“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:11-16
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” 2 Timothy 1:6-10
1. The life of the believer counts enormously/profoundly (1 Tim 4:15-16), therefore, we are called upon to embrace a keen sense of RESPONSIBILITY (1 Tim 4:14).
“For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:7-8, 12
“Even if I knew that tomorrow would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree today.” Martin Luther (1483-1546)
2. The systematic, progressive reading of Scripture accompanied by exhortation and instruction nourishes a life of faith and produces people that have the attitudes of verse 1 Timothy 4:12 with the calling of verse 1 Timothy 4:14.
3. This embrace of life (v.14) is blown into a flame (2 Tim 1:6)/energized by:
- The empowering presence of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 1:7)
- The eternal love of Jesus Christ by the gospel of grace (2 Tim 1:8 and following)
- Role models (2 Tim 1:13) and those who often bring refreshment (2 Tim 1:16)
“In order to live out the gospel in all that we do ... we SERVE OTHERS. We have been both secured by Jesus’ service to us and equipped with spiritual gifts, that we might freely serve both the church and the world. Our members are called to pour themselves out in a variety of ways, as well as to consider their entire lives to be spiritual acts of service.” ECBC Vision Language: Values
1. How does a true assessment of the value of our life and calling lead to stamina in the Christian’s walk?
2. How does Paul’s summation statement in Romans 14:12 cut to the heart of the matter regarding our relationship with one another as believers?
3. What do we mean when we say the kingdom of God involves “the already but not yet”?
4. Who has “often refreshed” you in your walk with the Lord?
5. How can we embrace an attitude of servanthood on a monthly basis? What can we do?
NEW CITY CATECHISM:
Q 34: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through Christ alone, must we still do good works and obey God’s Word?
A: Yes, because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood, also renews us by his Spirit; so that our lives may show love and gratitude to God; so that we may be assured of our faith by the fruits; and so that by our godly behavior others may be won to Christ.
“I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Creator, infinitely holy and loving, who has a plan for the world, a plan for my life, and some daily work for me to do.
I believe in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, as Example, Lord, and Savior.
I believe in the Holy Spirit who is able to guide my life so that I may know God’s will; and I am prepared to allow him to guide and control my life.
I believe in God’s law that I should love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and with all my strength; and my neighbor as myself.
I believe it is God’s will that the whole world should be without any barriers of race, color, class, or anything else that breaks the spirit of fellowship.
To believe means to believe with the mind and heart, to accept, and to act accordingly on that basis” Eric Liddell, My Creed, from The Disciplines of the Christian Life