Sermon Titled “Entrust To The Faithful” (2 Timothy 2:1-2) – Sunday 5th October, 2014
- 2 Timothy 2:1-2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
If you’ll recall in the previous sermons, Paul mentioned that most of his followers had deserted him, including Phygelus and Hermogenes who were with him in Asia. Keep in mind however, that these were not easy times for Christians; the mere mention of Christ’s name could result in the loss of property or home, or torture and death. Yet, Paul had faith that Timothy was stronger than the others, and so he encouraged him to persevere and to continue spreading the gospel, for the sake of Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 28:19-20, Christ’s last words to his disciples (known as the Great Commission) were, “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.“ Paul commissioned Timothy to do the same, and since then, Christians throughout the generations have also embraced this command.
There are moments though, for every Christian, when professing one’s faith seems difficult. There is sometimes a fear of inaccurately conveying the truth, or not knowing the answers to tough questions. Pastor Reimer, for example, admitted that he feels nervous before every sermon he preaches, because he worries that his teachings might contain accidental, yet misleading errors. I too, feel the same way whenever I start typing away on each week’s blog post; there is a genuine fear of “getting it wrong,” and consequently causing people to turn away from, rather than “to” our Savior.
In Pastor Reimer’s case, he has even more reason to worry. In addition to Christ’s command to go out and make disciples of all nations, the Bible states very clearly that those who enter into the ministry to preach God’s Word, must abide and live by certain standards. Some of those standards, listed in 1 Timothy 3:2-7, and Titus 1:6-9, declare that church elders, deacons, and pastors must possess the following qualities:
They must be
- above reproach
- respectable and hospitable
- good managers of their households, as well as their children
- well thought of by others
- good stewards
- committed to taking caring of God’s church
They must not be
- arrogant, violent, quarrelsome, or quick-tempered
- lovers of money
There are others too, but you can easily see that there is a certain level of holiness demanded of Christians who stand before the body of Christ and serve as biblical teachers. For the rest of us, who are not scrutinized in the same manner, we should nevertheless strive to live by these standards too, for the simple reason that these behaviors are pleasing to God.
Furthermore, it’s when these behaviors become second-nature to us, that people see a difference in us and find our testimonies more credible. For most of us, that is, the group of non-ordained Christians, the power of a shared testimony can be just as effective as a church sermon. But, for all Christians, regardless of the oppositions we face and the fears we may experience, there are two key roles expected of us:
- To guard the truth of God’s Word, and
- to pass the truth on
In conclusion, here’s an illustration to help you understand how we are to live as Christ’s disciples. The following image of The Wheel, designed by Navigators founder, Dawson Trotman, is a model that represents a vibrant and effective Christian life – from “the rim representing obedience to Christ, to the hub of Christ-centeredness, to each of the four spokes of witnessing, prayer, fellowship, and the Word.“
The Wheel® by The Navigators January 31, 2006
The Wheel illustrates an emphasis on living every area of our lives with, and for the Lord. It’s broken up into three parts:
- The Volitional Dimension – How we relate to ourselves. It includes the Hub, or center, which is Christ, and the Rim, which is Obedience to Christ. We are called, as Christians, to surrender completely to the authority of Christ, our Lord and Savior. As we learn to obey God, our behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, habits, and motives eventually change, and ultimately so too, do our interactions with others. People begin to see the changes in us, and they recognize our love for Christ.
- The Vertical Dimension – How we relate to God. It includes the Word of God and how we receive instructions on how to live our lives and how to interact with others, and it includes our responses to God, via prayer, as we hear Him speak to us through His Word.
- The Horizontal Dimension – How we relate to others. It includes Fellowship, meaning that Christians are directed to gather together often to encourage and build one another up, and to enjoy loving relationships with one another. It also includes Witnessing, which refers to the responsibility given to all Christians to share the good news of the Gospel.
So then, go forth and make disciples of all nations……..