Summary: Now if you're familiar with Paul's writings, especially to Timothy and Titus, you'll be aware that there are at least four faithful sayings which he had given. These faithful sayings are a summary of Paul’s teaching on the Christian life. It is said that
Intro: Now if you're familiar with Paul's writings, especially to Timothy and Titus, you'll be aware that there are at least four faithful sayings which he had given. These faithful sayings are a summary of Paul’s teaching on the Christian life. It is said that these were cherished sayings and often quoted during the early church by preachers and teachers. The term “faithful saying” means “a teaching that is true and worthy of belief.” Let us take a closer look at these four faithful sayings Paul.
I. Paul’s Faithful Saying on SALVATION (I Timothy 1:15)
A. It is said that this is the verse that actually started the modern missionary movement. A Baptist pastor in England by the name of Andrew Fuller believed that the gospel was for everyone. He believed that that it needed to be preached at home and everywhere. Thus, he strongly campaigned for and supported British foreign missions. (See Luke 5:32; 19:10)
B. Andrew Fuller was minister at his church in Kettering, where the Baptist Missionary Society was formed in 1792. The first missionaries, William Carey and John Thomas, were sent by Baptist Missionary Society to Bengal, India in 1793.
C. Is the message of the Gospel is worthy of all acceptation? Absolutely! Because the Gospel is worthy of all acceptation, Paul who was a chief sinner was saved by the Gospel. Even the worst criminal can be forgiven and saved. Paul obtained mercy – he did not get what he deserved (I Tim. 1:16; Tit. 3:5).
II. Paul’s Faithful Saying on SUFFERING (I Timothy 4:9-10)
A. If you do anything for Christ, you will suffer rejection and persecution. If you do not want to be criticized and despised, don’t do anything for Christ. In the ministry as well as in any worthwhile endeavor, the saying stands: “No pain, no gain.”
B. Notice three important verbs in v.10 – labour, suffer and trust. Trusting in the living God is not always easy and happy as some have imagined. It also involves laboring and suffering for Christ’s sake & glory (Heb. 6:10; II Tim. 3:12).
C. The Christian’s attitude to suffering is one of patience and hope (Jas. 5:10; I Cor. 4:12).
III. Paul’s Faithful Saying on RETRIBUTION (II Timothy 2:11-13)
A. II Tim. 2:11 is explained by verses like the following: Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:3. We are already dead to sin and yet alive in Christ (Rom 6:11). We are to live for Christ, walk in the Spirit; and not in the flesh (II Cor. 5:15; Gal. 5:24).
B. II Tim 2:12a is best explained by the following verses: (Rom. 8:17; I Pet. 4:13).
C. The denial spoken of in II Tim 2:12b has nothing to do with our salvation which is by grace, but with our inheritance which depends on our good works and spiritual walk (Gal. 5:19-21).
D. II Tim 2:13 assures us that even when we become unfaithful, the Lord is still faithful and cannot deny us which are part of his body (Eph. 5:30).
IV. Paul’s Faithful Saying on TESTIMONY (Titus 3:8)
A. To “affirm constantly” here means “to insist strongly and repeatedly as a solemn duty.”
B. To “maintain” here means “to focus or devote oneself to.” After you are born-again and saved, how you live is very important. Though New Testament salvation by grace cannot be lost, we are not licensed to continue sinning, but to “be careful to maintain good works.”
C. This is the purpose why the Lord saved us from this evil world – to show forth that we are new creatures in Christ and “a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Tit. 2:14)
D. We are to live and act like true Christians in and out of the church; from Sunday to Sunday, and in between! We are never on vacation from our faith and relationship with God. We are to be the most loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, gentle, and honorable people at: home, community, school and church.
Conclusion: Paul gave us these faithful sayings just before his death. These were the basics or the fundamentals of his teaching on the Christian life. What then is the sum total of these faithful sayings which he gave? That these should be read, understood, memorized and applied altogether. May our Lord truly find us all faithful believing and accepting these great truths in our lives.