1 Timothy 3:10-17
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1 Timothy 3:10-17
1 Timothy 3:10-17
You however - as opposed to the group of false teachers and phony Christians from the first half of the chapter.
Now Paul will give examples of trials he endured in 3 different cities in the region of Galatia during his first missionary journey.
Antioch - In Acts 13 after Paul and Barnabas had preached the gospel to the Jews who rejected the message they went to preach to the Gentiles where we read...
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium.
1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country,
Lystra (where Timothy was from) - Paul noticed a man who had been crippled from birth while preaching the gospel and could see that the man had faith to be healed so Paul told the man to “Stand up on your feet” and the man jumped up. This caused the people there to think that Paul and Barnabas were Hermes and Zeus and tried to make sacrifices to them. Paul and Barnabas managed to stop the people from sacrificing to them and continued to preach the gospel. What followed was
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.
If you want to read the full account of the places that Paul visited in the region of Galatia it is found in Acts 13:14-14:23.
yet from out of them all the Lord rescued me
It is all this that gives verse 12 more context.
Paul understood firsthand through his own experiential knowledge that the person who’s desire (their will) to live a godly life because of their relationship to God in Christ will be persecuted.
Paul doesn’t want Timothy or any of us to be confused, surprised, nor unprepared for the persecution that comes from a life lived devoted to God.
As John Stott said “The godly arouse the antagonism of the worldly. It has always been so.”
But Timothy would know this to be the truth even if Paul had not warned him here, because Jesus our Savior already told us that would be the condition of the life of His followers...
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
Jesus also said
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
It is because this is a spiritual battle that we should neither be surprised nor unprepared for it. When Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus he explained this a bit more and gave us the solution for how to see and deal with the persecution that comes from the spiritual battle we are engaged in daily...
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.
All of this because we are in this world but not of this world, because Jesus kingdom was not of this world, and we are part of His kingdom even while living here now.
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
I like what Stott said...
The Message of 2 Timothy a. The past (Verses 10–13)
Those who are in Christ but not in the world are not persecuted, because they do not come into contact and therefore into collision with their potential persecutors. Those who are in the world but not in Christ are also not persecuted, because the world sees nothing in them to persecute. The former escape persecution by withdrawal from the world, the latter by assimilation to it. It is only for those who are both in the world and in Christ simultaneously that persecution becomes inevitable.
As we look at verse 13 we will see that this persecution will not only be the reality for the Christian but that it will only continue to take place and intensify as we get closer to the return of Jesus.
This verse is in reference to the false teachers that the first half of the chapter references.
evil - active opposition to good
imposter - one who is a trickster, juggler, sorcerer, swindler, cheat, charlatan
So we have 2 types of people who will increase from bad to worse, those who are already clearly enemies of God, and those who appear to others to be good, but, are in fact also enemies of God.
deceived and being deceived - led astray and being led astray - these people are so taken over in their minds and their hearts with deception that they whole heartedly believe lies and all they do is spread lies, to the extent that they themselves to believe their own lies.
But as for you - Again this is in contrast to those mentioned in the first half of the chapter.
Paul again reminds Timothy that he is completely unlike those previously mentioned. Timothy has a high call upon his life first as a follower of Christ and also as a man that God called to the role of leadership within the church. That is why Paul can then say...
continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. - This is especially important as Paul has laid out the utter wickedness in the hearts and motives of those evil men and imposters who will be teaching horrible false things in the last days.
Good time for us to examine ur own hearts and minds here. Incredibly important as we ourselves live in what very much looks like the description that Paul just gave of the hearts and motives of those in the last days.
What have we learned from faithful Bible teachers, and do we have firmly held belief in what we have been taught?
What I have been taught...
What you have been taught....
24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
But in a sense this seems to even extend into the ministry experiences of Paul and others that Timothy (and us) have witnessed as a pattern. We have learned to gather together (though under the current circumstances with the Coronavirus that means we gather together through the means of the internet this morning) to sing praises unto God, to pray together, to study the Bible the very infallible word of God, to love on and encourage one another and care for the needs of one another as we spend time fellowshipping with one another. And yet also to live out our faith in our day to day lives spent physically apart from one another in an effort to honor God, and yet also to show the power, love, mercy, grace, and truth of God to those who do not have a relationship with God through Christ. To preach the gospel to them in what we call evangelism (which by the way is needed right now more than ever, though we should think of the need to preach Christ with such urgency everyday) so that the lost would hear and be saved.
Now notice that non of what was taught to Timothy or to us originated with men, but rather with God. It was His word the scriptures the sacred writings that taught those faithful saints who then instilled these things in us. Paul, Timothy, and we today have the same thing in common. We have the word of God taught to us by the Holy Spirit of God, that speaks of our place with our God despite living in this world, and yet that also explained as we see that God so loved this world that we are living in that He sent Jesus Christ His only begotten Son to rescue and save us.
And think of the advantage that we have in the Sacred writings! Paul and Timothy had the Old Testament, and we have that plus the New Testament! Some of us like my wife have had the constant influence of the Bible from early childhood like Timothy did, and others of us humbled ourselves later as we recieved God’s gracious gift of salvation.
We know about salvation because of the sacred writings (scriptures) which make us wise for salvation, because they have revealed to us our need to place our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord and our Savior.
The Bible is the story of God’s salvation in Christ offered time and time again to people throughout the ages!
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
All scripture, not just the parts we like or agree with in the natural mind.
All scripture has its origin coming from God alone!
This is important for us to understand. Scripture is not the result of men, it is from God. Yes, God used men to pick up the pen and record His word, but the words themselves are from God.
So even what we read today in the NT is scripture that has been breathed out by God and this was believed to be the case even by the other Apostles and the early church as a whole. As Peter was speaking about Paul’s writings he said...
15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
And while we do not have time this morning to cover all of this Paul himself said of his letters that they were the word of God (1 Thes 2:13) that were taught by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:13) and that he was speaking in the name of and with the authority of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 2:17, 13:3, Gal 4:14) and because of that his letters should be read alongside the Old Testament reading in the church (Col 4:16, 1 Thes 5:27)
So yes, this that we read from Paul to Timothy is a sacred writing called scripture that has been breathed out by God through the pen of Paul.
Yet more than just what we read this morning, the entirety of the 66 books of the Bible - ALL SCRIPTURE is profitable (specifically because it is breathed out by God) for:
teaching - teaching truth and thus teaching against falsehoods
reproof - to be able to show the wrongdoing of someone (ourselves first) with proof that wrongdoing is taking place
correction - Once shown to be in the wrong, we need to be shown how to repent and do what is right.
training in righteousness - It is the word of God that will teach us how to live in a right way before God and men.
So that the man of God (messenger of God, preacher, teacher) may (can) be complete (whole, mature, prepared, ready) and equipped for every good work.
Listen, we find ourselves in very interesting times. We don’t need the guesses and opinions and even the conspiracy theories of men to survive days like these, we must have and hold to the Word of God!