Daily Archives: October 3, 2020

October 3d The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.—Deuteronomy 28:2.

DO you know every man who was blessed while Christ was on earth, was blessed in the act of obedience?

Ten lepers came to Him, and He said, “Go and show yourselves to the priest.” They might have said, “What good is that going to do us? It was the priest that sent us away from our families.” But they said nothing; and it came to pass, that, as they went, they were healed. Do you want to get rid of the leprosy of sin? Obey God. You say you don’t feel like it. Did you always feel like going to school when you were a boy? Supposing a man only went to business when he felt like it; he would fail in a few weeks.

Jesus said to another man, “Go to the Pool of Siloam and wash,” and as he washed, he received his sight. He was blessed in the act of obedience.

The prophet said to Naaman, “Go and dip seven times in Jordan,” and while he was dipping he was healed. Simple obedience.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 174–175). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Are People Good by Nature? 46% of “Evangelicals” Think So. — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Unless we understand the depth of our sin, we likely won’t recognize our need for God’s saving grace. Sadly, the results from our 2020 State of Theology survey uncovers widespread confusion among Christians in America about the reality and effects of sin. Conducted in partnership with Lifeway Research, the full results of this survey are now available.

According to our recent findings, 46 percent of professing U.S. evangelicals* agree with the following statement: “Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.” This idea cannot be reconciled with the emphatic teaching of Scripture that all people are radically corrupted sinners in need of salvation (Rom. 3:23). Even the smallest sin is high treason against our Creator, leaving us hopeless of escaping His judgment apart from His mercy in Christ.

Ligonier Teaching Fellow Dr. Stephen Nichols recently spoke on the significance of this finding in the State of Theology survey.

When Christians take sin lightly, our gospel witness is jeopardized. In a rapidly changing culture, the church must remain steadfast in proclaiming the message of salvation in Jesus Christ for ruined sinners. We hope these survey results will encourage American Christians to defend the gospel boldly to the praise of God’s glorious grace.

* Evangelicals were defined by this survey as people who strongly agreed with the following four statements:

  • The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
  • It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
  • Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
  • Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.

Are People Good by Nature? 46% of “Evangelicals” Think So. — Ligonier Ministries Blog

October 3 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.

Father, many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. Love is as strong as death. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Jesus Himself bore my sins in His own body on the tree, that I, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes I was healed. In Jesus I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

I was washed, I was sanctified, I was justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by Your Spirit, Lord God. I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Your own special people, that I may proclaim Your praises, for You called me out of darkness into Your marvelous light. So by the mercies of God, I will present my body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is my reasonable service.

May every minute of my life be an offering of thanks to You, Lord God! May You be honored and glorified in all I say and do!

Revelation 1:5; Song of Solomon 8:7, 6; John 15:13; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 12:1[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 298). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 3 – How can you add to your other-worldly ledger? — VCY America

October 3
Jeremiah 1:1-2:30
Philippians 4:1-23
Psalm 75:1-10
Proverbs 24:17-20

Jeremiah 1:2-3 – Welcome to Jeremiah, the words of the “Weeping Prophet.” Jeremiah’s prophecy started in 627 BC, under Josiah the Reformer (about the same age as Jeremiah). This is in the middle of the three-stage revival:

  • AGE 15: Josiah sought God (633 BC)
  • AGE 19: Josiah purged idols (629 BC)
  • AGE 26: Repairs temple, finds lost book (623 BC)
https://prolifebumper.com/collections/before-i-formed-you-in-the-womb-i-knew-you-jeremiah-1-5/products/before-i-formed-you-in-the-womb-i-knew-you-jeremiah-1-5

Jeremiah 1:6 – Who else had an excuse for why they could not speak? Moses! (Exodus 4:10).

Jeremiah 2:3 – This was visualized in the engraved plate that the high priest wore (Exodus 39:30). Holiness – a people separated unto the LORD. Yet they left the LORD (Jeremiah 2:5).

Jeremiah 2:8 – The ignorant lawyers (students of God’s law, not man’s law),
the transgressing pastors,  and the unprofitable profits of Baal. Sadly today we hear regularly of pastors who admit to marital infidelity or financial scandal, sinning and bringing ill repute against the LORD.

Jeremiah 2:11 – Hath a nation changed their gods? Egypt was a polytheist nation except for a brief period under Akhenaten, but then under famous King Tut – they returned quickly back to polytheism. There has long been recognized a connection between cult (religion) and culture (nation). As Christianity overtook paganism in the Roman empire, the Roman empire itself crumbled. The Protestant Reformation led to civil war in the pre-modern-Germany “Holy Roman Empire,” the English executed a king for the only time with Charles I as they switched into Puritanism.

King Tut.

Jeremiah 2:19 – The scariest thing to happen to a believer is when God lets your own wickedness correct you! God does not need to add additional punishment, He can let you just experience the natural result of your own choices.

Philippians 4:1 – Notice the contrast between Jeremiah 2:29 where Jeremiah expresses God’s disgust for his people, versus Paul’s “dearly beloved” brethren.

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the LORD always!

Philippians 4:8 – From Earl Martin:

Philippians 4:9 – Earl Martin has done a great job putting this verse to music. You can get 99 scripture verses set to memorable music in MP3 for just $15 from his website.

Philippians 4:13 – I love the Babylon Bee’s satire on the misuse of this verse:

Philippians 4:17 – This is the same Greek word (λόγον) as used in Jesus’ parables – Matthew 12:36 (giving account of our idle words), Matthew 18:23 (taking account of debts), Matthew 25:19 (the Master reckoning with the talents), and Luke 16:2 (unjust steward’s account of thy stewardship). Then in Romans 14:12 we are told that we will give an account (λόγον) to God. How can we add fruit to our other-worldly account? Giving to God.

Philippians 4:22 – Jesus has followers everywhere even in Caesar’s household!

Psalm 75:6-7 – It’s amazing to see throughout history surprising election results:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/scriptingnews/2544447858
The Hanging Chad, 2000
http://fortune.com/2016/10/17/donald-trump-polls-win-lose/

And don’t forget Nate Silver – the king of modern poll-analysis, on his election morning final prediction:

Proverbs 24:17-20 – Rejoice not when your enemy falleth – nor be envious of his success. Whether he is “rising” or “falling” – that’s irrelevant – keep your eye on the LORD and not on evil men!

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

October 3 – How can you add to your other-worldly ledger? — VCY America

October 3, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

A Man of God Is Known by What He Flees From

But flee from these things, you man of God; (6:11a)

The adversative sense of de (but), coupled with the use of the personal pronoun su (you), sharply contrasts Timothy with the false teachers. They are money’s men, he is God’s man; they are sin’s men, he is righteousness’s man; they are the world’s men, he is heaven’s man. Although left untranslated by the nasb, the Greek text uses the interjection ō (“O”). The use of that interjection with the vocative case is rare in the New Testament, indicating the intensity of Paul’s appeal.

A man of God realizes there are certain things to be avoided at all cost. Flee is from pheugō, from which our English word “fugitive” derives. God’s man must flee from sexual sin (1 Cor. 6:18), idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14), and “youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22). The present tense of the verb indicates the man of God is to constantly flee from these things. The direct antecedent of these things is the evils associated with loving money in vv. 9–10.

That is the cardinal sin of false teachers, who pervert the truth for personal gain. From Balaam, who sold himself to the highest bidder, through the greedy false prophets of Israel, to Judas and Demas in the New Testament, the hallmark of false teachers is greed.

Paul carefully avoided any appearance of loving money. In his farewell address to the Ephesian elders, he reminded them,

I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:33–35)

To the Thessalonians he wrote, “For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God” (1 Thess. 2:9). He reminded the Corinthians of his right to financial support, but then waived it so no one would question his motives (1 Cor. 9:1–15).

Although they may call themselves ministers of the gospel, those in it for the money are not God’s men. They have prostituted the call of God for personal gain. Those who put a price on their ministry devalue it in God’s sight to zero.

A Man of God Is Known by What He Follows After

and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (6:11b)

As fast as the man of God runs from the corrupting love of money he runs toward spiritual virtue. A man of God not only flees from sin, but also is to continually pursue holiness. The form here is parallel to 2 Timothy 2:22, where Paul commands Timothy not only to “flee from youthful lusts,” but also to “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.” If he stops, what is behind him (sin) will catch him, and he will miss his goal of holiness. In verse 11, Paul lists six virtues that every man of God must pursue to deserve that privileged title.

The first two are general virtues, one having to do with external behavior, the other with the internal attitude and motive. Righteousness translates the familiar New Testament term dikaiosunē. It means to do what is right, in relation to both God and man. The righteousness Paul describes here is not Christ’s righteousness imputed to us at salvation, but holiness of life. God’s man is known for doing what is right. His is a lifestyle marked by obedience to God’s commands.

The internal counterpart to righteousness is godliness. While righteousness looks to the outward behavior, godliness has to do with the attitudes and motives. Right behavior flows from right motives. Eusebeia (godliness), a familiar term in the Pastorals (appearing ten times), refers to reverence for God flowing out of a worshiping heart. It could be translated “God-likeness.” Godly people “offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28). They will one day receive praise from the Lord Himself (1 Cor. 4:1–5).

Those two virtues are central to a godly minister’s power and usefulness. They form an essential part of what Spurgeon called “the minister’s self-watch” (C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, vol. 1 [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980]). The Puritan Richard Baxter had much to say on that topic, devoting an entire section of his classic work The Reformed Pastor to it. He warned, “Many a tailor goes in rags, that maketh costly clothes for others; and many a cook scarcely licks his fingers, when he hath dressed for others the most costly dishes” (The Reformed Pastor [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1979], 54).

Paul knew well the importance of the minister’s watch over himself. In Acts 20:28 he exhorted the leaders of the Ephesian church to “be on guard for yourselves.” In 1 Timothy 4:16, he commanded Timothy to “pay close attention to [himself].” Knowing his own sinfulness (cf. Rom. 7:14–25; 1 Tim. 1:12–15), Paul strenuously disciplined himself. To the Corinthians he wrote,

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:24–27)

The Puritan John Flavel pointedly observed, “Brethren, it is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others, than to mortify one sin in ourselves” (cited in I. D. E. Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], 191).

John Owen added, “A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more” (cited in Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury, 192).

The nineteenth-century English pastor Charles Bridges wrote,

For if we should study the Bible more as Ministers than as Christians—more to find matter for the instruction of our people, than food for the nourishment of our own souls, we neglect then to place ourselves at the feet of our Divine Teacher, our communion with Him is cut off, and we become mere formalists in our sacred profession.… We cannot live by feeding others; or heal ourselves by the mere employment of healing our people; and therefore by this course of official service, our familiarity with the awful realities of death and eternity may be rather like that of the grave-digger, the physician, and the soldier, than the man of God, viewing eternity with deep seriousness and concern and bringing to his people the profitable fruit of his contemplations. It has well been remarked—that ‘when once a man begins to view religion not as of personal, but merely of professional importance, he has an obstacle in his course, with which a private Christian is unacquainted.’ It is indeed difficult to determine, whether our familiar intercourse with the things of God is more our temptation or our advantage. (The Christian Ministry [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1980], 163)

The apostle next names the dominant internal virtues: faith and love. Faith is simply confident trust in God for everything. It involves loyalty to the Lord and unwavering confidence in His power, purpose, plan, provision, and promise. Faith is the atmosphere in which the man of God exists. He trusts God to keep and fulfill His Word.

As he often does in his writings, Paul couples love with faith (cf. 1 Thess. 3:6; 5:8; 1 Tim. 1:14; 2 Tim. 1:13). Agapē (love) is the love of volition and choice. It is unrestricted and unrestrained, encompassing love for God, other believers, and non-Christians. The man of God understands the significance of our Lord’s words in Matthew 22:37–39: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Because he is a lover of God, the man of God loves those whom He loves (cf. 1 John 4:7–21). The love of God, “poured out within [his heart] through the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5:5) flows out of him to others (cf. 2 Cor. 6:11–13; 12:15; Phil. 2:25ff.; Col. 1:27–28; 4:12).

Paul then mentions two external virtues, perseverance and gentleness. Perseverance translates hupomonē, which means “to remain under.” It does not describe a passive, fatalistic resignation, but a victorious, triumphant, unswerving loyalty to the Lord in the midst of trials (cf. James 1:2–4). It is the perseverance of the martyr, who will lay down his life if necessary for the cause of Christ. Paul and most of the other apostles would exhibit that supreme measure of perseverance. Perseverance enables the man of God to stick with the task, no matter what the cost.

Gentleness translates praupathia, which means kindness or meekness, and appears only here in the New Testament. Although consumed with the greatest of causes, the man of God recognizes that in himself he makes no contribution to its success, and is marked by considerate humility. His is the attitude expressed by John Bunyan in The Pilgrim’s Progress:

He that is down needs fear no fall,

He that is low no pride;

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be his guide.

(Bunyan, 219)[1]


11 After his final denunciation of the false teachers, Paul turns to his final charge to Timothy (cf. the same pattern in 1:3–7; 4:1–16). In short,Timothy is to be everything the heretics are not. Addressing him directly, Paul pleads with his son in the faith, negatively, to “flee from all this” (i.e., the vices enumerated in vv. 3–10) and, positively, to “pursue” the Christian virtues of “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”

The direct address “but you” was used by Jesus in relation to his disciples (or would-be disciples; Mt 6:6, 17; Lk 9:60). Paul frequently uses the phrase rhetorically in his other letters (Ro 2:17; 11:17; 14:10) as well as in the PE (2 Ti 3:10, 14; 4:5; Tit 2:1; see also Jas 4:12). The fact that the expression occurs toward the end of the present letter and three times in the closing chapters of 2 Timothy underscores the intensity and urgency with which the apostle pleads with his trusted delegate.

The designation “man of God” (cf. 2 Ti 3:17) refers in the OT to Moses (Dt 33:1; Jos 14:6; Ezr 3:2; cf. 1 Esd 5:49), Samuel (1 Sa 9:6–10), David (2 Ch 8:14; Neh 12:24, 36), Elijah (1 Ki 17:18, 24; 2 Ki 1:9–13), and Elisha (2 Ki 4:9, 16, 22, 40; 8:3; 13:19) as well as to other servants of God. For Paul to use such a lofty expression highlights the solemn responsibility placed on Timothy and the venerable tradition in which he stands.

Paul’s commands for Timothy to “flee” (pheugō, GK 5771) and “pursue” (diōkō, GK 1503) underscore the intensity with which his apostolic delegate is to fulfill his calling. Both are strong verbs, indicating that Timothy is to be active in both directions,taking flight from the vices of the heretics and continuing to pursue Christian virtues. The NT enjoins all people to “flee from the coming wrath” (Mt 3:7; 23:33; 24:16), indicating the serious attitude we ought to take toward the destructive and eternal consequences of sin. Paul urges the Corinthians to “flee from sexual immorality” and “from idolatry” (1 Co 6:18; 10:14) and to pursue “the way of love” (14:1). In 2 Timothy 2:22 Paul pleads with Timothy to “flee the evil desires of youth” and to “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.”

“This” (tauta; lit., “these things”) refers back to the vices mentioned in the previous section (vv. 3–10), especially false doctrine and greed (contra Mounce, 353). In comparison with 2 Timothy 2:22, here there is an added reference to “godliness,” “endurance,” and “gentleness,” while no mention is made of “peace”; “righteousness,” “faith,”and “love” are common to both lists. These six positive characteristics contrast with the five negative results associated with the false teachers in vv. 4–5.Where the false teachers are characterized by “envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction,” Timothy is to pursue “righteousness [dikaiosynē, GK 1466; cf. 2 Ti 2:22; 3:16; 4:8], godliness [eusebeia, GK 2354; 2:2; 3:16; 4:7–8; 6:3, 5–6; 2 Ti 3:5], faith [pistis, GK 4411; cf. 1:4–5, 14, 19; 4:12], love [agapē, GK 27; cf. 1:5, 14; 2:15; 4:12], endurance [hypomonē, GK 5705; 2 Ti 3:10; Tit 2:2] and gentleness [praupathia, GK 4557; only here in the NT; cf. 2 Ti 2:25; Philo, Abraham 213].”

In sum, Timothy—along with every man and woman of God—is to be fueled by a strong desire to put as great a distance as possible between himself and evil, avoiding ungodly associations of any kind, and to do everything in his power to act out righteousness, faith, love, and other Christian virtues. All believers are to love and do what is right (or, as Jesus put it, “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” Mt 5:6); cultivate godly character; trust God in all things; live a life of loving others, including friends and foes alike; and display both endurance and gentleness, especially in dealing with persistent opposition in the church.[2]


11 As the restatement of commission begins, Paul turns first to the matter of Timothy’s holiness—separating him distinctively from the errorists. He establishes this distinctiveness in three ways. First, he employs (for the first time in these letters to coworkers; 2 Tim 3:10, 14; 4:5; Titus 2:1) the abrupt “but you” transition; as used here this is a polemical-rhetorical device designed to emphasize a break with, and to create distance from, the opponents.

Second, Paul distinguishes Timothy in the appeal, “[O] man of God.” This title exceeds the rhetorical personalizing function of the similar phrase, “o (hu)man” (Rom 2:1, 3, 20; etc.) by virtue of the addition of the genitive qualifier “of God” that places Timothy into the category of the numerous OT servants of God who were so designated. Equally, the presence of the emotive vocative marker of personal address, “O” (cf. 6:20; Gal 3:1; etc.), distinguishes this title from the similar general reference to “the one who belongs to God” as used in 2 Tim 3:17. The title underwent some development in Philo, who used it to identify a qualitatively different sort of person whose life, patterned in some sense after Moses’, is marked by a profound devotion to God. As applied to Timothy, both servanthood (and holy lineage) and devotion to God (a superior quality of godliness) combine in this final address. Paul sets Timothy apart not from all other leaders but from those whose lifestyle demonstrates a false claim to authority.

Third, the traditional “flee/pursue” formula (2 Tim 2:22) draws an emphatic line between behavior that has been denounced (“all this” in reference to the preceding discussion 6:3–10) and behavior that is to be embraced. The two verbs (“flee, pursue”) were stock items in Greek ethical teaching, and were sometimes juxtaposed as here.

Consequently, the transition Paul has made in his discourse is not just one of topic. Rather, in these three ways he shifts from a set of values and aspirations that he has evaluated and rejected to an approved measurement of holiness. He has also set Timothy’s character and calling apart from the opponents. And he urges Timothy to separate consciously from the things they do and seek, and to “pursue” the authentic virtues of godliness they lack.

The remainder of v. 11 fills out what is meant by the pursuit command in a series of six virtues. Virtue lists, such as this one (2 Tim 2:22–25; 3:10), were a typical feature of Hellenistic ethical teaching that allowed the cardinal virtues to be packaged and presented neatly and concisely. The use of this device by Paul and other NT writers (sometimes alongside a contrasting list of vices) shows indebtedness to the literary and pedagogical fashions of the day.10 Christian virtue lists also functioned to package neatly the (cardinal) qualities characteristic of authentic Christianity. No single list is exhaustive, and each also intended to call to mind the whole network of behavioral qualities that constitute a life lived in response to God’s covenant. The contents of the lists vary but the “faith/love” pair often forms a noticeable core (see on 1:14), and the Christianizing of a secular device is evident from this critical anchor. Likewise the organization of items in the lists follows no discernible pattern, though in the letters to Timothy there is some preference for the first three terms (see also 2 Tim 2:22), and the “faith/love” pair resonates even more widely. Although there is some distance in between, this list of virtues forms the polemical counterpart to the shorter vice list of 6:4 that helps put distance between the life Timothy is to pursue and that way chosen by the opponents.

“Righteousness” in Paul’s various discussions can be a rather loaded term. In some contexts (e.g. Rom 9:30; 10:3; Gal 5:5; etc.; 2 Tim 4:8), against the law-court background of the OT, it is the resulting status that accompanies the verdict of acquittal handed down by God to those who have placed their faith in Christ. Here, however, it is one way of describing the whole of ethical and observable life. It means moral “uprightness” in the sense of a life lived in accordance with God’s law (2 Tim 2:22; 3:16; Acts 10:35; Phil 1:11). This is not to diminish the theological orientation of “righteous” living, but only to place the accent on the behavior that belief in God is meant to produce.

“Godliness” (see 2:2 Excursus), the second term, is broader still. As throughout these letters to coworkers, it characterizes the whole of Christian existence as the combination of faith in God and the observable ethical response to his covenant.

The next three terms, “faith, love, endurance,” form a traditional triad that summarizes Christian existence. “Faith” and “love,” perhaps the essential pair, effectively interpret the concept of “godliness.” “Faith” in this context could mean faithfulness (i.e. to the gospel or the truth) or the ongoing act of believing (see 1:2 note). “Love” (see on 1:5) is the active outworking of belief in sacrificial service to others. But earlier expressions of the “faith-love” combination show how it attracted other important virtues to itself. “Faith, hope, love” appear together in 1 Thess 5:8 and as a distinct triad in 1 Cor 13:3; in the 1 Thess 1:3, we can already see how room was made to add virtues such as “endurance” (Rev 2:19). This term also occurs with faith and love in the lists of 2 Tim 3:10 and Titus 2:2. It expresses the determination and perseverance that is needed to support faith and love in the face of adversity, which in all three settings has the conflict with opponents in view (cf. Rev 2:2–3).

Closing the list is the rare term “gentleness.” Its place in the list (as with its synonym in 2 Tim 2:25) is to describe the attitude necessary to engage those in opposition in a way that will facilitate their repentance and reconciliation.

Thus Timothy is to pursue a life that, in contradiction to the rebelliousness and factiousness of the opponents, exhibits genuine godliness and compassion for those in error. If Paul seems to be preoccupied with ethical matters, the slippage in the behavior of some of the church’s former leaders explains the concern. In any case, what should not be lost on us is the fact that Paul does not isolate elements of human conduct from matters of ministry, but rather seeks to integrate belief and behavior into a holistic pattern of existence. It is not accidental that he began this restatement of Timothy’s commission from an ethical perspective: the starting point for ministry is a manner of life that is visibly different from that patterned after the values of the world, which keeps faith and love/conduct bound tightly together.[3]


6:11. But you, O man of God, flee these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness.

In a manner consistent with the rest of Scripture, Paul instructs Timothy both as to what he is to avoid and what he is to do (cf., e.g., the Ten Commandments). The interjection, ‘O’, carries a sense of urgency and intensity. These are not trifling matters. The address, ‘man of God’, furthermore, could be a reference to Timothy as a leader, reflecting a common use of the phrase in the Septuagint. But the expression can also refer to any believer. Here it probably addresses Timothy as a leader whose life is to be an example for all believers.11

A life that is pleasing to God means, first of all, that one must ‘flee’ from certain things. The Christian must be active in his avoidance of ungodliness. ‘These things’, in this context, include the love of money, but probably also the false teaching and the other associated vices (6:3–5). Christians must be well acquainted with the dangers and the deceptions of sin, not flirting with it, but running from it.

However, Paul also instructs Timothy as to what he is to run after, or ‘pursue’. First, he lists ‘righteousness’, or conduct and character that are in accordance with God’s law (cf. Rom. 8:4). The second characteristic is ‘godliness’, a term for Christian piety that Paul has already used in 2:2 and 4:7. Thirdly, he tells Timothy to pursue ‘faith’, here meaning ‘trust’ or ‘utter dependence on God’. Fourthly, as elsewhere, Paul links faith with ‘love’, the chief of Christian virtues, which has as its object both God and man. Fifthly, Timothy is to pursue ‘perseverance’ in the faith, actively training himself to hold fast and not turn away. Sixthly, Paul lists ‘gentleness’, an important quality for all believers, but especially for ministers in their treatment, and even correction, of others (cf. 2 Tim. 2:23–26).

As George Knight points out, it is possible that Paul has grouped these six virtues deliberately in three pairs. The first two are general descriptions of proper Christian conduct and character; the second two are the central Christian virtues; and the final pair describe the proper response to opposition and hostility. But more importantly, we are justified in seeing all six of these virtues as gifts from God. Righteousness (Phil. 1:11), faith (Phil. 1:29) and perseverance (John 6:37–39) are explicitly described as such elsewhere in Scripture. Yet that does not preclude the believer’s active pursuit of them. We work because of what God has done, is doing and will do.[4]


Ver. 11.—O man of God. The force of this address is very great. It indicates that the money-lovers just spoken of were not and could not be “men of God,” whatever they might profess; and it leads with singular strength to the opposite direction in which Timothy’s aspirations should point. The treasures which he must covet as “a man of God” were “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” For the phrase, “man of God,” see 2 Tim. 3:17 and 2 Pet. 1:21. In the Old Testament it always applies to a prophet (Deut. 33:1; Judg. 13:6; 1 Sam. 2:27; 1 Kings 12:22; 2 Kings 1:9; Jer. 35:4; and a great many other passages). St. Paul uses the expression with especial reference to Timothy and his holy office, and here, perhaps, in contrast with the τοὺς ἀνθρώπους mentioned in ver. 9. Flee these things. Note the sharp contrast between “the men” of the world, who reach after, and the man of God, who avoids, φιλαργυρία. The expression, “these things,” is a little loose, but seems to apply to the love of money, and the desire to be rich, with all their attendant “foolish and hurtful lusts.” The man of God avoids the perdition and manifold sorrows of the covetous, by avoiding the covetousness which is their root. Follow after (δίωκε); pursue, in direct contrast with φεύγε, flee from, avoid (see 2 Tim. 2:22). Meekness (πρα̈υπαθείαν). This rare word, found in Philo, but nowhere in the New Testament, is the reading of the R.T. (instead of the πρᾳότητα of the T.R.) and accepted by almost all critics on the authority of all the older manuscripts. It has no perceptible difference of meaning from πραότης, meekness or gentleness.[5]


11. But thou, O man of God, flee these things. By calling him man of God he adds weight to the exhortation. If it be thought proper to limit to the preceding verse the injunction which he gives to follow righteousness, piety, faith, patience, this is an instruction which he gives, by contrast, for correcting avarice, by informing him what kind of riches he ought to desire, namely, spiritual riches. Yet this injunction may also be extended to other clauses, that Timothy, withdrawing himself from all vanity, may avoid that (περιεργίαν) vain curiosity which he condemned a little before; for he who is earnestly employed about necessary employments will easily abstain from those which are superfluous. He names, by way of example, some kinds of virtues, under which we may suppose others to be included. Consequently, every person who shall be devoted to the pursuit of “righteousness,” and who shall aim at “piety, faith, charity,” and shall follow patience and gentleness, cannot but abhor avarice and its fruits.[6]


11. The apostle addresses Timothy as a man of God in striking contrast to the previous description of a man of material desire (the opening words But you [sy de] are emphatic). Yet the things which Timothy must flee from must be given a wider connotation than the dangers of wealth. There is probably an extended reference to all the vices mentioned from verse 8 onwards.

The antithesis in the words flee … pursue is in the characteristic manner of Paul. It is repeated exactly in 2 Timothy 2:22. Of the objects of pursuit the first two describe a general religious disposition, righteousness being used in its widest sense of conformity to what is right towards both God and man, and godliness of general piety. This double pursuit is also found in Titus 2:12. The two following virtues, faith and love, are fundamental to Christianity and cardinal in Paul’s teaching. It has been suggested that for Paul faith and love were sufficient to stand alone without needing to be linked with other virtues. But in Galatians 5:22 the same two virtues occur with others in a statement about the fruit of the Spirit.

The concluding virtues, endurance and gentleness, link together two very different qualities. The first has an element of strength, a patient stickability. But the second is softer, a gentleness of feeling, which in itself is a somewhat rarer quality. It is a precious target for the man of God.[7]


The ethical appeal (6:11)

As a man of God, Timothy must both flee from all this (tauta, ‘these things’) and pursue other things. He is to flee the love of money, and all the many evils associated with it (9–10), together with ‘the wayward passions of youth’, and everything else which is incompatible with the wholesome will of God. Instead, he is to pursue six qualities, which seem to be listed in pairs, and which are particularly appropriate as an alternative to covetousness. First, he must pursue righteousness (perhaps here meaning justice and fair dealing with people) and godliness (for God not mammon is the right object of human worship). Next, the man of God must pursue faith and love, a familiar couplet in Paul’s letters. Perhaps in this context he means on the one hand faithfulness or ‘integrity’ (reb) and on the other the love of sacrifice and service which has no room for greed. Then Timothy’s third goal is to be endurance (hypomonē), which is patience in difficult circumstances, and gentleness, which is patience with difficult people.

What is specially noteworthy is that this ethical appeal has both a negative and a positive aspect, which are complementary. Negatively, we are to ‘flee’ from evil, to take ‘constant evasive action’, to run from it as far as we can and as fast as we can. Positively, we are to go in hot pursuit of goodness. This combination occurs frequently in the New Testament, although in different terms. We are to deny ourselves and follow Christ,44 to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and ‘yes’ to godliness and self-control, to take off the old clothing which belonged to our previous life and put on the new which belongs to our Christian life, and here to run away from evil and run after goodness.

Now we human beings are great runners. It is natural for us to run away from anything which threatens us. To run from a real danger is common sense, but to run from issues we dare not face or from responsibilities we dare not shoulder is escapism. Instead, we should concentrate on running away from evil. We also run after many things which attract us—pleasure, promotion, fame, wealth and power. Instead, we should concentrate on the pursuit of holiness.

There is no particular secret to learn, no formula to recite, no technique to master. The apostle gives us no teaching on ‘holiness and how to attain it’. We are simply to run from evil as we run from danger, and to run after goodness as we run after success. That is, we have to give our mind, time and energy to both flight and pursuit. Once we see evil as the evil it is, we will want to flee from it, and once we see goodness as the good it is, we will want to pursue it.[8]


Ver. 11. But thou, O man of God.

The man of God:

  1. His relations to God are suggested by the title itself, “man of God.” This had formerly been distinctive of a prophet, and especially of Elijah, the great reformer, who so realized the truth underlying it that he began many a message by the favourite formula, “The Lord God of Israel, before whom I stand.” In Ephesus, Timothy had to take up as decided a stand against prevailing evils as Elijah had maintained in the kingdom of Israel; and he too was to find strength and wisdom in the presence of God, whence he might come forth to the people as God’s representative and spokesman. Any devout man may be called a “man of God” if he is—1. Living near God and coming forth to his duties, as Moses came from the mount of communion, reflecting the light of heaven. 2. Representing God is the outcome of communion with Him. Reflection of light can only result from the incidence of light. A mirror shut up in a pitch-dark cellar is not to be distinguished by the eye from a flagstone, but placed in the sunlight it may reflect a whole heaven of beauty. If you would let your light shine before men, you must put yourself in true relation to the Sun of Righteousness. And, again, no one would be called “a man of God” unless he was—3. Seeking God’s ends. It was because Timothy was by profession and in character “God’s man” that the apostle assumes that his course would of necessity be different from that of the worldly—that he would flee the things they loved. Everyone would discredit the assertion of one who said he represented a drapery establishment if, day after day, he was engaged in buying and selling timber or coal, and left all soft goods unregarded.
  2. His relations to sin are those of unconquerable repugnance. 1. The nature of these sins is exemplified in the words uttered just before by Paul against the love of money, the hurtful lusts of the human heart, and the foolish and evil practices to which these lead. 2. The means of escape from these are twofold. Sometimes we may meet and conquer a temptation, and sometimes we may more wisely flee from it.

III. His relations to virtues. Negative precepts distinguished the Old Dispensation, but the New Dispensation is not content with them. The virtues mentioned here are arranged in pairs. 1. Righteousness and godliness include all conduct towards God: obedience to His law, trust and reverence, devoutness and prayer. 2. Faith and love are the two essentials to such a life, for righteousness is the offspring of faith, and godliness is the offspring of love. 3. Patience and meekness have regard to our dealings with our fellow-men, especially with those who persecute or wrong us, and they are among the most difficult graces to exhibit. (A. Rowland, LL.B.) Are you a man of God?

  1. The text speaks of a man.
  2. The text says that we are not only to be a man, but it tells us what sort of a man; it says—a “man of God.” There are two or three kinds of men. 1. There is the “manor the world.” You hear such a person say, “Well, you know, I am a man of the world.” A “man of the world” is supposed to know everything, but, as a rule, you find that what he knows is everything of indulgence and badness. But does he know how to bear trial when it comes? But the “man of God” feels that duty, principle, righteousness, are of first importance. The “man of the world” puts expediency before him; the “man of God” has principle for his guide. The “man of God” says, “It is not necessary for me to live, but it is necessary that the women and children should get out of danger before me.” The “man of the world” always pushes himself first, because he is a “man of the world”; the “man of God” first lifts up others, because he is a “man of God.” 2. Then there is the “man of business.” All such a man is noted for is that he is a “man of business.” His greatest characteristic is that his head is “screwed on the right way.” The “man of God” seeks first the kingdom of God; the “things” of the world are of secondary importance. The “man of God” is, however, “diligent in business,” but he is not a slave to it. 3. There are also other classes of persons called “men of wealth” and “men of learning.” Being a “man of God” implies a man who has found God—God is in all his thoughts. Is God so hard to find as some of the Churches would have us believe? The “man of God” is one who has not only found God, but obeys His commandments. In the text the “man of God” is called upon to “follow righteousness”; that is, to train himself to act in a right or straight course of conduct. An old writer has pointed out that man has naturally a habit of walking askew. How difficult for a man to walk a hundred yards in a perfectly straight line! It is impossible for him to do so if he shut his eyes. I appeal to your recollection whether you ever saw a straight path across a field; it is always tortuous, in and out. Likewise, the path taken by a man’s heart is not direct and straight by nature. The “man of God” is reliable; he can be trusted with uncounted gold, and his word is as good as his bond. The “man of God” should be godly; that is, like God, unselfish, not seeking exclusively his own good, but the good of all. The “man of God” will practise self-respect, self-control, and self-denial. (W. Birch.)

Following righteousness:—Ignorant though Stewart was of every technicality in trade, he was a man of undeviating truth and uprightness. He was aware that unjustifiable profits were made by shopkeepers, and that they had no conscience whatever about practising deception in order to place a fictitious value upon their goods. All such false ways he utterly abhorred, and he was determined to try his own plan. At all risks, he made up his mind that he would not look for more than ten per cent, profit, and that he would never deceive a buyer as to the prime cost of any article in his store. “Ten per cent, and no lies”—that was Mr. Stewart’s motto for doing business. But it is a curious instance of the repugnance of the trade to carry on business on such terms that the salesman, who could not have suffered in any way by this arrangement, became irritated against his employer, and at the end of a month or so resigned his situation. He declared that he could no longer be a party to sell goods by such rules—that, in fact, Mr. Stewart was giving them away to the public; and, with very significant emphasis, he added, “Before another month is over you will be a bankrupt.” Mr. Stewart’s business, however, gradually enlarged, until, after being in business half a century, his property and stock was worth twenty million pounds, thus proving that “honesty is the best policy. (Memoir of Stewart, the Millionaire.) Patience.

Patience portrayed:—Among all the graces that adorn the Christian soul, like so many jewels of various colours and lustres, against the day of her espousals to the Lamb of God, there is not one more brilliant than this of patience; not one which brings more glory to God, or contributes so much toward making and keeping peace on earth; not one which renders a man more happy within himself, more agreeable to all about him; insomuch that even they who themselves possess it not, yet are sure to commend it in others.

  1. In the first place, patience is a virtue common to us with God. Long-suffering is His darling attribute; and what is dear in His sight ought not to be less precious in ours. And how marvellous is His patience who daily pours His blessings on those men who as daily offend, affront, and dishonour Him! Yet God’s blessings are abused to the purposes of luxury and lasciviousness; His truth is denied; His commandments are broken; His Church is persecuted; His ministers are insulted; His Son is crucified afresh; and His own long-suffering is made an argument against His existence—and He is still patient. What is man, then, that he should complain?
  2. The patience which we so much admire in God shone forth yet more amazingly in the person of his Son Jesus Christ. For was ever patience like that patience which, descending from a throne of glory, bore a long imprisonment in the womb to sanctify sinners, and lay in a stable to bring them to a kingdom.

III. The patience thus practised by Christ is enjoined by His holy gospel, being, indeed, the badge of that gospel and its professors. Is the mind tempted to impatience by the disappointment of its desires and the loss of worldly goods and enjoyments? The Scripture, to eradicate the temptation, is full of precepts enjoining us to contemn the world, and not to set our hearts upon things that pass away, and that cannot satisfy the soul when it is possessed of them. The worldly man is always impatient, because he prefers his body to his soul; the Christian prefers his soul to his body, and therefore knows how to give largely and to lose patiently.

  1. We find all the saints of God who have been eminent for their faith in Christ to have been as eminent for their patience, without which their faith must have failed in the day of trial; it being not through faith alone, but, as the apostle says, “through faith and patience,” that they “inherited the promises.” Faith begat patience, which, like a dutiful child, proved the support of its parent. Through patience Moses, so often abused and insulted, and only not stoned by a stiffnecked people, still entreated the Lord for them.
  2. The present state of man renders the practice of this virtue absolutely necessary for him if he would enjoy any happiness here or hereafter. Could we, indeed, live in the world without suffering, then were there no need of patience. “He that endureth to the end shall be saved. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
  3. The manifold inconveniences of impatience will set this truth off to great advantage. As patience is the attribute of God, impatience had its beginning from Satan. “Through envy of the devil,” saith the wise man, “came death into the world.” And whence proceeds envy but from impatience of beholding the happiness of another? Impatience and malice, therefore, had one father, and they have grown together in his children ever since. (Bp. Horne.)

Meekness:—It is recorded that after Thomas Aquinas had returned to Bologna a stranger came one day to the monastery, and, visiting the prior, asked that one of the brothers might carry a basket for him to the market to make some purchases. “Tell the first brother you see in the cloisters,” said the prior. The brother happened to be Thomas Aquinas, who, at the curt command of the stranger, took up the basket and followed. But he was suffering from lameness, and the arrogant stranger turned round and scolded him for being so slow. The Bolognese, looking on with indignation at the treatment of the revered teacher of the Schools, said to the visitor, “Do you know who it is that you are treating in this way? It is Brother Thomas!” “Brother Thomas!” he exclaimed; and, falling on his knees, begged the saint’s forgiveness. “Nay” said Thomas, “you must forgive me for being so alow!”[9]


6:11 “But flee from these things” Timothy is commanded (PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE, cf. 2 Tim. 2:22) to flee from the things discussed in vv. 3–10. This is in contrast to the things he was to preach and teach (cf. v. 2b), which are listed in 5:1–6:2a.

©

NASB, NRSV

 

 

 

TEV

 

“you man of God”

 

NKJV

 

“O man of God”

 

NJB

 

“as someone dedicated to God”

 

This was an honorific title from the OT which was used of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Samuel, and David. In 2 Tim. 3:16, 17 it is used for all believers equipped by the word of God. The false teachers are not men of God or equipped by the Word of God.

© “pursue” This is another PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE, an ongoing command. The first (“flee”) is negative, the second (“pursue”) positive. Both are crucial for sound teaching and personal righteousness.

© “righteousness” This must refer to holy living (cf. James 3:13–18), not to imputed (forensic) righteousness as in Romans (cf. chapter 4). See Special Topic at Titus 2:13. Romans 1–8 (a doctrinal summary) speaks of our position in Christ (i.e. justification). The Pastoral Letters (letters against false teaching) speak of our possessing our possession (i.e. sanctification). See Special Topic: Righteousness at Titus 2:12.

This list of Christlike qualities is exactly opposite of the lifestyles of the false teachers. By their fruits you shall know them (cf. Matt. 7).

© “godliness” This is a recurring theme (cf. 3:10; 4:7–8; 6:3, 5–6; 2 Tim. 3:5). Eternal life has observable characteristics. To know God is to be (desire to be) like God (cf. Matt. 5:48).

©

NASB, NJB

 

“perseverance”

 

NKJV

 

“patience”

 

NRSV, TEV

 

“endurance”

 

The Greek word hupomonē has several possible English translations. In A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker say that this word refers to the enduring of toil and suffering (p. 846). Timothy was to face (1) the problems; (2) those who caused the problems; and (3) those affected by the problems with a steadfast endurance. See Special Topic at 4:16.

© “gentleness” Not only was Timothy to endure and persevere, but he was to do so with a faithful, loving, gentle spirit (cf. 3:3; 2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 3:3; Gal. 6:1; James 1:21; 3:13, 17; 1 Pet. 2:18; 3:4).[10]


11. Over against the vices which Paul has just condemned (see verses 3–10) stand the virtues which Timothy is urged to cultivate: But you, O man of God, flee away from these things, and run after righteousness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.

Timothy is urged to flee away from such things as wickedness, gold-hunger, error, envy, wrangling, reviling; and to run after, pursue or eagerly seek after (see: N.T.C. on 1 Thess. 5:15; cf. Rom. 12:13; 1 Cor. 14:1; Phil. 3:12) their opposites, namely, righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. This befits him as a “man of God.” In the old dispensation this was a designation of the person who by God had been entrusted with a high office (Moses, Deut. 33:1; Ps. 90:1; David, 2 Chron. 8:14; Elijah, 2 Kings 1:9; the prophets, 1 Sam. 2:27). In the new dispensation, now that every believer is viewed as a partaker of the anointing of the Holy One, and therefore as a prophet, priest, and king (1 John 2:20; cf. 1 Peter 2:9), the description is used with respect to any and every believer, as is clear from 2 Tim. 3:17. And surely, if every Christian is a “man of God,” Timothy, having been placed in a position of great responsibility, is this in a special sense. Now a “man of God” is God’s peculiar possession, his special ambassador. He is, accordingly, the very opposite of the man whose owner is Mammon, whose commands he obeys.

Timothy, then, as a “man of God,” must “run after” righteousness, the state of heart and mind which is in harmony with God’s law, and will lead to godliness, the godly life, truly pious conduct. “Faith, love, and endurance” belong together (Titus 2:2; cf. 2 Tim. 3:10 then 1 Thess. 1:3) just like “faith, love, and hope” (Col. 1:4, 5; cf. “faith, hope, and love,” 1 Cor. 13:13), for endurance is the fruit of hope (1 Thess. 1:3). It is the grace to bear up under adversities; for example, persecution. It amounts to steadfastness no matter what may be the cost, in the full assurance of future victory. (For a word-study of endurance and its synonyms see N.T.C. on 1 Thess. 1:3; 5:14—footnote 108—; 2 Thess. 1:4; 3:5). As to faith, this concept is here used in the subjective sense, active reliance on God and his promises. And love, with Paul, is broad as the ocean, having as its object God in Christ, believers, and in a sense “everyone” (1 Tim. 1:5, 14; 2:15; 4:12; 2 Tim. 1:7, 13; 2:22; 3:10; Titus 2:2; cf. 1 Thess. 3:12). When these virtues are present, gentleness of spirit will certainly result. The word thus translated is found only here in the Greek Bible. Comparison with 2 Tim. 3:10 indicates that it is akin in meaning to longsuffering (patience with respect to persons).[11]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 260–264). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 555–556). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 407–410). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Barcley, W. B. (2005). A Study Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy (pp. 195–196). Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Timothy (p. 121). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (pp. 160–161). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, p. 129). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[8] Stott, J. R. W. (1996). Guard the truth: the message of 1 Timothy & Titus (pp. 154–155). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: First Timothy (pp. 282–284). New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[10] Utley, R. J. (2000). Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey: I Timothy, Titus, II Timothy (Vol. Volume 9, pp. 83–84). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[11] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles (Vol. 4, pp. 202–203). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

The Forgotten God — Founders Ministries

The Forgotten God

In his acceptance speech for the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1983, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn addressed the reason for the Russian Revolution that resulted in the slaughter of 60 million people. After spending fifty years studying this question, Solzhenitsyn summarized his conclusion in the words of elders that he heard in his childhood: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

As America has watched protests, riots, and calls for revolution in the streets of many cities over the last few months, political pundits, Christian leaders, and regular, peace-loving citizens have entertained the same question of “why is this happening.” None of the proposed answers, from “because of systemic racism,” to “it’s the voice of the unheard,” to “disenfranchisement,” have come close to the profound, simple accuracy of the explanation offered by Solzhenitsyn.

America has forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Not that we need any statistical data to undergird this conclusion, but the recent, biannual “State of Theology” survey fully supports it. According to that research a majority of Americans claim to believe in the Triune God of the Bible but are basically clueless to who He really is. Thus, a great majority of those “believers” (72%) affirm the doctrine of the Trinity, but most also think that Jesus was just a great human teacher and the Holy Spirit is only a powerful force. No wonder that such muddled views about the true God lead 63% of Americans erroneously to think that God accepts the worship of all religions.

There is a direct connection between ignorance of God and rampant societal lawlessness. See Romans 1:18-32 for details. Psalm 50 also makes the connection between forgetting God and lawless living. In that Psalm the Lord rebukes His Old Covenant people for professing knowledge of Him—they recite His statutes and take His covenant on their lips (v. 16) while simultaneously rejecting His words & breaking His commandments (vv. 17-20). The reason for such hypocrisy, God says, is because “you thought that I was one like yourself” (v. 21).

They had forgotten God.

There is a direct connection between ignorance of God and rampant societal lawlessness.

The situation that American Christians face today is much like that which the Apostle Paul faced when he went to ancient Athens. Our mandate is to proclaim to our friends and neighbors the unknown God (Acts 17:23). And like Paul, we must start with the basics.

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything (Acts 17:24-25).

We can no longer assume that the people in America understand even the basic truths about the true God. Those of us who do know Him, must teach them. This is fundamental to the work of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). The people who we want to know the good news of salvation must recognize that they are creatures—creatures made by, for, and in the image of the one, true God. We must introduce them to Him and, again, like Paul, call them to account by urging them to heed His command to repent. We must tell them that God made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “in him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we are indeed his offspring.” Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:26-31).

Because God created us, we are dependent on and accountable to Him. Because we have broken His commandments, we are guilty before Him. Because of the moral devastation that sin has wreaked on us, we are powerless to make atonement for rebellion or remove our guilt. Because of His love and grace, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to provide such an atonement for us through His life, death and resurrection. By turning from sin and to Christ in faith, rebel sinners will be saved and reconciled to the true God.

May the Lord impress on His people once again our desperate need to know Him and make Him known in these increasingly godless days.


The widespread ignorance of God—even among many who profess to know Him—is the impetus behind the 2021 Founders Conference planned for January 21-23 in Southwest Florida. We will take that opportunity to focus on the biblical “Doctrine of God” by listening to messages from His Word that call us to examine our hearts and minds in light of what He has revealed about Himself. For more information visit our registration page at Founders Ministries.


The Forgotten God — Founders Ministries

October—3 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

For a testament is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all whilst the testator liveth.—Heb. 9:17.

Precious Lord Jesus! and was it needful that thou shouldst die, that the rich legacies of thy will might be paid thy children, and thy spouse, the Church? Was the testament in thy blood of no force until thou hadst finished redemption by expiring on the cross? And hast thou now confirmed the whole, by this gracious act of thine, when dying “the just for the unjust, to bring us to God?” Sit down, my soul, this evening, and ponder over the unequalled love of thy dear Redeemer. Jesus died, and thereby gave validity and efficacy to his will. Now, therefore, it is of force. Now the large estate of an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled, and which fadeth not away, which Jesus hath purchased by his blood, is eternally and everlastingly secured. Yea, the will hath, since his death, been proved in the court of heaven, and Jesus is gone thither to see every legacy paid; yea, Jesus becomes the executor and administrator of the whole, and ever liveth for this express purpose. So that it is impossible for any of his poor relations, and their claims by him, ever to be forgotten or overlooked. Pause overt his view of this most interesting subject. Shall the great ones of the earth, the rich and the mighty, be so anxious over their legacies from one another, as never to lose an estate for want of inquiry, when their rich relations die; and wilt not thou, my soul, now thy rich Relation is dead, and liveth again, and hath left thee the most blessed of all inheritances, wilt not thou seek after it, and be anxious for the full possession of it? Dost thou know thyself to be indeed a part of Christ’s body, the Church, the Lamb’s wife, and by adoption and grace, a child of God, and a joint-heir with Christ; and wilt thou not see that thy legacy be fully paid? Surely thou hast already taken out a probate of thy Lord’s will from the chancery of heaven, the book of life, and therefore mayest well look for all the testamentary effects. Precious Lord Jesus! I hear thee speak, and well do I remember the words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you!” Oh! the unspeakable mercy of being thus related to the Lord Jesus Christ! by which, my soul, thou hast every legacy needful for thy present peace paid in part; and the whole reversionary interest of that immense estate in heaven shall be fully paid when thon comest of age, and thou shalt enter upon the possession of it, in the presence of thy Lord, and sit down with him in the everlasting enjoyment of it, for ever![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 286–287). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

October 3 Thoughts for the quiet hour

 

They took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus

Acts 4:13

A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is His living biography, written out in the words and actions of His people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we would be pictures of Christ; yea, such striking likenesses of Him that the world would not have to hold us up by the hour together, and say, “Well, it seems somewhat a likeness”: but they would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught of Him; he is like Him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and everyday actions.”

Spurgeon[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

White House Source Says Trump’s Vitals Are ‘Very Concerning’ and Next 48 Hours Are ‘Critical’ Just Minutes After Doctors Claimed He Was ‘Doing Well’ – as It Emerges He May Have Been Diagnosed on Wednesday. So What’s Going On? — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Confusion has erupted over Donald Trump’s condition as he fights coronavirus after the president’s doctors said he is doing ‘very well’ while a White House source claimed his vitals are ‘very concerning’.

Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning alongside several other members of the president’s medical team.

‘This morning, the president is doing very well. The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. He’s been fever free for 24 hours and we are cautiously optimistic,’ Conley said, adding that Trump has been working and walking in his hospital suite.

Conley’s depiction was far more optimistic than one put forward by a White House source familiar with the president’s health who spoke to Bloomberg Business pooler Cheryl Bolen on background immediately after the briefing ended.

‘The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,’ the source told Bolen, who passed that information along to the press pool.

The briefing raised more questions than answers as Conley declined to say what temperature the president had when he had a fever, whether he was on oxygen and when he last tested negative for COVID.

Conley told reporters the team was 72 hours into Trump’s diagnosis. But that would put the timeline at the president testing positive Wednesday morning. Trump tweeted shortly before 1 am on Friday he had tested positive. On Thursday he flew to his golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey, for a fundraiser with about 100 people.

‘Just 72 hours into the diagnosis now, the first week of COVID, in a particular day seven to day 10, are most critical in determining the likely course of this illness. At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. Thursday he had a mild cough with nasal congestion and fatigue all of which are now resolving and improving,’ Conley said.

Dr Shaun Dooley, a critical care physician, also spoke at the briefing and said Trump’s heart, liver and kidney functions are being monitored and are currently in good condition.

‘He’s in exceptionally good spirits,’ Dooley said of the president. ‘In fact, as we were completing our multidisciplinary round this morning, the quote he left us with is “I feel like I could walk out of here today” and that was a very encouraging comment from the president.’

A source, believed to be Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, told a pool of reporters that Trump’s road to recovery is not ‘clear’. Multiple sources said that Trump was administered oxygen while at the White House on Friday, before he checked into the hospital.

Trump is currently undergoing a range of treatments including a polyclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that is not available to the public, remdesivir – an ebola drug that has already been shown to work against the virus – and vitamin D. He is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (the generic name for Pepcid AC), melatonin and daily aspirin.

The president took to Twitter shortly after the briefing ended, writing: ‘Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!!Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!’

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Source: Daily Mail

White House Source Says Trump’s Vitals Are ‘Very Concerning’ and Next 48 Hours Are ‘Critical’ Just Minutes After Doctors Claimed He Was ‘Doing Well’ – as It Emerges He May Have Been Diagnosed on Wednesday. So What’s Going On? — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network