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December 14, 2020 1:00 am
First Timothy chapter 1 starting in verse one just verse one into Paul and apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope to Timothy, my true child in the faith.
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the father in Christ Jesus our Lord. Sprague and I needed heavenly father please.
As we go in your word, as we see Paul and as we see Timothy let us look to an example of discipleship. Let us look to an apostle that has been appointed by Christ and has given us a prescriptive book that gives us a guideline and a guidance on how to govern your church. We pray you will bless the breach of the were deceiving her sons and we pray the president of Wheaton College's name is Philip Reich and and he went to Wheaton College as an undergraduate when he went off to college for the first time his dad Leland Reich and also Dr. Aiken raised him in the reformed faith and he sent him off with a copy of a book called a manual for Christian doctrine by Lewis Burke off. This is a classic theology, and in it he wrote his son a brief note and said the following for Philip. Upon entering college, in the hope that your theology will remain reformed.
Dr. Aiken noted that his father wanted him to remain a faithful believer and a true son in the faith, he was already his biological son. But at the same time, he had raised his son in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And so the hope is that he would remain a spiritual son and he would not swerve from the faith, but he would maintain his true faith once delivered to the saints. This is the hope of any Christian father that their children would leave the gospel even already. Rachel and I we have a six week old son weighed in at 11 pounds yesterday already hoping that is healthy and that he's happy, but more the point we really hope for eternal hope that he would be a born-again disciple of Jesus Christ. The third epistle of John tells us in verse four I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. So Paul is writing to Timothy as a father to a son, praying that he too would guide the church and keep the faith. That is the point of the sermon this evening is that that is the point of first Timothy really is that Paul is guiding Timothy to leave the church well and remain a true son in the faith.
But before we go into this passage we have to look at Paul with to figure out the profile of Paul the apostle so going back the first time that Paul is actually in the Bible we don't see him, ask chapter 22 Paul says that he was there back in acts chapter 7 Stephen was a deacon and he was preaching a sermon, pleading with everyone to believe the gospel, and he is the first martyr in the New Testament church and Paul tells us that he was standing there approving and watching Holt looking over the garments of those that martyred Stephen Paul was not always Paul. He was at one point Saul of Tarsus Tarsus was a city that was part of the Roman Empire.
He was a Roman citizen himself was also a committed member of the tribe of Benjamin. He was circumcised on the eighth day he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews and in regard to the law.
He was a Pharisee. He was trained in some of the best schools available and he was a committed leader within Judaism seeking and killing anyone that followed the way back.
At this time there was no word Christian.
It was simply called the way in acts chapter 9 there is, it opens with Paul breathing murderous threats against the church and he's on his way to Damascus and the Lord Jesus Christ calls him out and says, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting a response to who are you, Lord and nieces. I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. In that moment, Paul is struck blind. He is brought onto Damascus. Ananias is warned about this Paul that's been persecuting Christians but God tells him, for he is a chosen instrument.
I do not kill him, but he's chosen that he would be a witness to the Gentiles into the Kings into the children of Israel. God had a plan for the life of formerly Saul now Paul the apostle and so and and and Ananias arrives. He places his hand on Paul.
He receives his site and he is filled with the holy spirit. Paul, who once persecuted the church is now the chief missionary to the Gentiles.
He saved and is called to ministry and he's baptized in the long with Barnabas. He's introduced to all the many ministers within the church. John Mark and Silas and Timothy in a policy, and Philip and the rest of the early Christian church is only met Paul they heard his testimony. They saw that he was directly appointed by Christ to be an apostle and they bring him in as one of the apostles and then on his second missionary journey and ask chapter 16 he runs into a young Christian name Timothy and from then on, Timothy was with Paul throughout his second and third missionary journeys.
Paul gets arrested in Rome. Ask chapter 28 he's at the very end of acts he's in prison and he writes, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon while he's in prison. These are called the prison epistles when he is released he goes on this one last journey. Any rights first Timothy and Titus.
Some call this is fourth missionary journey. Finally, in second Timothy's arrested and this is his last time in Rome to write one last letter to his son in the faith Timothy and he talks about his departure is fine finishing the race. Keeping the faith.
And so we have confirmation here that after second Timothy. He is executed in Rome, but Paul is coming to Timothy in coming to this church in Ephesus with the full authority that comes with being an apostle, he realizes and steps forward for first with this God ordained apostleship. He wants to come with the full authority that God has given him that he's been directly appointed by Christ himself and so he's writing to his son in the faith Timothy, but in a broader sense, there are indicators here in the text that this is for the rest of the church summary this and say this is strictly for Timothy and strictly for his time, but actually when you going to the letter.
If you look at the last verse of first Timothy chapter 6 verse 21 will say grace be with you but that you is actually in the second person plural, which means it's more like you all, grace to you all are, as we might say in the South, grace to y'all, which I think we should encourage more that see a family say grace to y'all not just you but to y'all and we see that he is writing this letter, and he is ultimately prescribing this to the rest of the body of believers in Ephesus. Even with him being an apostle comes from the Greek word op Estella which is one who is sent out of the sent out one's he is an ambassador, a representative of the Christian faith and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians chapter 2 verse 20 Paul says the church is built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles, the prophets would be those that came before Christ. Going back to Abraham and Moses and all the many Old Testament prophets. Malachi being the last John the Baptist comes in as a forerunner for Christ in these apostles are the 12 disciples that walked with Christ in his earthly ministry might ask yourself, are there not more people that walk with Jesus.
Yes, but there are two specific criteria for being an apostle first one has to be one of the 12 disciples that followed the Lord Jesus Christ. They are appointed directly to follow him. And so the 12 are the apostles. Secondly, they must see the resurrected Christ.
This is an important criteria for being an apostle Paul saw Christ after the resurrection. In acts nine he was blinded, but he was directly called and he did see Christ in his glorified state. So Paul is technically counted among the 11 apostles, but on this basis, there is no apostle today were in a more apostles, but we have is their testimony from Scripture and now we are taking their word and going forth and in a small since you and I are you could say, little a apostles, we are sent out as Disciples of Christ is to fulfill the great commission, we are called to call everyone to repent and believe the gospel. We are still disciples and evangelist ambassadors for the good news that is found in the gospel than Paul further explains that he is going out by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope. Notice the way that it's written, it is Christ Jesus. Typically, we see it is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see Jesus being emphasized. First, Jesus meaning in Hebrew Yoshi Joshua comes from this and it literally translates to Jehovah saves and secondly his title as Christ means anointed and so he is the king of Israel. He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Paul here is ordering in Christ Jesus, because he wants to emphasize the fact that Christ is ruling and reigning over us as King. The other apostles knew Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth. They knew him as his is a is a is his humanity.
They knew him personally walking with him.
Paul is knocked off his donkey, and simply knows this ruling and reigning Christ post-resurrection post ascension Jesus is Lord from heaven. Not Jesus of Nazareth, to him, but he says that Jesus is God the son, and God is also our Savior.
We have this eternal hope of life. That is, through the son, who while we were yet sinners he died for us. And as the sun sent the fought the sent to me as the father sent the son to save sinners.
He saves Paul to save many more. And then he's extending this legacy down to Timothy and he tells him to remain in the faith, and he describes him in a very intimate way. He says my true child in the faith that is our second point is that Timothy is a true child in the faith. Timothy was from Leister.
He was in a Roman colony in the province of Galatia.
He had a Gentile father and a Jewish Christian mother name Eunice and a grandmother name Lois and they named him Timothy meaning he who honors God.
So they gave him a Christian name and Paul cites his mother and grandmother when he said and how from a childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings you're able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus is a Paul was radically converted but Timothy, we see that he was simply raised in the faith by a faithful mother and a faithful grandmother in the church I was raised in the Methodist Church and in a young age don't really take the faith seriously, at least in my church.
We weren't as serious Christians at eight years old. We went to Sunday school and we had a very sweet lady named Denise an older woman in the church that would try to get us focused on the Bible and Collis Reyna sent a lot I can think back to when Miss Denise and she began to read Luke chapter 23 and she just wept. I mean wept over the crucifixion story. She didn't put us through evangelism explosion. There was no slick advanced discipleship program.
She put me through. It was simply reading God's word and just weeping over the Lord that she loved and it was it still that was over 20 years ago and it still affects me as I think back on it, it was just a faithful woman of the church that loved me and cared for me and taught me about the Lord Jesus Christ from the Gospels and Io at eight years old. You don't know really the depth of what you're watching is, no, this is serious and I ought to think about these things but Timothy much the same way he is to simply raised in the faith with a faithful mother and a faithful grandmother that testified to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul, on the other hand he was.
He was openly against the Lord. He was a terrorist. He was killing Christians and God had to strike him blind to draw him into himself and makes me think what should a testimony look like an older wiser man in the church and elder to make a father to me, told me one time you and Steve some of us Apollyon and some are Timothy and in what he meant was that some of us have these radical conversion stories you need these radical these earth shattering business lightning bolt moment of conversion stories and what can happen is a young guy like Timothy can look at a moment of conversion story and think why don't look like him. Perhaps I'm not save what we see in Scripture it through covenant through the Abraham covenant and on. We see that the ordinary way in which God saves covenant children is by the regular ordinary means of grace by teaching and scripturally educating children in the church. One does not have to be a prodigal son going way off in the far land to be radically converted what we have with Timothy is this ordinary day by day discipleship from a mother and a grandmother that love the Lord Jesus Christ and so what we need to look at here is see that this is the way that God blesses the efforts of parents and by his grace saves covenant children and so along the way. Timothy wall raised by mother and grandmother. He found a father in Paul and so he growing up with an unbelieving father is is Timothy's father was a Gentile and did not believe Paul was took this role as Timothy's father in the faith and began to disciple him there other men, Silas and John Mark and Paulus and Philip Vargas. These men were more older, they were more of a brother to Paul, but Timothy being a younger man. Paul saw it as his mission to personally invest in the life of Timothy Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 4 verse 17 that is why sent you, Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord to remind you of my ways in Christ.
As I teach them everywhere in every church. He was his beloved and faithful child. He loved him and cared for him and he was a product of Paul's ministry in a sense, he was an extension of Paul to the churches they serve.
They worked in Athens together and they represented Paul in Thessalonica and Corinth and Philippi and Macedonia and ultimately pastoring his church in Ephesus. And so Paul with his great knowledge as a Pharisee know so much Old Testament, but as someone is not converted. This is only worse for the church. But as we see he's now been converted all this depth of knowledge is education is a Pharisee only strengthens his ministry to other Christians pointing out where Christ is present in the Old Testament we see his preaching and teaching as Timothy is sitting under it is now been strengthened. Timothy is he sent out into Ephesus and now he is warned by Paul to look out for these false teachers near the church and protect them from this teaching.
He knew it was coming. Paul knew back in next chapter 20 said that there can be when after my departure fierce rules will come in among you, not sparing the flock and from among your own selves will arise. Men speaking twisted things and drawing away the disciples after them not only an outside influence.
But among the church. Are these wrong aberrant doctrines creeping in and corrupting this message that Paul taught Timothy and it looks based on verse three to go with me.
In chapter 1 verse three we see that Paul's warning has become truly says I urge you that when I was going to Macedonia remained in Ephesus, so they made charge certain persons not teach any different doctrine nor devote themselves to the myths, the endless genealogies which promote speculations rather than stewardship from God that is by faith. They had their own troubles just like we do today. The Christian church has so much so, in a different denomination 70 different focuses and also so much error.
Sadly and we look back to the agent church.
It was no different. There was already heresies cropping up 30 years after the resurrection of Christ, and so we see that he there is the still, this issue of the Galatian heresy were you blend Jewish customs with the Christian faith. There were debates in the early church over the burial site of Abraham which is interesting. There were debates over the end times I think of left behind in the rapture.
All these issues still present today and then there were also Jewish myths and fables and ancestral worship. These things were being blended into the gospel message and ultimately corrupting the work that Paul had done. Revelation John writes that the Ephesian church had left its first love is what Paul is saying here is he wants to centralize the person and work of Jesus Christ. We have to go back to a clear and faithful teaching of the gospel, and in light of this gospel, it must guide and direct our conduct within the church. He says this in grace and mercy and peace from God the father in Christ Jesus our Lord. The grace and peace. Greeting is kind of the common greeting here, but Paul adds mercy as well. John MacArthur said the following about this phrase he said grace refers to God's undeserved favor, his love and forgiveness given to sinners, to free them from the consequence of sin. Mercy doesn't free us from the consequence of sin.
But it frees us from the misery that comes along with sin. Grace wipes out the sin and mercy wipes out the misery and then there's the word peace. The piece is a result of grace and mercy means not only harmony with God. The tranquility of the soul. Peace is the status of every believer and we've obtained this through faith in Christ and it's on this foundation that Paul instructs Timothy to order the church and so what we see is this is an introduction to this book. Plan to preach through it and what were to see throughout the for the letter of first Timothy is Paul is calling Timothy to protect the gospel in the local church through false teaching. He reinstates the gospel. He talks about men and women's roles in worship we see the qualifications of elders and deacons. We see the identifying marks of false teaching in the church and finally we see how we are to serve one another in the church and so in closing I want to give few points of application number one, we remember both the personal testimony of Paul and Timothy some of our members are Pauline coming to faith at a later age. It was a radical shift in our thinking.
It was a radical shift in the way in which we viewed God in the faith and the importance of Christian living at the same time I look at our families and I think I hope that the children are Timothy and's simply raised in the faith under a faithful spiritual father and mother that they would hold to the faith and hold dear and be faithful the way that Paul is calling Timothy to be. Secondly, I want to look at. Paul warned us about these other letters and concern for the faithful teaching and preaching of the gospel. What is absolutely essential is that we maintain Orthodox that is correct doctrine as it is essential for Christian living. Though the book of Ephesians is chapters 1 to 3 are all the things that we should know the correct teaching chapters 4 to 6 is now that we know these things we are to walk worthy in the calling in which we are called it's important now that our actions will reflect the truth in which we know Spurgeon said, those who do away with Christian doctrine, whether they are aware of it or not, are the worst enemies of Christian living.
The coals of orthodoxy fueled the fire of piety and so it's correct understanding of who God is, in his will for our lives that motivate us to faithfulness in our Christian life the way that the Jonathan Edwards put I like this that her affections towards God should correspond with our affirmation that the love in which we have for God ought to line up with the truths in which we believe there found in God's word. Fourth, I would encourage our church to look among us, and figure out fathers and mothers in the faith and sons and daughters in the faith, not as some sort of formal title, but where we see in the church is that older men are instructing younger men and older women are instructing younger women. We see this concept with Paul and Timothy but in a broader sense, there is a way in which the church ought to operate where we have younger men encouraging discipling instructing not only their biological sons, but there spiritual sons. We ought to encourage each other in our Christian walk. Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 4 verse 15 for though you have countless guides in Christ. Some translations say teachers in Christ you do not have many fathers from came your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
The difference between a teacher and a father, is the personal relationship that we have with the disciple. Some churches are just filled with teachers and knowledge is good.
Knowledge is great but without love. It can be a clanging symbol. He can simply be teaching with no affirmation or love or affection that comes with it and that is an essential part of our Christian living is that we encourage one another. Stir each other up to love and good works and show that we do care for one another and then finally and most importantly, we must see that Jesus Christ emphasis on Christ.
Here is the King and head of the church. This is God's ordained book of Church order. This letter speaks to how Christ governs his church and rules and reigns over us as our Lord and Savior God is established.
This order in the Bible.
Let us take it and learn from it that we might be a church that reflects God's character and love for the saints spring heavenly father we do thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ, and through him we are washed of arson.
He gives us a perfect righteousness by faith. This is the basis in which we do all things.
Please repent this call to repentance. Please reinstate within our hearts, a love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
But the truth of your word that Orthodox clear teaching of Scripture motivate and call us to obedience.
We pray that you would continue to strengthen the church that we would be a church that honors you in all things. Please bless this time and fellowship. We pray that we would encourage each other that we would stir one another up to love and good works. Please bless this evening.
Bless this worship that it would be honoring to you your sins and we pray,