Summary: THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD OF GOD (WITH ITS MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE) IS A SACRED TRUST
THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD OF GOD (WITH ITS MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE) IS A SACRED TRUST
I. THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD ISSUES FROM A SENSE OF DIVINE CALLING
Which results in an absolute commitment to the will of God; commissioned to fulfill a calling
A. Paul as a Bond-servant of God -- Relationship characterized by Humility and Submission and Dependence
Kent: "A slave (doulos) is one who gives himself up wholly to another’s will."
B. Paul as an Apostle of Jesus Christ -- Relationship characterized by Privilege and Mission
Apostle used in the narrow sense of the 12
II. THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD AIMS AT VERY LOFTY GOALS
A. The Progress of Faith on the Part of the Elect
"for the faith of those chosen of God"
Understand that Faith is not for everyone
kata -- in the interest of; pertaining to
Hendriksen: "The service and apostleship are exercised ’in the interest of’ (that seems to
be the meaning of kata here; cf. John 2:6; II Cor. 11:21) the faith of God’s elect and (their) acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness; that is, they are carried out in order to further or promote the reliance of God’s chosen ones upon him, and their glad recognition or confession of the redemptive truth which centers in him; a truth which, in sharp contrast with the vagaries of false teachers, accords with (or here also ’is in the interest of,’ ’promotes’) godliness, the life of Christian virtue, the spirit of consecration."
B. The Increase in the Knowledge of the Truth
Read through the pastoral epistles and you will see that Paul never disparages truth or sound doctrine. These are always pursued with the utmost intensity. For him there is always the practical connection to a life of holiness.
C. The Corresponding Increase in Practical Godliness
understanding that real spiritual truth is always "according to godliness"
This connection between sound doctrine and good deeds and practical godliness is going to be a major emphasis of this epistle
D. The Certain Realization of Eternal Life
"in the hope of eternal life"
Kent: "Eternal life is here spoken as a ’hope’ because it has many aspects as yet unrealized, even though it is a present possession of the believer."
III. THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD CENTERS AROUND THE
MANIFESTATION OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE IN HISTORY
A. Promised by a Faithful God
"which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago"
B. Manifested at the Proper Time in History
"but at the proper time manifested"
History is essentially "His story"
Guthrie: "The due times of the manifestation are in contrast to the eternal times of the promise, and point to the appropriate events appointed by God for His self-revelation in Christ."
C. Summed up as the LOGOS
"even His word"
The written Word reveals the Living Word; there seems to be some connection here to the message of John 1:1-18 where the Logos is in view; the message of eternal life is revealed in the Word.
Hiebert: "’His Word’ is not the personal Christ, the Logos, but rather the saving message of the gospel. This message was made known ’at his appointed season,’ the opportune seasons established by God in his eternal wisdom. All history was the preparation for