2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy 2

2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 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.

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. 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. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

(ESV)

2 Timothy 1

2 Timothy 1

1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.

(ESV)

1 Timothy 6

1 Timothy 6

6:1 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 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.

20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

Grace be with you.

(ESV)

Going Deeper

Going Deeper

1 Timothy 1-5 (6.15.19)

Grab your Bible, and let’s go deeper into 1 Timothy 3.

Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

In this passage, we are given one of the best and clearest pictures of what a mature, Christian man is. Paul is instructing Timothy in the qualifications of a biblical elder.

While very few will ever hold the position of pastor/elder in our churches due to its high qualifications and level of commitment, we can use the passages on elder qualifications as a tool of evaluation for how we as Christian men are growing in Christ and maturing in our faith and sanctification.

So today, let’s dig into this passage and do some self-evaluation. I pray as you read this, you are hopeful for what God can and will do when you grow in Christ, instead of being discouraged at how you are struggling. The key is to hear the word’s instruction and put it into action. I am praying for you as you prayerfully read, evaluate, and respond.

1 Timothy 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach …

A mature, Christian man is blameless, holy, and presents no patterns of scriptural disobedience. This means this kind of man is vigilant in fighting sin and avoiding the temptations to practice sin. We all are tempted. We all will stumble. A mature, Christian man lives his life above reproach. It doesn’t mean he is perfect. It does mean he is a great example for the Christian life.

Really all the qualifications we are about to look at come back to this one. Is the character of God deeply at work in and through you? Do you desire to truly walk in obedience to God’s word, to practice holiness, and to honor God in all you do? It is one thing to desire it; it is another to truly put it into daily, regular practice.

1 Timothy 3:2 … the husband of one wife …

This means a mature, Christian man is emotionally and sexually pure. This means you are a one-woman man. You have emotional investment, eyes for, and physical interaction with only your wife. If one is not married, he must still be a one-woman man and practicing sexual purity. This means God’s design for sexual interaction is with your wife. This means if you are not married, you don’t have a wife; therefore, you are not to be sexually active in any way.

Pornography is not more acceptable if you are single. It is still sexual activity outside of marriage. There is a lie that is floating around in some Christian circles that has allowed Christian men to believe that porn is such a normal struggle for men that it is somehow okay. It is sin. You must make vigilant war with avoiding any kind of sexual sin or lust.

God’s design for intimacy is for marriage—not love, not engagement, not dating, not commitment. Marriage.

Men, how are you doing at a pure, faithful devotion and attentiveness to your wife if you’re married and to God if you are not? Is this an area where God is honored in your life?

1 Timothy 3:2 … sober-minded …

A mature, Christian man is sober, sensible, wise, and balanced in judgment and discretion.

We have all been in the situation where there is a good chance it could go badly. A prudent man is the one who stands up and says, “I am out, and you should follow me. This is riding the line too much.” He is willing to exercise wisdom and self-control even in the face of adversity. This is not the kind of man that likes to ride the edge of risk. A prudent or sober-minded man uses good decision-making and discretion in leading those who follow him.

1 Timothy 3:2 … self-controlled …

This is also called being temperate. A mature, Christian man is self-controlled and mentally and emotionally stable. Self-control means you do life with restraint. You don’t get caught up in stuff that could equal personal compromise. A temperate man doesn’t need to keep buying new things or working long hours to feel complete. A temperate man is given the opportunity to get super angry but exercises restraint. A temperate man is not emotionally all over the map all the time. Temperate men live life in moderation—a moderate, controlled temperature. It is the man who doesn’t gorge himself just because he can. A life of moderation is satisfying to him because, ultimately, he is satisfied in Christ and is not looking to be made happy in other things.

1 Timothy 3:2 … respectable …

Verse 7 says, “Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” A mature, Christian man must be well-ordered, disciplined, and an honorable man worth following or imitating. This is a man that people quickly have respect for in the ways in which he prioritizes and go about his life—he smells of balance, honor, and is worth following or imitating.

I know many guys who subconsciously turn away from this one. They are willing to lead others but not in such a way that it is worth imitating. This cannot be so, because those that follow you will imitate you. They will want to be like you—your kids, your brothers, those to whom you are ministering.

1 Timothy 3:2 … hospitable …

A mature, Christian man is unselfish with his personal resources, welcoming, and generous with others. He must understand to his core that what he has is not his. It is all God’s; he has been called to manage it for God’s glory. This means a hospitable man is quick to open his life, time, stuff, home, and family to others who need to be loved.

1 Timothy 3:2 … able to teach …

Are you growing your life in the word in such a way that it is not just for you but for those God puts in your path—your wife, your kids, your brothers, and those you interact with at work, at church, and on the road? A mature, Christian man is equipped to divide God’s word and rightly teach what it says—you are mature in your understanding and defense of sound, biblical doctrine.

Titus 1:9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Since the church is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3: 15), its men must be pillars of biblical doctrine, or the house will crumble. Since the church is also a small flock traveling over treacherous terrain infested with “savage wolves,” the mature men in the body of Christ must know the way, see the wolves, and lead the flock safely to its destination. Are you studying casually or are you really studying? Are you really digging into God’s word? Are you looking to sit under sound, Bible teaching more than just a Sunday sermon? There are so many great preachers to sit under, and you can do that through podcasts and the internet. Are you reading sound books that teach you accurately about Christ? I say this because there is so much junk out there. Just because it is in the “Christian bookstore” doesn’t mean it’s right or accurate.

Don’t hesitate to email me and ask about preachers to listen to or books to read. I want to help you grow in this area.

A mature, Christian man never grows tired of God’s word and its authority in his life. He loves God’s word and feasts on it daily. His aim is not a casual relationship with God and His word but a fervor and passion for God and His word. Without a growing understanding of God’s word, we will not know what and/or how to correct those who are promoting false doctrine or bad interpretation of the word.

1 Timothy 3:3 … not a drunkard …

A mature, Christian man must be free from excesses and be living a God-honoring lifestyle that doesn’t damage his testimony. Christians are to be controlled by Jesus and not by any other thing. Addiction can be to a variety of things—alcohol, smoking, caffeine, TV, video games, working, hobbies, spending money, internet, food/sugar, reading, and so many more areas.

Notice something: None of the things I just listed are in-and-of-themselves a sin. Any of these things you can enjoy in moderation. But ask yourself, “Is there an ‘I have to have it’ or ‘I need it’ mentality?” To check yourself on any of these, can you go 30 days without it? If not, you might very well be addicted, and this means something has you in its grip that is not Jesus.

Can you enjoy it without overindulgence or gluttony?

To give control of an area of life over to something else is detrimental and creates compromise. This sets you up to be disqualified and compromises your testimony. Don’t wait to bring around accountability for any of these things in which you are knowingly or possibly excessively participating.

1 Timothy 3:3 … not violent or quarrelsome …

A mature, Christian man is peaceable and not quarrelsome or divisive. This doesn’t have to mean physical violence. There are too many men who do not represent Christ in this area. Are you quick to argue, to make waves, or to engage in debates? Is the peace of God at work in your life? Are you quick to post things online that are critical and divisive? Are you argumentative with your brothers?

Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

1 Timothy 3:3 … gentle …

A mature, Christian man is kind, gracious, loving, and even-tempered. There is a big difference between one who tries to force you the direction he wants you to go and one who gently influences you to move. When you have to resort to yelling or throwing something to get respect, you are not ready to lead. The gentle route takes more time but builds a relationship and respect that goes much further.

There is a maturity that means if you are a big, tough guy, you don’t have to wield that in order to influence others. You are gentle in your words and actions so that you can make much of Christ and not yourself.

1 Timothy 3:3 … not a lover of money …

A mature, Christian man is not greedy for things or money and is financially content and upright. Money is a big idol in our society. It is so much so that it is commonly the idol-of-choice used by Jesus and the New Testament writers when illustrating how we are to worship God and not idols of the heart. The American dream equals get rich or die trying. Okay, that is maybe the more “gangster version” of the American dream, but it’s close. The American dream has to drown in the satisfaction one finds in the gospel of Jesus.

1 Timothy 3:4-5 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

How one leads at home is one of the biggest signs of how one will lead God’s flock. The Puritans referred to the family household as the “little church.” A mature, Christian man has a high priority to lead and manage his household. Men, if we are not discipling our own wives and children, what business do we have in skipping the flock God has given us at home and going out to disciple the flock outside the home? Are you investing time into your bride? Are you investing time into your children?

My prayer is that the overflow of the ministry you do is out of solid ministry at home. Are you praying for your family, discipling your kids who are still under your roof, and leading them in Bible study? A mature, Christian man is well-ordered in his schedule and priorities to steward and lead well that which God has entrusted him. This starts with himself and his home before it goes to his outreach.

1 Timothy 3:6 … He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Anyone can be fired up to live sacrificially when the living water of Jesus first flows through him. The test is what one does with the grind and the trials of the seasons to come. A mature, Christian man is proven and tested by trials. His maturity in Christ shows he has ongoing harvest—the Fruit of the Spirit constantly coming out through thick-and-thin—not just when times are good and not just in intermediate moments, but constantly.

Now, I said it at the top of the lesson: This is hard. This is the measurement of a mature, Christian man. It doesn’t mean that if you struggle with many of these you are not a Christian man. It just means you have maturing to do.

This is the good news—God doesn’t save us based on merit but instead on His amazing grace. If you are saved, you are saved by His power and will and not your own. Thank God. It also means He will endure those whom He has saved to the end. The question is, are you maturing? Are you afraid to dig into the areas where you are weak? Are you growing in God’s word and maturing in gospel community so that the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work is happening in your life?

I pray that you are hungry. That is my biggest hope from this study—that you are hungry, and you stay that way. Dig into Christ and grow in Him, and He will mature you and endure you unto these things.

I look forward to growing with you. Keep Jesus the main thing. May we have more and more maturing men who are purposed to Glorify God by teaching God’s holy word, training up faithful disciples and testifying of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all those God puts in our path.

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

1 Timothy 5

1 Timothy 5

5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

(ESV)