We are all in a spiritual battle as we fight against sin, our spiritual adversary, and the deception of this world. Paul encourages us to fight the good fight of the faith as we run from sin and purse goodness that draws us to God. We experience the life that has been given to us, we give for eternal gain and we uphold spiritual truth knowing that we do not fight for victory, but from victory.
Christianity is not primarily aimed at social reform, but personal redemption. We live for the salvation of others so that as people are redeemed, societal structures being to be transformed. We honor those who do not honor us so that they might see the glory of God and the Gospel adorned.
As the Gospel is central to the church it must also be on display in the church. The Gospel is on display when pastors have a genuine concern for the members and the members have a loving esteem for its pastors.
Community is only as strong as what it is built upon. If our relationships and our community is not centered on the gospel and driven by the gospel, they are merely a social outlet for people and they lack the power of transformation.
God has given His people the privilege and responsibility of living in accord with and upholding the truth of the gospel. We uphold the truth of the Gospel by detecting error, declaring truth through speech and the purity of our lives and training for godliness. When the goodness, character and Word of Christ are evident in the church, people in the world will be drawn to Him.
God places a high value on the church and has given His people the privilege and responsibility of living in accord with and upholding the truth of the gospel. For us to effectively be the church we need to know who we are and who Jesus. Paul is going to give us three descriptions of the church that support the significance of the church.
God has given us spiritual gifts through the working of the Holy Spirit with the purpose of building up the body of Christ and fulfilling the mission of the church. However it starts with leaders. Servant leaders (elders) who are wholeheartedly committed to accomplish the mission of the church. Leading servants (deacons) who use their gifts to lead the servants to build up the body of Christ and servants who multiply the gospel through the world.
The Bible identifies two primary leadership roles in the church: elders who are servant leaders and deacons who are leading servants. As Paul talks about the qualifications of elders who oversees and shepherds the church what will happen if the church imitates their leaders?
Few passages in Scripture is as counter cultural and causes tension as this passage found in 1 Timothy 2:8-15. We discover that Paul is dealing with more than just simply roles of men and women in the church, but really addresses biblical manhood and womanhood. Take a listen as we look at this text through the lens of God's design in creation and Satan's distortion of creation.
Based on the Gospel foundation, Paul instructs us as we gather for worship to pray for and proclaim the gospel to all kinds of people because God desires their salvation, God deserves the honor of all people and Christ died as a ransom for all.
Paul reflects on the gospel and how it has transformed his life. As Paul celebrates the Gospel he also teaches us the nature of God's grace being unconditional, patient and shocking. Jesus came on to earth to live a life we could not live, die the death we deserved to die and conquered the enemies we could not defeat. How we view the Gospel will impact how we view life and how we celebrate the Gospel.
The number one responsibility for the church is to guard the Gospel. It is the Gospel that forms who we are and what we do as the church. We guard the Gospel by the way we handle God's Word. We do not add to the demands of the law, nor do we believe that the law saves.
In the introduction of the letter of 1 Timothy who was written by Paul an Apostle not chosen by man, but rather commanded by God our savior and Christ Jesus our Hope. Paul writes to Timothy and the church of Ephesus as he reminds them and us that our hope is the not in the absence or solutions of our problems, but in Jesus Christ who is our hope.