Summary: More like a Bible study from 1, 2 Timothy and Titus (material adapted from the North American Christian Convention Bible study by JK Jones)

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Go over (Hopefully sing) Hymn # 479 A Charge to Keep I Have

In a recent book, Presidential Praise: Our Presidents and Their Hymns authors C. Edward Spann and Michael E. Williams Sr. note that the title of President George W. Bush’s autobiography, A Charge to Keep, was drawn from Charles Wesley’s hymn. The choice of this title is but one indication of the role this hymn has played in the life of President Bush, as well as the influence of this hymn 250 years beyond its composition. “A charge to keep I have” is grounded in Scripture. In this case, Leviticus 8:36 is the primary source. This Scripture is from the ordination of Aaron and his sons for the priesthood.


In an ordination service, the charge is where minister (usually an important mentor) tells the one being ordained to do this and that, to always remember this and that.

Intermittently, we have been talking about “We speak.” We speak of a Savior, We speak of the gospel, tonight we speak of a charge. Using Scriptures mainly from 1, 2 Timothy and Titus.

Charge can also be translated as I command, “I command you”

1 Timothy 1:3-5, 1:18-20, 4:11, 5:7, 5:21, 6:13-14, 6:17

2 Timothy 2:14, 4:1-2 (Not using all of these tonight)

Also, in 3 references, Paul uses “charge” as a way of not entertaining an accusation or calculating a deficit (1 Timothy 5:19, 2 Timothy 4:16, Titus 1:6 but not using that way tonight)

This is talking about ministers being ordained for the ministry or for the elders/ deacons. Well, Estonia- baptizing on one end, charging on the other of the Olympic pool. We set apart because the Bible tells us to do this as in Acts 13. However, we are all to be involved in the ministry of the church. When does our ministry begin? Right after baptism. Think about Jesus, right after baptism began his ministry. Paul right after his baptism we find this- “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.” Acts 9:20, NIV.

Thesis: What does all this mean for us?

For instances:

We are charged to keep the main thing the main thing (1 Timothy 1:3-5)

Vs. 5- The goal of this command- strong military implications, a command received from a superior- What is this command?

Vs. 3- Not to teach false doctrines any longer

Vs. 4- Not to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies

The goal of not doing these things is so that we can do things out of love. The life of Carl Ketcherside divides itself into two nearly equal parts. He devoted the first 30 to 35 years of preaching to opposing what was commonly called "located preachers" and "Christian colleges." He denied the right of preachers to receive stipulated wages and to locate with one congregation under the oversight of elders. He likewise denied parents and interested individuals the right to build and support "Bible" colleges in which to educate their children. He drew the circle of fellowship tightly around those brethren who opposed these practices and shut out of his communion all who disagreed. His views were skillfully penned in Mission Messenger, a monthly periodical he published for 40 years or more. In 1957 Ketcherside, after repenting as it were in "sackcloth and ashes," took on a different path. Carl said that former ideas were unimportant to both him and God.

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