Training Days

Training Days

1 Timothy 4

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

 6If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

 9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

11Command and teach these things. 12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

What is it that Paul says about the things created by God?

1 Timothy 4:4-5 … For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

The Apostle Paul can be thought of as one of the original Church planters in the Church of Jesus Christ. Paul went from

·       His first journey in Acts 13-14, with Barnabas

·       Syrian Antioch (Antakya) and Seleucia (starting point)

·       Cyprus – home of Barnabas

·       Salamis – John Mark joins

·       Paphos, Cyprus – Conversion of Sergius Paulus

·       Perga – John Mark leaves

·       Pisidian Antioch– First Gentile Christian congregation

·       Iconium (Konya)– Many believe

·       Lystra – Paul and Barnabas treated as gods

·       Derbe – success

·       Lystra – Paul appoints elders

·       Iconium– Paul appoints elders

·       Pisidian Antioch – Paul appoints elders

·       Perga – Paul appoints elders

·       Attalia

·       Return to Syrian Antioch

·       Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (50-53 AD)

·       Acts 15:36-18:22, with Silas

·       Syrian Antioch/Antakya (starting point)

·       Syria and Cilicia

·       Derbe

·       Lystra – Timony joins the party

·       Phrygia and Galatia – Holy Spirit prevents them going to Bithynia

·       Troas – Paul’s vision of the man of Macedon

·       Philippi – Conversion of Lydia, thrown in jail, earthquake, conversion of jailer – gospel goes to Europe

·       Thessalonica

·       Berea (Veria) – Jews examine scriptures – memorial of Paul’s preaching

·       Athens – Paul preaches the Unknown God on the Areopagus

·       Corinth – Paul stays for 18 months, with Aquila and Priscilla, writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians

·       Ephesus– farewell

·       Jerusalem

·       Return to Syria

·       Paul’s Third Missionary Journey

·       Acts 18:23-28:31, with Timothy

·       Phrygia and Galatia

·       Ephesus– Paul stays for two years, writes 1 Corinthians and possibly Galatians

·       Macedonia – Paul writes 2 Corinthians

·       Corinth– Paul stays 3 months, writes Romans

·       Troas – stays for 7 days; Eutychus and the nighttime meeting

·       Assos (Behramkale) – Acts 20:13,14 – Aristotle taught here

·       Mitylene

·       Samos

·       Miletus – farewell speech to Ephesians (?)

·       Jerusalem– imprisoned

·       Caesarea – Paul in prison for two years; Felix, Festus, Agrippa

·       Malta – Shipwreck en route to Rome

·       Paul in Rome

(http://www.sacred-destinations.com/footsteps/paul.htm)

So when Paul is writing to Timothy it appears that he is speaking from experience. He has been to a church or two. But you will notice something kind of scary. It has already started.

People are already making the Church into a thing, not a living breathing body. People are already placing boundaries around what is acceptable in God’s church.

Paul tells Timothy this as he points him toward people who have “a seared conscience”.

1 Timothy 4

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

What happens when something is seared?

You might hear someone say seared to lock in the flavor.

Searing means to intentionally heat something until it seals the porous outer flesh and stops it from letting out or for that matter letting in liquids.

You sear a steak after you have gotten all of the spices you want into it. Because once you sear it anything else you add will simply sit on the outside.

Probably not good when you hear it in the context of human love and understanding. 

Here is another word you might use for it in humans: Cauterized

(http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=cauterize)

S: (v) cauterize, cauterise, burn (burn, sear, or freeze (tissue) using a hot iron or electric current or a caustic agent) “The surgeon cauterized the wart”

S: (v) callous, cauterize, cauterise (make insensitive or callous; deaden feelings or morals)

So what is Paul telling this young Pastor?

Some of those who practice the religion have really become deadened or callus to the faith.

1 Timothy 4:3-5

3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Timothy, some people have become deceived that this faith is really about some set of rules they have determined makes them holy. So instead of following the faith they begin to follow what Paul calls thing taught by Demons.

If you’re really holy you won’t marry

If you’re really holy you won’t eat pork

If you’re really holy you won’t… dance, listen to rap music, go a bar, wear anything but a dress to Church if you’re a girl, speak to those yuky people.

Why the tendency to make up rules for people to follow in order to find righteousness?

People want control

People want to be able to look at others and judge themselves against those other people.

It’s easy to see that since you dress nice to come to Church and he doesn’t that you are better than him. But you have to get to know someone to know what is in their heart. We like our world with labels and clearly marked boundaries. As much as we hate tests we love to test things.

In fact I had to take a test this week.

Funny isn’t it… You want to know if I passed.

It’s who we are.

Paul knows this and he tells Timothy at verse 7.

…train yourself to be godly

What goes into godliness training?

What is the difference between saying, “Train yourself to be godly,” and “Try really hard to be godly”?

Do you think that people that create rules for human holiness are trying to be mean or that they really want people to follow God?

OK, call me a sap, but I believe that most of them believe that they are helping people to follow what they believe is the way God wants them to go.  But the mistake they have made is that they have not trained themselves to be Godly.

They have trained themselves to follow a list of things someone has shown them in a list of Bible verses.

Careful, you are sitting in a room where a lot of what I just warned you about happens.

The body of Christ will never grow if the Pastor is the one using his gifts to MAKE IT grow through some cool program or inspiring turn of a phrase.

You must spend time with God and God’s word ourselves.

Yes, Training yourself to be Godly means spending time in church and listening to what God has laid on the heart of others, but what Paul is telling us is that we need to spend time in training ourselves to be able to “labor and strive” for ourselves. Paul compares it to physical training.

This summer we have a 5 and 10 K run here at The Crossing.  If I’m going to run in that competition I can’t have Chris Greuter run it for me. That is obvious.

But what isn’t so obvious is that even if I want to understand the race I can’t just talk to these people who run it. I have to run the race myself. If I want to understand the experience of the race or run it well I have to start training now.

·       Read about what it takes

·       Make a training plan

·       Speak to people who have done it

·       Get up and run everyday

·       Eat right

·       Appear on time

·       Be properly hydrated

 

 

A quiet time might be one example.

Is having a consistent quiet time the result of godliness, evidence of godliness, or training toward godliness?

Is it the goal, or the means to the goal?

I would argue that it is all the above.  Time with God is the goal, but oddly enough time with God is what makes us closer to God.

Training is not the race. But running is the part of the training.

How are you doing these days in your time alone with God?

Real runners laugh at those people who show up in perfect suit, with the newest latest drinking bottle, the head bands, the $300 shoe, and yet don’t appear have any idea how to run the race. They don’t warm up, they bolt out from the starting gate, they talk about the great plan they have and who they know. Their witness is a joke to those who know.

If anyone followed them they would be lost.

11Command and teach these things. 12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

So as Paul has taught us it is our job to train for this race and to run the good race.

We have said again and again that you may be the only bible that people will ever read.

When they do will they be reading an Old Testament that tells them of a set of rules that they must follow:

·       Dress up

·       Don’t Dance

·       Sing only these songs

Or will they be reading about a relationship of Love with a living God.

·       Come be a part of God’s Family

·       I Love You

·       God Loves you

·       God Love Me

·       Follow Jesus

·       Obey God

Make sure that as people read the book that is your life that it is the result of good training. If you will you will save not just your life, but the life of others.

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About toddcbrown

The body of Christ will never grow if the Pastor is the one using his gifts to MAKE IT grow through some cool program or inspiring turn of a phrase.
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