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Fulfill Your Ministry

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2021 4:00 am

Fulfill Your Ministry

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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September 25, 2021 4:00 am

A pastor’s work in pointing people to follow Jesus is extremely challenging in the current culture. Study along with us on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg looks at the apostle Paul’s timeless exhortations for Timothy to persevere to the end.


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The pastors were pointing people to follow Jesus and his word can be challenging in our current cultural climate today, untruthful life weekend. Alister big looks of the apostle Paul's timeless expectations to Timothy to persevere to the end message is titled fulfill your ministry from our series called guard the truth will I invite you to turn again to two Timothy chapter 4 where our verse for this morning is verse five.

Our text verse five is for you. Always be sober minded endure suffering do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry but as many of us have learned over the years in the NIV. Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry or if you want to paraphrase it as far as you're concerned Timothy stay steady in all that you're doing faceup to whatever suffering may come. Make sure you go unsteadily, preaching the gospel and leave nothing undone that you ought to do. That's it. He has provided this very striking and straightforward charge. He has made sure that Timothy understands the challenge of fulfilling that charge in that challenging environment and now he's calling for Timothy to display his character as a young man and as a pastor as he responds to these final four imperatives that Paul brings to him.

In doing so he is providing Timothy as someone has said with a sober, realistic statement of what Christian ministry really is no. The opening phrase in the sentence. As for you is a familiar phrase throughout these pastoral epistles is two words in Greek it's translated variously if your Bible is open, you will see it here in verse five of chapter 4. You will also see it. If you go in reverse order to verse 14 of chapter 3. He describes these evil people and imposters in verse 13 and then he says in verse 14.

But as for you, I don't want you to be like them. I want you to continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of the go further up the way, is aware up going towards verse one. You can find the same thing in verse 10, where he begins again. You however or but you are as for you, and if you care to. You can go through first Timothy and also through Titus and you will find that Paul does it again and again and what he's doing is he sitting before Timothy, a man sized task calling that is only given to a man the task of pastoral ministry and he wants Timothy to be in no doubt as to the nature of what he's facing facing opposition facing isolation. It would be very easy for Timothy to decide just to throw in the towel.

Paul is telling him that he's about to face death. He will be leaving and that Timothy could be so scared by the prospect of being left without the apostle Paul's companionship that he made his determine while I think I'll go at the same time and God can raise up somebody else to do this. Paul is concerned that that will not take place, so it's engine there's no time here no opportunity here for self-pity, but rather, this is an opportunity, Timothy to show some steady persistence. Now what is Paul saying here. Let's look at the fourfold directive that he gives. As for you, what are you to be about number one always be sober minded. There's a sense in which the challenge he is given him.

In verses three and four where these people are have itching years are keeping up for themselves teachers accumulating teachers to suit their passions, wandering off into myths is essentially to become intoxicated by all these various ideas there's a heaviness about that will make you lightheaded and to sit around engaging in all of this speculative material and he saying to Timothy, I don't want you to be sucking any of that heady wine of of mythology, and so on. Your working in an environment where people have wandered away. They have drifted into myths therefore it is imperative Timothy that you remain sober minded in the NIV. Remember that you keep your head. The notion is our remaining alert of being vigilant of being discerning because if you think about it. All these ideas are sweeping around people are going. Heather and yarn inserts of somebody who will tell them what they want to hear very very possible to be completely destabilized by all of that to begin to lose your way around to begin to save yourself or maybe I'm the one is wrong. After all, everybody else seems to be over here so the call is a realistic goal is not you stay alert. I don't want you susceptible to the speculative fancies don't be unsettled when your numbers are diminishing and the false teachers numbers are increasing and make sure that you are always sober minded, always sober mind and the NIV. Keep your head in all situations so that all the time and in every situation. You better stay away and you better make sure that you are alert for these dangers. Think about it is not simply in order that Timothy himself might run the race and complete but Timothy has under his care. All of these people that are the flock. He has been entrusted with the responsibility of the pastor and the teacher.

He along with his colleagues keeps watch over these people as one who will give an account keeps watch over their souls. As we saw a few Sundays ago.

Therefore, if he falls asleep. If he loses it and has ramifications.

I want to make sure that your sober mind. Secondly, Timothy not only do you need to be sober minded, but you need to endure suffering that once again he not introducing a new note that the emphasis on suffering has run all the way through his letter and fight his invitation to Timothy, at the very beginning of the letter back in verse eight is a draft of chapter 1 therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but here's his invitation to join him in pastoral ministry, but share in suffering for the gospel. That's the requirement by the power of God. Those are the resources you wonderfully puts together both requirement and resource all the time how my going to do this by the enabling of God by this you must do, and he has emphasized that all the way through the latter. You only need to go down to verse where is it 12. He says I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and the teacher. This is chapter 1 at which is why I suffer as I do. And when you rented chapter 2 he saying the same thing I want to tell you about my gospel, for which I am suffering so systemically I don't want to gild the lily in in my departure from you as I get ready to leave you behind.

I won't do you any favors by suggesting that this is a soft option.

It isn't you need to keep your head and secondly, you need to be prepared to suffer up all suffer physically. Dendy is a good record of the New Testament makes this abundantly clear he's actually in jail at the present time.

Jesus suffered physically. Many of our brothers and sisters today throughout the world are suffering physically. Timothy may be facing physical suffering to we know little of that where we are, for the time being at least. But Timothy suffering would probably been far more mental and emotional as he realizes that although he is seeking to be true to this pattern of sound words sticking with the truth of the gospel, staying with the gospel, he finds a people running all over the place looking for people who will tell them what they want to hear. Why can you be far more amenable the way some of these other teachers are Timothy why you have to keep going on about this gospel while Paul is preparing them for the fact that if he's going to stick with the gospel than there is a cost involved. There's a cost involved in sticking with the gospel because we said last time if were going to say what the Bible says concerning the situation of man that man by nature is sinful and guilty and responsible and lost, then this will be a constant telling people that all of whom is relevant for Timothy in Ephesus. I suggest you that it is very relevant for rising Cleveland ECD insinuations of the evil one in the mind of the of the servant of God Timothy in this case need to be recognized for what they are.

The evil one is going to come to a Timothy and he's going to attempt to deceive them. That's why needs to be sober minded and alert. He's going to try and just discourage him just to downright discourage him, so eventually gets the point because you know what I have had enough of this and I don't want one more Sunday that's the insinuation of evil. When you check and what is he seeking to do is seeking to derail the servant of God, get them off the tracks get them off the tracks in terms of its focus on the gospel get them off the tracks any way at all. But if this fellow is a total useful make sure that you get rid of and supposed sister you need to Timothy. Make sure that you endure suffering is not suggesting that he should court suffering like a masochist or that he should complain when suffering comes, but rather that he should endure okay so as was to be ready to to respond to the questions that come our way. He says in the manner in which you do. This is very important news monster with gentleness and with respect and having a good conscience, then there is a henna clause so that so that what so that when you are slandered and when they revile your good behavior to you to verse 15 and you just isolated to be ready to always have an answer for those who ask reason for the hope you have some scanner because he doesn't know I'm just going to be ready in the sort. He says yeah but you better be ready in the context of suffering, so that when they slander you after you've been ready with your answer when they revile you, and say stay away from her.

She's a bad I that you then are able to stand up to the challenge that you are able to endure that you endure that you're not a chocolate soldier as soon as they turn the heat up your gone there actually is something there of substance and is already said that the Timothy is is is a hard-working farmer receives the reward is the is the athlete who competes according to the rules is the soldier who submits to his commanding officer endure hardship if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God. Thirdly, do the work of an evangelist is he suggesting that Timothy leaves his charge pastorally in Ephesus and goes on an itinerant journey. I don't think so. I think that what this means is simply a reinforcement of the charge that he's already given in verse two preach the word do the work of an evangelist Timothy.

In other words, go unsteadily, preaching the gospel go unsteadily, preaching the gospel, JI Packer, in his book request for godliness has a wonderful quote that I wrote down years ago and I still keep it behind a little photograph of myself in one of my daughters. This is Packer if one preaches the Bible biblically, one cannot help preaching the gospel all the time and every sermon will be as bold in the Puritan said at least by implication evangelistic. If one preaches the Bible.

Every sermon will be at least by implication, evangelistic, why because the Bible is a book about Jesus.

The story of the Bible is salvation belongs to the Lord. The story of the Bible is not a story of how you can do something for yourself to make yourself acceptable to God but is the story of what God has done in Christ in order that you might know God and be welcomed by girl's a wonderful story. I why is this so important will think about it there all this things going on around guys looking for teachers who will tell them what they want to hear so that they can live their lifestyle. Anyway they want to live it. They were so consequently will the world listen to the truth what is the truth that salvation belongs to the Lord.

And so Timothy, make sure you do the work of an evangelist, you don't have to be an astute reader of church history, even recent church history. The history of the last 50 years. Even in this country to realize that a number of very good and effective gospel preachers deviated from course as a result of either chasing down the heretics, deciding that her job was to curse the darkness, or to engage in political agendas. That's the challenge is the pastor must not neglect the ongoing work of preaching the gospel. The emphasis of the pastor is going to be that both in public and in private. Very easy and pastoral ministry to think that because you've exhorted your people do it, you're actually doing it yourself. You may not be doing it yourself. Timothy hear the pastor. Make sure you do the work of an evangelist you see the expectations that Paul gives here are timeless. The fit when the culture is on your side. They fit when the culture is opposing and he seemed to Timothy Timothy I want you to swim against the tight I want you to swim upstream and finally, I want to make sure Timothy that you don't quit that you fulfill your ministry, I think, fulfill your ministry. That little phrase is simply a catch all that kind of wraps it up and gathers if you like it. It's a sack with all the rest in all the things that I've already said the charge I given you the challenge that you face now. As you recognize this as you come to it with a mind that is alert and in June as you are prepared to recognize the cost is involved in doing what you're doing as you remain in in a focused way to proclaim the good news of the gospel, not too many finish the job. So I say keep going in the NIV discharge all the duties of your ministry. JB Phillips carry out to the full the commission that God gave you in secular Greek, the verb denotes the fulfilling of a promise or the repainting of a debt is how it is used in secular Greek, so make sure that you keep the promise that you've made and that you repay the debt that you all. Timothy is a debtor to the mercy of God, as was Paul Timothy has been ordained to the gospel ministry.

That's why Paul as we know the state or do not neglect the gift that was given you the laying on of the hands. He recognizes this survey system Timothy you know I won't be here, but you will be here.

I'm about to exit. You have major entry.

Keep your promises. Simeon decided he would stop being a pastor when he was 60 bad idea.

He said I will go till I'm 60. And then I will have a Sabbath in other words, I'm done. At that point given that his mentality was in that regard, he when then for what he wants, what he thought was going to be his final visit to Scott and up in Scotland as he walked having come out of a time of real difficulty in his pool bid in Cambridge where his voice had been reduced at times virtually to whisper was convincing him that it was right for him to draw an end to his ministry. He said that in Scotland in a way that he couldn't fully understand. He had an encounter with God, which said them forward significantly. He said that was only a kin to the healing all of the woman who touch the hem of Jesus garment. He said it was it was almost as if that was the case and he said that he felt that God actually said to him, listen, I lead you aside because you entertained with satisfaction.

The thought of resting from your labor, but now you arrived at the very. When you had promised yourself that satisfaction and have determined instead to spend your strength for me to the latest hour of your life. I have doubled, traveled, quadrupled your strength that you may execute your desire on a more extended plan so it 60 years old.

He returned to his pool. In Cambridge and he preached vigorously for 17 more years preached his final sermon two months before he died. In the course of that he had an assistant, a number of them but one in particular called Henry Martin funeral and I have church history and the history of India Henry Martin was a Cambridge student attended Trinity became an assistant to Simeon eventually went to India where he had a very short ministry is ministry there lasted six years of the most perhaps only for he died at the age of 31 while he was out there, a painting that was done of him was sent back by Henry Martin to Charles Simeon so that Simeon might have this painting of his young assistant Simeon then took it and had it put in his study. As a result of which, when he went into his study, Henry Martin's face look down at him every time he was at his desk, and when people would come and visit Simeon. He would show the picture to the people who came and this is what he would say to see that blessed man. No one looks at me as he dies. He never takes his eyes off me and he seems always to be saying the years are short, be serious. Be an earnest. Don't trifle don't trifle and then Simeon would add and I won't trifle. I won't trifle with tragedy to trifle your life away trifle your ministry when the call of God is so clear the super mind endure suffering to the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. You have a ministry, you have a limited amount of time left. We want to do with the rest you request. Alastair biggest challenging pastors to fulfill their ministry listing to Truth for Life weekend. Please keep listening. Alastair will be back in just a minute to close with prayer. If you listen to Truth for Life weekend regularly you know that we carefully select and recommend books to help you and your family grow in faith, and that includes even the smallest members of your household.

That's why will recommending a book called Bible stories every child should know this is a beautifully illustrated story book that retells hundred and 20 stories from the Bible stories stay true to Scripture what they're told.

In simple language that young children even preschool age children can easily understand one of the things we really love about this book is that it links each story to Jesus and the gospel. There are questions at the end of each story that spark further conversation about God and about his people find out more about the book Bible stories every child should know when you visit our website at Truth for here's Alastair with the closing prayer father, thank you that you are the one who not only establishes these requirements for us but also provides the resources to us what kind of an army are we. We don't look like much were not filled up with people who are apparently very very strong and influential.

Most of as if were honest or aware of our own fitted sheet of our own smallness of our own ineptitude so we are entirely dependent on you to enable us and to quicken us so that we might do is you've called us to do fulfill the ministry entrusted to help us. To this end, we pray raises up send this out for Jesus sake on that about Lapine. Thanks for listing when the apostle Paul's death was imminent. His greatest concern was that the gospel would continue to be proclaimed. How could he be so calm and selfless. He was facing his own demise. Find out when you join us again next week.

Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is

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