1 Timothy 1:1-17 (NLT)
1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. 2 I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. 3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations,[a] which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.[b] 5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. 7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently. 8 We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders,[c] liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God. 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. 15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not[d] seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore,[e] if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[d] works, and I will show you my faith by my[e] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[f] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
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This morning a message out titled The purpose of his instructions and Gary and for me they might like the message today since last week I was stepping R.V.S. toes and but the purpose of his instructions and we’re speaking of the Apostle Paul but we also know that Paul only spoke with the Lord gave him so these are actually instructions from the Lord through Paul the Apostle and this morning I’m going to vary a little bit from my usual version I usually speak from the New King James version today we’re going to be speaking or reading from the New Living as translation translation I’ll be able to talk this morning First him of the one verses one through seventeen hear the word of the Lord and. This letter is from Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus. Appointed by the command of God or savior and Christ Jesus who gives us hope how. It is through Christ that we can have hope I am writing to Timothy my true son in the faith may God the Father in Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace mercy and peace when I left for Macedonia I urged you to stay there and F. assist and stop those who are teaching whose teaching is contrary to the truth don’t let them waste their time in endless discussions of myths and spiritual the Pedigrees these things only lead to meaning meaningless speculations which don’t help people live a life of faith in God The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart a clear conscience and a genuine faith that is going to be the key of my message today love a pure heart a clear conscience and a genuine faith but some people have missed this whole point they have turned away from the saying than spend their time and mean meaningless discussions they want to be known. As teachers of the Law of Moses but they don’t know what they’re talking about even though they speak so confidently we know that the law is good when used correctly the law was not intended for people to do for for people who do what is right it is for people who are lawless and rebellious who are under godly and sinful who consider nothing sacred in the file what is holy who killed their father or mother or commit other murders the law is for people who are sexually immoral who practice homosexuality or so or are slave traders liars promise breakers who do not do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious good news and trusted to me by your blessing God by our blessing God I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has given me strength to do his work he considers me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him even though I used to blasting the name of Christ in my insolence I persecuted his people but God had mercy on me because I did it in and unbelief this is Paul speaking again oh how gracious generous and gracious our Lord was he filled me with the faith and love that comes from Christ Jesus this is a trustworthy sane and everyone should accepted Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and I am the worst of them all but God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst centers that others will realize that they too can believe in him and receive eternal life all glory and honor to God forever and ever he is the eternal King the unseen one who never dies he alone is God Amen and they got at his blessing so they hear it in the reading of His Holy Word let us pray Heavenly Father were. We do thank you and praise you for your presence we thank you and praise you for your long suffering in patients with us we thank you Lord for your Son Jesus Christ we thank you for your presence to your Holy Spirit and may your present Holy Spirit be present today in this place in our hearts in our minds and Father help us to receive the word that you have for years that we might exalt you father that we might help others to live for you guide us and direct us Father in Jesus name Amen. A like that Paul says. That if he can save me he can save anybody that’s what he’s saying here verse sixteen that he would be a prime example of God’s great patience even towards the worst of centers Paul says I am the chief of sinners in another version I am he says of the Lord Jesus Christ can save me he can save anybody that’s what he’s saying here that’s my paraphrase of that passage. There are many teachers or commentators that believe that young Timothy wanted to give up he wanted to just resign he had he just about had his filling of dealing with these false teachers and those who were coming into the church and trying to cause divisions so he’s like you know I’ve had enough I can’t I can’t take it anymore you know they were teaching things they were going back to the Law of Moses you know when Paul planted a church he spoke of grace that we are saved by grace not of faith. Are by faith not of works and that’s how Paul planned these churches through faith that was his main goal and then there were others that would come in may have been there but they reverted back to the always they reverted back to the laws of Moses. In Timothy’s like I’ve had enough of these guys he’s one to one to give up you know there’s there were so many false teachers even colossi in the church there colossi the Colossians I want to read a little past. From there that gives a little better example of the false teachers. Colossians two verses eighteen through twenty three Let no one Cheechoo of your reward taking delight in false humility and worshipping the worship of angels intruding into those things which he has not seen vainly puffed up by as fleshly mind and not holding fast to the head from whom all the body nourished in it together by joints and ligaments grows with the increase that is from God Therefore if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world why is the living in the world do you subject yourselves to regulations do not touch do not taste do not handle which all concerned things which perish with the using according to the commandments and doctrines of men these things indeed have an appearance of wisdom and self Yeah appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion false humility and the Collect of the body but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh there are many out there that would teach Do not touch this do not take said Do only did this don’t handle this don’t do that. And are saying that you need to do these things to be saved we don’t need to do those things to be saved we need to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. So Paul’s first task is to try and encourage Timothy just stay with it stay with the task don’t give up keep up the good fight you know many Christian workers throughout the ages have come to a place where they felt like giving up they have felt like quitting I don’t and I didn’t look up the numbers but it’s probably into the thousands a number of pastors it give up over the over years time. Churches can be rough on pastors but you not only pastors just all Christian workers even missionaries many will want to just give up because. The division because of the you know tried to bring unity and peace but the devil’s always stirring things up Dr V. Raman Edmon former president of weekend college used to say it is always too soon to quit and that is true it is always too soon to quit as Paul was saying to temper the it is too soon to quit remains reminding Timothy of his position before God that God would help him through the see the victory in the church there. Timothy was not it ever says because Paul is putting there he was there because God placed him there God had entrusted him with that ministry and that in the very important city just the same way that God has committed the ministry to Paul he had given this ministry to Paul ten at his store ship to Timothy. A storage first responsibility whether you’re a pastor or an evangelist or a minister or whatever Minister you’re in you’re responsible to be faithful to your master and the master is Jesus Christ he is the one we are to be responsible for he is the one to will help us see the victory at the end you know we may not see the victory in our mortal lives. But we will see the victory in the end. You know false teachers are those who will command and. Bring in lies into the church or this or that doctrine of way from faith in Christ they are not there to build up Christians or the local church they are there to foster arguments and divisions. In contrast to the true story of God They want to see people love one another with the love that comes from a pure heart a good conscience and a genuine faith that’s what he instructed Timothy to do. So I want to begin with the pure heart the Greek word for pure as the Jews in our passage is cataracts it is used twenty seven times in the New Testament. It signifies that which is clean or free from contaminating substance the term is used literally for instance of the clean call which they placed over Jesus’ body when they wrapped him put him in a grave or in the Gospel accounts of Matthew Mark and Luke the words employed in a ceremonial sense of the purification from leprosy. Because those that had leprosy were considered unclaimed but were if they were healed they were considered unclean. It also is referring to those that may be filled with unclean spirits or demon possessed whenever that person is the liver then they are also considered plain but on the other hand kept her off maybe engage in a much higher spiritual sense William Barclay contends that the word pure in a spills spiritual sense may describe a heart that is free of unadulterated motives let that sink in for a minute a heart that is free from unadulterated motives it perhaps represents that ideal state of mind of the person who longs to serve God and others for the sheer unselfish joy of honoring the Creator let that sink in for a minute the sheer joy of honoring the creator and thus free of any other motives. I don’t care what ministry God has called you to or any of us to it whether it’s an evangelist whether it’s a missionary rather it’s teaching whether it’s preaching whatever it is do you have any all teary or motives. Or you doing it to make yourself look good or you’re doing it for I think for just for the money believe me there are. Out there that go into the ministry just because it’s a good paying job has good benefits. Or we don’t want to completely unselfishly only to honor our Creator and now that that is a big question and you know Gary same as what about possibly stepping on toes that may step on a lot of toes. Why am I doing what I’m doing and I don’t want it only to honor God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. Yes Help us help us to do all that we do without any altar or and or selfish motives. Matthew eight five eight says bless it are the pure in heart for they shall see God and Psalms twenty four three and four says who may ascend into the hill of the Lord or who may stand in His holy place he who has clean hands and a pure heart who has not lifted up his soul to an idol nor sworn to see fully So who may ascend to the Lord those with clean hands and a pure heart. Scientists have discovered I’m sure many probably already heard this and I shouldn’t be sneakin speaking of snowflakes in August but. Scientists have discovered that every single snowflake has a tiny speck of dust at its core every snowflake imagine that. The quad drawing in snowflakes that you get in a snowstorm and everyone has a speck of dust at its core it has a dirty heart if you will in the spiritual realm when the blood of Christ is applied to the heart of a nonbeliever it cleanses him from all sin not one speck of the Filemon remains not one speck of dust remains God. Removes every stain and washes him whiter than snow. So arms fifty one seven says purge me with Hyssop and I shall be clean washed me and I shall be whiter than snow how do you glory to God that all of our sins are washed away not one speck remains it is to him that we are cleansed and made holy and then we should also have a clear conscience Acts twenty four sixteen says this. This being so I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense towards God and men. Wow we are supposed to have a clear conscience not only towards God but towards Man my friends whenever we have communion. What does Corinthians tell us we should do if we come to the communion table if we have anything against our brother if we have an offense against our brother what are we to do we are to go and make it right before we partake of the Lord’s supper before we take of the body in the blood of Christ we are to go and make it right this if we come with a not a clear conscience with things against this one or that one. We are not doing what God has called us to do we are to have a clear conscience. There was a man named Adam Clarke and he was a sales clerk in a store that sold fine silk to the upper class in London but one day’s employer showed young Adam how he could increase sales and profits by subtly stretching the silk as he measured it out just give it a little tug gets all you need to do and as will get will make more money that way. While Young Adam looked at his looks as employer straight in the eye and said Sir your silk may stretch but my conscious. Won’t. By the time David had seen with the Sheba he had been stretching his conscience. He had committed adultery then that led to murder he’d already been stretching his conscience. He was put in when a good friend on the outside he was probably going the synagogue he was probably making the appearance it was doing the right thing. But he wasn’t. He wasn’t he was living a lie because he didn’t have a clear conscience he was covering all those sins up. But the Lord says we must have a clear conscience Billy Graham once said that most of us follow our conscience the same way we push a wheel barrel. We push it in front of us where we want to go. And that’s the way we allow our conscience we push our conscious the way we want to go instead of the direction that God wants us to go. Allow Him to guide your conscience. Then we are also to have genuine faith or you could say sincere faith the Bible defines faith as being sure of what we hope for. And certain of what we do not see. Hebrews describes it. Is a hope and what we haven’t seen but certainty that it is it is to be it has come to pass and it is going to be faith is that channel between God and man is that what that that connects is connects God with man. Faith is the assurance that God’s promises will never fail. And God has promised eternal life to those who believe God has promised the victory God has promised that his son will come again but that’s what faith is belief. Having those things that God has spoken. Believing that they will come true and yes we have not seen God but we have seeing God’s work we have see is handiwork in all creation we see God working through men and women that believe in him. Through his graciousness and his gracious people we have seen his handiwork we’ve seen his proven faithfulness in the past and out helps our faith be certain in that which is to come because he has always been faithful and true to what it has come in the past. What God says has and will come the past you know many people will look at the Book of James as a good example of genuine faith James Chapter two verses fourteen through twenty two. Says What does it profit my brother if someone says he has faith but does not have works can faith save him if a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them the part in peace be warm and filled but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body what does it profit does also faith by itself if it does not have works is dead but someone will say you have faith and I have works show me your faith without works your works and I will show you my faith by my works you believe that there is one God You do well even the demons believe in tremble but do you want to know a foolish man that faith without works is dead was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar do you see that faith was working together with it with his works and by works faith was made perfect so that’s how faith is made perfect James says that our actions must reflect what we believe. If not would be wise to examine the authenticity of our faith if we say that we believe in Christ and we do nothing we are a tree that bears no fruit Qana like to use the word fruit rather than works. If you look. Like in the end of Matthew it says that the tree that bears no fruit the axe is laid at the tree that bears no fruit ready to be cut down. Have you put feet and hands on your face. Do you have hands and feet in your faith. If we are all talk and no action it is likely that our faith is not rooted and grounded it is not genuine it is not life producing it is not an act of belief in God. I know last week I shared a story of a great missionary named David Livingston have another story the missionary. Didn’t give his name but this missionary returned home after serving many many years in New Guinea he was asked to report what he had found when he did ride there when he arrived there he said that he found a people completely without any moral sense he saw a mother carrying her baby and when a baby began to cry she just tossed it into the ditch and left it there to die he saw a man with his father who had broken one of these legs so he just left him by the side of the road to suffer all alone so the missionary asked. Was asked what he did for them and he replied. I thought that the most that I could do for them was to show them my faith by what Jesus Christ would do for them he said so I took the baby home and I console. And I raised it I took the man home and I mend it is broken leg he says when I found people distressed or hungry I took them in I comforted them I fed them I cared for their needs. When they asked me why I did this I then had my chance to tell them about Jesus his friend ask him if his plan succeeded the missionary replied when I left to come home I left the church. He had succeeded because he put hands and feet on his faith in his belief in Jesus Christ and I know that the mention of the word works causes some people to get all roused up now it’s only by grace that we are saved Yes I know that and I’ve preached it many times haven’t I it is by grace that we are saved not of works lest any man should boast and you know that many people we can take certain scriptures and we can listen like that scripture in argue it to the point we can we can produce extremes we take one piece of scripture an isolated you know if we take James Version and say that we must have work slaves out works is dead we can walk there and say You gotta work you’ve gotta work you’ve gotta work or you’re not say well that’s nice light and that’s not speaking the truth or we can thank Paul’s version say it is by grace it doesn’t matter what else you do we can go to extremes either way in our air is to go to extremes either way we need to find a common middle ground and bring these two together you understand it Paul’s saying that it is by grace is prior to salvation. Is prior to salvation is while you are still I center you need to know that it is by the grace of God If you believe in a son you could be forgiven of your sins made whiter than snow as we already said and be forgiven. But James version is once you. You are saved then you are going to produce fruit you’re going to do work you will put hands and feet as I’ve said already many times to your faith they go together they do not crowd contrast one another Paul and James are not fighting against one another they’re not in a you know different battle they’re fighting the same battle just in different directions. Faith and works go together they kind of go together like a horse in the saddle. Or else better for us today I guess I mean that’s wait that’s too far in the past it’s like car and gasoline. What good is that car what good is that brand new car going to do for you if it said not there with no gas in it. It might look good on the outside even the inside it might look good but it is no it’s not of any usefulness to you in the same way or faith. The Holy Spirit in a power God is the gasoline of fuels us that we will produce fruit for the Kingdom of God That is the purpose of his instructions to teach the church the things the church needs to know. A clear conscience genuine Fay’s. Love. Verse five back to the beginning the purpose of my instructions is that all believers would be filled with love. So you thought I forgot about that important word didn’t it be filled with love that comes from a pure heart a clear conscience and genuine faith we know that the greatest gift is love. And we allow the love of Christ to truly penetrate into our hearts and our souls and all that is within us. Ach and we help. But the share that good news ach and we have help but the help those that need help we know we’ve heard the story of the good. You know we can liken the ones that walk that we have a person it’s innate has been beaten and you have the Fair see that walks by and it goes the other side actually because you don’t want to go and be following self man’s probably young plain My friends that’s works that’s works as religious as Actually that’s worse than works that’s religion. But the one that truly has faith genuine faith will stop and help that person in need will be that good Samaritan that’s what it’s all about letting the love of Christ work in in through us through His people. Letting the world see it not just here but see it. That’s how we express our faith that what that is what makes our faith genuine that is the purpose for isn’t struction ZZ that is that is his purpose for giving us all these instructions to know who he is and the know how we can live a life that will honor and glorify Him That is the whole purpose of the church to honor and glorify Him. And to share Jesus Christ who came to seek and say the last day man.