The woman will be starting a new study in the book of Genesis. All woman are invited to attend an learn more about the book of Genesis. Bible studies are held on the following Sunday evenings at 6:30pm in the church lobby.
June 4 - Week 1 - Overview
June 25 - Week 2 - Genesis 1-2: Creation
July 9 - Week 3 - Genesis 3-4: The Fall/Cain & Abel
August 13 - Week 4 - Genesis 5:4-11:9: Noah/Tower of Babel
August 27 - Week 5 - Genesis 11:10-18:15: Abraham, part 1
September 17 - Week 6 - Genesis 18:16-26.35: Abraham, part 2
October 1 - Week 7 - Genesis 27-33: Jacob, part 1
October 15 - Week 8 - Genesis 34-38: Jacob, part 2
November 5 - Week 9 - Genesis 39-44: Joseph, part 1
November 19 - Week 10 - Genesis 45-50: Joseph part 2
Referring to David as the king-to-be (about 20 years of age), God stated to Saul, “The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). When chosen to be king, it was not because of “his appearance or on the height of his stature. For the Lord sees not as man sees…the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). A young man said also that David “is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him” (1 Sam 16:18). As a result, “David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer” (1 Sam 16:21).
It could be said of the young David, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men” (Prov 22:29). Similarly, we serve the King and hope to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:21, 23). Until then, whether or not we serve the kings of this life, we want to be faithful in our service to our King, knowing that our faithfulness merits nothing for salvation, though it provides for reward in time to come.
Some passages from Proverbs mention how to serve in the presence of a king, and they instruct us in how to live our lives as we prepare to one day stand before the heavenly throne. What might they say to us as we consider how to live this life in preparing to meet our King?
· Walk wisely to please the King. “A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully” (Prov 14:35).
· Watch your words around the King. “Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right” (Prov 16:13).
· Tread carefully around the King. “A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it” (Prov 16:14).
· Be genuinely godly since the King knows your heart. “He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend” (Prov 22:11).
· Be loyal to the king. “My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise, for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?” (Prov 24:21–22).
· Let the King praise you in His own good time. “Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble” (Prov 25:6–7).
Whether or not our wisdom lets us stand before kings today, may we live to please the King both now and when we stand before His throne.
From Paul’s letters to Timothy, leaders in the church can gather quite a bit for how to deal with so-called teachers who profess Christ but deny Him in word and deed.
Be an example in the midst of false teachers. In in event that one might “despise you for your youth” (or later, for that matter), “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12). In the presence of false teachers, a godly example of a teacher is worth a 1,000 words in and of itself. The difference between right and wrong will be all the more obvious.
Keep away from the influence of false teachers (2:20–21). When Paul speaks of the one who “cleanses himself from what is dishonorable” (2 Tim 2:21), he uses the picture of honorable vessels being cleansed by separating themselves from dishonorable vessels (cf. 2 Tim 2:20). Instead, we should pursue what fits our faith “along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Tim 2:22).
Tell false teachers to stop teaching different doctrine (1 Tim 1:3–4). Timothy’s task was clear. He was to “charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies” (1 Tim 1:3–4).
Confront and correct false teachers in a proper manner (2 Tim 2:24–26). Speaking of “the Lord’s servant” as one who is “correcting his opponents,” Paul requires this servant to be “kind to everyone…patiently enduring evil” (2 Tim 2:24). With this kindness and patience, he also corrects “with gentleness” (2 Tim 2:25). The goal is never to simply shut down the opposition and destroy them. Their souls, too, are at stake. With a proper rebuke, “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Tim 2:25–26).
Use witnesses when dealing with false teachers publicly before the church. In the event that the false teacher is an elder in the church, we should “not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses” (1 Tim 5:19). Should such a one “persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear” (1 Tim 5:20).
Hand them over to Satan (1 Tim 1:19–20). Along with this public rebuke, the persistently unfaithful are put out of the church, which is Paul’s meaning when he speaks of Hymenaeus and Alexander and said, “I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim 1:20). These men likely led others in “rejecting this, that is, “faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim 1:19), creating spiritual warfare in the church (cf. 1 Tim 1:18).
Some points of contact in 2 Tim 2:20–21 are easy to identify. First, “a great house” in 2 Tim 2:20 refers to the church. In 2 Tim 2:19, the immediately preceding verse, Paul spoke of “God’s firm foundation,” which, in context, is people―“those who are His” and “everyone who names the name of the Lord.” Second, the “vessels” in 2 Tim 2:20 (whatever their material―gold, silver, wood, or clay) refer to people. That these vessels are either “for honorable use” or “for dishonorable” is immediately applied to people in 2 Tim 2:21―“anyone” can be for “honorable use” by being cleansed from what is “dishonorable.” Third, the honorable vessels (gold and silver) are faithful believers (like Timothy), and the dishonorable vessels are the false teachers in 2 Tim 2:20. The contrast between Timothy and his opponents in the surrounding passages (2 Tim 2:14–19, 22–26) implies as much.
We can now better understand how Paul applies his metaphor in 2 Tim 2:21. The metaphor takes a slight twist in 2 Tim 2:21 in that “anyone,” whatever vessel he may be (even the one for dishonorable use), may be cleansed by cleansing himself, literally translated, “from these,” which refers to the vessels designated, “some for dishonorable” use in 2 Tim 2:20. To clarify, rather than the vessel being cleansed by being washed from filth upon the vessel itself, its cleansing comes from being separated from the other vessels. Further support for this understanding is in 2 Tim 2:22 in which Timothy was to pursue good things “along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart,” that is, he was to fellowship with one group within the church and not the other.
If, then, vessels are cleansed by separating from vessels of dishonorable use, silver and gold vessels maintain their honorable use by their continued distinction from the dishonorable use of vessels of wood and the clay. And, insomuch as “anyone” in 2 Tim 2:21 may cleanse himself, wood and clay vessels may also have an honorable use by removing themselves from the other wood and clay vessels that continue in their dishonorable use. Applied to the characters in the text, false teachers could be cleansed by removing themselves from other false teachers who continue in error. In the language of the immediately following passage, 2 Tim 2:25–26 would describe such a situation as “opponents” to whom God granted “repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,” having “come to their senses” to “escape from the snare of the devil.”
It would seem from 2 Tim 2:22 that Timothy was to cleanse himself from youthful passions, but this is not all of what is meant in the metaphor in 2:20–21. In separating himself from false teachers, Timothy would likewise “flee youthful passions,” “having nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies,” and “not be quarrelsome” (2 Tim 2:22–24). As Timothy cleansed himself from bad company, so also would they not corrupt his good morals.
In 2 Timothy 1:9, God is the One “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” For Paul and Timothy then and for us today, what is this “calling,” and when does it take place?
This “calling” is theologically termed the effectual call, which Wayne Grudem defines as “an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith” (Systematic Theology, p. 693). Backing up one step (and yet part-and-parcel of the effectual call), there is also a general call for salvation that is given to all who hear the gospel. Louis Berkhof defines this call as “the presentation and offering of salvation in Christ to sinners, together with an earnest exhortation to accept Christ by faith, in order to obtain the forgiveness of sins and life eternal” (Systematic Theology, p. 459).
This general call can obviously be resisted, for many indeed reject the offering of salvation in Christ. However, there is a work of God that renders the general call of the gospel effective unto salvation for some (thus giving us the descriptor effectual), those who God “summons,” as described earlier. This is the work of regeneration, the impartation of spiritual life to the sinner so as to enable him to choose Christ unto salvation (cf. John 1:13; 1 Pet 1:3, 23). “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:14), but, “even when we were dead in our trespasses,” God “made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:5) through the Spirit’s work in regeneration, enabling us to indeed accept the things of the Spirit of God, i.e., the gospel. Rolland McCune clarifies, “[I]t is probably best to consider the effectual call as regeneration itself (i.e., the impartation of life) which secures the sinner’s immediate response of repentance and faith” (McCune, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, volume 3, p. 44).
Balancing the sovereignty of God with the responsibility of man, McCune explains the nature of regeneration further: “God has ways of working with the human volitional apparatus so that it freely and voluntarily chooses to come to Christ for salvation, even while He instigates and controls the entire matter. In fact, in the final analysis, there is really no synergism involved. Calling is all of God” (McCune, p. 46).
So, the calling in 2 Timothy 1:9 is God’s effectual call unto salvation.5 It was for at least Timothy and Paul (“us”) and, in principle, anyone who had likewise been saved and called. The general call to salvation becomes effectual when God regenerates the sinner so as to bring about his voluntary acceptance of the gospel.
In 2 Timothy 1:1, Paul identifies himself as “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.”
Paul was “an apostle of Christ Jesus” in that he was chosen, called, and sent by Christ Jesus to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; 26:16–18). This apostleship was sovereignly ordained and took place “by the will of God,” and its purpose was “according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus.” The richness of this last phrase is worth a closer look.
The Life That Is In Christ Jesus
The life that is in Christ Jesus is eternal, spiritual life. Without this life, we would only sin and live in spiritual death (Rom 5:12–14), only to be punished by the second death, eternal residence in the lake of fire (Rev 20:14–15). This life in Christ Jesus is ours to have as a free gift from God made possible in Christ (Rom 6:23). It comes to us when we believe that Jesus is the Christ (John 20:31) and, more broadly, it comes to us through the gospel (2 Tim 1:10), which makes clear that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again (1 Cor 15:3–4).
The Promise of This Life
That this life was the content of a promise implies that one gave this promise and that another received this promise. It would seem that God Himself is the One who gives this promise. Indeed, “eternal life” was something “which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” (Titus 1:2). After that, “the gospel of God” was something “promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures” of the Old Testament (Rom 1:1–2). In the context of 2 Tim 1:1, the recipients of this promise are those who hear about this promise in this present age. Paul’s function as an apostle was to be sent and to go the Gentiles, heralding the gospel, that is, that God promises eternal life to all those who repent and believe and thus find themselves in Christ Jesus, a gospel that we are all to give to everyone who will hear (cf. Matt 28:18–20).
Putting the above together, according to 2 Timothy 1:1, it was the will of God that Paul was sent by Christ Jesus as an apostle for the purpose of bringing about what was promised, namely, that many would have eternal life through Christ Jesus because of their repentant belief in the gospel.
May we praise God as those who believe this gospel and have eternal life in Christ Jesus!
Please join us as we enjoy our Spring Family Banquet on Saturday, March 25, 4–7 PM. Dr. Larry Oats, Dean of Maranatha Baptist University and a former interim pastor for our church (1993–94), will speak of God’s greatness in general with a photo presentation, after which he will speak of God’s greatness in salvation. Cost is $10 each, and guests will be free of charge. Please sign up by March 19 so we can give a accurate number to the caterers.
In 2 John 10–11, John prohibits the readers from receiving a false teacher into one’s house or even giving him a greeting. Does he really mean to say that we cannot be hospitable or even give a decent hello to these false teachers?
Ruth: “God’s providence in the days when the judges ruled.”
Our ladies welcome any guests who would like to join them our for current Ladies’ Bible Fellowship as they study the book of Ruth. The study will be led by Judy Iverson.
Ruth Bible Study Schedule:
Week 1 - February 19
Week 2 - March 12
Week 3 - March 26
Week 4 - April 9
Week 5 - April 23
Our current Men's Bible Fellowship is a study on the book of Ruth.
Sunday, February 12, 2017 - Overview and Ruth 1
Sunday, March 5, 2017 - Ruth 2
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - Ruth 3
Sunday, April 2, 2017 - Ruth 4
Pastor regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our staff page.