Today I officially kick off ‘Timothy Tuesdays.’ Why? Go back and read here. In short, I want to look at what an Apostle (Paul) was inspired by God to say to a young pastor (Timothy) who ministered in a multi-generational, wealthy church.
How would God have us DO church? What would God want a church like ours to focus on?
Let’s start from the beginning:
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
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,
Right out of the shoot – obviously for at least the 2nd time, Paul tells his young disciple to stay put in Ephesus. Why? To make sure right doctrine was being infused throughout the church. Right doctrine was MASSIVELY important for the Apostle.
Notice in the first couple of verses how many times the word “Christ” is mentioned. THREE times!!! Do you think Paul had an agenda? You bet he did! Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Messiah of God! That’s right doctrine and it must be front and center. Notice also what Paul ‘threw in there’ about God – He’s Savior, Father, and giver of Hope, Grace, Mercy, and Peace. Wait a minute – I thought Jesus was Savior! I thought Jesus was the Gracious One! I thought Jesus was the Prince of Peace! Paul’s making it sound like God is the . . . . oh yeah!!! Jesus IS God!!
The first two verses are FULL of doctrine. Why? Because one of the main reasons Paul wants Timothy to stick around in Ephesus is to ensure right doctrine is being emanated from the pastor to the Sunday School teachers to the nursery workers pouring Kool-Aid for snack time.
What does this mean for FBC El Dorado in the year 2014? The exact same thing. What you and I believe about God directly affects how we live and behave and interact with each other. Doctrine Effects Daily Stuff.
Are you getting a healthy dose of right doctrine?
Are you praying your pastor teaches right doctrine? Your Sunday School teacher? The Nursery help? Upward Coaches?
Do you see one of the pastor’s responsibilities as “charging certain persons not to teach any different doctrine”?
Do you believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Promised Messiah of God?
Do you believe Jesus IS God?
Do you believe God is our Savior and Father?
Do you believe God is the Giver of Hope, Grace, Mercy and Peace?
If so, when was the last time you got these things from HIM, and not one of His good gifts?
Go back now and reread 1 Timothy 1:2 . . . a “true child in the faith” is one who is constantly receiving these things from the biblical God.