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Body Life: 1 Timothy 6:1-5

LASTING INSTRUCTION: The Letter of 1 Timothy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:37
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1 Timothy Lasting Instruction: Body Life: 1 Timothy 6:1-5 Pastor John Weathersby Sunday April 7, 2019 The question we’ll be left with today after we study 1 Timothy 6:1-5 becomes are we trying to re-locate, to re-align or are we resolving to be Godly for our short stay, to stick out purposefully, and to bring God glory and create a godly gravity? But we’ll get there through a passage that feels difficult, because of where we are in history, and where we are in the world. If we put our American Citizen in 2019 hat on - it can even be difficult, this text. We need to ask, how do I understand this text as: A) A Christian B) Today Know this - this passage should hit you, perhaps hurt you, but toughen you up. We’ll start here - we’re aliens - Acts 7:6 (ESV) 6 And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. God’s people are sojourners according to Wuest here “A sojourner, one who dwells in a foreign country, a temporary dweller not having a settled habitation in the place where he currently resides”. I think we need to remember this about ourselves. We’re not permanently settled here because this is not a permanent situation for anyone. Rather, our tenure on earth is time-bound. Church, Christian - do you ever feel that way? Almost an uncomfortable unease in this life? You’re not of this place: John 17:14–16 (ESV) Jesus says: 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. There is a danger for us to take on a “citizen of the world” view and that can color texts like this - or even color us as we read texts like today’s and make this a trouble text whereas this should be a reassuring text - viewed as a Christian today should reassure us, I’m not of this world I’m of God’s kingdom, and THAT is why I feel so different. I want us to clearly see the slave/sojourner view is a Biblical - it’s dark here. Ephesians 2:18–20 (ESV) 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, There are those who would have us believe we as Christians need to right every wrong in the world, and to the Christian heart that can resonate. We know a great God who is grace and love and who has forgiven us of so great a debt, we want everyone to know the peace we have. However, scripture paints us a different picture. As we prepare to see 1 Timothy 6:1-5 through: a) A Christian view b) Today’s lens, lets make one more stop: 1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV) 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. This helps me to balance the worlds plight - because if my Christianity was balanced on fixing the woes of the world I’d lose our faith because God would be demonstrably failed, I mean just look around… 1 Timothy 6:1–2 (ESV) 1 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. So how do I understand this text as: A) A Christian B) Today Paul speaks to the individual believer each in their own circumstances the slave under a yoke, these are those who’s master is NOT a believer and perhaps they are because of this distinction in a tougher circumstance - as someone concerned with how their alien participation in life is a reflection of the God they worship. Our temporary alien status endures life with an aim that God’s glory radiate clearly through each of us - without regard for our location or circumstances, this is true of the slave under the yoke of a non-believing master. Some estimates state that in large cities like Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus up-to 1/3 of the population would be slaves. According to historians, inscriptions indicate that most slaves under these systems were freed in the manumission system were freed by age 30. Slaves in this system could hold political office and some people would sell themselves INTO slavery in exchange for gaining their Roman Citizenship. In other locations we read of slavery more and the balance between saving knowledge and the believing body’s position as slaves Ephesians 6:5-8, Colossians 3:22-25, and Philemon 16. Ephesians 6:5-8 (ESV) Bondservants and Masters 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Colossians 3:22-25 (ESV) 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Philemon 16 (ESV) 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. While we often hear of the distinction between American slavery and Roman slavery I think we rest on that too heavily - Paul draws distinction between under the yoke and not, this is not some glamor slavery in Rome it can be every bit as harsh as the word slavery commands - this is why, we MUST catch the weight this text demands, there is something about Christendom, about what we know as Christians and what we enjoy as believers that transcends the circumstances of this life. And the final verses of our text hammer that home… For the early Church in these areas this topic of bondservant hood/slavery was top of mind as many of the members of the body of the Church WERE bondservants/slaves or freedmen having experienced manumission. Paul’s focus for these folks is not a revolution of enlightened Christians, rather a resolve to honor and magnify God IN their circumstances - how do we understand this a) as Christians b) today? We’re aliens, not builders of Christian utopia, sojourners in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-16) How are you honoring God where you are? Are you OPEN to making God honoring sacrifices exactly where you are right now - or are you a foot pounding toddler who needs God to give you everything you want, swaddle you, shove a warm bottle in your mouth and rock you gently BEFORE you’ll love, honor, respect, and obey him? Do you believe that your okayness (I know that’s not a word and I don’t care) with your circumstances demonstrates your peace with God, your satisfaction in him, and shows your applied-awareness that this is NOT your home? Remember, Paul is showing Timothy and showing the Church by way of instruction how we’re to live as believers - and while this my not be our issue, we have our issues. Paul gives a since of living together peaceably with a joint understanding as believers that we desire to show the Glory of God and His goodness in all circumstances. As we live together in a community we’d have a compassion and internal love for one another that would radiate out into the rest of the world around us, do we? That’s how we understand this as a) Christians and b) today - that we live as a mixed Church community knowing no early socioeconomic boundaries who are joint respecters of each other as people, who know we’re not citizens of this world, but above all else, want to know God glorified greatly! What in your life, circumstance, comfort, want/need, can visibly die for a watching world for God’s glory? There is something about Christendom, about what we know as Christians and what we enjoy as believers that transcends the circumstances of this life. And the final verses of our text hammer that home… 1 Timothy 6:3 (ESV) 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, Don’t take this text away from Paul’s address of living slaves in the body of Christ. What are those teachings that Jesus sound words that accord with godliness? I go back to: John 17:14–16 (ESV) Jesus says: 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. When we gather, we love and regard and revere one another because we’re children of God who know Him in Christ. Position, and value in and by the world gives no additional value to us who are God’s children. We transcend the world because we’re not of it. I remember a famous artist once was considering attending our church in New Mexico as a member, if I said his name you’d most likely know it, he requested a special seat with some protection from the congregation and a door behind the sanctuary he could enter and exit using - the answer was no, and he chose another church. The Church is the Body of Christ. That is so much more amazing and to be cherished over any status the world could ever give - we recognize not accolades by a sin-sick dead world, rather we elevate God. THIS IS THE POINT OF THIS TEXT If you get goofy here and try to get Paul off the hook, and try to make God not support slavery (which is awful) you take the important edge off what Paul is saying. Do you think he talked about slavery to the Romans and they went well, our slaves have it pretty good - we’re UBER nice? No, they’re possessions. There is something about Christendom, about what we know as Christians and what we enjoy as believers that transcends the circumstances of this life. And the final verses of our text hammer that home. Paul continues about this person who teaches outside doctrine and the sound words of Christ: 1 Timothy 6:4–5 (ESV) 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Unhealthy craving - for what • Controversy • Quarrels about words that produce • Envy • Dissension • Slander • Evil • Suspicions • Constant friction among the depraved • Constant friction among those without truth, and • Who think Godliness is a way to gain Roll that back turbo - “who think godliness is a way to gain”. Stop the train. Lets do a few things here. If the puffed up person who understands nothing - things Godliness is gain, what does the humble person that knows God’s value is inherent because he’s good without respect to their circumstances. They think Godliness is what…. What in your life, circumstance, comfort, want/need, can visibly die for a watching world for God’s glory? Prayerfully consider this week, 1 Timothy 6:5 - what IS godliness if it isn’t gain? There is something about Christendom, about what we know as Christians and what we enjoy as believers that transcends the circumstances of this life. And the final verses of our text hammer that home. We started here - we’re aliens - Acts 7:6 (ESV) 6 And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. We’re ending there - we’re alien. Any attempt to align ourselves to life here, to satisfy ourselves from things that are of here, will be foreign. The question becomes are we trying to re-locate, to re align or are we resolving to be Godly for our short stay, to stick out purposefully, and to bring God glory and create a godly gravity? Pray: God will you expose in me: Unhealthy craving - for… • Controversy • Quarrels about words that produce • Envy • Dissension • Slander • Evil • Suspicions • Constant friction among the depraved • Constant friction among those without truth, and • Who think Godliness is a way to gain
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