Trace the Truth

Paul's Guidance to Timothy

First Timothy 4:6 of course, is Paul's reminder to Timothy to continue to instruct the church in these things:

“If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.”
- 1 Timothy 4:6

 Consider that Paul is saying to Timothy, “If you instruct the church in these things” and ultimately, these things are basically verses 1 to 5 so far.

Basically, 1 Timothy 1:1  to 1 Timothy 4:5 so far, these things that were laid out, but more explicitly, these things that Paul is saying to Timothy that he needs to instruct the brethren in, was the apostasy or defection which was happening then (It's happening now). He said: Be mindful of deception and seductive spirits. And then he talked about demonic doctrines and he added to the demonic doctrines, the forbidding of marriage and the abstaining from certain foods

In these things instruct the brethren. I like the word instruct here, in Greek it actually means "the underlying pattern that is to be traced". Now, if you are like me, when I was younger, I would enjoy putting a clearer piece of paper or a computer piece of paper over something to trace it, to draw it.

That's the idea here. The minister simply lays out before the church the underlying pattern that which you are expected to trace with your life. Peter would write even more explicitly about Jesus himself. He said, “For to this you are called that you would be able to engage in suffering because Christ is the example.” (1 Peter 2:21)

Wait, what? And the word example in the Greek, it’s a writing tablet. And the students, especially the Jewish students, were expected to learn the alphabet, and the alphabet would be traced on a writing tablet and they would trace the letters Alpha to Omega. And the idea of Jesus being our example is that we trace His life from Alpha to Omega.

The Duty of Every Christian in Combating Apostasy and Deception

That's why the Scriptures are so important to know. It's the underlying pattern by which we place our lives over to trace. What are these things that Paul is warning Timothy to instruct the church about? He gave a long list to look out for. These are identified as the coming apostasy (I said “it's defection”), the coming deception through false teachers, false prophets, the twisted truths that the enemy propagates. Unbiblical, legalistic teachings of all forms. You have legalism, you have liberalism, all of which are a result of misinterpreting the Word of God.

And when you misinterpret the Word of God, you misrepresent God himself. 

Did you get that? If you're one inch off from launch, do you have any idea how far off you will be upon landing? There's a science behind it.

One degree off without course correcting and by the end of the journey, you will be so far off. And people start out with one degree off from the True Jesus.

The minister is commissioned, as a shepherd would be to a flock. Here's the sad reality though, for the Christian context: To address certain issues of our day or even call out or expose error is to find yourself labeled "unloving" or "intolerant". Nobody wants to be called unloving or intolerant. So, sadly, many people in my position begin to cower to the pressures of man or the fears of man, because  “I don't want to be identified as somebody who is intolerant. So I'm not going to address the issues of our day. “

That is shirking my responsibility as a minister or a pastor. As a shepherd, I am called to not just feed the flock. If I'm only feeding you every single Sunday, I'm fattening you up for the kill from the wolves.

I also, as the elders are compelled to, protect the flock. Now, this is true for every Christian. It's not just for certain “super Christians”, there are none. A great deal of the Apostle Paul's ministry was spent calling out false teaching, identifying false doctrine. You won't find a single letter that he wrote that he is not at some point identifying something that was attacking the church. He was spending most of his ministry correcting people. And a lot of times the most loving thing one can do is bring correction and tell the truth.

The word minister here, is the word generally for Deacon, not the office of Deacon. just the identification of what it means to be a servant of the most high God. All of us that call ourselves Christians need to aspire to be a good minister of Jesus Christ. Every father, every mother, every husband, every wife, every man, every woman, every boy, every girl. What does that imply?

It means as many are departing from biblical truth--You yourself who want to be a good minister, you never stop imparting biblical truth, Never stop speaking gospel truth to your marriage, to your family.

Never allow the world or the lies of the culture to stop you from imparting biblical truth. Never stop discerning the lies. Never stop, as I said last Sunday, “Exorcizing”. Exorcizing darkness, casting out and driving out darkness. At the same time, never stop exercising yourself unto godliness.

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This study was pulled from one of our sermons.

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