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The Postscript

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
November 20, 2021 3:00 am

The Postscript

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 20, 2021 3:00 am

What would you like to say if you knew you were dying? Join Alistair as he concludes the series Guard the Truth by examining the lessons we learn from the apostle Paul’s gracious and encouraging final words. That’s on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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What would be your final words if you knew you were dying today on Truth for Life weekend. Alister big looks of the lessons we learn from the apostle Paul's gracious final words were concluding a series called guard the truth with a message titled the postscript, I invite you to turn to second Timothy in chapter 4, the concluding verses of all those what is taken to be his concluding letter were probably dealing here with a final written words of the apostle Paul himself. Note, Paul seems like he ended in verse 18, doesn't it the Lord will rescue me he says to him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. You can imagine. Perhaps his secretary said is that it probably finishing with a man and he said yes I think so and he said no, wait a minute. Just let's put a PS and the postscript is here in verses 19 to 22. What are we going to do it well. As I studied it, I determined that I can learn three simple lessons are not you know the unique to this passage, I can learn again about the nature of God's providence.

I can learn about the importance of gospel partnerships and I can learn something of what it means to part for my brothers and sisters in a way that is marked by graciousness and by grace itself. So first of all in this notion of God's providence. If you character you can turn to acts chapter 18 and it is at the beginning of our chapter 18 that Luke records for us the way in which the first two individuals mentioned in this postscript, find themselves caught up into the life of the apostle Paul when we think about our lives. All of us. We recognize that there have been people that have come across our path when it happened. It may have seemed very significant. Or perhaps commonplace, but now from the vantage point of time we realize that God in his providence had so clearly ordered the steps and in this case, it is apparent from the very beginning. Paul had been able to testify to this when he was converted. God in his providence brought Ananias to him. Then he gave to them Barnabas so that he would be accepted in the Jerusalem church community. Then he gave him silence when he and Barnabas had a bit of a bus stop in order that he wouldn't have to travel on his own and now as he writes his final letter as he reflects upon God's goodness and grace to him.

He has occasion to rejoice in his providence in a similar way you see his mention of honest syphilis. I he's mentioned on the surface.

Already in this letter. Some of you will remember back in chapter 1 in verse 16.

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of honest syphilis. Why will he tells us he often refreshingly, he wasn't ashamed of my chains. When he arrived in Rome he searched for me. He did so earnestly and he found me once again the providence of God, God orders the steps of his servant brings him into the realm of Paul's life and ministry, and although Paul is an apostle, and although he is significantly useful.

Nevertheless, he is eminently vulnerable and in his vulnerability.

God says here here's the here's Priscilla and Aquila, here, here, here's the household of Anna syphilis we say that's fine. I can see that the providence of God would be in that, but what about in a little phrase verse 20 Erastus remained at Corinth Erastus remained at Corinth and else not care that's good we can deal with that and I left fluffiness who was ill at Miletus. There their significance in both of these things. It will take an eternity to reveal what went on with Erastus at Corinth, but in the providence of God. He remained in court and in the providence of God.

At this point try from us was sick and he wasn't healed. Paul, who had exercised a healing ministry.

Obviously had no proviso granted him to exercise such a ministry in a life of trust from us at this point in his life.

No surprise, and is much as Paul himself was unable to be set free from his own besetting thorn in the flash simple reminder but an important reminder, God's people get sick, God's people sometimes stay say all God's people will eventually die. It is to upgrade from closed Bible and an empty head to suggest that that is not the case and both joy and sorrow, sickness and health, disappointment and encouragement all fall within the proviso of the providence of God when you think about the nature of this room some microcosm of the city of Cleveland of our world represented ethnically and racially intellectually, socially, financially, and every one of us has stories to tell where there are high and there are loads in the message that comes so clearly through this is that the same Paul who had undergone all of these buffer things and beatings, who now finds himself in a dungeon and under the shadow of his own execution is still to the very end of his day affirming the word of the psalmist and some hundred and 21 I lift up my eyes to the hills where does my help come from my help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth, and that help is not mediated does not come in isolation that help came as he highlights it here in the relationships that God granted him in his providence throughout his life. The Lord some hundred and 21 will watch over your going out and you're coming in from this time and even for evermore wonderful pictures.

That is, imagine either with his own writing instrument or sitting there is somebody scribbles it down say it say this say I want to send greetings to Priscilla Nicole and I want to send them to the household of honest syphilis. Let Timothy know that Erastus is standing Corinth and Metropolis has made it all the way back to Ephesus he sick in Miletus. All the precious nature of these memories brushes memories, how they linger is an old Jim Reeves on the summit show you how old I am at end of your life. You only have your memories in your photographs and, in fact, you may only have your photographs. Secondly, not only a lovely picture of the providence of God, but the reminder of the nature and the necessity of gospel partnerships. The apostle Paul was uniquely gifted.

He was greatly used but he was not a one-man band. He knew that as we've noted earlier there's some hundred people who are referenced throughout his letters in the acts of the apostles who were actually very very important to them in his ministry and probably nobody more so than Timothy himself tends to mitigates two letters and that the batten of faith is passed on to him. He was a junior partner, but he was a partner. Nevertheless, again, this is simple but it's it's important to remind us of his net to encourage one another with the fact that in Christ in Christ. Each of us has both the opportunity and the responsibility of forming and sustaining gospel partnerships gospel relationships. Timothy was not a natural fuel is our naturals. He was in the early days too young.

He was too diffident.

He was too prone to tell me problems and who which which of us can identify with that kind of thing. Yet God was pleased to put them in a position of usefulness. It is in relationships that the gospel works itself out. Isn't it in the same way that in a family what it means to be a person works itself out. Siblings may exist to help the fashion development of one another within the nuclear family and siblings in a nuclear family. If they're going to get on with one another have to tolerate each other and they have to be tolerated by each other and unless we are prepared to do that we can exist. We can exist effectively and tolerate any of the good work put up with to put up with each other's weaknesses to put up with each other sins to acknowledge that if this family is going to function. This dynamic is going to have to take place and that is actually true in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because when Christ redeems us adopt us into his family. Not only do we get Christ hope to get the entire family, which is God like the good news and the bad news is to be a great job with the one for you. You say I understand we feel the exact same way as you in this little scenario here in this little nine person, you, there is a reminder of what Paul has taught so effectively in his other letters, not least of all in Ephesians. Certainly in first Corinthians that the only way actually for the body to change the metaphor for the body itself to work is for there to be give and take within the mechanisms and systems of the body know one particular part can simply champion. All the others if everything is to work in the way it should. Pretty obvious illustration credits important to recognize when we look around on one another.

Paul says I've got trouble from us in mind.

I've Erastus in mind after you Timothy in mind, and so on and then he has you bill us who the world you us pollutants.

Linus Claudia won't be only smart Alec Samina lease there in the Bible we were not in the Bible. I'm not in the Bible God knows who they are. I am in the boy we would be in the Bible we would all be in under the final phrase in verse 21, and all the rest brothers. There is clearly get it can be brothers and sisters. I think it's probably best that way at all and all the other brothers and sisters all the siblings in the family involved in one another's life's saying no to isolation saying yes to involvement. Did you get that no to isolation yes to involvement.

Parenting is some journey is not kids are given to us for our sanctification. I'm convinced of that, whatever else is involved to teach us things about ourselves that we would never otherwise know to teaches the importance of prayer to teachers that we are entirely dependent upon God to teach is that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it and in the process of raising our children. One of the things that is vitally important is that we do not allow them to become isolated from their siblings, not a may for a moment or two for their own well-being. Whatever but not as our plan and pattern, not the closed and locked bedroom door not the slime bedroom door not I am alone stuff. Not that I don't want you I don't need you and so on.

You can do that. Not if you want a family you can do it in the church given a church family, either. Every so often the Knights of citizen any spirit of judgment and it makes perfect sense and every so often some the say and I think the parts are just too big for us. Okay, someone else might say more telling that II think is too cold to place KII think it's it's rather uninviting. Okay and I said I was and what you do Parkside is your learning do I mean dude you understand the verb to be what we come claiming like a passenger on a bus will say that what what would you say this would have discovered individuals who begin to seraph suddenly realize this isn't as big a place as I thought. Suddenly they discover friendships and relationships that he never knew were possible. Suddenly the idea of it being a rather uninviting, cold and impersonal place is filled with a whole coterie of individuals that there learning to tolerate and be tolerated by NTC in our culture, where sibling rivalry is often fierce. When a functional family is increasingly scarce as staggering as it may be for us to face up to it is nevertheless the case that it is in the church of Jesus Christ that that warmth and that affection is to be discovered in the nature of gospel partnerships gospel partnerships is because the gospel unites us, who's not. We are not united by the same school tie were not united by the same ethnic background were not united by our social economic framework. Those are not the unifying factor not in the church they may be in a club they may be in an institution they may be in an old school boys operation, but not in the church. Our world is broken. We live in a broken world is fractured and it is broken it will eventually be repaired in its entirety.

When a new heaven and a new earth is established, but in the meantime, the place for the brokenness restored for the sinfulness forgiven for that dysfunctionality address is supposed to be in the church that you just want to write the Boston criticize the driver. Fair enough. We are all different drivers different hats different speeds and so on. Some of you made partner some of your accountants.

You managed to get it into that strange little place where you made partner well that's not how it works in the church you have a responsibility to be a partner is not possible with to be in the church without a guard has defined you and called you to partnership some of us are tempted, I think to sell ourselves short in relationship to these things, the growing good of the world courting George Elliott in Middlemarch. The growing good of the world is partly dependent on on historic I and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been his half falling to the number who live faithfully ahead in life and rest in unvisited tombs.

You are vitally important to the people around you fully realize it or not, either for good or for ill. Some of you don't sing and you should say some of you saying finally a simple lesson about God's providence is simple lesson about gospel partnerships and finally a simple lesson about gracious party gracious party is trying to say goodbye. Verse 22 is probably Paul's last written word credit thought isn't it. I had a book given to me many years ago called famous last words to me just give you two quotes from it randomly. William Pope atheist died 1797.

Let an atheistic colt who delighted in desecrating religious places and objects, and it whose meetings. The Bible was richly kicked around the floor. 1797 closing words I have done the damnable deed the horrible damnable deed.

I cannot pray God will have nothing to do with me. I will not have salvation at his hands. I long to be in the bottomless pit. The lake which burns with fire and brimstone, I tell you I am damned, I will not have salvation. Nothing for me but hell, eternal torments will God do not hear my prayers for I will not be saved. I hate everything that God has made quite a way to go out into eternity had contrast John Bunyan. We've not for me but for yourselves. I go to the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will no doubt through the mediation of his blessed son receive me though a sinner, where I hope that we are long shall meet to sing the new song and remain everlastingly happy world without end. Paul now awaits his execution. How does he finish he parks graciously keep parts in many ways. The way in which Jesus parted from his disciples where it says by Lou Betty lifted up his arms and he blessed them, and he was taken up out of their sight. Paul ends with a blessing. The Lord be with your spirit that's in the singular, presumably for Timothy himself, and then Grace be with you that's in the plural for the whole church as it hears this letter read as a wonderful way to end is not because Timothy would never outgrow his need for the presence of Jesus. The church would never outgrow its need for grace that been saved by grace. They were shaped by grace now is he parts from the he commands them to God's care. Well, as we part company with Paul in this letter at least we want to go with that notion ringing in our years.

To him be glory in his presence be our portion may his grace sustain our relationships listing the Truth for Life weekend. Alastair Greg reminding us that our walk of faith was never intended to be a solo journey. We need others. Others need us and it's God who determines when and where our paths may cross keep listening. Alastair will be back in just a minute to close with prayer. Today's message was the final message in the guard.

The truth series. If you benefited from the example, the apostle Paul set for us as he faced imminent death. I want to remind you that the complete for volume study that's 38 messages from the book of second Timothy, that's available on a convenient USB drive. You'll find it online that Truth for Truth for Life. We carefully select and recommend to you books that will help you and your family grow in your walk of faith.

Today's book was an easy one for us to choose and we couldn't be more excited to tell you about its Alistair's brand-new book titled Truth for Life 365 daily devotions. Each daily reading and this book includes a Scripture verse Alistair's commentary. There are prompts to help you apply each lesson and additional verses so you can dig deeper or read through the Bible in the year Alastair compares reading the Bible to an exercise routine. Some days you're excited to get started and it feels amazing. Other days you struggled to begin and it's an effort just to push through regardless of how you're feeling. If you commit to reading the Bible each day you will reap the benefits in the long run, and this devotional is a helpful guide to keep you on track. Find out more about the book Truth for Life 365 daily devotions. When you visit our website Truth for Now here's Alastair to close with prayer father how we pray that your word will find a resting place in our lives that the reality of your grace and goodness to others both as individuals and as a family may quicken our resolve to engage in the partnerships which are your gift to us and which are necessary for us you will help us to see both our joys and our sorrows is coming to is under your providential care even the hard things that seek to trip us up and destabilize us Lord help us to trust in you. We pray that your grace may be our portion for Jesus sake on them about opinion next weekend were kicking off the Advent season with a short series titled songs for a Savior. How could Mary sing God's praises when she was placed in such an awkward and potentially disgraceful position. Find out when you join us again next week. Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the learning is prolific

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