Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the 1 Timothy series, "Order".
Series: Order [#1]
ARE WE FOCUSED?
Not only are we beginning a New Year tomorrow; but we are beginning a new sermon series today. I had one of the most busy and exciting weeks in a long time this last week. I also had time to think about all that has happened this year. For some, you are so glad this year is over; and you are praying that you never have another year like this one again. For others, this year was amazing; and you pray that every year is as good as this one was. Either way, what are you going to do to make 2018 the best year yet? Are you focused and ready to serve God like you have never served Him before?
1 Timothy was Paul’s 1st letter to the young pastor, Timothy. Paul gives Timothy things to guard against and ways to develop mature leadership. Timothy’s mother Eunice, and Grandmother Lois, were godly Jewish women; but his father was a pagan Greek. Timothy was from Lystra and probably was saved during Paul’s 1st missionary trip. Timothy went with Silas, Luke, and Paul on Paul’s 2nd missionary trip. Timothy was sent to Ephesus to oversee the Church. Paul wrote this 1st letter to give Timothy detailed instruction for the care and oversight of the Church at Ephesus.
1 Timothy 1:1-2 (NIV)
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1. Who do we focus on?
The obvious answer is Jesus Christ; but why is He the answer?
Jesus is our…
Only Jesus can save us. We must place our hope in Jesus.
Jesus is our…
Paul was sent by Jesus Christ to give the message of salvation to the Gentiles. Paul was commanded by God to do His Work. We as Christians are called to do a work.
Jesus is our…
? Source of strength.
He gives us grace. Our salvation and ministry are through Jesus and have nothing to do with what we have done.
He gives us mercy. Because God is a merciful God, we can come to Him.
He gives us peace. True peace can only come when one follows Christ.
1 Timothy 1:3-5 (NIV)
“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
2. What do we focus on?
Paul first visited Ephesus on his 2nd missionary journey. After his release from prison he revisited many churches. When Paul and Timothy returned they found wide spread false teaching in the church. Timothy was now at Ephesus in a difficult situation. The church at Ephesus was probably plagued by the same heresy that threatened the church at Colossae- The false doctrine that to be acceptable to God one had to gain certain hidden knowledge and worship angels.
Thinking this would help their salvation, some Ephesians constructed genealogies of angels. This false teaching wasted time from the studying of the truth with irrelevant questions and controversies. We too are guilty of this sometimes. We create what we think should be the religious focus.
What we need to do, is focus on the message of Jesus Christ, His love for us, and His purpose for the Church.
1 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)
“Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”
3. How do we keep our focus?
What motivates us as a Church? Is it guilt, power, or prestige? What motivates you to do God’s work? Some were motivated by curiosity, power, and prestige.
[Take keys out and jingle them around for a moment.]
The King James says in verse 6 that some have turned to vain jangling or idle talk. When we are not focused, our teachings and ministries can be like these jangling keys. This jangling is very disruptive and distracting. Don’t be distracted.
Genuine Christians are motivated by love. Genuine faith in Christ produces a clear conscience that is one cleared of offenses before God by Jesus’ atonement. This in turn leads to a pure heart, a heart not full of sin; and this brings about love for God and others.
Let’s stay focused on doing God’s work and doing it through love.