Summary: How consistent are we in the messages that we send? Paul cautions Timothy (and us) to be careful with our words as well as our deeds.
Father’s Day 2009
I See What You’re Saying
June 21, 2009
Happy Father’s Day to everyone but especially to all the fathers. This week we will take a break from our series on The Parables of Jesus to hear a special message for fathers but also for everyone who might be seeking to learn about the ways of Jesus. Our text is 1 Timothy 6:11-16. As you find your place…
Three old men were at the doctor for a memory test. The doctor said to the first old man, "What is one plus one?"
"Two hundred seventy-four," he replied.
The doctor said to the second man, "It’s your turn. What is one plus one?"
"Tuesday," replied the second man.
The doctor said to the third man, "Okay, your turn. What’s one plus one?"
"Two," said the third man.
"That’s great!" said the doctor. "How did you get that?"
"Simple," said the third man. "I subtracted 274 from Tuesday."
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
This morning the message is entitled, “I See What You’re Saying.” What I believe we need to focus this morning is on consistency between our walk and our talk. Specifically as men and perhaps men of God and more broadly as people. People are watching. If you are a father, then little eyes are watching. Often what we do speaks much more loudly than our voices. How we live, out activities, how we function emotionally, our relationships all communicate messages as to who we are, what we really believe, and what are our priorities.
And speaking to this is the passage from 1 Timothy. Paul is writing to Timothy as a fellow follower of Jesus but also as a sort of adopted son. Paul considers Timothy to be a son to him. Therefore Paul has taken great pains to give him instruction (as well as to us) as to being all that God wants him to be.
I want to point out something hugely important. Paul addresses Timothy and charges him as “man of God.” Man of God! Paul desires Tim to live up to his calling as a man of God. So men, whether you have taken on the designation of man of God like Tim and Paul or whether you are still feeling things out, Paul helps us understand what it is be a man of God.
Man of God
And for Paul there are two crucial elements. The first is the confession. This means what comes out of our mouths.
• Watch your mouth
Paul reminds Tim that Tim has publicly declared his allegiance to Christ. But not only that, Tim has followed in his spiritual father’s footsteps as a preacher, teacher, evangelist, and disciple. As such Paul throughout this letter has carefully warned Tim and us about watching our conversations and dialogue. Watch our mouths. “Flee from all this,” says Paul. What is all this that Tim is to flee from. Paul has just reviewed these things in the immediately previous verses, which he actually detailed in the first chapter.
Basically, to give you a summary (read it through later), Paul is very much concerned with the words especially arguments and debates that come out of a man’s mouth especially one who claims to follow Jesus. Literally in verse 4 Paul warns against those who like to create in some morbid way a “war of words.” Apparently there are those who like to stir up controversy. They like to get into debates and arguments especially over meaningless stuff. These arguments result in jealousy, division, malicious talk which literally is the word blasphemy, and making people constantly suspicious. “Evil suspicions” literally means those who are so hurt because of arguments and what people have said that they can’t trust others. Since they can’t trust others, they are constantly suspticious of others and sow their mistrust with their words as they talk to others.
Of course, elsewhere Paul rightly condemns other sins of the mouth such as gossip, which is talking about someone negatively in their absence not having the ability to defend themselves and then one step further, slander. Slander is publicly whether in a small group or large group maligning the character of someone without proof or by distorting information sometimes by simply leaving out information that might weaken your case.