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Live as His PDF

2 Timothy 2:19-22

It is so easy for our Christianity to become devoid of Christ, to think of it as attending services and doing duties. In the culture that we live in, we may think of it as tasks that we need to complete. We may even study the truths of the Bible, but neglect our personal, individual relationship with Christ Himself. It is so easy to get into the form without the power, to think of our faith as a system instead of a person.

Paul has been calling to us and to Timothy to keep the faith. As he talks about keeping the faith, he is talking about more than keeping the truths of the Scripture. He is also talking about actually walking with the God of the Scriptures.

The last time we were together we saw Paul’s command to reverence the God of the Word, treating God’s Word as God’s. He emphasized God-Centered loyalty (2 Timothy 2:14a). He forbad a God-dismissive contention, the mark of those who are not really thinking about the Lord being among us and holding us accountable(v. 14b). He urged the pursuit of God-approved accuracy (v. 15), cutting straight the furrow and squaring off our lives in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. He urged us to avoid God-dishonoring empty talk (v. 16-18). It is so easy for us to drift from loyalty, to engage in unnecessary contention, to become sloppy in our understanding of what the Word of God really says, and to spend our time on issues that do not really matter.

Even as we talk about “Life by the Book (the Bible),” we can become more “Book” people than “God people.” We want to reverence the God of the Book and live as His. As Paul finished, he talked about the teaching of false doctrine and people’s faith being upset, and then he gives these encouraging words: 

19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

As I read these verses, it seemed very obvious to me that Paul was calling to Timothy, “Live as His. You belong to Jesus, and the Lord knows your name. Live as His.”

 

Live as His

  • Firm Foundation (Confidence) (v. 19)
  • Honorable Usefulness (Significance) (vv. 20-21) (Everyone wants to be useful, to know God is using them.)
  • Strategic Imperatives (Activity) (v. 22)

I. Firm Foundation (Confidence) (2 Timothy 2:19)

19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

 

If I am going to think of belonging to Jesus 24/7, I have to start with a certain level of confidence that the whole thing is not going to cave in on me. Paul has just been talking about the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus, that the resurrection had taken place already, which had overturned the faith of some. They were teaching that the resurrection was referring to the newness of life in Christ and there was no life beyond the grave and no physical resurrection. They seemed to be letting the Greek thought come into their minds – the thought that everything material is bad and everything that is spiritual is good. To die was to be released from the bondage of the physical. Yet the doctrine of the resurrection in God’s Word says that you are really going to be physically raised. God is going to save all of you, including your body. He is going to bring about a new heaven and a new earth.

There were professing believers who were shaken by this teaching. Imagine what that would be like if in our congregation there were a whole contingency of people who started to believe false doctrine and were being shaken on some things that you know the Scriptures teach and they wonder, “Does it really mean that?” Maybe it would be your son or daughter or long-term friend who was turning their back on the faith. You would think, “What is going on?”

 

When those who once gathered among faithful Christians are led astray and lose faith in any of the major truths of Biblical Christianity, it shakes us up. It causes gut-wrenching grief and confusion among some, and temptation for others. That is why Paul’s statement here is so important: God’s firm foundation stands. People may depart from the faith or have their faith turned upside down, but it doesn’t change the reality of the faith. These truths are so, even if every man is found to be a liar! God’s foundation stands! Think about other Scriptures that have this same kind of language.

 

Matthew 16:18

“On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

 

Ephesians 2:19-20

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by (in) the Spirit.”

 

What God has established and is building remains firm no matter who falls away.

The Church shall never perish!

Her dear Lord to defend,

To guide, sustain and cherish,

Is with her to the end;

Though there be those that hate her,

And false sons in her pale,

Against both foe and traitor

She ever shall prevail.

Though with a scornful wonder

Men see her sore oppressed,

By schism rent asunder,

By heresies distressed:

Yet saints their watch are keeping,

Their cry goes up, “How long?”

And soon the night of weeping

Shall be the morn of song!

                                                The Church’s One Foundation  (Samuel Stone)

 

We do fret when people fall away, when heresies arise, or when churches split. We worry when there are those who hate the church and the gospel and turn away. Basically Paul is saying, “Don’t worry. God’s foundation stands sure. What He is building – the church – will stand forever. The church is a people. The defections, the defeats, the deviations do not and cannot destroy God’s sure foundation.

That foundation bears two seals: ownership and authenticity. The first seal, the Lord knows intimately those who are his. He knows your name – and way more than your name. He knows everything about you, even the struggles you face.  He knows you better than you know you. The true church is not defined merely by those who profess to belong to Jesus. How many deceivers and deceived have claimed to know Him. Claiming to know Jesus is not the issue. The issue is whether Jesus knows you as His own. Many will call him Lord at the judgment and boast of mighty works done in His name (Matthew 7). He says to them, “Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. I never knew you.” We find this truth throughout the Scriptures.

 

Psalm 1:

 “But the LORD knows the way of the righteous.”

 

We know our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

John 10:14 “

I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”

 

Romans 8:38-39

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, not things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Think about the last few days. What shook you up the most? Yes, that’s included. That cannot separate you from God’s unfailing love. He knows you.

 

The second part of the seal: “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity (lawlessness).”

 

If you say, God knows me, there should be some acid proof of that. There is a way of life that demonstrates that. When God saves a person, God does not leave him devoted to sin as he was before. It does not mean that we will not sin anymore. We still have the flesh, the world and the devil all drawing us toward sinning. None of us is without sin, but we have to deal with that sin.

To name the name of the Lord is to identify yourself with Him—His character, His reputation. Live according to Who He is. When someone buys a home, what is the first thing they do? They paint! They change the home to look like them, not the previous occupants. What you like may be at the bottom of the list for another person. When you sell a home and go back into it, you don’t expect it to look the same. When the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life, your life is going to look different from the way it used to look because God is powerful and He changes who we are. How is it even possible for the mighty Spirit of God to take up residence in you and for you to keep living contrary to His character and will? There should be battle raging between the Spirit and your flesh. And the believer learns to yield to the Holy Spirit’s desires and direction. If there is no battle, if there is no desire for holiness, we do well to ask if we are owner occupied by the Spirit of God.

 

Galatians 5:16-26

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

 

It is striking that the fruits of the Spirit (fruit comes from life) are internal qualities that produce all sorts of righteous things. It is not just “I’m don’t-ing the don’ts.” I have a whole different Person driving the do’s. I do what I do because I am what I am, and I am what I am because the Holy Spirit of God has control of me and is producing it in my life. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, if we are alive by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, or envying one another.

 

It is interesting that Paul describes not only the outrageous sins of paganism, but he also describes the darkness of the dissension, pride, provoking of one another, and the in-fighting that is so often found among religious people who are lost. The Spirit corrects all that lost-ness.

 

Why does a born-again Christian choose not to sin? Because he knows that sinning works at cross-purposes with his greatest happiness, his mission, his love for the Lord who saved him. We make the choices we make because we believe we are better off if we do. So faith in Christ leads us to choose our happiness in Him and to reject the lie that sin in any form can bring us real happiness that lasts.

When we do sin as believers, we can’t be happy long giving ourselves to it. We grieve, we confess, we repent, we turn back to the right path, and praise God for His grace and willingness to restore us. Think about the chilling effect that your sin has when you reflect on it. Think about the sense of discord with God Himself. When you pled the blood of Jesus to cleanse you, think about that clean feeling like the sun had come back out. You still had committed that sin, but God had made a way for that sin to be dealt with. He can do so because Jesus Christ the righteous is the propitiation for our sins—He has satisfied God’s justice on our behalf.

 

II. Honorable Usefulness (Significance) (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.

 

Nobody wants to be considered dishonorable. We don’t say, “I would like to be on the dishonorable list.” No, we all want to be useful and honorable. The great house of the visible church—all those who profess to know the Lord—has always been a mixed multitude. When we gather on Sundays to worship, there is almost always some who are unsaved in our midst. Some may be on the church roll. Just showing up doesn’t really prove anything.  Much of the shame the church suffers comes from those within her ranks who are not really born again. They practice form with no power. They strain at gnats and swallow camels. They honor God with their lips—on cue in worship services because you’re supposed to—but their hearts are far from Him. They make much of appearances, of reputation, of conformity to tradition or to trend, but their lives lack evidence that God is active in them. No fruit of the Spirit. No love for the Word. No self-forgetful love for brothers and sisters in Christ. No compassion on the lost. No passion to walk with Christ in close fellowship. No substantial prayer life. No humility. It is like they have flat-lined. Such a life is one of the most miserable on earth. It is lukewarm. Neither cold nor hot. They do not really enjoy God and His people. But because of a conscience trained in Christian truths, they cannot get fully comfortable among those devoted to the world and its rulers of darkness. Riding the fence is painful. It’s no way to get anywhere in life. So how do you escape suffering this limbo? This verse makes the strategy very basic.

21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

 

Anyone applies to every single one of us who calls ourselves Christian. If we will cleanse ourselves from what is dishonorable, we will be a vessel for God’s use. How is that done? The process is found in 1 John 1:9: confession, repentance, and faith. God is faithful and just to cleanse us from all our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Because of what Jesus has done, He can justly (righteously) wipe our record clean, clean up our heart, even of those things we may not know about. He says “all unrighteousness,” even the sins we do not know about. Don’t be lax and cavalier about the sins you are most susceptible to. Deal with them biblically. Forsake them. Get help. Get serious. Deal with sin as soon as your conscience smites you. If you do this personal work of dealing with sin through the power of the Spirit and the cleansing available in Christ, then what?

 

If you deal with your sin through the power of the Spirit, you will be a vessel/tool/instrument for honorable use by the Lord—set apart as holy, useful to the Master (despot—absolute control), and ready (prepared) for every good work. The sins we neglect to deal with cripple us in our service to Jesus. They chill our affection, rob our joy, weaken our resolve, sap our strength, and set us at odds with the Head of the Church and Sovereign Ruler of heaven and earth.

 

What attitudes, thoughts, words, deeds need to be cleansed from your life? What neglect to do what is right? Be sensitive when you are out of step with the Lord. Don’t leave one piece of darkness in your life. Deal with it.

Just as I am and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot.

                  Just as I Am, Without One Plea (written by Charlotte Elliott)

 

III. Strategic Imperatives (Activity) (2 Timothy 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.

 

Flee means run! Run like Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife. Run like refugees fleeing an invading army. Run as you would run from a burning building. Stop flirting with disaster! What do we run from? Run from youthful passions (level of desire, not just external show). This isn’t just running from getting caught but running from even the desire to do wrong things, to do what mature wisdom would reject. (“pride, prejudice, ambition, anger” - Lilley, quoted by Hiebert, 76), indulgence, rebellion, materialism.

 

Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace like a hunter goes after the animal he hunts with persistence and zeal, not as just a wide-open chase. Sometimes it is painstaking tracking. Have full commitment to pursuing righteousness.Righteousness is conformity to God’s standards of what is right and just. We must go to the Word, be sensitive to His Spirit, and be committed to right as God defines it. Faith is confident trust in God and its resulting faithfulness to Him versus “it’s no use” or confidence in the flesh and man-made strategies. Love means the deep, self-sacrificing, active affection for others like Jesus has shown to you versus self-centered living, which is a like a slow death. Peace is harmony that refuses to engage in division and strife over trivialities. Be at peace with God and with others. As we pursue these things, let’s not do it alone. Do it together along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. What kind of people are those? Who do you know calls on the Lord for help and really has a heart devoted to serving Him? Not everyone in the visible church, not everyone in the Christian school can be described that way. In fact, such people are often in the minority, but find them. You need them. They need you. Become a band of brothers and sisters of kindred spirit, encouraging and strengthening one another to go all out for the Lord and to live as His.

 

Brothers, let us come together, walking in the Spirit. There’s much to be done.

Sisters, we were made for kindness. We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us.

            They will Know Us By Our Love (written by Christy Nockels)

 

This is just another way of saying, “Live as His!” Don’t forget the One you belong to, don’t lose your focus. Be who you are in Christ! Shine! Exercise confidence in God’s firm foundation. He knows His own, and His own depart from lawlessness. Find your significance by cleansing yourself for God’s honorable use. Be active in strategically fleeing youthful lust and pursuing godliness with others who have a heart for the Lord. Live as His every day!

 

LifeGroup Questions

Teaching

What does this passage teach us about God?

What does this passage teach us about people?

Where does this passage fit into the overall gospel story?

Reproof

What should the response of everyone "who belongs to Lord" be to this precious truth?

What "dishonorable" things in your life do you need to be purified from so that you can be as useful as possible in the kingdom work of the Lord?

There are two parts to this holy life to which the Lord calls us in verse 22 - 1) Flee from youthful passions, and 2) Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. You cannot successfully do one without the other. What youthful passions do you need to flee from right now? 

What does it look like in everyday life to doggedly pursue righteousness? How about faith? Love? Peace? Do these things characterize your approach to life?

Correction

How do we apply the gospel to our failures in the areas just discussed in the reproof section?

After considering the gospel, what are some practical ways to begin to apply the truths of these passages?

Training in righteousness

How must our thinking be renewed if we are to be transformed by these texts?

What must be put off from and put onto our lives if we are to be transformed by these texts?

Prayer

For what from these texts can we rejoice?

For what from these texts can we repent?

For what from these texts can we request, both for ourselves and others?

 

Pastor Drew Conley

Hampton Park Baptist Church

Greenville, SC

October 19, 2014

 
Blessings of Redemption PDF

Ephesians 1:7-10

The power of the cross is actually greater than we normally think about. For a time of consideration we will look at Ephesians 1:7-10. These are familiar verses to us, but they carry great meaning.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Blessings of Redemption in Christ

  • Costly Forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7a)
  • Lavish Grace (Ephesians 1:7b-8a)
  • Supernatural Wisdom (Ephesians 1:8b-10)

All three of these fit together and they are all entirely dependent on the redemption that we have in Christ.

 

I. Costly Forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7a)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,

Redemption is a payment of a ransom. It could be a ransom to free a slave or a payment to redeem a parcel of land, but a price must be paid.  Peter talks about that price in 1 Peter 1:18-19: You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

This forgiveness means to be released from a debt because it has been paid in full. In the text that debt is described as trespasses. They are false steps or blunders. Our lives are full of such experiences because of our inborn weaknesses. Sinning is easy for us and doing right is hard. So we all have these trespasses.

Hebrews 9:22b says: Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Earlier in the chapter the text describes what Christ did for that payment. Hebrews 9:12: He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

A criminal may “pay his debt to society” by imprisonment, fines, or even execution, but these punishments don’t free him from the guilt he feels, erase the deed, or reverse the harm. Only God can do that for us. And the only way He does it is through Christ the Redeemer. Who can measure the value of complete forgiveness forever? Whatever your sin, at the cross the load of our guilt drops from our shoulders. We can be finally free no matter what sins mark your life and your soul! This is costly forgiveness given to us by the redemption that is in Christ. That costly forgiveness is wedded to lavish grace.

 

II. Lavish Grace (Ephesians 1:7b-8a)

…according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us,

Grace is favor or goodness given to me even though I don’t deserve it. God does not give grace in dribbles and drabs, but he gives a wealth of it. The text says the riches of his grace are lavished on us. There is a point in time God poured out on us this overabundance of grace. It was when Christ poured out His lifeblood for our sins.

What could a person give you more than himself? Which is more valuable—all your stuff or you? Your bank account or your very life? Christ gave His very life for us. He gave Himself to us. God treated us so not merely out of His infinite riches, but “according to” His infinite riches. So in keeping with them, a billionaire might slip you a twenty out of his vast wealth, but if he gives you cash according to his vast wealth, it will be more like twenty thousand dollars, or $200,000.

God has given to us according to His infinite grace. God’s wealth makes billionaires look like paupers. Grace lavished on us according to His riches is therefore beyond imagination! We need to revel in the riches of His grace. We need to plunge ourselves into the ocean of His goodness and let that goodness turn our hearts to grateful joy!

This description of God’s favor to us in Christ fits for two main reasons: one is the immeasurable worth of the lifeblood of Christ, God’s Son; the other is the certain future He has revealed as unshakably ours in Christ.

 

III. Supernatural Wisdom (Ephesians 1:8b-10)

…in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Think about what wisdom means: skillful living. If we have been given all wisdom we have been given everything we need to live life as it ought to be lived. We have been given insight, which is discernment and discretion. While we may be thinking this wisdom and insight may appear to be describing what God possesses, the text actually conveys that this wisdom and insight is what God has given to us. He has done so by making known to us His will which relates to His purpose and plan.

He is bringing it about at exactly the right time, what the text calls the fullness of time. It is called a mystery because it was once unknown, but now revealed. This revealed plan of God He purposed to set forth the Messiah. Jesus Christ is His plan. You see that from Genesis to Revelation. In Christ He unites all things. These are things not only on earth, but also in heaven. The entire universe is under the reign of the Prince of Peace. He is Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, God the Father’s appointed King, His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. That is the way He is referred to in the verse just before our text. He is the Beloved One. When we are in Him we are loved, too.

Our world careens from one crisis to another. Often the times are out of joint, not just with the world but also with our individual lives. We see brutal violence, plagues, political tricks and upheavals, wars and rumors of wars, sacred institutions eroded and overturned. Those whose task is to enforce the law are often among the most lawless. One might read the news on any given day and conclude that the future is bleak and that those who talk of brighter days are drunk with fantasy and wishful thinking.

Not so the Christian. Like any other human he suffers the lurches of life, and he can only guess at future events and developments from year to year, but as a believer he enjoys complete certainty about where it is all headed. Jesus shall reign over all and no strutting dictator or lying demagogue can change that. No plague or storm or disease can cancel our certain future in Christ, given to us by the redemption that is in Him. He is redeeming not only us, but also the universe. It will all be set right. This is no dream, but a promise from God with the power, love, and wisdom of God to back it. Therefore it will not fail. It is God’s will, His purpose, His plan. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess, willingly or unwillingly, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

No person redeemed with His blood shall be lost, not one. Even the bad things we suffer through in this life work together for our good if we actually love God and are called according to His purpose. His purpose is that we would be more like Jesus and that we might enter into His inheritance. Nothing that happens in life or in death can break the bond of love between Jesus and His people. We are utterly safe in Him today, tomorrow, and forever.

When He reigns in heaven and earth, we will reign with Him. His heavenly city is our eternal home. Our names are written in the registry of heaven. It is the Lamb’s Book of Life. These are those purchased with His blood, redeemed, ransomed. His kingdom is their native land. In that country of Emmanuel, God with us, there is no sin, no death, no crying. There is no cause for it because the curse is gone.

Who could deserve such a future? If you gathered all the wealth of the world, who could buy it? It must be given to you, paid by the ransom of the blood of Jesus.

Why is it we are certain it can even happen? If we enjoy the blessings of the redemption in Christ we have this certainty. And if you know this future is yours because God has granted you that wisdom and insight, there’s no way you’re going to give your life to the empty pursuits and pipedream mirages that the man of the world lives and dies for, only to end up with nothing and doomed forever.

So how do the blessings of redemption in Christ impact our life here and now?

That costly forgiveness, our lavish grace, poured out to us in supernatural wisdom.

How does this impact our lives? In every conceivable way. They cancel worry, drive out fear, and free us to live life to the full. Joyfully, lovingly serving the needs of others as we make Christ known. These blessings set us praying for what would be otherwise impossible victories. They move us to come to our loving Heavenly Father to heal our wounds, to lift our heavy burdens, to overcome our weary weakness, and free us from our sin. These blessings empower us to say no to the lying seductions of sin because we treasure a far greater happiness that we are absolutely sure is ours in Christ alone forever.

The blessings of redemption in Christ. Do you have Christ? Because if you do, you have these blessings. You must live with the blessings of this redemption. May God help us to do it today and until we take our last breath here on earth and join the saints triumphant in heaven before our Lord where we will still be praising Him for His redemption. What a blessing is ours!

 

LifeGroup Questions

Teaching

What does this passage teach us about God the Father?

What does this passage teach us about Jesus?

What does this passage teach us about salvation?

What does this passage us about the end of all things?

How do the blessings of redemption in Christ impact our lives in the here and now?

Reproof

In what ways are you not taking advantage of the blessings of your redemption in Christ in the here and now?

Correction

How do we apply the gospel to our failures in the areas just discussed in the reproof section?

After considering the gospel, what are some practical ways to begin to apply the truths of these passages?

Training in righteousness

How must our thinking be renewed if we are to be transformed by these texts?

What must be put off from and put onto our lives if we are to be transformed by these texts?

Prayer

For what from these texts can we rejoice?

For what from these texts can we repent?

For what from these texts can we request, both for ourselves and others?

 

Pastor Drew Conley

Hampton Park Baptist Church

Greenville, SC

October 19, 2014

 
Reverencing the God of the Word (Treating God’s Word as God’s) PDF

2 Timothy 2:14-18

The setting of 2 Timothy 2 is with Paul in prison and soon to be executed for the faith. Rome had turned its might against Christianity and against Christians. Timothy himself would someday suffer in prison, according to the book of Hebrews. He was facing an uphill battle. The apostles were being executed and were dying off. The second generation of leaders was going to have to take the lead and deal with a world that was persecuting Christians. Before it had been largely Judaisers who opposed Christians, but now the opposition was Empire- wide. It raised the question for them as to whether Christianity would survive at all. It heightened the importance of having the Truth – truth you were willing to die for as well as live for and what to do with it to pass it on. The whole book of 2 Timothy is really about keeping the faith and making sure what you are passing on is the real deal.

Paul gave Timothy these reasons to endure:

Gospel Reasons to Endure

  • The Eternal King (v. 8)
  • The Unfettered Word (v. 9)
  • Evangelistic Success (v. 10)
  • Certain Reward (v. 11-13)

In light of these things, Paul continues:

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

In this portion of God’s Word, Paul actually gives to Timothy the most important key to preserving the truth, to teaching and studying the Word. That’s why I called this message “Reverencing the God of the Word,” or Treating God’s Word as God’s. The Bible is not just a self-help book, a book of philosophy, or a “how-to” encyclopedia, or a book of codes. While it has lots of value on how-to and gives wisdom, ultimately the Bible is a Book given by God that reveals God and that is guarded by God. It is a Book that we are answerable to God for in terms of how we receive it and how we pass it on.

Reverencing the God of the Word

  • Emphasize God-Centered Loyalty (v. 14a)
  • Forbid God-Dismissive Contention (v. 14b)
  • Pursue God-Approved Accuracy (v. 15)
  • Avoid God-Dishonoring Empty Talk (v. 16-18)

 I. Emphasize God-Centered Loyalty (14a)

14 Remind them of these things,

 The thing that starts us off as to how we should approach the Word of God is that we need to reverence the God of the Word. Paul wanted to remind them – to keep them focused on these truths. What truths is he talking about? Paul has just given Timothy gospel reasons to endure, ending with these words:

11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

Being true to the Word of God and the message of the gospel is not just about academic skill and interpretative technique. It starts deeper than that—with loyalty and sense of accountability to the God of the Word. Ultimately the only thing that keeps a man from caving in to the pressure to back off what God’s Word says or deviate from it for the sake of reducing his risk is this fact: It is the Word of God. This is what helps us receive the Word when it makes us uncomfortable with rebuke and correction (2 Timothy 3:16) of long-held notions and entrenched habits and unbiblical customs. It also protects us from deceptive teaching because our motives remain fixed on God. Most of the deceptions that come along have other motives or agendas driving them. We think, “I’ve got to end up with a certain conclusion or else I’m in trouble. So I deceive myself and others to get there.”

 Teaching that twists the Scriptures rises not just from ignorant, clumsy handling of the Word. More often than not it comes from the pressure of the times or your own group to make the Bible fit prevailing ideas, to achieve predetermined objectives, to promote sectarian causes. This temptation is so strong and so commonly practiced, that people naturally assume there is some other agenda driving how a preacher interprets the Word other than just plain faithfulness to the text. It is very difficult to keep what we see in the text from being skewed by what we bring to the text from our own concerns and situation.

 The best cure I know is remembering I answer to God for faithful handling of His Word, however it may be received or appreciated. We all like for people to receive what we teach and to appreciate it, but that cannot be the chief objective.

 Paul is very sensitive to this when he talked to the believers in Thessalonica. He was coming from Philippi and had already suffered physically from being true to the Word of God. He still has wounds on his body, and he says to them:

For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. (1 Thessalonians 2:3-6)

 Note what he wrote in 2 Timothy 4:1-5:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 II. Forbid God-Dismissive Contention (2 Timothy 2:14b)

and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

To engage in hair-splitting word-battles (literal meaning of the phrase here) over trivialities and side issues (endless genealogies, speculations, debatable applications, issues the Bible does not even address) is common enough in every age, but giving oneself to such activity shows a forgetfulness of the God to whom we answer for keeping the focus where the Bible puts it. Such bogus battles over nothing do substantial harm to people rather than helping them. It does no good, is not useful (has no profit), and ruins people. It overturns, subverts, demoralizes when they are bound up in trivialities because all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable . . . (2 Timothy 3:16)

 It dishonors God because it makes the Christian faith appear to be nothing but foolish fights over nothing that matters. It disillusions many a believer and turns away many a seeker. Contentious men are by definition disqualified from pastoral ministry for this very reason (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1).

 To this day many of the so-called hot-button issues are over debatable opinions that do not matter. We know it doesn’t because God Himself has not made it important in His Word. If we are honoring God’s Word as God’s, we will refuse to violate His Kingship over our lives by engaging in such wars.

 The tragic irony is that those who give themselves to such battles don’t have time or often even the inclination to contend for the faith—the truths and gospel practices that really do matter. If you make little things big, big things seem small. This is really serious because the big things are the main truths that constitute the faith and the gospel, and the main Hero of that gospel is Jesus. Making little things big robs Jesus Christ of His glory.

 III. Pursue God-Approved Accuracy (2 Timothy 2:15)

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

 Do your best! The King James Version has “study” to show yourself approved unto God. Study meant eager diligence, persistent zeal, making it a priority (not to hit the books trying to learn the material, as you would for a test in school). Profitable Bible teaching takes work, and work takes time.

God is the first One we present ourselves to when we handle His Word. When He tests our work in the Word—and it is real work—we seek His stamp of approval.

We are not to be ashamed before the world for our commitment to the truth of God’s Word, but it would be even worse to end up ashamed before God for our mishandling His Word.

 “Rightly handling the Word of Truth” means cutting straight, as one would plow a furrow in a field, a stonemason squaring off a stone and setting it straight, a tentmaker cutting the fabric, a road builder cutting a straight path for a road so travelers can get directly to their destination.

 IV. Avoid God-Dishonoring Empty Talk (2 Timothy 2:16-18)

16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

 Irreverent means common or profane versus sacred and is, therefore, God-dishonoring. Babble is empty talk, somewhat like baby talk – just a bunch of syllables. It is fruitless discussion (secret codes; speculations about the future) regarding what the Bible has not revealed about the future. God spoke plainly to men. You don’t have to find a code. Take God’s Word for what it says.

 Avoid babble — keep turning away from it and don’t waste your time on it.  It leads people into more ungodliness, like someone with a machete chopping down forest growth as they go, leading people further into the jungle of destruction. Ungodliness is not treating God as God. It’s like gangrene or cancer spreading infection and death as it goes. Hymenaeus and Philetus were like this. Paul described Hymenaeus as having made shipwreck of his faith, delivered to Satan that he might learn not to blaspheme. It is unclear why he still has such influence, but apparently he was a leader in false teaching in the area. These men had swerved from the truth. They had missed their aim, missed the mark, gone astray, saying that the resurrection has passed already. Evidently they denied a coming physical resurrection (Paul argues against this view in 1 Corinthians 15), likely claiming that regeneration was all the resurrection anyone would experience (influence of Greek dualism — matter is evil, spirit is good — which led to what became known as Gnosticism—“to know”). Other related teaching where body was devalued led either to strict asceticism or cavalier indulgence in sexual immorality. They were upsetting (turning upside down) the faith of some (like Jesus overturning the tables of the crooked money changers in the temple) rather than strengthening and building people up in their faith. Not only does false teaching misrepresent God and His Truth, it also harms people. The two go together. When people are taught the actual Word of God, it helps people and builds them up. It comes down to this: Treating God’s Word as God’s, or Reverencing the God of the Word.

 Reverencing the God of the Word

(Treating God’s Word as God’s)

  • Emphasize God-Centered Loyalty (14a).
  • Forbid God-Dismissive Contention (14b).
  • Pursue God-Approved Accuracy (15).
  • Avoid God-Dishonoring Empty Talk (16-18).

 

 

Pastor Drew Conley

Hampton Park Baptist Church

Greenville, SC

October 12, 2014

 

 
A House for God PDF

2 Samuel 7:1-17

The last time we looked at Devotion and Disdain:

  • Zealous Celebration (2 Samuel 6:12-15) as David and all Israel worshiped the Lord with offerings, singing, and leaping for joy as they brought the ark of God to Jerusalem to be placed in the tabernacle there. It marked the restoration of true Biblical religion after decades of neglect during the spiritual darkness of Saul’s administration.
  • Grateful Generosity (2 Samuel 6:16-19) David’s worship included generous outpouring toward God and others, not only offering sacrifices to the Lord but supplying food to everyone in Israel as a feast of great joy. Joyful worship produces grateful generosity among God’s people.
  • Blind Contempt (2 Samuel 6:20-23) David’s wife Michal does not participate in this day of worship at all—she is too much like her apostate father Saul to do so. Rather, she observes and critiques from a distance, despising David in her heart. She paints David’s expressive worship as dishonorable, vulgar, even immoral behavior, revealing her cold, wicked heart, and bringing on herself the curse of childlessness. David answered her icy sarcasm by defending his worship as before the Lord not for the sake of impressing others and vowed he would continue to humble himself in self-forgetting worship of the Lord.

The first half of chapter six teaches us to beware zealous worship that disobeys God’s clear commands (Uzzah). The second half, to beware disdain for zealous worship that accords with the Scriptures. The day David and Israel brought the ark of God back into Jerusalem was an extraordinary day of celebration, but a survey of the Scriptures shows that expressive worship is frequently referenced and commanded in God’s Word. Disdaining it, therefore, is just plain wrong.

We have followed the life of David since his anointing. As we have traced his life it has mainly been talking about war. Now those battles are won and the kingdom is established. It moves from a focus on war to a focus on worship. Chapter 7 actually continues the chronicle of David’s passion for worshiping God as He deserves.

Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 17 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

 

A House for God

  • God-Centered Resolve (2 Samuel 7:1-3)
  • God-Revealed Priorities (2 Samuel 7:4-7)
  • God-Given Blessings (2 Samuel 7:8-11)
  • A God-Promised Future (2 Samuel 7:12-16)

I. God-Centered Resolve (2 Samuel 7:1-3)

 Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”

This is the first reference to Nathan the prophet. It is significant that David the warrior-king is hanging out with the prophet. The prophet’s assessment—Yahweh is (clearly) with you. Do all that’s in your heart.

It’s not surprising Nathan responds this way. How rare it is to find a man after God’s own heart anywhere, especially after he has reached the peak of success!

Wealth and rest from war often lead to indulgence and backsliding. But for David, his being established in Jerusalem turned his heart toward God’s honor. He wanted to build God a permanent temple to replace the impermanent tent. It did not seem right to David for his house to be better than God’s.

God would redirect David’s goals, but God honors David’s heart attitude. What is your heart attitude toward God Himself? It is one thing to say you will be faithful to showing up for church services and another thing to actually be walking with God. When you have time and resources, what do you do with them? Where do you actually spend them? Statistics show that when our income goes up our giving goes down. Jesus would say: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Your heart follows whatever you spend time and money on. We tend to think of it the opposite way because what we spend time and money on reveal our hearts, too. If you have a heart for God, give yourself and your resources toward God-centered concerns and you will find your heart grows stronger yet in devotion. Put your resources toward God and your heart will follow. Spend your time and money elsewhere to His neglect, and your heart will wander away. Your resources and your heart belong together.

In an affluent country like ours, it is amazing how many who believe they are devoted to God can offer no evidence of it in what they spend for Him. You may rationalize your neglect a thousand ways with excuses like you can’t afford it, or it’s too inconvenient, or you want to give toward hand-picked needs rather than joining with your church family to help fulfill our mission together. The Scriptures don’t let us off so easily. The Old Testament reveals that it is in times of falling away from the Lord when offerings necessary to the maintenance of worship fall off. In times of revival offerings rise. Those who lead are able to establish the worship of God as it ought to be. Old Testament or New Testament, there is no evidence of genuine worship that withholds from God.

Paul appeals to the lagging Corinthian believers by pointing to the evidence of God’s saving grace in the lives of their poor but generous brothers to the north in Macedonia, and calls on the believers in Corinth to show God’s grace in their own lives, to express the commonality of the saints, to show selfless worship, spiritual growth, genuine love, joyful faith, and to generate grateful praise to God (2 Corinthians 8-9). He told them this was an indicator of their spiritual state. If you are not giving time and money to the Lord your worship needs to go a step further because that’s how we measure what we really care about. What we really care about we give to.

We don’t generally even “tip” God for His blessings on us. Mention the tithe and people cry legalism, as if grace giving should be substantially less than what the Old Testament required and modeled. If every person who claims to be born again in our congregation just gave a tithe of their income, we would be talking about how much more we can do to expand our mission. When God has us, God will have our things.

 

II. God-Revealed Priorities (2 Samuel 7:4-7)

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

Go tell My servant—imagine God referring to you this way! We think about serving God, but what if God says, “That person is My servant.” What a privilege!

That can and ought to be our privilege.

God’s answer reveals that buildings don’t matter nearly so much to Him as people. Up to this point God never had a permanent structure. He had traveled with His people Israel. That’s why a tent was fine for the time being. Worship happens wherever God and His people meet.

God’s intense concern is that He and people meet. That was one of the terms for the Tabernacle, a meeting place. The important thing is that you are actually meeting with God. That’s what makes it worship. The apostle John describes the incarnation and ministry of Jesus Christ the Word this way:

John 1:14: The Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacle, pitched his tent) among us, and we have seen (closely observed) His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

What we are facilitating is so important. Stephen’s sermon in Acts emphasized this truth. It stung the consciences of those who put all their stock in the temple building instead of walking with God. He chronicled their rebellion against the Savior God who met them wherever they were and noted that no worship building can save a person from that. The point was to be close to God.

How do we respond to the Word of God? To messengers sent from God? To the deliverers appointed by God? Do we have a close fellowship with God or are we more concerned about form, style, or place? Amos the prophet revealed that God considers even “correct” worship blasphemy when it does not come from the heart.

It is possible to offer God what He does not want while withholding what He does. If God doesn’t have you, your projects, programs, service orders, and offerings are hollow praise. He wants you. If he has you, he’ll have your stuff and your time. If he doesn’t have you, what good is the stuff? He owns it all anyway.

It is easy to forget that the church is people, not buildings and things. Those are facilities—they facilitate ministry to people. When we ditch the church, we are ditching the people who are the church. When we think of our service to God as just attending services like theater goers attend plays we are forgetting that we gather to be with one another and to minister to one another before God. You should respond individually and privately to what God is doing in your heart but we gather to worship together and to serve one another in love. That’s why we talk to one another before and after services. It is reverent. We’re trying to catch up on one another’s lives. We are seeking to find needs and to meet them.

It was not the time to build the temple yet, and David was not to be the builder. His son Solomon would be. God designed the tabernacle. He would one day design the Temple, too. And it was beautiful. But the point of the temple would be the same: God loved the people and wanted close fellowship with them.

When we desire to do something for God, like David did, and He shuts the door on it, we sometimes feel as if He has rejected us. But a true servant gladly subjects his personal desires to whatever God wants, even regarding how he serves God and in what way. God turns David down not to withdraw blessing, but to heap blessing on him all the more. Be amazed at what follows!

 

III. God-Given Blessings (2 Samuel 7:8-9a)

David had his role to fulfill, however. God has chosen him to do it and has blessed him to make it possible.

Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you.

Here begins a long list of what God has done and what God will do. That’s the essential difference between the gospel and religion as usual. Manmade religion focuses on what we can do for God. The gospel focuses on what God has done and will do for us. He refers to Himself as Yahweh of hosts—armies—power to carry out His strategies just as a great general carries out an elaborate battle plan. He reminds David of God’s choice of him from the pasture to lead God’s people. He reminds him of his presence with him and purpose for him as prince over Israel. He recalls that it was the Lord who defeated his enemies and gave David rest.

We need to continually rehearse what the Lord has done for you, especially when you are tempted to think He is denying you something good. Write it down. We need to do that as a church, too. One reason we will celebrate our 75th anniversary in the various ways we are planning is that we don’t want to forget what God has done for us.

God has given you a sufficient track-record of His goodness—biblical history, church history, your history. And the best is yet to come, just as His promises to David about what God will yet do are far and away more numerous than what He had already done. That is your history, too. Make sure you focus on that so you can make the adjustments you need to make when your plans are changed.

 

IV. A God-Promised Future (2 Samuel 7:9b-16)

And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

 

David was just asking to build a building and God said, “Forget the building. Let me tell you what I am going to do for you.” The big thing about Christianity is realizing what a mountain of blessing and promise God is pouring out on us. God’s blessing is over the top—beyond imagination—a name, a place, rest from enemies, offspring, kingdom, throne—forever! When you look at what God has promised His people, it is so vast that we find it difficult to grasp and we tend to diminish it in various ways just to get our heads around it.

David wanted to build God a house. God says, “No, I will build you one and not just a building, a kingdom, and not just for time but for eternity. This will happen through your offspring.”

God’s denials are often just delays. Solomon would build the temple David dreamed of. David would stockpile materials for it and would safeguard the plans given him by God himself. But David has to trust God that He will bring this to pass. He will see little of it during his earthly existence. It is really the same for us. We have no idea of what our service really means to God. When we do what God has told us to do, we don’t know the ripple effect it will have. There is no way to measure it from generation to generation.

The big takeaway from this passage is this: God is more concerned about making his people a house for the glory of the Lord than their building him a structure of wood and stone. When you cross over into the New Testament, that is the language that is used:

1 Peter 2:4-5: As you come to him, living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being build up in a spiritual house, to be holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (the cornerstone—6-7).

Jesus is building a church, a spiritual house, and it is us. He is not talking about a steeple. He is talking about you. If He has made you alive by the Spirit He has connected you to the living people of God. This poured out blessing was not just for David, but for God’s people. He is talking about a universal kingdom, made of every nation, kindred and tongue. When He is talking about David’s offspring He is clearly not just talking about Solomon, who would have to be disciplined for his sin and would eventually die of old age, but through David’s offspring that would live forever—Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who died for our sins and rose again according to the Scriptures, ever living to intercede for His people, and coming back to reign. His kingdom has no end and those that are part of it face no death. David’s kingdom is the kingdom of Christ. If you belong to Christ, David’s kingdom is yours and these promises extend to you . . . forever! It’s amazing. When God is talking to David, answering David’s God-centered resolve, when He begins to talk about his priorities of people, the blessings He has given and those He will give, God has you in mind. You are part of His kingdom if you are born again, if He is your Savior.

The house that is most important is the one that God Himself is building. It is a kingdom of people that lasts forever. Our connection to it is through the Son of David, Jesus the Messiah. He is the One and His kingdom is the cause that gives our lives significance and gives us hope and strength, even in difficult days. A house for God – that’s what we are.

LifeGroup Questions

Teaching

What does this passage teach us about God?

What does this passage teach us about people?

What does this passage teach us about worship?

Where does this passage fit into the overall gospel story?

Reproof

Wealth and rest from war often lead to indulgence and worldliness. But for David, his being established in Jerusalem turned his heart toward God's honor. When you have extra time and resources, what do you do with them? Are your first thoughts to honor God with that surplus?

Do we care more about the heart behind our worship or more about the form of our worship? What might be some indications that we care more about form? What are some potential dangers with only caring about heart and not form? What is the proper balance?

When was the last time that you rehearsed what God has done for you? Do you have a regular time when you do so? What obstacles do we find (both externally and internally) that keep us from doing so? What might a lack of doing so reveal about our hearts? What does a lack of doing so set us up for in life?

Correction

How do we apply the gospel to our failures in the areas just discussed in the reproof section?

After considering the gospel, what are some practical ways to begin to apply the truths of these passages?

Training in righteousness

How must our thinking be renewed if we are to be transformed by these texts?

What must be put off from and put onto our lives if we are to be transformed by these texts?

Prayer

For what from these texts can we rejoice?

For what from these texts can we repent?

For what from these texts can we request, both for ourselves and others?

 

Pastor Drew Conley

Hampton Park Baptist Church

Greenville, SC

October 12, 2014

 
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