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Showing posts from August, 2013

GOD: the Maker of Vintage Christianity (1 Timothy 1:11,17)

In Matthew 18, Jesus asks us to put ourselves in the place of the servant who owed his master 10,000 talents. To think about how much this is, consider the fact that in that day one talent represented about 20 years’ wages (ESV note on Matthew 18:24). Thus, 10,000 talents represents about 200,000 years’ wages. In today’s terms, if a yearly wage is $15,000 (this guy was a slave, after all), then 200,000 years’ wages = $3,000,000,000. There is no way the servant could pay his master back. (Actually, the Gk word for “ten thousand” is the word from which we get “myriad.” The emphasis here is not so much on the exact amount, but the fact he owed a LOT of money. If the ten thousand amount is not enough to impress you, you may substitute any sufficiently large number.) 
Now suppose that the other servant who owed 100 denarii (in modern monetary units, this would be about $2000) to the servant who owed 3 billion dollars came to him and offered to pay his debt for him. Such an offer …

Gospel: The Message of Vintage Christianity (1 Timothy 1:8-17)

One of the reasons we are studying this epistle is to learn what the Christianity of the first-century was all about. We are calling it “vintage Christianity.” And this epistle is a good place to learn about this, especially because Paul was concerned at the end of his ministry to leave behind a legacy of faithful, apostolic churches. If we want to stand in this tradition, we need to hear what Paul had to say.
Last time, we learned that the mark of vintage Christianity is love. Paul wanted Timothy to stop the false-teachers because their doctrine was undermining love. However, love doesn't just come out of nowhere. It comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. The fact that love and faith are always mentioned together shows that you cannot have biblical love operating in the church unless it is comes from faith, which is based on The Faith, the gospel. Thus, you cannot have vintage Christianity without the gospel. It is the message of genuine Christian…