Text: 2 Timothy 1:13&14 1/11/09 a.m.
Thesis: Believing the bible means faithfully and lovingly following God’s commands, listening to the Spirit, and guarding the Word.
Intro: It is true that we will not experience the peace and joy of God if we reject the authority of Scripture.
If we are going to truly know Christ and be satisfied with all he is and is for us we must be a people who value Scripture.
As we read already from 1st John 5, the reason God gave us Scripture is to show us Christ and bring us into conformity to Christ.
Scripture is not first about principles like how to have integrity, how to be a good husband, how to raise a family, balance your checkbook, or do evangelism. Scripture is not a how-to manual.
Scripture is first and foremost about Jesus. Scripture is first and foremost about a Person and getting to know Him.
In my reading this week I came across this statement, “There is a Person at the center of everything you read in the bible. If you merely look for principles and encouraging passages, you will find what you are looking for but you will miss God in the process” (Jim Berg, Student Ed Changed into His Image, 79).
So when we say we cherish the authority of Scripture we are saying we value the Holy Spirit inspired word of God because it is through Scripture that we are brought face to face with Christ and as we obey Scripture we are made more and more like Christ.
Scripture is not a record of God’s revelation concerning his Son. Scripture IS God’s revelation concerning his Son.
Since the Bible is God’s word to us it is without error; it is inerrant. Scripture is completely true in whatever it says concerning every subject addressed therein.
This morning I want to show you that submitting to the authority of Scripture is the way God has chosen to reveal the supremacy of Christ in all areas of our lives.
Obedience to Scripture leads to great joy.
Read 2 Timothy 1:3-14
I) Following the sound words of Scripture leads to Christ
In the inspired Scriptures we are given more than helpful hints, sage advice, or words of wisdom.
a) In the inspired Scriptures we are given the commands of God.
i) Paul writes to Timothy and tells him in verse 13 to follow the pattern of sound words.
ii) You see, in the early church there was only one model. The apostles lived this standard of doing things as they read Scripture and the Holy Spirit reminded them of the words of Christ.
iii) Paul lived his life and fulfilled the ministry God had called him to by submitting himself to this standard.
iv) Now, in the 2nd letter to Timothy, Timothy is being called upon to live his life and fulfill the ministry God has called him to by submitting himself to this standard.
v) This is no surprise to Timothy. What Paul is saying is nothing new.
vi) Timothy had heard the gospel pattern from Paul repeatedly. In sermons Paul spoke about the power of God; the gospel of Jesus Christ.
vii) As they walked and served together Paul would have reminded Timothy that it is God who saves us and calls us because of his own purposes and grace.
viii) It is in Christ Jesus that all things find their center. Before the ages began God’s plan was to unite all things in Christ.
ix) Creation, redemption, and glorification necessarily include us but are all because of and for Jesus Christ.
x) The pattern that the apostles past on was the pattern that has run through out all of history.
xi) Here is the pattern: Since God is Creator, infinitely wise, infinitely powerful, and infinitely loving we must all listen to him and follow him.
xii) It was Christ who ultimately lived out this pattern and fulfilled this call completely and perfectly.
xiii) It was Christ who commissioned his disciples to go and do the same.
xiv) It was Christ who poured out the Holy Spirit so that all his followers would experience the power and love and faithfulness of Christ.
xv) This pattern of treasuring God, listening to him, and obeying him is the pattern of our Savior Jesus Christ.
xvi) It is the standard that is recorded for us in the gospel. This is the pattern that God demands of us today.
xvii) I want us all to hear the words of verse 13 and realize what God is calling us to
xviii) Follow the pattern of the sounds words that you have heard from me.
xix) What the Holy Spirit has preserved in Scripture is not just for our salvation.
xx) What the Holy Spirit has preserved in Scripture are God’s commands for our everyday lives.
xxi) Through faith in Christ we follow these commands. As we follow these commands we find more of Christ.
xxii) You hold in your hands sound words; healthy words meant to bring us life, joy, and fruitfulness.
xxiii) Everyday we must decide if we will follow the pattern. Will we walk in the footsteps of the faithful?
xxiv) Will we walk in the footsteps of Christ?
xxv) Will we hold God as supreme? Meaning, will we listen to him and follow him so that we can find Christ?
xxvi) Will we do things God’s way so that we can lead as many people to Christ as possible?
xxvii) Will we use Scripture as a group of principles to be followed or will we submit to Scripture knowing that as we do we will be satisfied more and more by Christ?
b) Now lets be clear that this pattern leads to suffering and loss
i) Paul calls Timothy to share in his sufferings in chapter 1 verse 8 and chapter 2 verse 3.
ii) Paul encourages Timothy to endure suffering in chapter 4 verse 5.
iii) The pattern of the gospel is the pattern of Christ.
iv) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted (Hebrews 12:3).
v) The pattern is strange to us and can be accepted only by faith; God calls us to suffer in order to experience the greatest of good and the richest of joys.
vi) Christ suffered and won for us the greatest good of salvation and he won for himself the richest of joys.
vii) Understand this morning what Timothy had to understand. God is calling us to listen to him, follow the pattern of others who listened, don’t be surprised by suffering, and work to realize the greatest good.
c) So I am convinced the reason we do not see a great harvest in our lives individually, as families, and as a church family is because in our pride we have rejected God’s pattern.
i) What I mean is that God has told us how to live, how to be a godly husband and wife, how to raise a family, and how to function as a church.
ii) He did all of this in Christ and the Holy Spirit revealed it through faithful men in Scripture.
iii) Brothers and sisters we are truly in great danger. Our danger is monstrous because we know what God has revealed concerning these things.
iv) We know about love to the death, godly submission, restoring those in sin, the necessity of hearing the gospel, the reality of hell, the joys of heaven, and trusting Christ the entire way.
v) Yet we have convinced ourselves that we know better.
vi) God is not supreme, we are supreme. His pattern is dumb, outdated, impossible, or applicable only to the 1st century.
vii) Do you want to see a great harvest of souls? Do you want to see a great harvest of righteousness in your life and in the lives of the people around you?
viii) Follow the pattern of sound words that you find in Scripture. Listen to God’s word and trust him.
ix) That’s what we must do and here’s how we must do it.
II) We must follow the sound words of Scripture with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus
a) Following God’s will requires the faith of Christ
i) Look again at verse 13. How are we to follow the pattern, retain the standard, or hold fast to the form?
ii) Read verse 13
iii) Submitting to God’s will revealed through Scripture is possible only when we are given the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
iv) How in the world does God expect us to follow the pattern when the pattern leads to suffering, possibly a martyr’s death, and potentially imprisonment?
v) Before the ages began it was God’s purpose to give his people grace. But God didn’t just give any grace to be used in any way.
vi) God’s eternal purpose was to give grace through Jesus Christ who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
vii) You see, Christian faith is not just believing there was a Jesus and that he died on the cross, was buried three days, and rose again.
viii) The demons believe that. Christian faith is the attachment of an individual to Christ so that Christ gives to that individual his own faith and love.
ix) So is Mambrino Baptist Church running on faith? Are we following the pattern God has given because we have been given the supernatural faith of Christ?
x) God intends for us to trust him like Christ trusted; from the first moment of repentance and faith to the last breath when we leave these bodies.
xi) And the amazing thing is that God doesn’t command us to produce our own faith. God gives us the faith of Christ.
xii) So open your eyes in prayer, read Scripture, and humbly ask God where you have rejected his pattern.
xiii) Open your eyes knowing that in that pattern God’s purpose is to introduce you to Christ and bring you into conformity to him.
xiv) Brothers, you and I as individuals and as a church must stop rejecting God’s will and start exercising the faith God has given us in Christ.
b) And we must follow God’s will by the love of Christ
i) Jesus said in John 14:31, I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.
ii) The humbling of leaving heaven and taking on flesh was the humbling of the Son who loves the Father.
iii) The humbling of obedience onto death was the expression of the Son’s love for the Father.
iv) The trust and joy and endurance of the Son were all a display of his great love for the Father.
v) Jesus said in John 15, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you” (verses 12-14)
vi) Jesus’ command is that I love you for your good to the death. Jesus’ command is that you love me for my good to the death.
vii) We cannot do this. This pattern is impossible for a husband and his wife. This pattern is impossible for church members in the local body of Christ.
viii) Yet this is the pattern. This is God’s command.
ix) And here is the grace. According to 2 Timothy 1:13 we are to follow the pattern according to the love that is in Christ.
x) God gives us the gift of faith and God gives us the gift of love. When we say we cannot love our wives or we cannot love our fellow church members we are seeing one of two things.
xi) We are saying either we have not been given the faith and love of Christ therefore we cannot obey.
xii) That means we are saying we aren’t Christians.
xiii) Or we are saying that the faith and love that we have been given in Christ are not enough. God’s gift of Christ is insufficient to fulfill God’s commands.
xiv) I don’t know if you are like me but I don’t want to live a life that says that. I want to follow the pattern.
III) To do that we must depend on the Holy Spirit
God commands us to obey his pattern for life. God has given us the faith and love of Christ so that we are able to obey and God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to guard the entire process.
Read verse 14
a) Get this in your minds, the good deposit is the truthfulness and the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
i) We’re not just talking about facts that need to be protected. We’re talking about facts that lead to a person that pours out blessings on us.
ii) So when you think about the good deposit think about the gospel. Think about 2 Timothy 1:9&10.
iii) But we must also think about the gifts that have been given to us to fulfill the mission God has given us.
iv) Timothy is told to fan into flame the gift of God. This gift of God was the enablement to fulfill the gospel ministry.
v) Guard the gospel because from it come all good things.
vi) Ultimately this means we must guard Scripture because it is only through Scripture that we hear the gospel.
b) The key is learning to guard the gospel and fulfill ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit
i) Let me start by what this does not mean.
ii) Guarding the good deposit entrusted to you and doing so by the power of the Holy Spirit is not going to a Sunday School class, sitting in a pew, or attending an annual meeting where it is voted on and approved that we believe every word of the bible to be inerrant and inspired.
iii) “Man, I’m glad that passed. I’m glad we guarded the good deposit.” You don’t need the Holy Spirit for that.
iv) What we are being called to is guarding our hearts from loving anything or anyone more than we love we Christ.
v) By the Holy Spirit we must guard the good deposit of Christ-centered powerful gospel ministry from the shackles of tradition and the fear of loss.
vi) By the Spirit we cry out to our Father and we love and trust Him.
vii) By the Spirit we hear the word of God as we turn our attention to Scripture.
viii) By the Spirit we step out and do what is impossible because we have been given the faith and love of Christ.
ix) We don’t need the Holy Spirit to cast a vote. You and I need the Holy Spirit so that we will hear God’s Word, repent of our sins, place our faith in Christ, and go and suffer if needs be in order to advance the gospel.
x) The battle for inerrancy and a statement that we cherish the authority of Scripture mean absolutely nothing if we are not willing to do hard things.
IV) Pray for me and pray for this church
a) Because I believe in the supremacy of God and the authority of Scripture I believe God is calling me to lead us to do hard things.
b) Hard things that may cause us to suffer. But because these hard things are filled with the faith and love of Christ they will lead to even greater joy.
c) God demands that we follow the pattern of the sound words delivered to us through Scripture.
d) So during our time of invitation and while we gather our offering for God I want you to humbly ask this question, “God where have I rejected your pattern?”
e) Hear me, if you don’t ask that question it’s because you are filled with pride and have convinced yourself you are doing everything right.
f) I guarantee pride comes before a fall.
g) As this question, “God where have I rejected your pattern?” and when you get the answer from the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture I want you to taste the joy of repentance.
h) But don’t stop there; there is more joy.
i) Then ask, “God where have we as a church rejected your pattern?”
j) Hear me, if we don’t ask that question it’s because we are filled with pride and have convinced ourselves we are doing everything right.
k) I guarantee pride comes before a fall.
l) God has spoken, may He send his Spirit, and through the power of the Bible bring us into conformity to Christ.