Summary: celebrating 50 year members honored for their heritage of faith

ECC 2 Tim 3:14- 4: 5 Heritage Sunday Oct 16 2016

Heritage of Faith

A simple definition of heritage is the traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation.

On this heritage Sunday here at ECC we will be honoring those folks who have been members of this church for 50 years, Folks who have indeed kept the traditions, achievements and beliefs of faith taught and learned from this pulpit over the many years, taught from many different pastors, all called by God. More importantly, family and friends of this church, have for generations taken this heritage learned from the word of God to the people outside the walls of ECC. Indeed there is a heritage of faith held on to and passed down from the very inception of ECC.

We see in our reading this morning Paul encourages Timothy for him to continue on in the things taught to him by Paul and also by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. A young Jewish boy would formally begin the study of the OT when he reached the age of 5. In Timothy’s case he was taught by his grandmother and mother even before he reached age 5.

This early training would be very important in the life of Timothy, just as it should be for us today and our children, we can never begin too early in sharing the word of God with our children.

Paul recognized the importance of equipping a successor to carry on the gospel message after his life and ministry were over. In finding his own successor, Paul sought the right man for the job, relying on the Holy Spirit’s leading. According to Acts 16:1-3, Paul met Timothy while he was traveling through Lystra. Paul discovered that Timothy was the son of a believing Jewess and a Greek father and that people spoke highly of him. A good reputation was a characteristic that Paul valued immensely. In fact, after revealing Timothy’s excellent reputation, Acts 16:3 clearly states that “Paul wanted to take him along on the journey.” It was at this moment that the loving mentor relationship between Paul and Timothy began.

Each of us here should be able to relate the very first relationship of a mentor, the one person who began teaching us the heritage of faith, the Gospel of Christ in our lives. Due to the first one in our lives, and the first one for generations past, we all have continued on in mentoring. This heritage of faith has been shared and held on to from generation to generation. We must be doing something right because this church and its message of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Good News of the Gospel, has been touching lives since 1813.

What is this heritage of faith? Paul states it is what Timothy, and we, have known since being a child. It is the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures making us able to be wise unto salvation through our faith in Christ Jesus.

Paul states all scripture is given by inspiration of God. Paul here is primarily referring to the OT since some of the NT books had not even been written yet. Yes all scripture inspired by God, the very breath of God is what inspired means. So we in our heritage believe that the Word of God is God’s breathing out His literal word, inspired by God to the Holy Spirit and given to man.

A little Biblical history here, the 39 books of the OT were written over a period of about 1,000 years beginning around 1445 BC. The 27 books of the NT were written in a period of 100 years, from 50AD- 150AD.

For thousands of years the heritage of God inspired words have been doing exactly as Paul told Timothy. God’s word is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. And why? So that men and women of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to be able to do all good works.

I believe that if more people, would search for and know, the power and truth of the word of God, and would use it for reproof, correction and how to be righteous, we would not be in the mess this world is in today!

Paul then goes on to charge Timothy, and us as well, before God to be ready to preach the word in and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. In other words, we are to always be ready to share the Good News of Jesus no matter when or where we are in all circumstances of our lives.

Paul warns Timothy that there will come a time when people will not endure sound doctrine. They will follow after their own lusts and heap upon themselves false teachers to satisfy their itching ear. In other words they will find a falsifier to scratch their itch. Hence they will turn away from the truth and settle neatly into fables, myths based on philosophy that is far from the word of God.

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