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Archive for the ‘1 & 2 Timothy’ Category

James Wainaina continues his report on the Kiwoko Bible Expositors Fellowship

 

“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!”  2 Timothy 2:8-9

There were 4 main points on building with the right foundations

1.  We must remind each other of the gospel!

Severally when writing to different churches, Paul keeps reminding them to remember the gospel they have heard from him. In several of this occasions like in Rom. 1:1-5; 1 Cor. 15:1-11; 2 Cor. 4:5, he does not leave it to their guessing but actually reminds them of what the gospel is. When writing to Timothy, he reminds him again to remember the gospel and to remind each other of it.  In the middle of instructing Timothy to endure persecution and suffering for the gospel, Paul commands Timothy to…

  • “Remember Jesus Christ……”  The question is, how could Timothy forget him?  2 Tim 1:9 answers.  We naturally drift to focus on our works and forget that it is all about what Jesus has done for us, that we are saved and given a ministry not by virtue of our works but simply by His own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus before Creation.
  • “……as preached in my gospel.” Jesus was to be remembered in a particular way:
    • “Christ” (‘Messiah’ –Isaiah 61:1-3) Jesus is the anointed King that God set apart to be our savior.
    • “risen from the dead” (Matthew 28:17-18; John 20:28; Luke 24:26-27, 45-47; Acts 2:36; Rom 1:2, 4; 1 Cor 15:4). Jesus is the crucified Lord whom God declared to be his Son.
    • “Descended from David” (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Ps. 89:3-4; Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5; Matt. 1:1; 22:41-45; Mark 10:46-52 11:10; 12:35-37; Acts 2:25-36; Rom. 1:5; Rev. 22:16). Jesus is the son of David that God promised would rule forever.

 2. We must never assume the gospel in our Christian Ministries

….because when we assume something it ends up being forgotten about!

“and what you have heard from me before many witnesses (i.e. the gospel) entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2)

Paul points here to four generations to pass on the gospel.

  • 1st generation: Paul himself
  • 2nd generation: Timothy’s generation
  • 3rd generation: Faithful men
  • 4th generation: Others taught by faithful men.

This also means that in 4 generations, we could also lose the gospel.

  • 1st generation: Gospel accepted
  • 2nd generation: Gospel assumed
  • 3rd generaton: Gospel confused
  • 4th generation: Gospel lost

Where do you think we are in East Africa now?

God has warned us that some people will not put up with sound teaching!

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

Paul is concerned to warn the churches that people who desire to live ungodly lives will stop listening to the truth of God’s gospel and turn aside to believing lies (see 2 Tim. 3:1-5).  Femi Adeleye, speaking in an African context, says we are living in very dangerous times:

“These are times in which it is becoming more difficult to differentiate between faith and fantasy or between devotion to Christ and religious delusion. We live in times when the line between churches and cults is so thin and men easily mistake spiritism for spirituality. These are strange times indeed. Times when men wholeheartedly follow strange teaching and philosophies even within the Church; times of strong addiction to seducing spirits; and times when leaders feed their flock with false doctrines. As regards the content and practice of the gospel, only those with discernment, who understand the times and refuse to compromise their vision, know the difference between the true and the counterfeit gospel.” Preachers of a different Gospel (IFES Anglophone, Kampala, 1999), p.1

If Femi Adeleye is right about our East African Church context, then the need for expository preaching of God’s word is greater than ever. The pulpit sets the direction for the whole church. Therefore if reformation or revival is to come to the church, it must be preceded by a reformation or revival of the pulpit through a return to expository preaching.

 3. Lastly but not least, we must preach Christ from the whole of the scriptures.

Christianity is all about Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The gospel must be Jesus Himself. Every sermon, if we say it is gospel-centred should always preach Christ. This we see this in Paul’s faithful preaching of the gospel (Acts 17:2-3). All stories and themes of Scripture find their climax and fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27; Acts 3:18-26; 20:27). In fact all creation finds it’s fulfillment in Christ (Eph. 1:9-10).

Conclusion: 

In times when deception and false prophecy is on the increase, ours is to remain faithful to the call of Christ Jesus and to the great commission in Luke 24:46-49:

“and said to them, “Thus it is written, that Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.And behold I send the promise of my father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.”

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We are very grateful to Steve Smith, senior minister of Grace Church, Worcester Park, for this teaching and permission to share it here.

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