A Few Example Posts:

  • "The End of Faith: A Short Response to Sam Harris"
  • See also:
  • "A Long Response to Sam Harris' The End of Faith, by Neil Shenvi"

  • "Is John Piper the Best Answer to Emergence and Postmodernism?"

  • "Captured"

  • "The Storm is Over"

  • "If Golfing Were the Pursuit of Moral Perfection"

  • 8.23.2005

    God's Grace Against False Teaching





    1 Timothy 1:6-20

    Sermon Notes by John Rush Preached at Liberty Church May 1, 2005

    Last week, we saw the basis of a solid ministry. Now Paul warns us about a false and hurtful ministry. The true ministry leads to love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Now Paul warns of false teachers who have swerved away from the faith and have been caught in the web of vain jangling: useless talk. May I submit to you this morning that too much of what goes on in the name of Christ is empty talk? A hurtful ministry? As one author entitled his book, a Toxic Faith? Because of these false teachers the way of truth is evil spoken of. Because of these deceptive shepherds, lives are misled. Souls are ensnared. Churches and homes are wrecked, and eternity's are lost. Barnes, in his commentary, says that these false teachers and false ministries have “the kind of discourse which is not founded in good sense.”

    I. The Allure of False Teaching: Verses 6-7

    A. It Misses the Mark: SWERVED. Swerved = Taking no pains to aim at the right path. Turned Aside = To turn or twist aside, to turn away. The word was used as a medical technical term, “to be dislocated” Baur/Arndt/Gingrich & Moulton/Milligan

    B. It Becomes Irrelevant: VAIN JANGLING. Empty talk that does nothing to bring the souls of men closer to God.

    C. It Abuses the Law: They DESIRE to be teachers of the Law: They wish to have fancy and nuanced understandings of speculative matters as some of the in which rabbinical teaching of Judaism bogged down. Now they wish to become learned and influential in the church.

    “Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” These are Judaizers. religious zealots.

    Ignorant and Insistent.

    Dumb and Dogmatic.

    Thoroughly dogmatic.

    THERE IS A SPIRITUAL APPEAL AND TEMPTATION IN USING THE LAW INCORRECTLY.

    "What they say" = Customary Present: Describing an on-going action

    Whereof the AFFIRM = The verb means to make assertion, or to give one’s opinion in a firm, dogmatic tone (BAGD; Fairbairn). Preposition in compound means “thoroughly” (MH, 302)

    Who were these people? Judaizers who wished to mix the Law of Moses and the Grace of God--co-mingling the two. I hear good men today that still want to run back to the law like a horse wants to run back into a burning barn. They just can’t let it go. When they do such things they are:

    1. Ignorant: Of how God really works.

    2. Dogmatic: “AFFIRM” Since they have no Scriptural backing they just yell louder and pound harder.

    IGNORANCE AND DOGMA ARE A DANGEROUS COMBINATION FOR ANY CHRISTIAN, FOR ANY CHURCH.

    We must stand firm in the faith, yes. But we must be sure we are adhering to the truths of Scripture! How are they understood? With a spirit of humility. Be careful! Humility today means uncertainty rooted in skepticism. Biblical humility means knowing that our understanding comes from the grace of God. We are undeserving yet confident in the truth.


    II. The Correction the Gospel: 8 "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully..."

    We must be careful how we handle the word of God. We can use the very things of God outside the rules.

    Satan's subtleties can lead Christians--not to deny the Scriptures, but to abuse them:
    Taking something God-given and making it hell-bent.

    A. The Law is Good: (but must be used properly.)

    1. It is God-given.
    2. It reveals God’s holy demands.
    3. It is God’s Covenant with His Chosen People: the Jews.

    B. The Law Targets Evil:
    Verse 9-10: Knowing this that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine...


    Lawless and Disobedient: Lawless = recognize no law.

    Disobedient = those who will not come into subjection. The lawless recognize no obligation. The unruly refuse all obligation. (Wuest) THESE ARE REBELS.

    Ungodly and Sinners: Ungodly = destitute of reverential awe towards God. Sinners = Opposing God (Guthrie)

    Unholy and Profane: Unholy = Wicked (Guthrie) Profane = Available to all evil. Not set apart for anything pure. “He is common, unhallowed territory.” (Wuest)

    Murderers of Fathers/Mothers and Manslayers: Expanded to those who smite their parents let alone kill them. Punishable by death in the OT. Manslayers = Murderers.

    Whoremongers and Defilers of themselves with Mankind
    Whoremongers = pornois: All sexual immorality. Anything pornographic.

    Defilers: Perverts, Sodomites, “arsenokoitais” = males in the marriage bed. (compound word) - John MacArthur points out.

    Kidnappers: = Lit. To catch a man by the foot. “It refers to a slave-dealer, a kidnapper, a man-stealer, as well as to one who unjustly reduces free men to slavery....The word includes all who exploit men and women for their own selfish ends.” - Wuest.

    Illustration: Recent years, young girls being taken from their homes.

    Liars and Perjurers: Liars and those who go against an oath. (perjury).

    Everything else that goes against wholesome teaching! and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine...

    Important point: Verse 11 - “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” Calling these things "evil" is in accordance with the Gospel.
    The Gospel still requires us to call sin sin.

    WHAT THEN IS THE RIGHT USE OF THE LAW?

    1. We need the law to show these things as evil.
    2. We need the law to put some restraint on these evils.
    3. We need the law to convict the sinner of his sin.
    4. We need the law to point us to God’s grace.

    BUT IF WE USE THE LAW AS A WAY TO LIFE... WE ABUSE THE LAW.

    III. The Hope in God’s Grace: vv. 12-17

    A. Paul’s EXPERIENCE of Grace:

    1. Paul was thankful to be “in the service.” How did he get there? Where did he start from? Everyone has a past, don’t they? What is your past like?

    Paul was a Pharisee, highly moral. Yet extremely sinful: Can these two go hand in hand? Yes, they often do.

    Blasphemer: One who slanders God. In Jewish teaching they were condemned to hell.

    Persecutor: One who pursues as a hunter

    Injurious: the word indicates one who in pride and insolence deliberately and contemptuously mistreats, wrongs, and hurts another person just to hurt and deliberately humiliate the person. It speaks of treatment which is calculated publicly to insult and openly to humiliate the person who suffers it. (R/R)

    Acts 26:9-11, 14 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.....And the GRACE of our Lord was exceeding abundant with FAITH and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus.

    THE RESULT IS THAT AFTER MAKING A LIST OF HIDEOUS SINS, PAUL PUTS HIMSELF IN THE FIRST RANK OF SINNERS.

    2. Christianity's truth for sinners:

    15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (Present Tense.)



    B. Paul’s EXAMPLE of Grace 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
    Paul received eternal life through the mercy and longsuffering of God. It is a pattern, and example of how God works! This is how we too come to eternal life! No wonder Paul breaks out into praise and gratitude to God!!

    SHEW FORTH = endeiknumi: To point out, to demonstrate. Prep. in compound suggest a more complete demonstration than the simple verb. IT IS THE LAYING OF THE INDEX FINGER, AS IT WERE, ON THE OBJECT. (R/R)

    C. Paul’s GRATITUDE for Grace: 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    Only the Grace of God is powerful enough to overcome sin. Illust. Augustine of Hippo:

    · b. Nov. 13, 354.

    · Educated in rhetoric.

    · Disappointed in his father:

    · He was given to lust:

    · He was ensnared by false doctrine: Manichaeism, Platonism

    · He had broken relationships:

    · But God was drawing Augustine to Himself:

    · He was converted:

    · He was set free:


    “This is Augustine’s understanding of grace. Grace is God’s giving us sovereign joy in God that triumphs over joy in sin. In other words, God works deep in the human heart to transform the springs of joy so that we love God more than sex or anything else...” -John Piper 1


    REMEMBER:

    a. Religion or law cannot save you.
    b. Find hope against sin: if Christ can save Paul, He can save you.
    c. Let not your past overwhelm you. God can overflow and overwhelm your past with His mercy and grace.
    d. Expect God’s grace to work today.
    e. Let your praises ring in eternity.
    f. Ask God for a useful ministry based on the converting power of grace.

    -------------------

    1. John Piper, The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin (Wheaton, Illinois; Crossway Books, 2000), 57.


    I removed from this post most of the quotes from Piper’s book. I recommend The Legacy of Sovereign Joy and may post a book review about it later.

    1 Comments:

    At 3:03 PM, Blogger Steve Weaver said...

    John,

    Your site is looking really nice! Looks like you're preaching some good stuff too!

    Blessings,
    Steve

     

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