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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Now You're Ready

Parents have a way of making sure their children are properly equipped to handle the ups and downs of life.  I am reminded of the movie "A Christmas Story" and how Mrs. Parker dresses her youngest Randy for school.  She just may have over done it a little but that boy would not be cold on his way to school.  God doesn't leave us in the cold either.  He didn't just send His son to redeem mankind from their sins.  He followed that up with sending a helper. Jn 14:16,17  I always say God reveals himself in at least three ways.  His power in nature. Rom 1:20 His person in Jesus Christ. Jn 3:16  His purpose in the written Word. 1Ti 2:3,4  His written Word also prepares us to face the world as well.  Consider the main scripture above.

These verses start out with a list of ten things that Young Timothy can relate to.  I read somewhere that one commentator said this was like a checklist for Timothy to reflect on.  I don't know about that stuff but I do believe this part of the Word of God is aimed at strengthening the young Evangelist.  It is made to inspire Timothy in vv 10-14, then it is to instruct him vv15-17.  You could even say it is to soberize (is that a word?  IT IS NOW!) him of a coming judgment in vv 4:1-5.  

Some people may struggle to find the ten things listed, did you?  There are the seven in verse 10 that are to display an active obedience.  The next two are a result of that active obedience.  The Word of God in no way tries to hide that Christians will have sufferings and persecutions.  Many try to sugar coat  this aspect, but the apostle Paul ever did that.  The last one is a great comfort.  If  an obedient and active faith brings struggles and persecutions why would anyone desire that?  The answer in verse 11, because God will rescue us just as He did the apostle Paul!

Verse 12 tells us if our lives are absent of persecution we are obviously NOT living that godly life that the Paul is talking about.  I always say if you are not having any type of persecution in your Christian walk you are not doing it right!!  Remember, persecution and sufferings are not the goal, they are a result and God will rescue us from them in His way!  B.W. Johnson said that persecution is inseparable from Christianity.  Maybe if the Church didn't look so much like the world it would have more persecution?  The Church in the 21st century wants their cake and to be able to eat it too.  We are ignorant of the idea of "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22  I am in now way saying we are to be looking for persecution, but it must be expected Mt 10:22   Jesus knew this would be too much for some people.  He said if the persecution and suffering is to much for you, you are not worthy of him. Mt 10:38,39

In verse 13 Paul warns Timothy of false teachers that will arise and go from bad to worse.  In my mind this is a result of the desire to not experience persecution and sufferings.  People will often take the way of the least resistance.  Unfortunately, that way may not lead you where those who are in it with you claim it is leading.  

Timothy has a great advantage in verse 14.  It is true of all men who have the good fortune to come from godly homes, that the teaching and example of Christian parents is a priceless advantage; but such parents always teach their children that the authority is not in themselves but in the Word of the Lord.  

Verse 15 mentions Timothy learning from his childhood.  Jewish children were to be taught the Law at all times.  Dt 11:19  It was believed that if you taught them when they were young, they will hold onto it when they are old.  Pr 22:6  I read a Jewish maxim that said, "...the Jewish child receives the law from his mother's milk."  The purpose of this was to have wisdom that leads to salvation.  Remember, wisdom is the proper application of knowledge.  That salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ.  

This verse explains what "faith in Jesus Christ" truly means.  Many teach a "believe and receive" doctrine today.  This verse says nothing like that.  This verse says "faith in Jesus Christ" is an adherence to Christ's teachings, not a mere mental assertion.  Timothy is not told to simply think on Christ, but he is told to live out what he has been taught.  That my friends, is having faith.  Those who refuse to be baptized into Christ (Gal 3:27) for the remission of sin  and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) refuse Christ's teachings.  Mk 16:16    They refuse to be baptized into Christ and thus making them outside of Christ.  Some argue that one baptism is as good as another and you do not need to be baptized for remission of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  If you were baptized to "join" a church you're good.  Well, the Bible speaks of one baptism (Eph 4:5) and Paul didn't allow another baptism in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-5)  The one baptism of Ephpreceded by belief and repentance.  

I stand convinced from that Word of God because verse 16 tells me the Word is inspired by God.  That is why Timothy is to have a faith that adheres to Christ's teachings because they are by God's authority.  Christ was given his authority from God! Mt 28:18  If the Church is to prosper it must be taught the Word of God.  It must be reproofed by the Word of God.  It must be corrected by the Word of God.  It must be trained by the Word of God.  Where the Word of God is taught and obeyed faith abounds and where the Word of God is not taught and obeyed immorality abounds.  

The last verse tells us why we must be taught, reproofed, corrected, and trained by this God inspired Word.  So that we will be "thoroughly equipped." 2Ti 3:17 NIV  I personally prefer the NIV translation here as opposed to NASB.  The Word of God thoroughly equips us to do God's work and that is saving souls.  God doesn't send us out into the world blind and helpless.  He has given us a way back to Him through Jesus Christ.  He has given us a helper in the Holy Spirit.  He has also equipped us with all we need to know and accomplish His will in our lives in His written Word.  

Today, will you submit and obey God's Word?  Will you teach others from God's Word?  God gives us His Word so we are ready and equipped to do His work.  God doesn't give us jobs we can handle; He makes us able to handle the jobs He calls us to!  Don't pray for God to remove mountains in your life.  Pray for God to  give you strength to climb those mountains! Have a red letter day.


We must hear the Word of God:  Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4

We must believe or have faith:   Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31

We must repent of our sins:  Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30

We must confess Christ before others:  Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37

We must be immersed into Christ (baptized) Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38

We must be faithful:   Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22      

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