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Preach the Word

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
September 11, 2021 4:00 am

Preach the Word

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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September 11, 2021 4:00 am

Are you being entertained in church, or edified? While most of us enjoy an amusing anecdote, preaching is no laughing matter! Find out why neglecting God’s Word is dangerous, for pastors as well as congregants. That’s on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The church are you being entertained or edified. Preaching is no laughing matter today on Truth for Life weekend. We begin a new series called guard the truth will join Alistair Begg as he teaches from the opening verses of second Timothy chapter 4 when you think about it is I think for us as a church happy Providence that we find ourselves in this particular passage of Scripture on this first day of a new year, because after all, most of eyes are going to be confronted, not so much by an amazing Vista that opens before us or a peculiar challenge that we have never yet encountered most of eyes are going to be faced are not already being faced with the inevitability of a return to the routine of life or something in the human spirit they can face a new challenge that can deal with a new responsibility. It is particularly daunting to deal with the same thing again. That's why I say the happy Providence that were here because two Timothy four says to Timothy, and all who are in the lineage of Timothy. Essentially this I want you to continue as he says in verse 14 to continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed he has already told Timothy, the Scriptures are divinely inspired there completely reliable reliable that they're totally sufficient and is the end of chapter 3. He pointed out that they are the key to the competence and effectiveness of the man of God and the reason that this is of such importance is because Paul has already identified the find that some in the Ephesian context have gone the way of deviation they've gone off track.

Chapter 2 they have their teaching, which is furious and spreading like gangrene he's going to as he continues in chapter 4.

Identify some gone away so much of deviation is they've gone the way intrigued by innovation and sorry sister Timothy I want you to make sure that you commit yourself to proclamation and I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus preach the word of the word. There is an important imperative. It's the word that would be used by Harold, who went out into the community, proclaiming a message that he had been given, and this is the responsibility that Timothy is about to take on it is the responsibility that is then entrusted to all who become under God's direction.

Teachers and preachers of the gospel. Let us summarize the opening two verses by noticing just two things. First of all, the solemnity of this charge. And then the simplicity of this charge. The solemnity of it. Solemnity is an important part of the way in which the Bible introduces us to all kinds of themes and not least of all to the responsibility of the preaching of God's word. If you look at this. You will notice that there is nothing casual or inconsequential about this I charge you, he says, in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus. In other words, he says, God the father and God the son are your witnesses Timothy you're going to exercise your ministry not hidden away from the gaze of God. God knows you. He made you. The Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and your caring and your ministry.

I charge you to this ministry in the presence of Almighty God and his son the Lord Jesus Christ Allow that to settle in our minds for a moment and let me illustrated. In this way as a young minister in Scotland.

I have the privilege from time to time of being part of or present at the induction of a minister, what we call in America hear the installation of a minister, and the process of induction. There is a fairly formalized and traditional one. There would be at least two preachers, one would give the charge to the congregation, thereby reminding the congregation of his responsibilities to and for its new pastor and then somebody usually a seasoned minister would give the charge to the incoming minister as he was about to take on the charge and responsibility of pastoral ministry. I can remember being struck by just how awesome and how daunting that was that there was usually later on celebration and food and some good humor, but on the occasion of the induction itself.

There was nothing that could have been regarded as anything other than swallow.

It was unusual for these words from Richard Baxter.

Words like them to be quoted by the minister given the charge to the young man quotes.

It is a sad thing that so many of us preach our hearers to sleep, but it is sadder still if we have studied and preached ourselves to sleep and of talk so long against hardness of heart till our own hearts grow hardened under the noise of our own reproves I can remember sitting in an occasion like that and say how unbelievably daunting is this the far greater and more awesome prospect is not of having a congregation that doesn't listen to, but of having a heart that doesn't pay attention itself to the things that you proclaiming so that the longer you go in teaching the Bible, the worse you get and the harder your own heart becomes what would help you snap out of that the solemnity of this charge. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is the one who will judge the living and the dead.

Those who are alive and those who are raised to life will face the judgment of God and the accountability that is represented in that it such that Paul himself recognizes it down in verse eight he is anticipating the day of the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ and so he says to Timothy listen Timothy, if you wanted if you want to deal with judgment which you must because we all will see we will all face judgment.

You understand I don't you. Two Corinthians 5 that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive that which is done in our bodies that we will be judged in relationship to our works.

Believers will not be judged in the same way as the rest of mankind, believers do not face the judgment as courage shrinking from it, but rather in light of what Paul says here in verse eight, to which we will gone. Looking forward to the day when a crown will be given to us, but nevertheless the Christian view of judgment makes it clear that history has a goal that judgment protects the idea of God's goodness and of the triumph of God and of the punishing of all wrong, and of the setting of justice to write all of that and more, is represented there.

But what Paul is driving home to Timothy and to all who follow in his line is this, you should be worried about being accountable to me i.e. to the apostle and you shouldn't worry about being accountable to your congregation in Ephesus. If you want something to be concerned about be concerned about this that got you charge and he knows the motives of your hearts. People may impugn your motives, Timothy.

People may make all kinds of observations on the scent of what you do what you say where you go for the fact of the matter is, your judgment is secure in God himself and it is that sense of accountability which drives home the solemnity of it. That's why when the writer to the Hebrews is wrapping up his letter he says to the congregation under his care. Obey your leaders and submit to them because a really nice people know, obey your leaders and submit to them because a really, really gifted, no, obey your leaders and submit to them because, obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your soul as those who will give an account to whom to God to God. I think you got something of the solemnity of this this Jesus who is the judge of the living and the dead is going to appear in this kingdom will be consummated and so he says I'm sending this before you, Timothy, and I want you to understand the solemnity of what I'm saying and also secondly to understand the simplicity of what I'm saying.

What is he saying in a phrase preach the word, there's actually a series of imperatives here preach be ready reproves recruit, exhort, and in verse five, another another group of four. I think it is. You can check yourselves but what are you more than what is Timothy to do in Ephesus. While these two preach the word ultimately would be no doubt about what Paul Nancy has spoken to him throughout his letter about the pattern of sound words that he still hold to the good deposit that he is to guard the word of truth that he is to proclaim the sacred writings that he is known from his infancy.

All of that underpins the simplicity of this charge. Preach the word in other words Timothy on you to teach the Old Testament Scriptures and I want you to teach and turn the things that you've learned from me and that you will learn from the other apostles. You will notice that he's not charged with coming up with something, but rather declaring the message that God has spoken. I know you're as intrigued as I am about where all my hymnody comes from.

I don't even know what it all comes from. And every so often I find I him is in my head and then I go and search a letter that I am amazed when it comes from my I had experienced just last evening as I was scribbling and antifreeze come into mind when I was thing about this. I don't come up with it. It comes down to me and in essentially either line came while it is a message from God. And then I went to I have a message from the Lord hallelujah I thought was interesting. Want to let a guy put hallelujah and there is just the syntax is no so I've omitted from the Lord hallelujah this message on to you I give. It's recorded in his word hallelujah and the message is to Luke and live.

I know that since forever.

So I look for where you come from. I finally came from uncle William Ogden was born in Franklin County in Ohio in 1841 ever met in my life and in the Civil War.

He was part of the Indiana volunteer infantry because his family moved to Indiana when he was a young man in the course of that he exercised. If you like a heraldic ministry amongst his friends and this is what he said I've got a message from the Lord. And here's a message. Luke and Liz, taking that from the Old Testament picture of the serpent in the wilderness where in order to be freed from their condition.

They were instructed not to scrub themselves, wash themselves, fix themselves, meditate themselves to look and to live and he says and this is the message look and you will live. It remains the message secular man said I never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life.

It's going to be far more elaborate and that is going to involve me far more than that. No, it does not all, here is a message now donated is what I want you to do.

He says I want you to go out and proclaim this message. What God has spoken and the apostles has been bequeathed to us in the Bible so we are to preach the word and nothing but the word and when are we to do it well. He tells us when were to do it where to do it ready in season and out of season. Be ready.

I think the notion of readiness.

I ready a why ready as part of the Canadian Navy, but I haven't checked it. Certainly the theme and this symbol of my soccer team from Glasgow.

Unfortunately, my team has been ready for a number of years despite having on its crest that it is always ready could afford me the last time I saw them play but anyway they're supposed to be ready and that's what he saying here is standing by Capt. ready ready when you are not. That's the whole thing so that so the unit, the pastor does need to be cajoled into preaching. You need to be cajoled and lured and and and and he's just ready ready when he feels like it really doesn't feel like that's the whole point here in season and out of season.

Paul understood for himself. There were seasons where it was more delightful, other times what was more daunting to be times when it was discouraging and what needs to do is to press the message home on all occasions, deeming it convenient or inconvenient Let us reinforce this realize how how straightforward, how simple this is and yet how unusual it is. How unusual it is for a man to staying the course as a Bible teacher to just keep teaching the Bible we saying to him is this I want you to preach the word Timothy if the environment is marked by receptivity or hostility you must preach the word of God when the prospect of it fills you with the light but also when it fills you with dread me to say a word to my fellow pastors who are within earshot of what I'm saying now dolomites kid ourselves.

There are seasons in our souls.

There are seasons in a congregation. There are seasons in the framework of life that make it far more daunting than delightful to stick with the task you just go to preach, preach, though your heart is breaking preach when it is delightful when it is dreadful. Preach when your listeners are attuned to what you're saying and preach when your listeners to know what you're saying preach when the crowds are growing preach. When the congregation is dwindling, preach by because it's God's word and God's word always accomplishes its purposes. It's so simple it's not that Paul is given a warrant here for some kind of briskness or rudeness while I'm just going to preach whether they want to hear or not know what he saying here is an appeal against laziness, laziness because you will notice that as he said in verse 16 Scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof and for correction. Now he comes running to it again and he says, and the elements and preaching the word as you're ready in and out of season will be to prove or to reproof helping people think properly about the Bible. The doubtful are in need of solid arguments that are in need of reinforcements. Therefore, you don't have to speak apologetically and prove and re-improve their thinking correcting those who are thinking wrong they are, who are living wrongly. It's not easy to see these things in correction but correcting our own souls and exercising a ministry of correction and also a ministry of encouragement, encouraging people as boulders and as he begins the first Thessalonians. Remember that you said.

I'm so encouraged because of your your your faith that functions and your love that labors in your hope hangs on faith, hope, and love present in the Thessalonian context, one of encouragement and must've been for, but it is such a task isn't it. And the nature of the task to reprove review to exhort is then to be dealt with in a manner that is marked by patients and by teaching would have been better to just said with a wee bit of patience.

Wives have to be complete patients with complete patients how patient are you are you using the utmost patience and your teaching. The NIV is with great patience and careful instruction. Jim Boyce now in heaven is the one who said to me years ago as a young man, you will tend to overestimate what you can accomplish in a year you will underestimate what you can accomplish in five years. So be patient to be a teacher. I think demands patience where your teaching tiny children nor big children because not everyone gets it. Not everyone gets to the same level. Some people apparently never get it and then one day they get like in my fair Lady and some of your schoolteachers are university professors. That's been your great joy in life that somewhere along the line.

One of those characters that made it out of your class by the skin of their parents as ads met you in the thoroughfare under said whole life I finally got for you were on about a new maven to become a teacher themselves.

Paul says now Timothy if you think about this context. In Ephesus it's daunting without any question. I told I want you to make sure that your patient and I want you to make sure that your operating as carefully as you are patiently in other words, it demands an approach to the Bible that is demanding that if you if you if you want to come up with an approach to teaching the Bible that is like at three illustrations to jokes in the art practical idea. You never need to study again in your life you just there there there that they abound everywhere there's books with all of that stuff and it can be like both sides now you know and leave them laughing when they go and if you care, don't let them know don't give yourself away doesn't matter but know this is Saul.

This is straightforward. This is demanding sensible careful intelligent instruction well is the first Sunday of the year.

Hence, here we are. Same old thing right media like you kidding me bag with their words were doing the same thing again. Yeah. And as God spurs me will be doing the same thing again next year by because it's a great idea. Now if you think about it. This kind of didactic instruction is is like a dinosaur you know any place where anybody is able to speak for more than 20 minutes on hold anybody's attention, but every so often the sound of God appears across the horizon and people suddenly realize this must be God himself, who speaks and that's the whole point. It is in the old days of the churches in Scotland. They had not signed Sir, we would see Jesus. I think I actually could equally be so we would hear Jesus we want to hear from Jesus. Jesus is ultimately the preacher preaches work suddenly finish. In this way.

First of all, a word to our pastoral team, of which I am a part. It is a happy providence that we've arrived at two Timothy chapter 4, on this first Sunday of the new year. It is a word for our pastoral team to faithfully proclaim the word of God. In light of the judgment of God. Whatever the response of the people of God. That's for the past 20 and a word for the congregation that we might prayerfully support our pastors as they preach the word of God and as we receive it gladly, as from God. Pastors are to proclaim the word of God like judgment of God. Whatever the responsible people of God. That's Alister big with a message titled preach the word listening to Truth for Life weekend. Although clever Bible teaching can be amusing. It is God's word that ultimately accomplishes God's purposes. That's why our mission of Truth for Life is to teach the Bible and only the Bible every day.

Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will work through the daily messages you hear on this program to change the hearts of unbelievers to encourage believers and to strengthen both pastors and church members within the local church. We also carefully think through the books that we recommend to you that will help you grow in your faith today were recommending a book that's written for young adults titled surviving religion 101 letters to a Christian student on keeping the faith in college surviving religion 101 anticipates many of the doubts and challenges that your son or daughter are likely to face as they navigate a secular environment on their own. For example, the book offers answers to questions like why wouldn't a loving God just save everyone or how do we know that the Bible is really from God. To find out more about the book surviving religion 101 visit our website Truth for Life.Bob Lapine, wouldn't you love it if that your next physical. The doctor said you need to cut back on exercise. You need to watch more TV and eat more dessert. Well, that may sound tempting but there's no chance that's good be good for your help. Join us next weekend when will learn why it's equally detrimental for a pastor to preach what we want to hear instead of telling us what we need the Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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