CONTEXT: Chapters 3 and 4 of Galatians are all about Theology and the final chapters (5 and 6) the application of that in a person’s life. Matthew Henry describes this Chapter as an earnest exhortation to stand fast in the liberty of the gospel. (1-12) To take heed of indulging a sinful temper. (13-15)And to walk in the Spirit, and not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh: the works of both are described. (16-26)
Paul sets up our text for today by v.13-15 describing bitterness between brothers in Christ. He says simply that instead of surrendering to your natural lust of the flesh by lashing out at one another, Walk in the Spirit.
If we are truly that new creature (creation)2 Corinthians 5:17then turn not to the old ways but the new. Turn to the Holy Spirit to guide us in our times of weakness.
Luther said he feared his own heart, more than Pope or Cardinal. The heart is the fomenter of sin. It mints evil thoughts-and blows up the coals of fiery passions. It is the Trojan horse out of which comes a whole army of lusts! Shall we not fight the good fight, and discharge with the fire of zeal against this bosom traitor, the flesh! The primitive Christians chose rather to be destroyed by lions without-than by lusts within! – Thomas Watson
CONTEXT: In the final chapter of 2 Timothy, Paul writes about two major themes. The first is quite obvious the importance of preaching the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:1–8). The second section offers personal concerns and thoughts to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:9–22).
In order to understand our text, we need to understand the previous verse, the Command or Charge (v.2) from Paul to Timothy to Preach the Word! He must be ready when it is convenient (in season) and inconvenient or troublesome to preach (out of season). He, Timothy must be ready to JUDGE those in error and point out their errors (reprove and rebuke). Finally, Timothy is to encourage, support, aid, and comfort the church (exhort) by using sound Biblical teaching (doctrine) and patient leadership (longsuffering).
Now our Text for Today (v.3) makes more sense, especially in today’s churches. Far too many folks have itchy ears and want whatever they can get out of a “worship” service. Somehow their Theology and Doctrine (these are almost 4 letter words in some evangelical circles) are all screwed up. They have placed themselves and their needs above God. 😥
Paul makes it clear to Timothy and it should be clear to everyone who stands behind a pulpit (or wherever they stand or sit today) The object of Worship, the Object of Preaching is Christ and Him crucified, not the folks in the pew. Churches are not places to bring the world into they are the House of God, Holy Sanctuaries, and should be treated as such. It is far too easy today to walk into many churches and be confused thinking it is an amusement park.
” If a teacher fascinates with his doctrine, his teaching never came from God. The teacher sent from God is the one who clears the way to Jesus and keeps it clear; souls forget altogether about him because the vision of Jesus is the only abiding result. When people are attracted to Jesus Christ through you, see always that you stay on God all the time, and their hearts and affections will never stop at you.”
In its simplest terms, evangelism means to announce or proclaim the “Good News.”Evangelism is NOT about:
Your personal testimony
Inviting someone to church
It is not social gatherings or entertainment
It is not apologetics or defending Biblical truths
Evangelism is all about Christ and what He did on Calvary for the redemption of sinners.
It is about communicating the Gospel
It is about relying on the work of the Holy Spirit to convict people
It is not about asking God, it about accepting God’s free invitation of Grace
It is not about people it is always about God and His Glory
In my study this morning I found there are books describing up to eight (8) types and methods of evangelism. Seriously, folks, the Bible gives us all we need in one method/type, it says share Christ and Him crucified. All this movement towards what is current in the world is the WRONG direction for the church. We are told NOWHERE in the Bible to bring the world into the church, we are however told to go forth into the world.
The twelve apostles included “Andrew” (Matt. 10:2).
Leading others to Christ should be a top priority in your life.
Andrew was Peter’s brother and a native of Bethsaida of Galilee. From the very start we see him leading people to Christ—beginning with his own brother.
The gospel of John records his first encounter with Jesus: “John [the Baptist] was standing with two of his disciples (Andrew and John), and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. . . . One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (John 1:35-37, 40-42). Later Jesus called both Andrew and Peter to become His disciples, and they immediately left their fishing nets to follow Him (Matt. 4:20).
Our next glimpse of Andrew is in John 6:8-9. It was late in the day and thousands of people who were following Jesus were beginning to get hungry, but there wasn’t enough food to feed them. Then Andrew brought to Jesus a young boy with five barley loaves and two fish. From that small lunch Jesus created enough food to feed the entire crowd!
Andrew also appears in John 12:20-22, which tells of some Greeks who were traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast. They came to Philip and requested to see Jesus. Philip took them to Andrew, who apparently took them to Jesus.
Andrew didn’t always know how Jesus would deal with a particular person or situation, but he kept right on bringing them to Him anyway. That’s a characteristic every believer should have. Your spiritual gifts might differ from others, but your common goal is to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20), and that begins with leading sinners to Christ. Make that your priority today!
Suggestions for Prayer
When was the last time you told an unbeliever about Jesus? Pray for an opportunity to do so soon.
For Further Study
Do you know how to present the gospel clearly and accurately? As a review read Romans 3:19-28, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Ephesians 2:8-10, and Titus 3:4-7.
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra – which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
My aim in this sermon is to honor motherhood and in this way glorify Jesus Christ who designed it, created it, and blessed it by his incarnation in Mary’s womb and by his words from the cross to John, in one of the most beautiful acts of final care for Mary: “[John], Behold your mother” (John 19:27)…
This may seem a bit of a strange way to start a devotional but it struck me this morning as I was reading my daily devotionals that God’s Army is much like the Army I (and Gen. Patton) served in. There were leaders, followers, some who stood by the wayside (out of the way) watching the world pass them by and I will add a 4th category, those who collaborate with the enemy who loves the world so much they will turn on their neighbors.
Like all good Armies, God’s Army needs leaders too. The first of such was Peter. John MacArthur’s devotional does an excellent job of making this point:
Building a Leader: The Right Experiences (Peter)
The twelve apostles included “Simon, who is called Peter” (Matt. 10:2).
Your present experiences contribute to your future leadership ability.
Stan Carder is a dear brother in Christ and one of the pastors on our church staff. Before coming to Grace Church he pastored a church in Montana. While there, he was riding one night in a truck that was involved in a very serious accident. Stan suffered a broken neck and other major injuries. As a result he underwent months of arduous and painful therapy.
That was one of the most difficult periods in Stan’s life, yet God used it for a specific purpose. Today, as pastor of our special-ministries department, Stan ministers to more than 500 physically and mentally handicapped people. God needed a man with unique qualifications to show love to a group of very special people. He chose Stan and allowed him the necessary experiences to fit him for the task.
God doesn’t always permit such serious situations, but He does lead each of us into life-changing experiences that heighten our effectiveness in ministry.
Peter had many such experiences. In Matthew 16:15-16, for example, God gave him a special revelation about the deity of Christ. In Acts 10 God sent him to preach the gospel to Gentiles—something unheard of at the time because Jewish people resisted any interaction with Gentiles. Perhaps the most tragic experience of Peter’s life was his denial of Christ. But even that only increased his love for Christ and his appreciation of God’s grace. After His resurrection, Christ forgave him and restored him to ministry (John 21:15-19).
Peter’s many experiences helped prepare him for the key role he was to play in the early church. Similarly, your experiences help prepare you for future ministry. So seek to discern God’s hand in your circumstances and rejoice at the prospect of becoming a more effective Christian.
Suggestions for Prayer
Thank God for both the good and bad experiences you have, knowing that each of them is important to your spiritual growth (cf. James 1:2-4).
For Further Study
Read Acts 10, noting what Peter learned from his experience.
One of many famous historical theologians we use for inspiration in our work is none other than the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon is known for being one of the most influential ministers of his time, and furthering the spread of Christianity throughout England. This month, we’ll be examining his legacy and the role he played in contributing to reformed Christianity…
Recently, researchers at State University of New York determined that descendants of immigrants to the United States typically lost the ability to speak their mother tongue by the third generation. Something similar, but far more serious, seems to be happening with Christians in an increasingly post-Christian culture. Each successive generation is losing the understanding of, not to mention the will to live by, Christian sexual morality…
Roman Empire Persecutions “Early Christians … carried into the Coliseum to make a spectacle for those more savage than the beasts”-William Jennings Bryan
“A report ordered by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt … Christians were the most persecuted religious group … Mr. Hunt said he felt that ‘political correctness’ had played a part in the issue not being confronted …The interim report said the main impact of “genocidal acts against Christians is exodus” and that Christianity faced being “wiped out” from parts of the Middle East …Evidence shows not only the geographic spread of anti-Christian persecution but also its increasing severity.”
The Christian church was born into persecution from an anti-Christian one-world government — the Roman Empire…