The Good Servant of Jesus Christ
“Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.” 1 Timothy 4:6-10
“What should be our strategy when we live in a world inundated with false teaching? First, we must expose the errors we oppose. Second, we must also develop personal holiness to assure continuation in integrity. The combination of exposing error and practicing truth is a powerful antidote to heresy. Paul proposed this strategy for Timothy.” Lea and Griffin, New American Commentary, p. 133
The good servant of Christ: warns, is continually nourished by the scripture, energetically avoids silly myths and arguments, pursues godliness and lives with hope and rejoicing.
1. “Put these things before the brothers.” (to protect by pointing out with a gentle spirit).
“I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:14
2. “Being trained/nourished in the truths of the faith and the good doctrine.”
The Importance of Meditation
Meditation is verbally and mentally thinking through or “muttering” the word of God to yourself.
“Meditation is thinking a truth OUT and then thinking a truth IN until ideas become big and sweet, moving and affecting, and until the reality of God is sensed upon the heart.” Tim Keller, Prayer, p. 162
3. Energetically rejecting godless myths and silly arguments (v.7). [Demonic teachings (4:1-5) and silly myths lead to the same result in our lives: ineffectiveness/inertia and stupor.]
“Christ came when all things were growing old and made them new…He came both to console you in the midst of present troubles and to promise you everlasting rest. Do not choose, then, to cleave to this aged world, and be unwilling to grow young in Christ.” Augustine, Sermon 31 on the New Testament
“Disordered love generates disordered lives, and disordered lives generate disordered families, and disordered families generate disordered communities, and disordered communities generate disordered cities, and disordered cities generate disordered states and nations, and disordered states and nations produce a disordered world, just like the one we have today. Our disordered love and disordered lives are the roots of a disordered world all in feverish devotion to the discovery of the happy life.” David K. Naugle, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives, p.83
“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
4. “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”
5. Live with joy, hope, and expectation because we have sound (life-giving) doctrine and we know that godliness holds promise for the present life and especially for the life to come.
We have sound (life-giving doctrine) and godliness holds promise for the present life and especially for the life to come.
1. How do we gently “point out” errors to others on an ongoing basis?
2. How does pointing out errors to those we are in fellowship with protect them from heartbreak and disordered living?
3. What is biblical meditation? What does it involve?
4. Demonic teaching and mind-numbing tales lead to what? I_________ and S_________.
5. What disciplines build godliness? Note the absolute importance of community and the application of being involved in small groups.
“Next to the immediate guidance of God by his Spirit, the counsel and encouragement and virtuous and enlightened friends afford the most powerful aid in the encounter of temptation and the career of duty (in avoiding temptation and fulfilling our duty)...Friendship is a reserve of strength, ready to be called into action most needed; a fountain of sweets, to which we may continually repair, whose waters are inexhaustible.” Robert Hall, Jr. (1764-1831) in a sermon occasioned by the death of John Ryland