Guarding Faith

Guarding Faith - Guiding Conduct in the House of God

We begin with the Word of God, proclaimed from First Timothy, Chapter 3, verses 14 and 15. “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly. But if I'm delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the House of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth.”

There's a lot here. First things first, you notice Paul is telling Timothy the reason I'm writing, the reason I've placed pen to parchment is so that if I'm delayed, if I don't make it like I've planned to, the letter is going to speak on my behalf. So there's a desire here from the Apostle Paul to come check on not only Timothy, but the Christians in Ephesus.

Ephesus was an affluent Christian post in Asia Minor or Turkey, present-day Turkey. It's a very prominent first-century church, very influential in the grand scheme of church history. And here Paul is saying, Here's why I'm writing to you. I'm writing to you all these things. Now, there's so much that we've already covered. Now I want you to hear me as I do this very quick review.

What has Paul already written that he wants Timothy to convey in case he's delayed? Paul's emphasized several different topics in the past 48 verses. That's how many verses we've covered. To ignore a single one of them is to completely disregard what it is God has said and established for the conduct of the Christian within “the House of God”.

The first thing that Paul lays before Timothy. Chapter 1:3-7: 
Guard the gates of the church, Timothy, by teaching no other doctrine. That is the first priority of the shepherd to the flock. Guard the gates. Don't let anything in that is contrary to sound doctrine & healthy teaching. He then moves his way into this interesting thought of using the law lawfully.

Paul's Call to Righteousness

There were those that were using the law unlawfully. Yes, they were misusing and abusing God's law. Now, let me just be very clear:

God's law is his entire counsel.

Embedded within the law, of course, is the grace of the gospel. You need both. 
You need to understand your indictment as a sinner carries a weight. Guilty as charged.

And I believe the reason we're not excited about being exonerated by the gospel is because we've neglected to feel the weight of our indictment as a sinner. Does that make sense?

It's true. Use the law lawfully. Yeah. Remember I explained to you the law used rightly has three primary outcomes: 
It's punitive. It reminds you you're a sinner.
It's restrictive. The law, it restrains that which is evil. It sustains that which is good.
And the law and the many Psalms are instructive
It guides. Of course, the law, like a tutor, points us to Jesus, our Savior.

He reminds Timothy to wage the good warfare. It's a violent expression. How do you do that? By the faith. Not just having faith. The faith which is Genesis to Revelation. I want to remind you of that. And having a good conscience, which is the word of God in your conscience., Having the knowledge of God in your conscience, with moral knowledge, with spiritual knowledge.

The Christian is the only one on planet earth that is able to see behind the scenes to see the unseen, spiritually speaking, because of the Word of God. It's a telescope. I see that which is far off, and I'm able to bring it near. 

I see the things that the media makes blurry and the word of God makes it clear.

He begins chapter two. Remember, Pray for all men, pray for everyone. And then the category Kings and those in authority. Do you remember this? This is for the church:

Pray for those in authority that are making influential decisions that are going to affect your home, your family, your community. Pray for them.

Why? So that if they're making righteous decisions as they should, then you're going to lead a quiet and peaceable life.

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Upholding Gospel Truths

That is not the verse to use to say Christians should always be quiet and live peaceable lives. No, because when they're making unrighteous decisions, I can't be quiet, nor should the church. As we'll see Paul's description and the intention of the church of Jesus Christ, God desires all to be saved. That was one of the things that was laid out in chapter two.

Remember, as we made our way through chapter two, he also said, Timothy, how you gather matters. Do you remember what he said next? He was like, “Women stay in your comfort zone.” You remember that? “Be mindful of what you're wearing.” And he presented all of these principles about outward adornment. “Stay in your comfort zone.” You know what I'm saying?

But then he said to the men: Men, come out of your comfort zone. Women, be mindful of what you're wearing. Stay in your comfort zone. Men, you're too comfortable. Come out of your comfort zone. Lifting Holy hands. Do you remember that? This is uncomfortable. Praying by lifting. Holding hands without doubt or wrath. Speaking of men and women, as he makes his way towards the end of chapter two, do not usurp nor neglect your God-given roles. Men, women. Male, female.

Equality in God's sight. Equity as far as different assets, different responsibilities. Husbands in the home, Fathers have different roles than mothers and wives, but when they're blended, they're one flesh and a reflection of God's glory. Likewise, in the home, your house and God's house. But not all men have authority in God's house. 

And that's why, in chapter three, what does he lay out?
The qualifications of men who aspire to overseer or bishop. This is one of the ways that he says, “Hey, I'm telling you to underline the Gospel as it applies to your life and your role, because if you don't, what will happen is you will see those who are sneaking in, creeping in.” You serve authority in the church, and men who are unqualified are placed in positions of authority and leadership.

And that is the quickest way to undermine the gospel.

Underlining the Gospel exposes that which undermines the Gospel.

This study was pulled from one of our sermons.

To learn more, watch the full sermon below.


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