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Showing posts from January, 2014

1 Timothy 4:11-16 – A Good Servant of Jesus Christ, Part 2

It is important to note that when Paul encourages Timothy to be a “good minister of Jesus Christ,” he uses the word diakonos, which is the word for deacon and which has the more general meaning of “servant.” By following Paul's instructions, Timothy will be a good servant of Christ. Though Timothy's service involved carrying out Paul's program for the church at Ephesus as his apostolic representative, every believer ought to have a holy ambition to be a good servant of Christ. And though Paul's instructions were intended to help Timothy in his role as apostolic representative, his words speak to us as well, regardless of whether we are in the ministry in an official capacity or not.
In other words, I think it is easy for believers to read a passage like this and think, “Oh, these verses are for teaching elders in the church,” and to skip over them rather quickly. While it is true that pastors ought to pay careful attention to these words, I believe that God is speak…

A Good Servant of Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 4:6-10

Philip Ryken, in his commentary on this passage, tells the story of the funeral of the nineteenth century Princeton theologian Charles Hodge. A champion of the Reformed faith, he was a very gifted man and he used his gifts to teach and defend the gospel. His Systematic Theology is still read to this day. Another famous theologian, John Murray, read Hodge's theology until its pages were well worn. But Hodge was more than a brilliant academic. More importantly, he was a good and godly man. On the day of his funeral, all the shops in Princeton were closed in recognition of his life. One of his former students, William Paxton, gave this tribute to Hodge: “When due allowance is made for his intellect and his learning, after all his chief power was in his goodness. Christ enshrined in his heart was the centre of his theology and his life. The world will write upon his monument GREAT; but we, his students, will write upon it GOOD.”1
On the other hand, it is said that Napoleon cla…

Some Shall Depart From the Faith -- 1 Timothy 4:1-5

The Reality of Apostasy

As we come to the end of this year and anticipate a new one, it is common to be looking forward to new commitments and new hopes. However, to successfully advance in the new year with new goals, it is equally important to look for the potential pitfalls which might lie in the way. For the Christian, it is imperative to understand the wiles of the devil and to anticipate the temptations that might lie ahead. One of the greatest of all is the temptation to forsake the Lord for the passing pleasures of this age. The seductive power of worldliness tugs at each of our hearts and whispers in our ear that present comforts are more important than future hopes. It is this danger that I want to address this morning.

In the Lord of the Rings, the “one Ring to rule them all” had to be entrusted to a hobbit named Frodo to be taken to Mount Doom and delivered into its fires to be destroyed. The reason was because the Ring corrupted everyone else who came into contact wit…