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December 28, 2003 PM


1 TIM 1:1-4

INTRO: The letters of the apostle Paul to Timothy were letters to a younger preacher whom Paul loved dearly. He refers to Timothy as my own son in the faith. It is generally agreed that Timothy was in his mid-teens when the great apostle chose him to go forth with him (Acts 16:1-3). When the letter we call 1 Timothy was written, Timothy was in the city of Ephesus at Pauls direction (1:3). And he had been given a very specific charge by the apostle ... a charge to which we will give some attention in just a few moments. While I accept that the church in Philippi had a very special place in the affections of Paul, I also recognize that he had a special interest in the church at Ephesus. Because of the importance of the city of Ephesus, the book of Acts records that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:10). Some things for us to note in 1 Timothy?

1. The unquestioned essentiality of sound doctrine - 1:3

a. at 1:10 is reference to sound doctrine

b. what was Timothys work? To forbid teaching other doctrines

c. there was the truth, the faith ... and, then, there was error

d. the standard of sound doctrine was the only acceptable standard in the church of the Lord

e. pluralism of our time permits all sorts of beliefs and teachings under the umbrella of Christian - the incredible growth of community churches

f. but pluralism was not tolerated by the apostles - neither can we!

2. The magnificence of Gods grace - 1:12-14

a. the apostle describes Gods grace as exceeding abundant

b. the amazing grace of God in view of his past life (1:13)

c. the wonderful affirmation? If Paul could be the recipient of Gods gracious salvation, sinners of the world should take heart and hope!

d. the theme of Gods grace is prominent in Pauls writings - perhaps this chief of sinners has a greater appreciation of it than others might

e. note Eph 2:4-8

f. interestingly, he saw no inconsistency between grace and sound doctrine!

3. The exalting of Christian motherhood - 2:15

a. this has always been among my favorite passages

b. it is true that this verse has been much debated ... and maligned

c. taken in the context, however, it shows one of those roles in which Christian women correctly excel - the modeling of the Christian life before their children

d. a faithful Christian mother is a blessing beyond words to her children

e. Prov 31:28 - and well they should!

f. notice, though, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness...

4. The warning of a departure from the faith - 4:1-3

a. such warnings are not uncommon in the apostolic writings

b. and Paul notes this was clearly revealed by the Holy Spirit

c. who were these seducing spirits? Could this remind us of Acts 20:29,30?

d. indeed, Pauls warnings in this letter do not seem to be against that error which might come from without ... but from within!

e. we must ever be on guard for attractive, erroneous teaching from within

f. false piety, however it may manifest itself, may look very religious and have its own sort of magnetism - sound doctrine must be the final test

5. Older women in the faith - 5:10

a. now, I know that specifically he is referring to the widows indeed - but the older women are most assuredly mentioned in the context

b. from 5:5 these older women, widows are know to trust in God, to pray

c. from 5:10 they are known for their good works

d. the Holy Spirit recognizes the great power of Godly women in the church!

e. Godly women encourage their husbands; Godly women instill faith in their children; Godly women serve the needs of others; Godly women love the body of Christ; Godly women exemplify faithfulness

f. many a congregation owes its existence to Godly women!!

6. Life may not always be a bed of roses, but... - 6:1

a. slavery was a vast reality in the Roman world - many disciples were slaves

b. so, here these Christians were in a not very favorable environment!

c. but slaves were to honor their masters ... serve honorably - that the name and doctrine of God be not blasphemed

d. we may not always find ourselves in the best of schools, best of jobs, best of situations ... and there is a Christian way to behave then!

e. Christian people must, must always behave as Christian people should

f. otherwise, it is God Who gets the black eye!

CLOSE: The closing admonition to Timothy is this: O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust. In simple words...guard the truth! Only the truth can accomplish Godly edifying.

Cecil A. Hutson

28 December 2003

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)