A sermon from October 16, 2011
Create disciples: Matthew 28:18-20
1) Baptism — introduction into congregation
2) Teach them to observe
Means of instruction:
i) Entire congregation
ii) Smaller gatherings
iii) Personal (counseling)
iv) Other than elder
a) one – another
b) particular elements, e.g., Titus 2
A) Right life
ii) Everyone in congregation does this whether good or ill
Immediate discipleship of the Spirit.
- Confirming that everyone in our charge is being instructed
B)Specifically approriate instruction
2) Confirming that everyone is leading a godly life
Mechanism: Instruct enough men well enough so that the individual instruction, exhortation, example and confirmation can take place. [2 Timothy]
Outline of the argument in 1st Timothy
Thesis: We seek to create a godly life (1:5). This is done primarily by giving propositional instruction –which includes confronting error & selecting appropriate instructors (1:3-4; 1:18-20; 2:1; 2:12; 3:1-7, 4:1-5, 4:6-10; 4:11; 6:2b; 6:20-21). Right doctrine leads to right life (1:6-11; 1:18-20). In addition to propositional instruction, be a tangible example of proper (1 Tim. 4:15-16; 6:11).
This is implicit in the qualifications of elders: First, they must be of a godly character: their character demonstrates their fitness for office and fitness as an example. Second, they must be able to instruct.
The letter is structured around the command to teach right doctrine:
1:3-4: Initial command
3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine,
4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
6:20-21: Closing command
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.
Command: Protect the doctrine delivered to you.
Enemy: those who teach a different doctrine.
Purpose: Right doctrine leads to faith.
The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Doctrine leads to life: Throughout the letter, Paul ties proper doctrine to proper conduct.
1:6-11 charts the movement from wrong doctrine to wrong life. He ends the proposition that a sinful life does not “accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted” (v. 11).
vv.12-17: Paul gives praise that God who transformed him by faith.
vv.18-20: Paul makes two argument to encourage Timothy to this work: (1) God selected him for this work (v. 18; 2 Tim. 1:6); (2) those who have swerved from the doctrine have shipwrecked (v. 19-20).
Mechanics of instruction:
Prayer for leaders/peaceful life: 2:1-7
Selection of instructors
Men, not women: 2:8-14
Only certain men: 3:1-7
Selection of deacons (men and women): 3:8-13
Encouragement and warning:
The supernatural redemptive nature of faith: 3:14-16
Warning about false teaching: 4:1-5
Train yourself: 4:6-10
Avoid needless wrangling 4:7
Train to godliness: 4:8
Remember the end: 4:9
Train others: 4:11-16
Propositional instruction: 4:11
Be an example for others to imitate: 4:12-15
Details on manner of life: 5:1-6:3
Effectively fleshes out the household codes in Ephesians and Colossians.
Notes: a defective life denies the faith (5:8).
Special rules involving widows: 5:9-16
Special rules respecting elders: 5:17-25
These rules concern the conduct and treatment of elders. Thus, this relates to the imitation basis of discipleship.
Instruction about instruction: 6:2b-5
Give these instructions: 6:2b
Those who pursue a different doctrine will be those who create division: 6:3-5
Instruction about example: 6:6-16
Warning about contentment: 6:6-10
Warning about godliness: 6:11-16
Side note for the rich :6:17-19
Guard the doctrine. Remember doctrine affects life. 6:20-21
Encouragement to the work: chapter 1.
Train men to do the work: chapter 2
Train faithful men to do the work 2:1-2
Don’t get distracted from this task: 2:3-7
Content of the Gospel 2:8-13
Doing the work:
Do not permit digressive quarrels 2:14
Be competent with the Scripture 2:15
Protect doctrine! 2:16-19
Prepare for work: 2:20-21
Avoid distractions: 2:22-26
There will be false teachers: 3:1-9 [Titus 3, the “factious man”, ie. false teacher]
But Scripture is sufficient for the work: 3:10-17
Preach the word: 4:1-4
Counterpart to the encouragement of chapter 1: I am being poured out (4:6-8). Remember to encourage me (4:9-18)
Appoint elders to do the work: 1:5-9
Able to teach
Watch out for the sins of your environment 1:10-16
Household codes 2:2-9
Teach them to be instructors and examples of one-another
Note the conduct of the intra-congregational instruction
You be an example 2:8-9
The doctrine creates right conduct 2:11-14
Instruct in good works: 3:1-10
Watch out for those who cause division [i.e., teach a different doctrine]
Hebrews 3:12–13 (ESV)
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
To attain this goal, the die metal had to be much harder than the blank coin, so the coin’s metal conformed to the die rather than the other way around. Every single coin had the exact same image of Caesar on it. This is a picture of sanctification, for God the Father wants to conform all of us to his Son: “ for those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers ” (Romans 8:29). Amazingly, God has designed a two- fold “die system” to conform us to Christ. The Greek word for the die struck on the blank coin was tupos , and it is used in two key places in the New Testament, in both places translated by the word “pattern”:
Sound doctrine: What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13).
Godly lifestyle: Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you (Philippians 3:17).
An Infinite Journey, Andrew Davis
By Pastor Ed Wilde
In Numbers 15, we read of the Lord’s command concerning tassels:
“37 The LORD said to Moses,38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their gar- ments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the command- ments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after.40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.”
The principle remains in the NT, yet the tassels have been replaced:
“12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitful- ness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
Hebrews 3:12-14. It is interesting to note that this command to exhort one-another comes in the context of warning against the hardness of heart of the people in the wilderness (quoting Psalm 95).
It is for this reason that failing to congre- gate is so dangerous and thus carries such a grave warning:
“23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us con- sider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacri- fice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
Hebrews 10:23-27. Here is a central aspect of discipleship: Jesus has defined discipleship as teaching others to ob- serve Jesus’ commands (Matthew 28:20, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”). The OT command is to wear tassels to constantly remind oneself of the commands of God. In the New Covenant, the work pictured by the tassels becomes the command for the entire congregation: all of you ex- hort, encourage, provoke one another:
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” Hebrews 10:24. This work is a core work of discipleship—and it is given to the entire congregation. This is the mes- sage of the NT, not just of Hebrews:
“I, myself, am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another .” Romans 15:14
By way of application, we must consider being filled with the Scriptures so that we have something to say—discipleship is teaching what Jesus has commanded, not what we have invented (Matt. 28:20). Second, the power of transformation is in the Scripture:
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the en- couragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” Romans 15:4.
Third, we must realize that we each have this obligation to exhort one-another, it is not merely the duty of some pastor or overseer.
Fourth, we must pray for the wisdom and grace to perform this work.
Fifth, we must repent of failure to do so, whether for laziness or a fail- ure of love.
Sixth, we must do the work.
Upon a Picture and a Statue
In what a differing manner is the image and representation of the same person brought into these two pieces of art. In the one it is effected by the soft and silent touches of the pencil, which happily convey likeness and beauty together. And the other is formed by the rough and loud strokes of the hammer, and by the deep cuttings and sculptures of instruments of steel.
In a strange and far differing way is the heavenly image of God formed in the souls of the new converts, when first made partakers of the divine nature. In some, God paints (if I may so speak) his own likeness by still and calm delineation of it up on the table of their hearts.
And in others he carves it by afflicting them with a great measure of tears, and wounding their souls with a thorough sense both of the guilt and defilement of sin.
But in this diversity of working, God is in no way necessitated or limited by the disposition and temper of the matter, as other agents are, but is freely guided by the counsel of his will — which is the sole rule and measure of all his actions towards the creature. (as his word is of theirs towards him).
Lord therefore do with me what you please,
let me be yours,
and I will not prescribe your wisdom the way to make me yours:
Bruise, break, wound, yea, kill, Lord
so that I may be made alive again by your power,
and bear your holy image,
according to which I was first made,
and to which by your grace and might only I can be restored.
The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/pilgrims-progress-study-7-vanity-fair/
Christian and By-Ends
- Why do you think Christian and Hopeful immediately meet By-ends and his friends, after leaving Vanity Fair? How do these people differ from, and how are they the same as the people of Vanity Fair?
- Why is Mr. By-ends rich?
- When is By-ends willing to be religious? (Btw, for Bunyan “religion” has no bad overtones. He simply means being a Christian.)
The prior study guide may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/pilgrims-progress-study-guide-4/
Pilgrim’s Progress, Study Guide 5:
Christian and the Valley of Humiliation
In this section of the trip, Christian descends first in the Valley of Humiliation
Background: Christian has been refreshed and encouraged in Palace Beautiful. He has eaten of the Lord’s Supper. He has known fellowship with the Church, spoken of the wonders of Christ and God’s work with his people. Then before he leaves, Christian is brought to the armoury where he is outfitted for battle, “lest perhaps he should meet with assaults in the way.”
- Notice that Palace Beautiful is at the top of a hill. One must go up the Hill of Difficulty and go down into the Valley of Humiliation. Why is that?
The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/study-guide-pilgrims-progress-2/
- Christian at the Cross:
Grace Abounding, 115:
I remember that one day as I was travelling into the country and musing on the wickedness and blasphemy of my heart, and considering of the enmity that was in me to God, that scripture came into my mind, He hath made peace by the blood of His Cross. By which I was made to see both again and again and again that day that God and my soul were friends by that blood: yea, I saw that the justice of God and my sinful soul could embrace and kiss each other through that blood. That was a good day tome; I hope I shall not forget it. I thought I could have spoken of His love and of His mercy to me that day to the very crows that sat upon the ploughed lands before me had they been capable to have understood me. Wherefore I said in my soul with much gladness, Well, I would I had apen and ink here and I would write this down before I go any farther, for surely I will not forget this forty years
- What walls run along side Christian’s path? What does the wall keep out? What does it keep in?
- What does Christian see when he comes to the top of the hill? Which hill is this?
- What was beneath Christian as he stood upon the hill?