2 Timothy 3.10-4.5
Paul admonishes Timothy to “preach the Word”…if we are going to make disciples, we have to stay true to the Word.
But why is that so important? Adam and Eve in the garden. Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What knowledge did Adam and Eve gain when they ate of the fruit…the serpent promises that they would be like God, knowing good and evil. But didn’t they already know what was good? Wasn’t that God’s assessment of creation? Didn’t they know that God was good and the Definer of the good? So what did they gain? The ability to define the good for themselves. Now they could determine what was good and evil, what was right and wrong apart from what God had revealed. In becoming their own gods, they also became their own barometers of Truth. And so Truth would seemingly become relative. But the Truth has never been relative. When heaven and earth split apart in the fall, it was those who looked to the things above, to the heavenly realities who followed God and were willing/able to see the Truth as Truth. Those focused on earthy realities continued to define truth according to their own image, according to their own sliding scale.
When we first trust in Jesus, the Bible says that we are new creatures; but our perspective isn’t automatically realigned. Vestiges of the flesh and a culture hell-bent on dragging us away from God tend to keep us very earthy and self-centered. And we continue to look like the world around us. We see Truth as relative. And that’s why fidelity to the Scriptures and preaching the Word has to be foundational.
Discipleship is the process of learning to think and act differently. To reorient our perspective so that we begin to see the world through God’s eyes and to respond to others the way He would. It’s not an automatic process, but a change in lifestyle. And that only happens as we become immersed in the Story, as we remind ourselves who we are and what God is calling us to. It’s learning to see my resources – my time, my money, my relationships – through God’s eyes.
One of the scariest things in this passage is the fact that the challenges to the Truth come from within the church. If we do not have a strong commitment as a church to the Truth of the Scriptures and sound doctrine, then we as a church will be in danger of falling into error. We all have to be committed. Because false doctrine may seem to start innocently enough with an applicational thought, “This is what this means to me…” which becomes a deadly disease that spreads throughout the body. And the church disintegrates from the inside. It generally happens when we let our circumstances define Truth. We should apply the Truth of God’s Word to our circumstances, but we should never let our circumstances define Truth. Right and wrong isn’t my opinion, but what the Bible says.
This post is based on a sermon from Sunday morning. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster