Keep the Faith

Once again I am turning to the letters of Paul to Timothy for the message today.

I.  A Bad Situation:  II Timothy 3:10-13

But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

A.  The Example of Paul

Paul had set an example of a Christian leader that Timothy could look up to.  Each of us should take seriously the call to set an example in our own lives.  Many of us had younger siblings that we were told were watching us.  That was true then and it is true today.  People want to see an example of a godly life.  We should try to set one.

B.  Hardships and Deliverance

Paul experienced terrible persecutions and hardships.  Through them all God delivered him.  We can trust God.  We should also recognize that deliverance can come in the form of bringing us safely through a problem, or by taking us home to heaven.  With faith in Christ we cannot lose.

C.  Worse and Worse

Things get better in this life only temporarily.  Things will get worse.  That is not particularly cheery news.  It is important to remember that through it all God will be with those who trust in Him.  This does not mean that we surrender to the inevitability of evil, but rather that we not be discouraged by setbacks.  We should work together to see “thy will be done”  to the best of our abilities.

II.  All Scripture is Inspired:  II Timothy 3:14-16

 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

God is perfectly capable of ensuring that the book that contains His message to the world says what He meant for it so say.  It is not a mixture of the Words of God and the words of men.  It is the Word of God spoken through men.  God inspired the authors to write what they wrote so that His message comes through.

I recommend something called the grammatical/historical approach to interpretation.  This means that we study the words that were written in their historical context.  We ask ourselves who was the author?  Who was the audience?  What message was given?  How does it apply to today?

It is not a secret code.  It is not merely the words of men.  It is the revelation of God to people throughout the world.

III.  Preach the Word:  II Timothy 4:1-5

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

When we are presenting the gospel or teaching doctrine, use the Word.  Do you think that you can say it better?

Remember Hebrews 4:12

 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Convince people of the truth!

Rebuke those who are in error!  (Although please do this in a loving manner!!  Perhaps we should think ‘correct’ rather than rebuke.)

Exhort those whose strength is failing.   Encouragement can go a long ways.

IV.  Finish the Race:  II Timothy 4:6-8

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

As Christians we are called to serve God throughout our life, to the very end.  The way in which we serve may change, the place may change, but our service to God continues through all stages of life.  There is no retirement.  God has a use for us as long as we are on this earth.  Let us finish the race.  Let us keep the faith.

These are the sermon notes from 6/26/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 


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