Monday, April 23, 2007

I would like to encourage you today as I myself have been encouraged from my study in 1 Timothy 4 this morning. It is in this marvelous section that Paul writes:

1 Timothy 4:6-8 6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

I only want to focus on verse six this morning and do verses seven and eight tomorrow. In verse six Paul notes that in pointing out (Lit. "entrusting") these things to the brethren. What are these things? I take it to be referring to that which precedes this verse. Namely, it is referring to verses one through five for a few reasons, but the main one is because he contrasts good doctrine/teaching at the end of v.6 to the doctrine of demons found in v.1ff.

Notice what else Paul says. He says to young Pastor Timothy, if you entrust these truths to the brethren (his church in Ephesus), you will be a good deacon. The Greek word there is diakonos. It has the idea of "one who executes the commands of another," or semantically it literally means "raising dust by hastening." It has the idea of one who is a servant to the King. Isn't that what we really are as believers? We are simply those who serve our Great King! We are those who execute and hasten to obey the commands of another (i.e. "The King of kings). This is a job that does not puff up pride. Rather, it is a humiliating thing. Often the deacons or the servants do the work and yet others get the credit even for the work that we have accomplished. Andthat is okay. Remember what our Lord said:
Matthew 6:3-4 "But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing 4 that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

But what I mainly want to focus on is this phrase, in entrusting these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of faith." That word for "constantly nourished" is entrepho. It means "to constantly nourish or train someone in something." It has the idea of "educating" or "forming the mind."

In spending time in the words of faith, and sound doctrine we will be constantly nourished. Notice finally that it is a present passive participle meaning this nourishment comes constantly, habitually and repeatedly from another. That is, the source is outside of us. It is God's work which nourishes us. May we be the kind of minister of the gospel that is so constantly consumed with the words of faith and good doctrine (from the Scriptures) that we are being nourished daily to best serve the Lord as a diakonos for Christ Jesus our Lord!

3 comments:

kim said...

hey g-off!
being humble is one of the most important things we need to do- but at times kinda hard.
what does matthew 6:3 mean by "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"?
- kim

Geoffrey R. Kirkland said...

Kim

Thanks for the comment. Matthew 6:5 is right in the middle of the "Sermon on the Mount." This is a long sermon that Jesus gave in the middle of his public ministry. It is at the beginning of chapter six when Jesus tells his disciples that when they "practice righteousness" (v.1), "give to the poor" (v.2-3), "pray" (v.5ff) and "fast" (v.16ff) that they must NOT do these things in order to be seen by men. That would be the wrong motivation. Our motive must always be to glorify God in all we do (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17, 23).

So, when Jesus says to "not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing," he is simply using an analogy that we can all relate to. Oftentimes the Christian life is spoken of with the metaphor of a "human body." Thus, when we do these spiritual acts, we must NOT do them with the intent that others see us practicing our "righteousness" and then they are impressed with us. Rather, we must do our good works for God's glory!

So, we must do good deeds not letting the left hand (one part of the body) know what the right hand (another part of the body) is doing. When you do good deeds, don't broadcast it to your "left hand" and then to your "right hand" (i.e. other Christians). Let your reward be from Christ (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18)

Thanks for the comment! See you Sunday! SIGN UP FOR HUME LAKE :=)

Geoffster

kim said...

geoff

thanks for clarifying.i'll see you & julie on sunday.
-kim

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