don green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi there until right and it is a blessing to have with us today as Don continues teaching God's people. God's word, this time a final look at how our lives as believers should be a reflection of God rather than of this lost and dying world. Last time Don gave us the first of four points. You should be a Christian with conviction. So if you're ready, let's get started with. Point number two.
Here's Don Greene with the final part of a message called communion. Conviction.
The truthful the second point is that you must be a Christian who pursues sanctification a Christian who pursues sanctification.
And here's the point. Beloved is that the conviction of which were talking about here today will lead you to a practical godliness that set you apart from the thinking of the world. It sets you apart from the way that the world talks what the world loves and from the conduct of the world you see you can't you can't have convictions like were talking about here with Christ and then mix the world into them and share your love and affections. That should belong to Christ alone and have an equal love and affection for the things of the world that doesn't work. You can't mix oil and water.
You can't mix in love with the world with a true Christianity, the writer James says that he wants to be friends with the world makes himself an enemy of God. You don't want to be in that position. Do you communion calls these things out and has us think about what it is that were doing and what it is were living for.
Look at chapter 1 verse 13 here and we see as Paul works this out.
We see how the element of true Christianity separates us away from the things of the world. Verse 13 and 14 Paul tells Timothy and he commands him. He says you retain the sound or standard of sound words, which you have heard from me in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus you guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. The treasure which has been entrusted to you. He says Timothy you said in your mind and you remember and you defend and you keep the sound teaching the sound words that have been given to you and remember how I started out he said Timothy you heard this from your mother. You heard it from your grandmother. You've heard it from me, Timothy. There is a flow that has entrusted this to you. There are generations of faithful people who have delivered this truth to you and he says Timothy you cannot shrink back from defending that it is your responsibility.
It is your call. As a Christian, Timothy, it is your call is a Christian leader that you would retain that defendant and guard it with your life with your thoughts with your energy with your teaching with your conduct, beloved, let me remind you that all of us here are the beneficiaries. Those of us who are Christians. All of us are the beneficiaries of parents, pastors, friends, someone else who love the gospel enough to be committed to it and to give it to us. Someone spoke to you someone called you aside and said, look, I'm unconcerned about your soul probably for many of you there.
There are people who have maybe never spoken to you, but they were on their knees pleading with God for the sake of your soul and asking God to save you from sin. God opened their eyes God turned their heart God have mercy on them like you had mercy on me because father I don't want to go to heaven without them. And so there has been this enormous outpouring of human love upon you.
If you're a Christian, that that is been motivated by the greater love of Christ and you are on the receiving end of a great gift from Christ and from those who have entrusted it to you and who shared it with you because they loved you enough to care for your soul.
Well beloved, that has ramifications that has consequences.
That means we recognize there is a moral responsibility. There is a moral duty for me to stop living my life for myself and to conduct myself in a way that furthers the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is to live a life that is worthy of the shed blood that is worthy of the nail scarred hands that secured my salvation and that is worthy of the tender human love that helped bring it to bear upon our own lives. Look at chapter 2 verse 14 chapter 2 verse 14, a Christian who pursues sanctification will be mindful of speaking in a sanctified way. Paul says in verse 14. Remind them of these things and solemnly charge them in the presence of God, not to wrangle about words which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.
Without going into all of the detail of what this means. Paul is saying Timothy you be mindful of the conversations that you engage in. Don't get engaged in silly talk.
Don't get engaged in things which are just arguments about words that don't ever go anywhere, said Timothy separates yourself stand back stand apart from that, because that is not worthy of a Christian to do and so the sanctification of which we speak affects the way that we talk it affects the conversations that we have.
We could go on and say that that not only our speech but are very doctrine must be sanctified our doctrine or teaching say that on the receiving and what we believe must be sanctified.
It's not up for grabs. It's not up for for endless debate, there comes a time after study were you say this is what I believe and this is where I stand because I'm persuaded out of Scripture, and these things become nonnegotiable. Verse 15 is what Paul calls Timothy to. He says you be diligent Timothy to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth in the notice how it goes back to the issue of speech. Again, he says, but avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness.
He says Timothy you be set apart and what you think and what you speak. No Scripture says Jesus told us didn't take that a man speaks out of that which fills his heart well, you know, I just encourage you, as were approaching the Lord's table. You think about what's come out of your mouth this past week, especially some of you young people you know and the foolishness in the probably for some of you the you know just the dirty things that you were happy to talk about. This is not good because you see it for you to claim to be a Christian means I'm going to abandon that I'm going to set that apart being 12 or 13 or 17 or 18, is not too young to set your pattern in that direction. The sooner the better for some of us older people you know who are old enough to know better and have been in the church long enough to know better. Were even less without excuse for ungodly talk our way.
We need to recognize that that that's sinful and something that calls forth our repentance as we come to the table. Look at verse 16 with me again I'm just I just want you to see this.
This is the word of God commanding us avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness. Well, you just think about what you read and what you listen to on the radio and on TV and what you're willing to engage your mind and on the Internet. There's plenty of that, empty ungodliness out there. It's time for you to say I will start that and separate myself from it because I want to be a man of conviction. My conviction leads to my sanctification. Paul goes on calls Timothy to the sanctification of his very inner man. Look at verse 22 with me. Chapter 2 verse 22 Paul says now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart, but refuse foolish and ignorant speculations knowing that they produce quarrels. All I want you to see from this beloved is this I always struggle with this point in trying to make this point it's all I can do is just trust the spirit of God to help make the connection for you in your heart because I don't have the power to do that on my own. What I want you to see is that the claim to be a Christian is intimately connected to its plugged into the wall with the way that you live there shouldn't be a separation in your mind that all this is how I am on Sunday and now I'm free Monday through Saturday to do what I want. It doesn't work that way that's not true Christianity. Do you understand that you see Jesus said that he is Lord of the Sabbath which we don't believe that Sunday is the Sabbath, but that's not our point here Jesus isn't simply Lord of Sunday is Lord of all of your life.
If you're a Christian, that means that all of your life comes under the purview of his Lordship of his authority of responding to him in love and old medians in recognition of that sacrifice were about to remember in a short period of time. See their convictions that come from this or convictions that flow and shape us. That's what we need to think about.
We we connect Scripture with the way that we live with the way that we speak with the way that we think. If you have never ever ever contemplated that beloved, I I invite you to examine yourself with your saved at all because when the Lord Jesus Christ comes into a life. He asserts his authority.
He asserts his dominion in a way that causes us to change from the person that we used to be.
It flows out of true Christianity will, there's 1/3 conviction. The third point for today that we would say want to be a man of conviction. A woman of conviction want to be a Christian who pursue sanctification. Thirdly, you and I we must be a Christian who honors God's word. We must be a Christian who honors God's word. Paul calls Timothy to go back to those convictions that he had received in times gone by, and this is central to the closing part of his letter. As you'll see notice as we go through these last two points how central the word of God is everything the Paul says this is the this is the lifeblood of true Christianity.
He says in verse 14.
Notice how is calling on Timothy to refine and strengthen his convictions yet again. He says in verse 14 he said, you continue in the things that you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. He says he says Timothy from from the time that you were on your Mama's knee from the time that your grandma was cradling you and in her arms. You were hearing the Scriptures, which in Timothy's youth would've simply been the Old Testament Scriptures. Timothy you heard the Old Testament Scriptures says that that God is the creator of mankind. The God created man with dignity to be his vice regent on earth to be the one who would have dominion over his earthly creation and that God gave laws by which men were to live, but Timothy you know what Scripture says, the man rebelled against that the man rejected the law of God that man sinned against God, the man turned his back on God turned his back on his dignity and responsibility as the creature of God and started to pursue his own lusts and his own worship of idols and all of that and now Timothy you know from the Scriptures that mankind has been ruined that insanity is in their hearts all of their days, that the heart is deceitful above Elson Timothy, you realize the guilt of man against his holy creator based on what you know from the Scriptures. He says you know that Timothy look at verse 15 with me again, he says, knowing that Timothy you remember and you continue in that which leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, that those Scriptures told you that that God in his grace God in furtherance of his eternal purpose, sent his son to be the Savior of the world sent his son to be the sacrifice through which guilty men could be reconciled to God if they would believe in Christ and receive him and rest in him. They could be reconciled to God. Timothy you remember these things. These are your convictions, these are the things that I need you to call upon to be faithful to. Why is he making this point, it's because way.
Timothy response to that was going to determine the outcome of the rest of his life. When you think rightly about salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. It determines the way that you live going further, what you think about Scripture those two things are inseparable. Really, what we think about Christ and what we think about the written word of God are inseparable. But what Paul says in verse 16 he says all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work as part of our conviction as part of our of our our commitment to Christ we honor the word of God. We honor it as as as that which was breathed out by God and delivered to us without error that that when you hold the Bible in your hand when you hold the Bible in your hand you were even in English and a good English translation you are holding the very word of God you have in your hand in the written word of God.
What the mind of Christ is you have in your hand the way that God thinks and what God calls us to and how it is that we can be reconciled to him.
We have to that. If that is true, and it is then Paul says to Timothy you remember this word for us today. We remember this word we don't care who mocks it. We don't care who criticizes it.
This is our stand. Here we stand we can do nothing else, God help us. Amen the paraphrase Martin Luther. That means we respect this word means that we study it means we defended it means we obey it from its place of centrality. We understand that it's sufficient for all that we need the no matter where you're at in life and what your struggles may be the answers are found in the word of God.
It makes the man of God adequate, equipped for every good work and so were just so convinced of the boundless infinite value of the word of God that we honor it in our lives and we honor it in our church.
We understand when we study the word of God and the power of the spirit of God from a sanctified life.
The Christ will bless that and that's his means of perpetuating the work that he's doing. I want to be a part of that work, don't you. I want to be right in the middle of the flow of that I want. I want to be a part of that and not come to the end of my life. Not not come to the end. Like Paul didn't look back and say Internet I squandered it. I didn't honor the word.
I didn't take it seriously. I didn't care about Christ and it was reflected in the way that I spoke in the way that I lived my inner man was corrupt and I was just content to go along like that and now it's too late and I can't do anything about it.
I can't get those 60 or 70 years back.
Beloved, you don't want to be in that position when you come to the end. The way that you find in the way that you avoid that awful outcome is to refresh and renew your convictions about Christ and his word today.
Well one final thing here before we come to the Lord's table. Fourthly, we would say that you live your convictions over time. You live them over time. I like to say this to Christians because it's easy to get discouraged in the in the shortcomings in the sands of the particular day the perhaps are on your mind as you come here today.
It's important for us to realize that we live out these convictions over time.
There will be times when it seems like were flourishing and there will be times where we fall short and you get discouraged and you get kinda scuffed up over the fact that you fell short. Sometimes you see abundant fruit in your life. Sometimes the tree seems kinda barren.
Well, here's what I want you to see from God's word is that the Scripture anticipates that the that were not going to be on this perpetual emotional high.
That is never unbroken that we live in a fallen world and we live in a fallen flash and that there's going to be some ups and downs as we go along. We don't we don't ride with every up and down in our our what were talking about with these anchored convictions is is that they provide a stability and a maturity that that sustains you sustained you through the ups and downs and there's a current that is always flowing in the direction of of of of sanctification toward Christ, despite whatever the daily vicissitudes may have been look at second Timothy chapter 4 verses one and two is Paul addresses Timothy, particularly in how he's to handle his ministry.
He says I solemnly charge you in the presence of God. Chapter 4 verse one says I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead by his appearing and his kingdom preach the word be ready in season and out of season, reproof, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. Notice what he's doing here. You see, saying Timothy you make it your pattern to be faithful to the word of God when times are up, and when times are down with patience and instruction. Continuing on while Timothy is is is doing this as he ministers to the people of God. And so this passage gives us an insight to the fact that there were going to be times where it seems really exciting maybe and there are times where it's going to be kind of dollars going to be times where were engaged in times were weak, strong and weak and through it all, you have the sense in your mind that my convictions are anchored over time and I'm taking the long view. If you fallen and if you struggled in this past week. Beloved, just pick yourself up. Confess your sin to Christ and trust in the fact that his eternal purpose is still a work in your heart. He shed his blood to cover all of your sins, not just the ones that you forgotten about the ones that are freshest on your mind, perhaps, are the ones that you can most draw upon and take comfort in the shed blood of Christ. He had mercy on a sinner like you he loved you, to the point of shedding blood so that your sins could be wiped away and that you could be made white as snow. What a gracious God, what a gracious Savior.
Look at verse three.
Paul tells Timothy. The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, they will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. Paul goes on and sums it up for Timothy, and by extension for us as well. In verse five he says, but you you be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. Beloved. What is it that will sustain you and suffering. What is it that will give you courage on the brink of a new life. What is it that that picks you up. 10 let you go on another day in the midst of sorrow and enduring loss but gives a man like my friend in the Middle East, the courage to stand for Christ when it's all a threat to him ultimately comes down to the fact that we have embraced the Lord Jesus Christ and we have we have taken the next step in shape convictions around that that that we will be strong in these convictions we will pursue a sanctified life that we will honor and trust in God's word and that will do that in the long haul, is that it settled in our mind that there is nothing that will ever happen in the future that will shake me from where I'm at right now, by which I mean is not negotiable for me to abandon my faith and trust in Christ were to abandon my faith in God's word, that is out of the question. Communion the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, and now we respond with conviction and in this moment it is now to come in this table where he said do this in remembrance of me. That's going green with a powerful word on the need to live a life that is set apart for God will friend if you'd like to learn more about Don and his ministry. Or maybe you'd like a copy of this message to share with a friend or loved one. We invite you to visit the truth.
Pulpit.com once more. That's the truth. Pulpit.com now before we go done.
Someone once asked if you were arrested and put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you what the truth is, there should be overwhelming evidence of our faith is not right.
My friend as you contemplate that question. Understand this important point.
The question really isn't what the world sees and thinks in you. But how Scripture identifies a believer. Let me just give you four quick questions as we close the broadcast today. First of all, do you admit that you are a sinner who deserves condemnation from God.
Secondly, do you confess that God sent Jesus Christ into the world to be its only Savior and that his death and resurrection alone are what can save you before holy God. Thirdly, have you repented of sin and turned to Christ and finally, do you somehow show fruit of repentance, beloved, ask the right questions and the spirit will help you understand the state of your soul. Thanks Don and friends were out of time for today hi Bill, right, hoping you'll join us next time.
As Don Greene continues teaching God's people.
God's word on the truthful