Sunday, February 22, 2015

Paul's Letters to Timothy - Session - 3 - Chapter 2 Instructions on Worship and Barriers to Renewal


The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is studying Paul's pastoral Epistles (Letters) to his protege, Timothy.  These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments in the comments below. We welcome your thoughts and prayers.

Review

Last week as we continued our study of 1 Timothy Chapter 1 we discussed Paul’s testimony that before his Damascus Road experience with Jesus that he was like those false teachers in Ephesus that he told Timothy he needed to stop.

1 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

He believed that he served God by doing this. He did not know that what he was doing was wrong. Then on the way to Damascus Lord Jesus Christ showed mercy to him. And he forgave Paul for all that he had done and he could do the same even for those false teachers.

What Paul received from Jesus that day was the love of God into his life, so he was able to love the Lord as well. He once hated the Christians but now he loved them. What Timothy was to teach was love and how to cause that love to grow. What the false teachers were teaching was causing confusion rather than love.

1 Timothy 1:5 (HCSB) Now the goal of our instruction is love ⌊that comes⌋ from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Today's Study of Chapter 2

Today before we start into chapter 2 which is a chapter on worship and how men and women should interact with each other in worship let’s finish up chapter 1 by reading;

1 Timothy 1:18-20 (NKJV)18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Paul here is telling Timothy what he has to do which is to stop the false teachers and teach the truth and that is to have faith and a good conscience.  We talked about that last week.

We don't have an account of the prophecies that Paul was talking about but we can be pretty sure that God wanted Timothy to be and to do and what Paul is telling him.  Paul is agreeing with those prophecies and he encouraged Timothy to be strong.

Paul is eager that Timothy should continue to trust God. He wants Timothy to have a good conscience. To fight a good fight, faith and a clear conscience, are essential.

If you don't act as your conscience directs you it has a damaging effect on your faith in God. Then your life is like a ship that hits the rocks and sinks.

Paul gives an example of two men, Hymenaeus and Alexander. Haymenaeus is mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:17

2 Timothy 2:16-18 (NKJV)16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

Alexander may be the coopersmith mentioned in 2 Timothy

2 Timothy 4:14 (NKJV) Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.

Now let’s go on into chapter 2 of 1 Timothy.

But first do you ever have difficulty approaching God in prayer? 

The Christians in Ephesus did. The barriers to prayer described here are anger, an over-emphasis on appearance, and an inappropriate role for women. Having sized up the situation and reminded Timothy of his mission, Paul outlines first steps to dealing with the needs of the church.

1. The first century, like the twentieth, was loaded with religions. If you were asked why you believe Jesus Christ is the only way, what would you say?

We did not invent the claim of Jesus being the only way. This is not our claim; it is His. We are merely relating His claim, and the claim of the writers of the New Testament.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6, NASB) and, “For unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24, NASB). The apostle Peter echoed these words, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, KJV).

Paul agreed, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus… . ”(I Timothy 2:5, KJV). It is therefore the united testimony of the New Testament that no one can know God the Father except through the person of Jesus Christ.

2. What's the first thing Timothy should lead the Christians to do (1 Tim. 2:1-2)?


1 Timothy 2:1-2 (HCSB)1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

To pray!

He is talking here about public prayer remember Paul is writing Timothy and instructing him about worship in the church. There are 4 words that Paul uses for prayer they are in the King James supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanks.

Supplications means to make requests to God to meet needs. We see the needs of people. We should pray for them.

Prayers the usual word that we use when we bring to God all the things that trouble us. And then we ask him to guide us. We ask God to help us to know what is right. And we ask him to help us to know what we should do. We ask God for his general blessing and care for the people.

Intersessions We are like the agents on behalf of other people and come to God with an appeal on their behalf. We ask God to help and bless them.

Thanks We must always thank God. We thank him for all people. We thank him for all that he has done.

Who, specifically, are they/we to pray for?

They were to pray for everyone but specifically for those in authority so that we (the church, believers) could live a quiet life and worship is peace and safety.

At that time, it would have been for the emperor in Rome and all the minor rulers. The emperor was Nero, who was a very cruel man. Christians should pray for all those who govern them. They should pray for them, whether they are good or bad.

What the rulers do and say will affect the lives of all the people. The purpose in praying for them is that they will rule well. The prayer is that all that they do will be for the good of the people.

The Christians should pray that the rulers would allow them to live in peace. The reason for this desire is so that they can be free to worship and serve God. They want to be able to live good and honest lives. They want to be at peace with all the people. They want to be able to share what they believe with other people.

Plus God wants to save all sorts of people, including those who lead.   He wants them to come to know the truth. The truth of God will deliver them from all error.

3. Find all the times Paul says "all" and "everyone" (1 Tim. 2:1-6). What does the use of these terms communicate about God?

1 Timothy 2:1-6 (NKJV)1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

This prayer is acceptable to God because it is a prayer for all men and those in authority, so that the Church may witness effectively. God wants that through this witness of the church all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

4. Why do you think Paul emphasizes the word one in 1 Tim. 2:5?

1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)  For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

People may believe in many gods but there is only one real God. Many believe that there is only one God. But they do not know him. People can only know God by coming to him through  Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is God. And he came to show us what God was like. He became a man so that he could take us to God.

This is what it says in the Wycliffe Bible Commentary about verse 5;

An earlier verse (1:1) spoke of "God our Saviour." (1 Timothy 1:1 (NKJV)1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, )

Here Paul uses the terse formula, "One there is who is God; One also there is who is mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus." In Mt 19:17 the order of words and thought is the same. (Matthew 19:17 (NKJV)17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." )

"One there is who is good" (asv). The predicating of the good, and God, and mediator is exclusive and can be said of only one. Here is the sharpest and most unequivocal assertion of the deity and humanity of Christ. It is also involved in the idea of the one true and perfect mediator that he must be God (Hebrews 12:24 (NKJV)24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.   This one gave himself a substitute-ransom for all.

The point being made here is that the Mediator (Jesus) and God are one.

5. This entire chapter (1 Tim. 2) deals with worship. The church in Ephesus was probably a network of house churches. Their worship may have been patterned after the Jewish synagogues which separated men and women. What problem hindered the worship by men (1 Tim. 2:8) and by women 1 Tim 2:9 ?

1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV) I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NKJV) 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
Men and Women in Worship

How are men and women to behave and relate to one another in the church? This question and this particular passage have been on the minds of many in recent times. There are many today that believe that women should not be leaders in the church and certainly not teach or preach and they use these verses here and other places as evidence. But remember that here Paul is writing Timothy about worship in Ephesus. The other major reference that people point to is in Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth:

1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (HCSB) 2  Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3  But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4  Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5  But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. 6  So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered. 7  A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory. 8  For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. 9  And man was not created for woman, but woman for man. 10  This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11  In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. 12  For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God. 13  Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14  Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, 15  but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering.
16  But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 14:33-36 (HCSB) 33  since God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34  the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. 35  And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. 36  Did the word of God originate from you, or did it come to you only?

 Specific circumstances required Paul to answer the question asked above in specific ways. The concern here will not be to generalize those specifics but rather to set out the issues that Paul addressed and those that we must consider in the church today.

When Paul instructed men and women (some think husbands and wives were specifically in view) in his churches (the immediate problem was disturbances in the worship service. On the one hand, changing attitudes about the man-woman relationship led women to assert themselves in the worship service in ways that threatened unity and perhaps also reflected a disregard for biblical and cultural distinctions between men and women. Disruptions by women included inquiring about the meaning of prophecies  and teaching men (1 Tim 2:11-12). But the present passage also reveals that the anger and arguments of some men were contributing to the disruption of the church's worship service.

The Appropriate Demeanor of Men (2:8)

First, prayer that is acceptable must come from holy, purified hearts. The physical lifting of hands was important in the Jewish act of prayer. But the purity of the hands, originally a physical prerequisite to be fulfilled before one approached God came to be symbolic of the condition of the heart. 

Exodus 30:19-21 (HCSB) 19  Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet from the basin.
20  Whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister by burning up an offering to the LORD, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21  They must wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this is to be a permanent statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.” 

The early church understood such purity to be a condition of acceptable prayer 

James 4:8 (HCSB) 8  Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!  When we pray, our communication is with a holy God. He requires of us that we deal with our sins before making our approach.

Second, prayer that is acceptable must come from people in right relationship with one another. So Paul adds the stipulation that our prayer be without anger or disputing.

Because difficulties in our relationship with God or in our relationship with fellow believers can hinder our prayer.  The dissention and arguments are probably a result of the false teachers whose instructions cause confusion because they are not based on love but on the law, genealogies, and myths.  

1 Timothy 1:6-7 (HCSB) 6  Some have deviated from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion.
7  They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on. 

1 Timothy 6:3-5 (HCSB) 3  If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4  he is conceited, understanding nothing, but has a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, 5  and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.  

The Appropriate Demeanor of Women (2:9-15)

One source of the disruption being caused by women was their dress. Paul addresses this by drawing from the church's accepted teaching about the adornment of women 

1 Peter 3:3-5 (HCSB) 3  Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. 4  Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.
5  For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands,  

 He prescribes a manner of dress with three very similar terms stressing modesty and discretion (NIV modestly, with decency and propriety). His intention being to discourage women from dressing in a way that would distract men in the worship service.  Here's another thought, perhaps there was a problem of  insensitive women flaunting their dress, jewelry and hairstyles in a way that hurt the feelings of the poor and disturbed the church. The kinds of adornment mentioned (braided hair . . . gold . . . pearls . . . expensive clothes) all belonged to that culture's critical caricature of wealthy women.

Today do we, women and men sometimes dress to impress when coming to church and especially if we are going to a big church event.  Some of the dress and accessories, if we are honest, are distracting or designed to attract attention.  These things can be disruptive to the worship experience.

Paul, I don't believe, is saying here that you should not dress as your ability resources allow you to dress but to not dress in a manner where the dress will call attention to you.  When we worship our attention should be directed to Jesus and not to individuals.

6. Worship in the ancient world was a highly ritualized performance. From these verses, what do you think Paul considers to be crucial to worship?


First, prayer that is acceptable must come from holy, purified hearts.


Second, prayer that is acceptable must come from people in right relationship with one another.

Simply put, difficulties in our relationship with God or in our relationship with fellow believers can hinder our prayer.

7. How does this fit with Timothy's mission ?

1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV) For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 

That is where are attention should be directed not to disputes and dissensions or to dress or appearance.


8. In 1 Tim. 2:11-12, Paul forbids women to teach men. But in 1 Cor. 11:5, he tells them how to dress when they preach (or prophesy). How do you reconcile these texts?

1 Timothy 2:11-12 (NKJV)11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

Corinthians 11:5 (NKJV)  But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.

A question bearing on the interpretation of the Timothy passage is the degree to which Paul is countering effects of the false teaching. Two views should be introduced briefly.

Paul actually encourages women to learn, which sets him apart from his contemporaries in Judaism. But it is the manner in which they learn that will settle the disturbances they have been causing in the church: in quietness and full submission. Paul does not mean that women are to be absolutely silent during the service

Corinthians 11:5 (NKJV)  But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 

Rather, he instructs them to exhibit quietness (in spirit) instead of taking the lead, or to "be silent" in the sense of not teaching. Even as learners, perhaps, they are to refrain from entering into public discussions about interpretation of the Old Testament and prophecies

1 Corinthians 14:33-34 (HCSB) 33  since God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34  the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says.
Full submission is the more general description of the appropriate demeanor of the woman learner. It seems clear from this passage that to be in full submission meant for those women to refrain from teaching (men) and probably also to dress in appropriate ways. Certain questions, however, continue to be asked: Is this a universal or temporary rule? Does the teaching here need to be understood as an exception to the principle of Galatians 3:28, necessitated by the imprudent actions of some women? 

Galatians 3:28 (HCSB) 28  There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Thus verses 11-12 aim to restore peace in the worship service by placing certain limits on the role of women. Probably as a result of the influence of the false teaching, some women had assumed the role of teacher. This step led Paul to invoke a subordination rule; it seems to have precluded women from teaching men, since to do so constituted authenteo--that is, the wrongful appropriation of authority over men.

9. How do you understand Paul's summary statement in 1 Tim. 2:15?

1 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

But what does saved through childbearing mean?

After the fall into sin, God told Eve that she would be in pain as she gave birth to children. Eve is the subject of the first part of this verse. She had sinned but God gave the promise of salvation. He would send the Christ (Messiah) to be born of a woman. So, through the birth of Jesus to Mary, God kept his promise. God will save women if they continue to trust in him and love him. They should be pure, holy and modest.

This verse does not mean that having children is the method by which God will save women. That would make their salvation to depend on their works. But salvation comes by the gift of God and we receive it by faith. God will not save women because they give birth to children. He saves them as they repent and believe the *gospel.

Next week Chapter 3

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Paul's Letters to Timothy - Session 2 - All Religion is not Alike Cont'd

The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is studying Paul's pastoral Epistles (Letters) to his protege, Timothy.  These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments in the comments below. We welcome your thoughts and prayers.

Review 

Last week we started our study of Paul’s letters to Timothy with 1 Timothy. We talked about the fact that Paul had left Timothy, a young man of about 40, to lead the church in Ephesus,  a very important city in the Roman empire and consequently in the Gentile world and very important in the early days of the church.

Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother. Children of Jewish mothers are considered Jews, but since Timothy had not been circumcised and his father was a Gentile the Jews considered Timothy a Gentile. Paul may have thought that Timothy would be more effective as an evangelist as a full Jew so he did what he thought was most expedient for the gospel and had Timothy circumcised.

Now Paul is writing to Timothy to encourage him in the task of leading that church. He gives Timothy a lot of advice both for the Christians in the church and for himself.

There were some problems with some of the teaching and teachers there and Paul wants Timothy to sort out this problem.

In 1 Timothy, Paul gave Timothy quite a list of subjects to teach, including: exposure of false doctrines, myths and genealogies; law; sound doctrine; the glorious Gospel; mercy; truth; dedication; prayer; harmony; women's dress and appearance; marriage and dietary practices; qualifications for leaders; conduct; sayings, truths of the faith; the practice of religion; relationships with fellow Christians; treatment of widows; ways to select elders; contentment; righteousness; faith; love; endurance; hope in God; and doing good. Timothy’s job was to provide sound teaching to combat the false teachings of some in the church. The results that Paul wanted was the sources of love: a pure heart, a good conscience, and sound doctrine.


1 Timothy 1:4-6 (HCSB) 4 or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith.5 Now the goal of our instruction is love ⌊that comes⌋ from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.6 Some have deviated from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion.

Paul said that these folk wanted to be teachers of the law, meaning that you had to obey the law and all the trappings that go along with it including the genealogies and then the myths that they dreamed up.

1 Timothy 1:7-9 (HCSB)7 They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on.8 But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately.9 We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers

Paul reminds Timothy that the law is not laid down for good men  It would seem the false teachers were using it with the wrong group. They were pushing some kind of legalism on believers who were basically obedient already.

Paul' Testimony 

1 Timothy 1:12-17 (HCSB)12 I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry—13 one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief.14 And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them.16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst ⌊of them⌋, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 

1. This is now Paul’s testimony. In what way was Paul himself like the false teachers before his conversion?

He says that he use to be just like those false teachers. He a devout Pharisee and very religious.  


Philippians 3:4-11 (NKJV) 4  though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5  circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6  concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7  But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9  and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 


Much like the false teachers, Paul, prior to his conversion, misused the law. He lacked grace, faith and love. But God had mercy on him, and he became a new man. Paul is showing, in this context, that God redeems false teachers. In the process, he describes what a relationship with God is really based on: the mercy, grace, faith and love "that are in Christ Jesus".

Paul is looking back to his experience on the road to Damascus city (Acts 9). He was on his way to attack the Christians there. Up to that time, Paul denied that Jesus could be either Messiah or the Lord. But the Lord Jesus Christ met him and so Paul believed in him. From that time, the Lord Jesus trusted Paul and sent him to declare the gospel. Paul was astonished at this and he was so grateful to the Lord for it.

Much like these false teachers he did not know that what he was doing was wrong. He thought that it was his duty to oppose Jesus. He did not believe that Jesus was the Lord and the Christ. But when Jesus met him, Paul was convinced. Then the Lord Jesus Christ showed mercy to him. And he forgave Paul for all that he had done.  Using the example to Timothy he was illustrating that these false teachers like him, could be redeemed.  Remember what he told Timothy as we said last week that what Paul wanted to see and encouraged Timothy to teach was he sources of love: a pure heart, a good conscience, and sound doctrine.

It was more than grace that Paul received from God. He received faith to believe and trust in the Lord Jesus. He received the love of God into his life, so he was able to love the Lord and because of that the Christians he once hated he now loved.

Paul felt that of all sinners he was the worst. Because he had attacked the Christians with such cruelty. The Lord forgave Paul for all his sins. But Paul still says that he is a sinner. He is a sinner whom God, in his grace, has saved. God has saved him because of his trust in Christ.

Paul was not the first to believe in Christ but his was the most astonishing change. All who believe in Christ have a new kind of life. They change as Paul did. Paul’s life was now a powerful example of the grace of God. He sees his own experience as the pattern of what Christ can do. He does it in the lives of all who believe in him. They will be what God wants them to be. And so they will be truly alive. 
 - How to be a Leader in the Church An EasyEnglish Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Paul’s First Letter to Timothy www.easyenglish.info Ian Mackervoy


 2. Now let’s read and compare 1 Timothy 1:14 and 1:5 How would this help Timothy keep a clear perspective for his own mission?

1 Timothy 1:14 (HCSB) And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:5 (HCSB) Now the goal of our instruction is love ⌊that comes⌋ from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
Found on simplysharingandserving.weebly.com


Paul is talking about love in both these verses. In verse 14 he is finishing up what he started in verse 12 saying that the grace with which Jesus gave to Paul although he was like those people that he was warning Timothy about, came through the faith and love that are in Christ and these false teachers if taught could be changed as well. That is the same love that in verse 5 that he said was the goal of their instruction of those in the church. Love that were the source of a pure heart, a good conscience, and sound doctrine

The goal is to cause love to grow. This is why the false teachers had to stop. What they were doing caused confusion rather than love. The command in this verse means more than to stop the false teachers. The command is the truth that Timothy has to teach. This should lead to an increase in love among those who believe. They should love God and each other more.

The source of this love is a clean heart, a good conscience and sincere faith.

In the Bible, the heart is the centre of our being. It is from the heart that we have good or bad thoughts. These cause us to perform good or bad actions. The heart must be clean for love to flow from it. It has to be pure with good thoughts and actions. Only God can make the heart clean and put real love in it. He will take away all that is wrong in our hearts. He will do this as we confess our sins.

Conscience is the knowledge of what is right or wrong in our actions and attitudes. The consciences of some people can be hard and damaged. Their consciences can be dead as if burnt with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV) 2  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,). For these, the knowledge of good or evil is not sure. A good conscience is one that accepts the truth as its standard. It informs the mind as to what is false or evil. We need to keep our consciences good. We do this as we accept the truth of God’s word. And we ask theLord to take away all that is wrong. To have a good conscience is to know that God accepts us as clean from all *sin.

Faith has to be sincere. That means that it must be real and genuine. We can fool people into thinking that we have *faith but we cannot fool God. As we trust God, he puts his love in us. And then we can love him. - 
How to be a Leader in the Church An EasyEnglish Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Paul’s First Letter to Timothy www.easyenglish.info Ian Mackervoy

Faith and conscience must go together. 

3. Why would finding so-called secret teachings of the Old Testament be more interesting to some people than the message of Christ?


Sometimes Christians are drawn into situations or even groups about which they feel uneasy, but cannot quite pin down why. Similarly, the believers in Ephesus were not turning to real heresy, just "meaningless talk." Clever teachers can give plausible reasons, but the conscience is not convinced.

Does anybody here have some issue on their consciences but are in a healthy Christian setting. It is a universal human tendency to avoid confronting things we feel guilty about. At times we even use our Christian faith to hide from these issues.
1 Timothy 1:19 (HCSB) having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith.

4. When we speculate and theorize instead of dealing with our own issues of sin, what happens to conscience?

If true doctrine is not obeyed, it is in effect denied and becomes a "dead faith," and men make shipwreck. Reshaping their doctrine to fit their sinful course, they proceed to teach a false doctrine. Hence the words: "There is danger lest faith be sunk by a bad conscience, as by a whirlpool in a stormy sea" (Calvin). - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

5. Why do faith and a good conscience go together?

Faith and conscience go together in true spirituality. We are in trouble when they don't. Psychologists observe that guilt impairs many functions, with one notable exception: the ability to intellectualize.   In other words if we do not have faith our conscience can rationalize and intellectualize our beliefs, even our Christian beliefs to avoid the real problem.  We can start doing with the false teachers in Ephesus were doing by using the law and their "superior knowledge" to avoid their real problem which was not believing the God would lower Himself to come as an evil human.  

If we aren't careful we can easily fall into that same trap.  Later on in his letter, when Paul is giving the qualifications of deacons in the church:

1 Timothy 3:9 (HCSB)  holding the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Here again is the union of the doctrinal and practical aspects of Christianity: the faith is to be held in an obedient conscience, not defiled by disobedience. The expression mystery of the faith does not mean that there is some esoteric secret known only to the initiated. Paul's usage starts with the appearance of Christ in the flesh. The mystery is not a secret to be kept, but a message to be proclaimed. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.


6. How can the kind of faith Paul shows in 1 Tim. 1:15 help you face your own issues of conscience?

Here’s what Paul said:

1 Timothy 1:15-16 (HCSB)15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst ⌊of them⌋, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

7.  Now how can that help us when we struggle with things that we have done in the past of things that cross or mind from time to time?

8. As in Paul's day, Christians can wander into groups that make unusual claims and demands. They may have impressive features, but engage in certain practices and pressures which make members feel uneasy. A lot of energy goes into keeping faith and conscience apart in these groups. Are you involved with some "spiritual" activities which bother your own conscience? (Be as honest as possible.)


If we have had or are struggling now with issues of conscience then verses 16 and 17 should be our prayer.

1 Timothy 1:16-17 (HCSB)16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst ⌊of them⌋, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

We have access to the forgiveness and love of God so now we can focus on the goal.

1 Timothy 1:5 (HCSB) Now the goal of our instruction is love ⌊that comes⌋ from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Next week Chapter 2

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Resources for studying 1 Timothy  








Sunday, February 8, 2015

Paul's Letters to Timothy - Session 1 - Introduction



The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is studying Paul's pastoral Epistles (Letters) to his protege, Timothy.  These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments in the comments below. We welcome your thoughts and prayers.


To finish with our study on justification remember that God, in justifying us, acquitted and absolved us of the punishment for sin which is death. In executing that punishment through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross justice was served and God proved Himself righteous so in effect we are no longer debtors to God’s justice but, we are debtors in other areas and we will never be able to pay Him.

Charles Spurgeon really says it well:

Romans 8:12
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors.

As God's creatures, we are all debtors to Him: to obey Him with all our body, and soul, and strength. Having broken His commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to His justice, and we owe to Him a vast amount which we are not able to pay. But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God's justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt His people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love. I am a debtor to God's grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to His justice, for He will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, "It is finished!" and by that He meant, that whatever His people owed was wiped away for ever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God's justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise. Christian, pause and ponder for a moment. What a debtor thou art to divine sovereignty! How much thou owest to His disinterested love, for He gave His own Son that He might die for thee. Consider how much you owe to His forgiving grace, that after ten thousand affronts He loves you as infinitely as ever. Consider what you owe to His power; how He has raised you from your death in sin; how He has preserved your spiritual life; how He has kept you from falling; and how, though a thousand enemies have beset your path, you have been able to hold on your way. Consider what you owe to His immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once. Thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast-yield thyself as a living sacrifice, it is but thy reasonable service.




Introduction To Paul's Letters to Timothy 
Found on nowtheendbegins.com

Because we have been justified we are able to accomplish what Paul encourages Timothy to do in his letters to him.

1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are often called pastoral Epistles because they contain Paul’s counsel to pastors or leaders in the Church. In 1 Timothy, Paul counseled Timothy, a Church leader in Ephesus, to ensure that sound doctrine was taught and not to allow popular untruths to distract from Christ’s teachings. He taught Timothy about the offices of bishop and deacon and discussed the qualifications of those who serve in these offices. Though this counsel pertains to specific offices in the early Church, much of it is applicable to all men and women who serve in the Church today.

The first letter to Timothy and the one to Titus were written during the period of travel and missionary work between Paul's two Roman imprisonments probably somewhere between a.d. 61 and 63.

Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois.  They and Timothy probably became Christians when Paul first went to the town called Lystra.

Acts 16:1 (NKJV) Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.

2 Timothy 1:5 (NKJV) when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.


Since children of Jewish mothers are reckoned as Jews, Timothy could have been a full Jew. His mother raised him to know the Jewish Scriptures

2 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV) and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

However Timothy’s father was a Greek, and because of him Timothy had never been circumcised because he had never been circumcised the Jews considered him a Gentile.

Now we know that Paul didn't think that circumcision was a requirement for believers but he didn't think it was either good or bad so why did he take Timothy to be circumcised?

Acts 16:1-3 (NKJV) Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.


Paul may have thought that Timothy would be more effective as an evangelist as a full Jew so he did what he thought was most expedient for the gospel and circumcised Timothy

 It was kind of the same thing that he told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians let’s go to:

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NKJV)19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.23 Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.


Now Paul is writing to Timothy, who is in Ephesus, to encourage him in the task of leading that church. He gives Timothy a lot of advice both for the Christians in the church and for himself.

Paul evidently had a lot of confidence in Timothy because Ephesus was a very important city in the Roman empire and consequently in the Gentile world. 

Paul had turned over the leadership of the church in Ephesus, the most strategic in Asia Minor, to Timothy, a bright, sensitive associate. Timothy was about forty years old at that time, which was considered young for such leadership.

In 1 Timothy, Paul gave Timothy quite a list of subjects to teach, including: exposure of false doctrines, myths and genealogies; law; sound doctrine; the glorious Gospel; mercy; truth; dedication; prayer; harmony; women's dress and appearance; marriage and dietary practices; qualifications for leaders; conduct; sayings, truths of the faith; the practice of religion; relationships with fellow Christians; treatment of widows; ways to select elders; contentment; righteousness; faith; love; endurance; hope in God; and doing good.

There were some problems with some of the teaching and teachers there and Paul wants Timothy to sort out this problem.

1 Timothy 1:3 (NKJV) As I urged you when I went into Macedonia--remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

All Religion Is Not Alike

With that as background let’s get into today’s study of 1 Timothy Chapter 1

There was a poster with the headline Christ Consciousness—Mystical Teachings in the Bible," "The mystical core of Christ's teaching has been obscured by centuries of dogma," . The poster was inviting Christians to come to lectures by a young lady who follows a Hindu sect. 

Some Christian leaders today, dismayed by a low level of commitment, seek to create high-intensity groups with special teachings on top of the gospel and add extra rules that regulate the social lives of their members.  These examples from today are the kinds of thing that were rampant in the church at Ephesus. It was these trends that Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to deal with.

1. How do you distinguish between true and false spirituality?
If it doesn't consider Jesus as divine, or as the only way for salvation then it is false spiritually.  If it says that you have to work to prove yourself worthy of God it is false spiritually.

2.  What did  Paul say was Timothy's job?

1 Timothy 1:3-5 (HCSB)3 As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach different doctrine4 or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith.5 Now the goal of our instruction is love ⌊that comes⌋ from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Timothy’s job was to provide sound teaching to combat the false teachings of some in the church. 

3. Finding hidden meanings in the Old Testament was big business in first-century religion. False teachers here tried to mix these "secret teachings" with the gospel. What results were the false teachers getting for their efforts?

It is when these guides of the moral and ethical life have been impaired either by false teaching or
Gnostics thought they had superior knowledge
disobedience, that people turn to vain confusion and conversation.  This heresy considered the body, and all matter, to be evil and, therefore, denied Christ's humanity.  The myths and genealogies were probably Gnostic teachings.

Because Gnostic teaching blurred the lines of morality On the one side was good, which was associated with the spiritual and the immaterial, or God and heaven. On the other side was evil, which was associated with the material universe including humans. God Himself was perfectly good, spiritual, and totally disassociated from the material. 

We talked some about Gnostic  teachings in our study in Colossians.   Gnostics believed that they has superior knowledge about God and the universe.  

Gnostics did not call themselves by that name and there were many variations of what we now call Gnosticism. While some forms were completely unrelated to Christianity, others considered themselves a higher type of Christian. But although Gnostic beliefs varied a good deal, we can sum up a few essential points on which all agreed:
  • The material world is bad, the spirit world is good. The material world is under the control of evil, ignorance or nothingness.
  • A divine spark is somehow trapped in some (but not all) humans and it alone, of all that exists in this material world, is capable of redemption.
  • Salvation is through a secret knowledge by which individuals come to know themselves, their origin and destiny.
  • Since a good God could not have created an evil world, it must have been created by an inferior, ignorant or evil god. Usually the explanation given is that the true, good God created or emanated beings (Archons) who either emanated other Archons or conjugated to produce them until a mishap by Sophia (Wisdom) led to the creation of the evil Archon who created our world and pretends to be God. He hides truth from humans, but sparks of Sophia in some humans fill them with an urge to return to the Pleroma (divine realm) where they belong. - Christianity.com - Gnosticism by Dan Graves, MSL

Gnostics considered themselves Christians and saw Jesus as a heavenly messenger. However, they rejected the idea of God becoming becoming a man, dying and rising bodily. "These beliefs were considered unspiritual and against true wisdom because they entangled spirit with matter." Most Gnostics believe that whoever entered Jesus at his baptism left him before he died on the cross.

God become man? God take on human flesh? Never! Christ must be a lower intermediary or an "appearance"—a shadow of God cast on a screen. But God in human flesh? Unthinkable!

How were they different from the results Paul was after?

The results that Paul wanted was the sources of love: a pure heart, a good conscience, and sound doctrine. The material or humanity could have love and approach God in thier humanity through Jesus because of his sacrifice.

1 Timothy 1:3-6 (NKJV) 3  As I urged you when I went into Macedonia--remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4  nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5  Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6  from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 


4. What materials were the false teachers using ?

1 Timothy 1:7-9 (HCSB)7 They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on.8 But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately.9 We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers,

The material they used was Old Testament genealogies and other myths and writings about the Old Testament. The Old Testament is referred to here as "the law."

This heresy considered the body, and all matter, to be evil and, therefore, denied Christ's humanity.

5. From what Paul says about the proper use of the law, how does it seem that the false teachers used it?

1 Timothy 1:8-11 (HCSB) 8 But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately.
9 We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers,10 for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching11 based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.

Paul says that the law itself is good if you use it right or in accordance with the gospel . In Romans 7:7-25 Paul describes the function of the law in detail. It is "It brings the knowledge of sin and makes sin exceedingly sinful, all with the end of bringing a man to Christ.

The Law does not condemn a righteous man does not mean that the Law has no relation to the righteous; for him, it is a righteous rule which he joyfully obeys in the Spirit.  Since Paul reminds Timothy that the law is not laid down for good men but for people involved in the activities listed, it would seem the false teachers were using it with the wrong group. They were pushing some kind of legalism on believers who were basically obedient already.  They should have been talking to those outside the church who were disobedient so that they would come to the realization that they were sinners and couldn't meet the requirements of the law and would suffer the punishment of law breakers which was death.  The only way was not through more rituals or genealogies or work but only through God's solution, which He gave by His grace, which was the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the sins of mankind.   This is what Paul tells Timothy he must teach and stop the false teachers.

Now after telling Timothy that he as to put a stop to these false teachers who want to be teachers of the law and Paul says that he was just like them but, we will have to wait until next week to talk about that.  Read the rest of chapter 1 and chapter two for next week.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Justification - Session 3 - Is The Act of God


The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is in a study on justification. These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments in the comments below. We welcome your thoughts and prayers.


Foundation Scripture

Romans 3:21-30 (HCSB)21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets 22 —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.25 God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.26 ⌊God presented Him⌋ to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith.28 For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.29 Or is God for Jews only? Is He not also for Gentiles? Yes, for Gentiles too,30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Definitions


Justify

To declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit.


Justification

Theology. the act of God whereby humankind is made or accounted just, or free from guilt or penalty of sin

From Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Justification is the declaring of a person to be just or righteous. It is a legal term signifying acquittal. 

Justification is tied to grace. We are justified through God’s grace or favor. Again it’s not earned because we had nothing to do with it.

Justification is Instant


Justification is instant it is not a process. The moment that you make that confession in Romans 10:9-10 you are justified. Just as the thief on the cross acknowledged Jesus his joining Him in paradise was instant.

Review

Last session, two weeks age, we said that justification was promised in Christ.

Isaiah 53:11 (HCSB) He will see ⌊it⌋ out of His anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities.

Justification was promised in Christ but it is the Act of God

Let’s go back to our foundational scripture and read verse 30;

Romans 3:30 (NKJV) since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

This scripture is specific in saying that it is God who will justify all those who believe, by and through faith. 

Let’s explore that a little bit more we through scripture provide evidence that the justification promised in Christ is the act of God.

God Accomplished Our Justification and Salvation without Our Help


Let’s look at verses 21-26.

Romans 3:21-26 (HCSB) 21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets22 —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.25 God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.26 ⌊God presented Him⌋ to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

Isaiah 49:6 (HCSB) He says, “It is not enough for you to be My Servant raising up the tribes of Jacob and restoring the protected ones of Israel. I will also make you a light for the nations, to be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

This includes us.

That is what God did in Christ, we had nothing to do with it. It was God solving the sin problem. In our study on Grace we learned that God’s solution to the problem of sin and death was the sacrifice of His Son Jesus.

Romans 5:14-17 (NKJV) 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

Here are Four Results of God Solution 


1) God's glory is upheld; 2) His wrath is satisfied; 3) The ransom is paid; 4) His righteousness is demonstrated.

Let’s look at each of them:

1) The injury that we have done to God's glory through our pride and sin would be repaired, because Jesus gave his life to glorify the Father

Romans 3:23 (HCSB) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

2) The wrath of God would be absorbed by Jesus and turned away from us as he gives himself as a propitiation by his blood-shedding

Romans 3:25 (HCSB) God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.

Definition of Propitiate - win or regain the favor of (a god, spirit, or person) by doing something that pleases them.

Definition of Propitiation - the action of propitiating or appeasing a god, spirit, or person.

Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible - It is never used of any act whereby man brings God into a favorable attitude or gracious disposition. It is God who is “propitiated” by the vindication of His holy and righteous character, whereby throuhg the provision He has made in the vicarious and expiatory sacrifice of Christ, He has so dealt with sin that He can show mercy to the believing sinner in the removal of his guilt and the remission of his sins.

From The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
This work is an objective transaction, a particular act of God which involved the person of his Son. It was a necessary act. The necessity was not imposed upon God from without, for then he would not have been God. It was imposed upon him from within, by virtue of his own nature. Whom (Christ Jesus) God displayed publicly as a means of propitiation in his blood through faith. Here Paul brings together God and Christ, the work accomplished, and man's response to this work. God publicly displayed Christ as a means of propitiation in or by his blood. The death of Christ was a fact to be observed by all. But the atoning aspect—that which propitiates sin—was the giving up of his life. This is seen in the fact that his blood was shed or poured out. These details are given not to arouse sympathy but to show the reality of this death. God was the offerer. Christ was the sacrifice. Human sin was covered, i.e., blotted out forever.

Yet for this propitiation to be effective in the life of the individual, faith must be present. The faith or trust is in God, first of all, but it also involves what he has done. He took sin into his his own being (2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ), dealt with it there objectively, and by doing this gave proof of his righteousness. But did God let go unpunished the sins which happened before Christ's death? The objective, public death of Christ at Calvary proves that the Lord did not let these sins go unpunished. We know that he was dealing with human sin there—with the past sins of mankind as well as with those presently being carried out, and those yet to be committed—because he declared it through his apostles and prophets. These past sins were done in the sphere of God's forbearance (Rom 3:25whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,). The Lord did not forget these sins, although he did not deal with them immediately. God's action in the cross was more than a vindication of himself in regard to past human history. It was also the proof of his righteousness in the present (Rom 3:26  to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.). The Lord must be just or righteous now as he declares righteous the one who believes in Jesus. He did not pass a law that he who believes in Jesus would be declared righteous simply because He said so. Rather, He acted. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit entered into the arena of human sin. The Almighty laid the basis upon which he could forgive sin, and upon which he could declare sinners righteous and still himself be righteous.


3) An infinitely valuable ransom would be paid to release us from the guilt of sin - the redemption which is in Christ Jesus

Romans 3:24 (HCSB) They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary again;

“Redemption” is deliverance from bondage by the payment of a price, or ransom. Thayer says of this word, “deliverance effected through the death of Christ from the retributive wrath of a holy God and the merited penalty of sin.” Based on His death, redemption is located in Him, and we enjoy that deliverance when faith becomes active in obedience. Men can be acquitted (pronounced righteous) because God has acted. He has provided redemption. Originally the word meant the buying back of a slave or captive, the making him free by the payment of a ransom (Arndt, apolytrōsis, p. 95).

Here redemption refers to the release provided by Christ from sin and its consequences.


4) The righteousness of God would be demonstrated and vindicated

We just talked about that when we talked about propitiation.  God Himself propitiated Himself in order to deliver the punishment for sin which was carried out on His Son Jesus.  If God had not punished sin then He would not be righteous so His righteousness was proven on the cross and because the penalty was paid those who enter into that propitiation by faith have been redeemed, or purchased from the slavery of sin.  Because of the righteousness of Jesus God was now able by His grace to place on those who by faith accept that sacrifice as being made for them.


The result of God’s act of justification

Romans 8:28-33 (NKJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary

Paul now begins to point out the implications of his teaching. God became involved in man’s dilemma in order to accomplish his plan. He handed over his Son on behalf of us all. Christ was handed over for our benefit, on our behalf, and in our stead. God could not spare his Son and carry out his plan of redemption. So he handed him over to death that we might be redeemed. Paul draws certain conclusions from this action by God. With Christ he will graciously give us all things, though we may not have all of them right now. No one can bring any charge against God’s chosen or elect ones or condemn them, because God and Christ have participated in this divine action of handing over Christ.


Next week we will start a study of Paul’s letters to Timothy



Prayer Warrior: Praying Your Way To Victory - Session 12 - See What's Happening From God Perspective

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group is going through Prayer Warrior The Power Of Praying Your Way T...