ESSENTIAL PARTS OF A GODLY LIFE
2 TIMOTHY 3:10-17
Elder Clarence E. Weaver Sr
When Paul wrote the book of 2 Timothy, he was anything but comfortable. He was in prison. Paul was actually put in prison two times. The first time in prison was much like a house arrest where he was being tried with all of the rights of a Roman citizen. The second imprisonment was in a dungeon in the middle of the city of Rome called the Mamertine prison where he was tried like a condemned criminal. As Paul wrote this second letter, the church throughout the empire was facing severe persecution started by the Emperor Nero in A.D. 64.
Second Timothy was birthed out of Paul’s concern for Timothy as well as for his own. He charged Timothy of his responsibilities to guard the Gospel, preach the Word, and refute false teaching. The letter was also meant to bring encouragement by reminding Timothy of all sufficient strengthening of God’s grace and power for the timid young minister as he faced persecutions without and false teacher within.
Most of Paul’s companions left him except Luke (2 Timothy 4:11). It is during this very trying circumstance that Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy, who was overseeing the Ephesian Church at the time of writing. It is worth mentioning that although he was imprisoned under harsh conditions, he considered himself as a prisoner of the Lord, suffering for His sake.
2 Timothy 3:1-9 are relevant because the Scriptures are an essential part of a godly and the life of the ungodly is frequently corrupt, and the pressures exerted upon the godly are as an usher which runs against him.
There will always be others who pursue a life that has attracted immorality, but their choices lead them to their destruction.
The title of my message today is “The Essential Parts of a Godly Life”.
I. Living By Example: 2 Timothy 3:10-11
It is not hard to say God is good and to mean it when you have just gotten a big raise or have been promoted to the position that you wanted. It is not so easy, however, to really feel that God is good when everything around you seems to be crumbling to the ground. That is when your Christianity is on trial.
When you look at the book of 2 Timothy 3:10, you read the words of a true man of God. There are no regrets. There’s no poor me, only a triumphant message from a man who believed what he said that he believed. In other words, Paul was saying been there, done that, and got a tee-shirt too.
Paul wanted Timothy and the church to learn what it really mean to live by the Scriptures to obtain a godly life.
The example he has given consists in his determination to live by the Scriptures walk in the fruit of the spirit and to continue his work for God despite the afflictions which must inevitable bring. Faith, patience, love, and endurance continues to delineate the character which is set before Timothy and the church as a model.
They observe how He lived, how He treated people, how he related to God, how He reacted in various kinds of circumstances - when he was surrounded by adoring crowds, when he was overwhelmed with people seeking healing, when he was attacked by the religious authorities and now back into prison, how he faced persecution at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra.
Paul stated even the persecutions he endured he reflect the spirit of the psalmist in Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. Yet God rescued him from all of them.
We are faced with persecution even in this country. In Madison, Wisconsin, the Freedom from Religion Foundation distributes anti-Christian pamphlets to public school children entitled, "We Can Be Good Without God."
My brothers and sisters it is essential part of your godly life that all things work together for your good.
What, then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us; who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long we are considered as sheep to be slaughter” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ who love us – Roman 8:31-37.
II. Essential Parts of a Godly Life: 2 Timothy 3:12-15 A promise is stated that to live a godly life in Christ Jesus must anticipate persecutions. The credentials of the true Christian are his scars (verse 12).
Ask you neighbor do you have any scars!
This will be so because evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse.
The whole situation deteriorating as men are carried along, and carry others along in a progressive course of deception.
Whoever teaches false doctrine and doesn’t agree with the accurate words of our Lord Jesus Christ and godly teachings is a conceited person. He shows that he doesn’t understand anything. Rather, he has an unhealthy desire to argue and quarrel about words. This produces jealousy, rivalry, cursing, suspicion, and conflict between people whose corrupt minds have been robbed of the truth. They think that a godly life is a way to make a profit.
You might expect the completion of the paradox that begun in verse 12 good men will be persecuted; bad men will enjoy ease and prosperity. But no Christian that living a godly life could allow any such statement to stand.
The underlying thought is that although good men will suffer persecutions yet God will rescue them from them all.
Evil men will go from bad to worse, but there will be no one to rescue them.
Deceiving, they are themselves deceived. Therefore they are both intentionally and unintentionally wicked, and virtually without hope
Paul tell Timothy to remain fixed to the inspired Scripture in what he learned and firmly believed which is essential part of a godly life (verse 13).
Stand firm in what you have become convinced of. Convictions must not be lightly abandoned, for two reasons.
First are the persons who taught you these truths were they reliable, guides, people of spiritual stature and holy living?
Second, does these truths line up squarely upon the solid foundation of the Scriptures. You must be foolish to forsake such mentors to start follow the latest religious quack (verse 14).
You must search the Scriptures for yourself to determine if it is the truth. In Act 17:11 the Bible says that the Berea search the Scripture daily whether those things are so.
The more fully we know the doctrine of Christ, as taught by the apostles, the more closely we shall cleave to it.
When we know the afflictions of believers only in part, they tempt us to decline the cause for which they suffer.
A form of godliness, a profession of Christian faith without a godly life, often is allowed to pass.
Those who live as open profession of the truth as it is in Jesus, and unwavering attention to the duties of godliness, stir up the scorn and enmity of the world.
Censoring the Christian model and demeaning biblical values has resulted in a generation where everyday in the United States:
• 437 children are arrested for drinking or drunk driving
• 211 children are arrested for drug abuse
• 1,629 children are in adult jails
• 30 children are wounded by guns
• 10 children are killed by guns
• 135,000 children bring a gun to school
Social scientists claim this generation’s inability to define absolutes, and a growing pattern of anti-Christian behavior, may ultimately result in the collapse of the American superstructure, as situation ethics, AIDS and other forms of sexually transmitted diseases, the redefining of the family unit, and other abandonment of biblical standards of morality come to their dangerous and natural conclusion (using this for verse 13-14).
The Scriptures are the source of all our spiritual intelligence, and lead to salvation as Christ Jesus and the focus of them is received by faith (verse 15). They are to bring you into a saving relationship to Jesus Christ.
In an article entitled "Our Violent Kids," Time Magazine reported "an upsurge in the most violent types of crimes by teens." Through television, "by the age of 16, the typical child has witnessed an estimated 200,000 acts of violence, including 33,000 murders," the article went on to say.
A major study by Dr. Brandon Centerwell of the University of Washington’s Department of Epidemiology concludes that "exposure to television" is related to approximately one-half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually. Exposure to television and other forms of propaganda is also related to a majority of rapes, assaults, and acts of violence according to the study.
Tell your neighbor study the word, live by the word, and stand by the word.
Years ago, the State of Kentucky had a law that every classroom in its in public schools had to post the 10 Commandments. The Supreme Court ruled against the state of Kentucky ordering it to take down all copies of the Ten Commandments from the walls of its schools saying: "Having the commandments on the wall may induce a student to read, meditate upon, and actually obey what is therein written."
IN OTHER WORDS, the Supreme Court of the United States of America recognized that the Word of God had the ability to transform the character of people who read it.
There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. Oh that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them! then shall we find benefit, and at last gain the happiness therein promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments.
We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to teach them early to know the Bible.
Stick to your roots, your roots will produce fruit, and your fruits will shoot!
III. Equipped For A Godly Life: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Paul concludes with a statement concerning the nature of the value of the Scriptures that is essential to live a godly life (verse 16).
First we see the source where they came from- God. God-breath the Greek word (Theponeutos) is the creative breath of God that was inspired in men.
Teaching is the basic and test of true Christian belief to live a godly life. You must be willing to sit under sound doctrine to be equipped for a godly life.
Rebuking suggest that it not only points out error, but is also the agent to be use in refuting it by rightly dividing the Word of God.
Following refutation, comes the necessity for the indicating the right path – correcting. It is able to hold you steady in this path of godly living for training in righteousness.
The end product is the fruit that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, equal to any opportunity which may arise for engaging in good works.
The Scriptures are use to engage in the ungodly in these perilous times.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of god and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ and having a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Paul’s message is summed up is made solemn by the remainder that Timothy is not a lone wanderer accountable only to himself for the conduct of his life. He is in the presence of God and Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead.
A superficial view of life claims that you is accountable to no one but yourself for the responsibility. This view of life is expressed in a multitude of common expressions “I have the right to be happy.” “It’s nobody’s business but my own life.” “No one will ever know what I do.” “I follow the dictates of my own conscience”
After Paul’s final exhortation to Timothy and the church of the essential of the Scriptures to live a godly life, he tells him what is required to him by Jesus Christ.
The apostle solemnly charges Timothy to be diligent, though many will not bear sound doctrine. People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables, and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the purpose. Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness, and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel during the good times and the bad times.
There will become a time when professing Christians will not listen to sound doctrine but follow after their own lusts Instead of regarding the will of God they dislike being interrupted in their lusts by true teachers.
History tells us that Paul was beheaded about two weeks after the writing of second Timothy.
If it is your desire to live a godly life then you must obtain those things that you have observed from others that have live a godly life through persecutions and hardship through the good times and the bad times. Remember the source from where the Scriptures came from and those who taught you how to live a godly life.