True Freedom - our testimony in Christ

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I. Introduction
A. Signposting #1 - There’s always distractions in this world. Too many distractions to name, and we seem to keep creating or contriving our own distractions. Today one might be fiddling around with a electronic toy, phone, app, or whatever.... a few hundred years ago it was apprentice scribes looking busy but just scribbling on spare papyrus pages. Who knows, maybe a few thousand years before it was a pick and stone tablet. “Gunter! Go clean out your mess in the back of the house.” “I’m busy!”
Distractions come from our own allowance or tolerance, not just our electronics or tools.
2. What we allow in our minds and hearts will eventually bring fruit, whether good fruit or bad.
B. Signposting #2 - Good stewards keep to their task, Soldiers to their duty, Farmers to their charge & field, Christians to their call to love God and others.
1Cor 9:25 “25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
Don’t let the taint of distraction ruin our testimony to others, and how we love them.
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II. Scripture: 1 Tim 6:6-19
1 Timothy 6:6–19 ESV
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. 17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
A. Remarks about Scripture
III. Background
A. Supplement #1 - Timothy is being instructed by Paul things to bring up to the church body, and just recently is finishing a warning to beware of puffed up teaching and talk.
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B. Supplement #2 - The entrance into this subject takes over from this warning, and talks about contentment that comes from God and thus we should remain true to our testimony in Christ.
Let’s take a deeper look at these verses
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain,
7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
Rather a good exposition on what Paul spoke of in Phil 4:10-13 to the church at Philipi.
Phil 4:10-13 “10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
The extension to which he calls “godliness” has nothing whatsoever to do with being like God ourselves (which is pride and idolatry) but the context is that to be more like God through his covering of his blood and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit unto eternal life. Then, and only then will such contentment keep us with the phrase we have known from Job, “He giveth and taketh away. blessed be the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21
Luke 12:3131 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
A good note here is to see how the emphasis in verse 9 should be on the “desire” to be rich.
Prov 1:19 “19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.”
Romans 8:5-6 “5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
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2 Ti 2:22 “22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Rom 14:19 “19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
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1 Thess 2:12 “12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”
Ephesians 6:10–18 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,
14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The work for witness in aramaic is μάρτυς (martys) which to me sounds like martyr. The word for testimony is μαρτυρήσαντος (martyreo) which can also mean to bear witness.
15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
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17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
This is not like the social justice calls of today- but a better calling by the Lord that if certain people are blessed by riches, to enjoy them under the instruction and direction of God. The Lord did warn us of the difficulty for the wealthy to enter heaven.
Matt 19:23 “23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.”
We are to be careful in our charge.
Romans 11:20-2220 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.”
18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
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IV. Peter’s Fall - Topical Concept #1
V. Peter’s Conviction - Topical Concept #2
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