Sunday, October 29, 2017

Paul's Epistles – I Timothy – Part 1: Introduction

Paul's Epistles – I Timothy – Part 1:
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

This letter from Paul to Timothy will be the next “epistle” examine.

Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Jewish mother.

He was converted as the age of fifteen, during Paul’s ministry at Lystra (Acts 14, I timothy 1:2)

Seven years later he had so advanced in grace that he was “well reported,” and became Paul’s companion (Acts 16), and there then began one of those beautiful friendships between an older and younger man, which are beneficial to both. (Philippians 2:22).

Immediately on his release from his first imprisonment before he visited Spain (Romans 15:24; Philemon 22), Paul more than likely visited Macedonia, Ephesus, etc. Not being able to stay long at Ephesus, he left Timothy to take charge of the work.

This parting was a tough trial to Timothy (I Timothy 1:3; II Timothy 1:4).

To encourage and instruct Timothy (who was sensitive and timid, and not strong (II Timothy 5:23 frequently upset stomach because of nerves), Paul wrote and forwarded this letter from Corinth.

“Introduction of I Timothy”

Timothy 1:1-2
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
We are designed to accomplish” - I Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

The purpose of this letter is admirably given in I Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

The entirety of the epistles contents are designed to enable the young worker to rise to the height of I Timothy 4:12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

“Young” can be viewed from different perspectives.

Chronologically young in age, or, young in time as a follower of Christ, or young as in experience in a certain situation.

All of these are remedied with the Truth of God’s eternal and infinitely superior Word, which will answer all situations correctly regardless of the bearer’s Age (your age has no bearing on the Truth of God’s Word), or how long you have been a Christian (because your Spiritual Maturity has nothing to do with time, rather submission to the Lord), nor does it pertain to your experience, because God’s Word is formed from His Eternal Knowledge and Understanding of all things, not ours.

I Timothy is broke into four major parts

a. Speaks of practical godliness
                                                                 i. Obtainable goals to be practiced

                                                              ii. Without the “practice” of teachings, they are simply “meaningless talk”

b. The Law and its abuse
                                                                 i. Explaining that teachers of the Law have no clue what they are talking about

                                                              ii. Paul explains the Law is not for the righteous, but the lawbreakers and rebels who will be judged by it

c. Personal Testimony
                                                                 i. Paul then explains how he was a blasphemer, persecutor and a violent man

                                                              ii. However, he was shown mercy because he acted in ignorance and unbelief

                                                           iii. I Timothy 1:15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

d. A solemn charge
                                                                 i. Paul tells Timothy exactly what he is to do

a. What to pray for
                                                                 i.  that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”

                                                              ii.  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

                                                           iii. I Timothy 2:3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

b. How to pray
                                                                 i. I Timothy 2:8I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”

                                                              ii. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and respectability,

                                                           iii. adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes
1. Modest dress covers private parts

2. decency does not provoke or tempt

3. respectably shows reverence for the house of God and assembly of believers

4. ELABORATE hairstyles, gold, pearls, those were used in Paul’s time by prostitutes, harlots, attract or get men’s attention, this should not be your goal in the house of God

5. The same for expensive clothing...not everyone who enters the house of God has money, dressing overly elaborately or in excessively expensive clothes was seen as bragging, or causing others to feel inferior.

6. Regardless of wealth, we are all equal, and no one person is above another, no matter his financial status.

                                                            iv. but women, adorn yourselves with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
1. Good Deeds (examined and explained by Paul in Hebrews) are the naturally occurring fruit of salvation and the Spirit of God

2. THESE (Good Deeds) are what make follower truly adorned, and the result of truly worshipping God.

                                                               v. Paul also explains that women are not permitted to be pastors or assume authority over a man.
1. This has to do with the fall, and part of the punishment for Eve “leading” Adam away from God’s Word

2. Adam received his punishment for listening to Eve over God in Genesis 3:17-19Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

3. Women’s punishment was Genesis 3:16 God said to the woman, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
                                                            vi. Because man listened to woman over God, the ground (earth) is cursed, man will have to work, struggle, toil, his entire life to live and take care of his family, until he dies, and women will have pain giving birth, and the man will be the head of the family.

1. Paul gives deeper explanation in other epistles about man and woman are still equal, but man is spiritually the head, and will be held responsible for everything that takes place.

2. Just as he was held spiritually responsible for Eve’s sin, all through scripture it is referred to the SIN of one man.
a. Adam’s sin being listening to his wife over God

                                                         vii. This does not stop women from ministry, we read of many who worked in the ministry in the New Testament.
1. Luke 1:16-55 Mary was a Prophetess

2. Martha opened her home for study group

3. Tabitha was known for doing good works helping the poor and a renowned philanthropist in the name of the Lord, she is the only woman in the Bible to have the feminine form of the word “disciple”

4.  Romans 16:1-2 Paul greets Phoebe, a deacon in the church

5. Priscilla opened her home with her husband who was a teacher and preacher

                                                      viii. We see a great list of women in the New Testament, with many ministering qualities, none of which are pastor or elder over men.

c. God’s pleasure, desire, provision and condition

a. The scope of the ministry

b. Adornment of women
c. Qualifications necessary for Pastors/Elders
                                                                 i. Irreproachable
                                                              ii. Family life
                                                           iii. Personal life
                                                            iv. Public life
                                                               v. Spiritual belief

a. To warn others
b. To exercise oneself
c. How to treat others
d. Duty of servants

CONCLUSION – The epistle of i timothy

Instructions, and encouragement to a young pastor

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 22: Conclusion of Hebrews

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 22:
Conclusion of Hebrews
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

The “official” writer of this epistle is unknown. However, I obviously believe it is Paul since I have included it in the “Paul’s Epistles” Sermon Series.

I believe there is enough evidence from early scholars to agree this was more than likely Paul’s work.

We have already seen in Hebrews so far;

·        Jesus is greater than angels
·        And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray
·        And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)
·        Paul’s warning about unbelief
·        A Sabbath Rest for the People of God
·        Jesus the Great High Priest, Jesus the Perfect High Priest
·        Therefore, It is Time to Grow Up
·        The Certainty of God’s Promise
·        Melchizedek the Priest, Jesus like Melchizedek
·        The High Priest of the New Covenant
·        Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle
·        The Blood of Christ, Christ’s sacrifice, Once for All
·        A Call to Preserve Faith
·        Faith in Action
·        God Disciplines His Children
·        Be Holy
·        A Tale of Two Mountains

“Conclusion of Hebrews”

Hebrews 13:1-19
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Cure for Lacking Boldness or Courage in your Christian Faith and Backsliding is a Right beginning for the Glory and Work of Christ”

a. Love one another as brothers and sisters
                                                                 i. This type of love refers to our social actions in how we treat each other

                                                              ii. And do not forget to show hospitality to strangers
1. By doing so, some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it

                                                           iii. Remember those in prison
1. This refers to Christians who were being imprisoned for their faith

                                                            iv. As if you were in prison with them
1. Meaning do not forget them, and pray for them

                                                               v. And those who suffer adversity, as you were suffering

                                                            vi. Basically, Paul is stating, whatever is happening to one member of the Body of Christ, is happening to other members as well.

                                                         vii. We should continuously pray for those in the Body of Christ who are suffering because of the faith

b. Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure
                                                                 i. for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral

                                                              ii. Lawful sex is between a husband and a wife

                                                           iii. Any sexual conduct outside the marriage bed defiles the bed and will be judged by God

c. Keep your lives free from the love of money
                                                                 i. Do not chase money, chase God

                                                              ii. Do not covet money, for it is a form of idolatry
1. Colossians 3:5 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

                                                           iii. Be content with what you have, because God has promised He will never leave you, never forsake you, so we say with confidence; “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

a. (Refers to Preaching and Teaching) Consider their lives, and imitate their faith
                                                                 i. Meaning, if they have proper faith, their lifestyle will reflect this

b. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever
                                                                 i. He will never change, this covers the entirety of time

c. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings
                                                                 i. This includes the doctrines of men, differing denominational teachings, other religions which may use the Holy Bible but pervert its teachings, cults, etc.

                                                              ii. Anything other than what is explicitly taught in scripture is to be looked at as opinion of man, and therefore is no more trustworthy than man himself
1. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. “

2. Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

3. Psalm 146:3 “Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.”

4. Jeremiah 17:5 “Thus says the LORD, "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.”

a. The fruit of the lips that openly profess His name
                                                                 i. His name is Jesus, which means savior, and speaks of His sacrifice on the cross which is our salvation

b. Do not forget to do good and share with others
                                                                 i. Such sacrifices please God

                                                              ii. Paul explaining that our praise MUST be followed by our works, which make our faith ALIVE

c. Have confidence in your leaders (church) and submit to their authority
                                                                 i. The focus being, not the pastor, but the Gospel he preaches, so “Have confidence in the Gospel your leader is preaching, and submit to its authority

                                                              ii. Because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account
1. They truly care for your spiritual welfare and must answer to God for their service

2. Every preacher will give and account for their ministry

                                                           iii. Do this (submit to the Gospel’s authority) so their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no benefit to you
1. If people will not heed the true Gospel being preached, it is of no profit to them.

2. No matter how profitable it is to others

3. This brings “grief” to the preacher

d. Pray for us (leaders in the church)
                                                                 i. A common request by Paul
1. Romans 15:30; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:3; I Thessalonians 5:25; II Thessalonians 3:1

                                                              ii. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.
1. Speaking of this letter (epistle) to the Hebrews connecting the dots with the New Covenant and the Law of Moses

                                                           iii. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
1. Some think this is a reference to Paul being in prison at the time of this epistle

CONCLUSION – benediction and final greetings

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
25 Grace be with you all.

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