Sermon – August 11, 2019
What do you do when you have something of great value? How does your mindset change when you come into possession of something of significance? What do you do, then, when you realize that God has given you something of infinite value? How do you guard and protect that? As we see in our passage today, God has instituted the church for this purpose. The church is a community formed by God to guard and uphold the truth. To do this, the church must:
1. Conform to Scripture (3:14-15)
While Paul would be away from Timothy, he is clear that the right working of the church, the household of God, does not depend on any one man, but rather on the Word of God. Therefore, the church must stand for the truth, to uphold it and support it. It does this only through the right use and application of the revelation that God has provided to us. Let us then conform our lives to Scripture, that the church may fulfill her calling before God.
2. Confess Christ (3:16)
The great confessional hymn of 3:16 is something for us to stand under. While more can be said, indeed should be said, these things are non-negotiable aspects of our faith. The son of God, the second person of the Trinity, fully and essentially God, took on flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit after his death, was seen even by angels, was proclaimed and believed in the world, and now sits in glory. This is nothing less than the gospel. Let us confess such with great certainty and faith!
3. Condemn False Teaching (4:1-5)
The false teaching referenced here by Paul was a legalistic abstaining from good things that God has given us. We should be careful in our own lives, both to be able to spot such teaching when it comes before us and to watch out for our own legalistic tendencies in our own lives. We do the former by knowing God’s word well, the latter by applying it well to our lives. In this, again, we show ourselves to be the pillar and buttress of the truth, a symbol of the gospel to those who are lost!