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May 19, 2019 1:00 am
Will grab your Bible to go to first Timothy you are visiting with us today were preaching through the New Testament book of first Timothy would come to first Timothy chapter 2 verse Timothy chapter 2. This is a rather unique message for a day will we take the Lord's supper, but not really, not really. When we look at it often. I will preach about the Lord's table. We take it, but I put this off already for a week and I want to get into it.
However, because were doing so much this morning. I'll have to make this a two-parter first Timothy chapter want to read the beginning in verse one Paul writes the senior pastor if you will, writes to his young understudy Timothy who is put over the church at Ephesus and he's writing to him to instruct him. So in first Timothy chapter 2 verse one he says. First of all, then I urge that entreaties and prayers and petitions and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men for kings and all who are in authority so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of our God and Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. There is one God and one mediator also between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all the testimony given at the proper time. This, I was appointed a preacher and an apostle. I am telling the truth, I'm not lying as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and dissension were talking about beautifying the bride because what Paul is doing in writing to Timothy is telling him how he's the fashion the and function. The local church how the church is to be according to God's word and we come to chapter 2 and we see he's continuing course it is exhortation is to Timothy about the local church that we make no apology here for being strongly centered on the church that is the local church because the church is the centerpiece of God's purposes and God's glory for time and eternity.
Jesus came to build his church.
Matthew 1618 also say to you that you are Peter upon this rock that's the rock of his statement that he is the Christ the son of the living God on the rock of that truth.
Jesus says I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Jesus is about building his church. The Bible also reminds us that the church is his prized purchase Bible tells us the church is his bride. And he's the groom Bible tells us the church is his body, and he is the head and remind ourselves of Ephesians chapter 3 verse 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. The church is the centerpiece of God's purposes and God's glory both for time and eternity will be a lot of things, it will not be in existence in the eternal state. When we all get to heaven we will not know each other as families and husband-and-wife in heaven. The Bible says but we will be together as the church, the called out once the bride of Christ. You see, the church is not one of many. The church is the one and only. All enterprises that are under undertaken for God and that will matter for eternity are to be connected to and contending for the church. The local church. All that is not gospel ball spirit raw and local church established will not remain with the church is that entity that remains forever now in review through chapter 1, Paul was writing to Timothy about false teachers there were something sneaked into the church year and begin teaching things that sounded like good Christianity, but it was actually a twist or a spin on things and it was false.
These false teachers not only teach unsound doctrine. They also are prone to fall into immoralities and they begin to misuse leadership grows for self pleasure for self power and for self profit. So Paul tells Timothy in chapter 1 we board seen this, you must confront these men and call them to repentance and if they do not repent, there to be excommunicated from the church. These false teachers can cause great severe damage to God's local church, then we get to chapter 2.
Our text for today and he says now. First of all, having said all that I've said about you cleaning up some bad teaching and bad teachers in the local church at Ephesus now want to talk about that all important spiritual discipline of prayer.
So I call this a prayer God for the church is not the prayer God.
The Bible has a lot of things to say about prayer, but it is an important prayer God for the local church. The prayer is essential to the building up and to the good of God's church. Note I let's start off by noting that Paul tells Timothy make sure you're praying for all their simple truth. Make sure you're praying for all he said I want you to lift up prayers on behalf of all men now get to this and elaborate more in a moment but evidently the church at Ephesus where Timothy's pastoring is gotten out of balance.
They've gotten to inwardly focused and I have forgotten. Not only do they pray for one another in this difficult world there to pray for everyone else to first of all, he gives Timothy a dissection of prayer breaks prayer down in the various parts look at it there in verse 20 says all urge that entreaties and prayers on talk about the word prayer first. This word is a unique word and it's only used in the New Testament to refer to addressing God is talking about that holy and sacred activity.
Prayer is a sacred duty and a sacred blessing, prayer is a holy duty and a holy blessing. We get to pray. Our prayers are effective because we go through the son of God, Jesus Christ. Many men pray, but only one prayer is heard. That's the prayer that goes through the agency of Christ Jesus our Lord.
So it's a great wonderful blessing privilege and a duty that we are to be involved in then uses the word entreaties I want entreaties to be made on behalf of all men and entreaty here has the idea of expressing a need, pray to God about what you see is a need in pray this for all men and all men's the event has the word petition. I want you to petition this means to take up the calls.
It can have the idea of being persistent. Then he adds to that Thanksgiving always with thanksgiving. We see this throughout the Scriptures that however we go to God and however we entreat the Lord our petition the Lord.
We always have that flavored with a humble, grateful heart for all he's done for us and for all that he is family think about entreaties and petitions and Thanksgiving all part of our prayers.
These different parts are ready, like bodily organs that are interdependent and interrelated. They blend together.
It's really impossible sometimes to know where one stops and the other began. I dissection of prayer. Secondly, let's notice the direct action of prayer where our prayers to be directed what he just kicks off here in chapter 2 saying I want you to be praying on behalf of all men should typically make sure in the church.
You guys are praying for the needs of all men. That's interesting.
And again I thought. I agree with the scholars that surmise that what was probably happening as is that the church at Ephesus here that Timothy's pastoring had gotten out of balance. You heard me talk about balance. That balance is important for not careful, get on one truth. The Bible clearly teaches, we start to ride that horse to the exclusion of another truth. It's equally important will.
Evidently the church at Ephesus had gotten inwardly focused and really concerned about themselves and that's not wrong. That is your major priority is a Christian your local church but they had forgotten that. Also they need to pray for others about about this way know where the church. The Greek word for churches Aquila CA means God's called out once God called us out of the world, God, God called us out of the real Mets overseen by Satan and wickedness and evil were to be an oasis of holiness and insanity and morality work to help and serve administering careful in and of that's all true, all biblical but I think what Paul is telling Timothy. Is this even though you are an assembly called out from the world and what is most important to you should be your local church and its ministries.
That does not mean you no longer have to function in this world were still God's church in the world that one day we will not be one day will be his glorified bride and everything else will be banished and removed but were not there yet. And perhaps that's with the church at Ephesus needs to be reminded of. Here's what I think we need to think about that the well-being of our society, our culture does indeed affect the well-being of the church. Did you hear that remind ourselves a listen.
We are right now God's called out assembly God's church, but we are in the world. Paul tells Timothy Timothy. Be reminded to remind the church that while you are focused on your sales and that's proper. Don't forget that the well-being of the local church to some degree is contingent upon the well-being of the culture that you are in Ellis get the context of this particular situation right now. Of course enrollment rules, the known world in Rome was not a godly government. Trust me, me. Rome was the Roman Emperor at this time and the row was a particularly evil, violent and cruel man may roll among murdering others of his own family even murdered his own mother overpower and control issues in the Empire.
You might remember from reading history that there was a great fire enrollment in A.D. 64. Many people speculated Nero himself set the fire because he'd been talking about expanding his already palatial Palace. He wanted more room to build even a grander Palace and he need to remove some things out of the way for you to set the fire burning.
At least that's what the gossypol may roll understanding this was going around. He needed a skate so Nero diverted the blame for this fire to another group that was a particularly easy target. This was a group that was despised by the culture for their doctrine and for their lifestyle.
What group was it Nero made the scapegoat Christians the church. Nero pronounces the Christians who did this is the Christians who started this fire, and so systemic terrible persecution broke out against believers against the church of Jesus Christ. You might remember reading about how Nero had polls put throughout Rome and he had Christians hung on poles he put oil on them and lit them on fire to lock the streets of Rome and not that's what these folks have been through so we can understand perhaps in that contents because many of them believe Nero was the antichrist and the and was about to come and we can understand that there go through horrible horrible persecution. So when Paul writes to Timothy and says pray for all of your leaders, even those out there in the world. You can instantly posted us pray for Nero piece of the antichrist. He's of Satan all limits of Satan truth which are out of balance, God in his sovereignty can bless you and use you. Even in a satanic world that got God not use the wicked and evil King Cyrus of Persia, after he conquered the Babylonians to sin the children of Israel back home to rebuild their temple and worship God properly. Do you understand God can make a straight line with the crooked stick God sovereign over all things are.
Paul reminds Timothy be praying for all have your balance. The Bible reminds us in Galatians 610 that were to do good for all men as we can, but especially for those of the household of the faith. So that's the balance.
I think Paul was writing to Timothy about is the balance we need to walk in but we know are primarily to take care of one another in God's church, but we also have concerns for the culture around us. As you remember just what a few weeks ago we had a terrible flood in our area and some of our church members were affected in an army of our church members and by the wound was glad to hear a man outside of our church heard about some of our church members houses being really destroyed almost by the flood and immediately that man is not a member, the church said the army of grace life church will be there tomorrow watches.
I like it that it's known in the community that we take care of each other and we went to those folks houses after the floodwaters resided and there was an army of men and some ladies working just roughly off the top of my head I would estimate army and put in 300 hours of work capping those families. I think everything is back the way it ought to be. Now we help them in some other ways.
Also, but we also help some of the neighbors around our church members who needed help with some sheet rock up and finish the God's basement.
We just told it wouldn't do that as a gift to you and we don't fly these matters a lot but that's what we like to do were to take care of the household of the faith, but as we can ministering care for others.
Also, do you get the balance church think that's where Paul was getting to with Timothy yes take care of one another. But remember pray for all of those outside of the church also now II praying that governing authorities would bring blessings upon the church. This might be unusually new not save this is sort of a practical thing you who really invented the term spiritual common sense. The Puritans, the most devoted biblical people of the past 2000 years.
The Puritans used to talk about Christian or spiritual common sense sometimes think if you just think about it there very practical and commonsensical and so that's where I think Paul's getting to hear you're in this life you're in this culture the power that these are non-Christian hate your morals hate your values. Hate what you stand for, but pray for them that God not move on them so that you can function as you need to function in this world to say words here are. Let's see in verses verse two, he says pray for kings and all who are in authority are in high positions so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity so that when he says to the kings and all who are authority again to these Ephesians have suffered such vicious persecution from their Emperor. They might've thought really Paul were supposed to pray for these people there slaughtering us. Yes your frightful you to pray to a specific endo-.
He says pray for these that we might lead a tranquil life in quietness and all godliness and reverence. Pray that God would so mark in your leaders in your culture that the church might be blessed because God can do that cannot confess to you, grace life church this morning. I failed here. I do pray for our leaders but I want to be more fervent and more faithful and more diligent in appealing to God that he would so work in our world leaders.
Specifically, our country's leaders that the church can go on and do what God's called her to do.
First of all leases pray for these kings and all who in authority says that we not leave a tranquil life. The word tranquil has the idea of stillness.
It means that we as the church are functioning with no need to run and no need to fret.
It speaks of a piece within pray that they will so legislated rule in your country that Christians in their churches will feel the need to run or be fretting over anything basis.
Pray that we do have a quiet life this it has the idea of being undisturbed. No bother from without first about pray that you have a tranquil peace with the EN built by the way those governing authority to rule and you'll have a piece in that you're not fretting about anything that might come in from outside of you that he says in all godliness that is to live out our Christian convictions and our gospel duties in the church and in the world and then with reverence in a way that honors and pleases the Lord. So let's summarize what is telling Timothy here. Pray for all of your leaders in your country that you might carry out your service to Christ in a respectable night manner not disturbed or hindered by governing authorities pray that we as the church can continue as Christians in this world in peace without molestation's troubles or problems from those on the outside. The notice is not say he's not at this point we get to that in a moment. Beside this point say pray that all your leaders will be godly Christians.
That's a good thing. Pray will get to that in a moment. Right now he's saying even if you live under an ungodly new row for a very flawed arrogant Donald Trump pray that he would so administrate feeling so advanced policies that he would so appoint judges that the charts can go on doing her job.
Standing on her convictions. Without threats, disturbances and molestation from the government with the church that you know I said I'm not entitled this wild voted for Donald Trump. He may be in the role like in some ways, but God can use Nero type guys even to bless good stuff though we don't approve of some of his personal carrying zone and immoralities and shenanigans but not to be fair to Donald Trump. He stated to me and that I have some respect for the he's changed. He's not the man he used to be. I don't know about that. I didn't know this. I wouldn't give you half a nickel for his chances to be a real Christian. No menaces. I've never told anybody.
I'm sorry I don't think you know Christ. But I do think it's possible for God to use a man like that to the benefit and the blessing of God's church. That's what Paul is telling Timothy to pray for you.
Remember the Colorado Baker Jack Phillips. This man owns a bakery he's a devout Christian and he refused to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding state of Colorado sues him case goes all the way the Supreme Court the Supreme Court ruled strongly in Jack's favor. Then he comes back and they set them up again some transgendered come in and they want to transgendered themed birthday cake made Jack Phillips says again because of my Christian convictions. I can't bless that are promote that in the state of Colorado file suit again. But understand, now they had dropped that suit Jack Phillips can understand this.
Pray pray that all in authority over us will leave us alone. Let us go on with our convictions in our beliefs and our principles without molesting us and hindering us so we can function with a tranquil and quiet spirit in all godliness and reverence for next time somebody tells you how you're supposed to vote, go this text right here and say this is what God told Paul to tell Timothy were to base our voting on the Scriptures. Proverbs 21 verse one the king's heart is like channels of water in the hands of the Lord. He turns it wherever he wishes. We can seek God and he can get a hold of the president's heart, taking into go a hold of the Supreme Court justices, hearts, and turn them to favor God's work in God's people. Here's a quick church. I've confessed my lack are you diligently trying for key's and all who are in authority, there is this notion going around in some Christian circles that if a person personally has a a a in a moral lifestyle that there's no way Christian should ever support them but just clearly not what the Bible say sure if I have the right biblical policies and biblical convictions and biblical programs that are going to implement and they are individually a good Christian. Got my vote. Unfortunately, we don't always have that choice doing. Unfortunately, the Ephesians did have that choice because nobody was going to vote Nero out of office. They could pray. Here's what second century theologian highly respected early church father turned her Trillian said about this whole thing. He said without ceasing the he's under the Roman Empire cotillion. What second century A.D., without ceasing for all of our emperors. We offer prayer we pray for life prolonged for security to the Empire for protection to the imperial house for brave armies, a faithful Senate a virtuous people and a world at rest.
That's what early church father Tertullian said about this Texas high were for the pray for a very ungodly government Roman government of this day.
Tertullian further stated that persecutions of the Roman empire are rather the preservation I should say of the Roman empire was better than Rome being overcome by her enemies. He says of all that's going on in the world when I see all the wickedness of Rome. I see worse out of the other enemies that would come against Rome and for the church to do the best she can have my brother Rome be preserved and not that of the bunch. Power as bad as romance. There better than the other ones sound like the lesser of two evils. To me that's where we focus everything you do in life is the lesser of two evils when you got married. You pick the lesser of two or 48 evils because there are no perfect people were all fallen. We all have a evil part of us. Some of you go out and go to work these young people you'll fixing job is so this is got these five I think this is got to bad things. I'll take the lesser of the evils. That's the way it is in a fallen world and we can pontificate about all these high and lofty things about well not cast a vote if they're not Billy Graham within your just giving leadership to those who would harass and persecute the church fertility and continues and I quote, we have no desire then to be overtaken by these dire events.
That means Rome's enemies overtake her and in praying that their coming may be delayed. We are lending our aid to Rome's duration. Tertullian said we hope the Empire of Rome under Nero continues.
All because it would be better than anything else. We see out there as far as the church is concerned this could be church. You know its chief on God's heart is chair and when you implore God on behalf of the good of his church. I'm telling you God he or she got.
Here's to believe all this is in the Bible and the word of God. Good helplessness and I am on Nat's hair away. I use it a lot like going that's here I am in Nat's hair away from diving right into the Republican platform in the Democratic platform and Donald Trump and other things because it's exec said preacher stay out of politics of static politics. When the word of God didn't address what's going on politically I don't have time so you'll have to get it next time I'm sorry it cannot charge you before we present these dear not start a church missing. What am I joining this morning the sky, church is this I tell you what is it's a biblical church because that's what the word of God says to get amen there church that's with the word of God's. Here's what I want to remind you of this morning. You may read online and hear people that are supposed to be brilliant and great leaders may been where the cloak of their profits that you can't support this president can support this government because individually there's a lot of corrupt and evil things that I don't support any of that. But if the positions are helpful to the cause of Christ and his church. That's what I must support this difference between embracing the individual and supporting the positions and that's what Paul's telling Timothy. That's what our early for church father turned to leave and was talking about. Well, if you want to be a faithful Christian discipline yourself to pray for our kings and all who are in authority for the good of the church and the glory of God is a lot more to pray will get to that next time we're together. All right, Lord willing