Sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ
1 Timothy 6 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 2 Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.
3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21 which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.
Grace be with you.
Today’s text ends saying: guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Throughout the text there are specific things which are addressed, which lead astray from the faith. First it says: If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth. Many people today teach a doctrine which tries to model itself after the things Jesus did; the way He lived. They say that like Jesus we should associate and fellowship with outcasts and sinners. They say we should live passive lives of peace, avoiding conflict even to our own death. It is not wrong to follow Jesus example of how to live. But our doctrine should agree with the sound words of Christ. We should not only do what He did, we should also do as He said.
As for associating with, fellowshipping with, accepting and embracing outcasts and sinners, when Jesus was asked about that He said: "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32) It is good to associate with sinners as Jesus did, as long as we also call them to repentance, as He also did. As for living lives of passive nonresistance, in Matthew 10:34-36 Jesus says: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” In John 15:18-25 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yetbecause you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.Remember the word that I said to you,‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.Butall these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin,but now they have no excuse for their sin.He who hates Me hates My Father also.If I had not done among themthe works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they haveseen and also hated both Me and My Father.But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law,‘They hated Me without a cause.’” If we truly live as Jesus lived, we should not expect that the world will love us, but rather because we speak His words, calling sinners to repent, we should expect that they will hate us without cause. John 3:16 is one of the most frequently quoted verses in all of scripture. Jesus says: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begottenSon, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Even that love, a love that was demonstrated in Christ dying for our sins, was not and is not received with love in return. In verses 17-21 Jesus says: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.And this is the condemnation,that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.Foreveryone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have beendone in God.” John 3:16 is still controversial today, dividing and not unifying people. Those who love darkness rather than light will reject, resist and hate what is light and what is right. To have them love us or even to like us is not what we should live for. To have them believe that Jesus died for their sins should be why we do what we do and say what we say. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.Go therefore andmake disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I amwith you always, even to the end of the age.” We are to make disciples, not friends. They are to become disciples of Christ, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We are to teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded; all that He said. In Mark 16:15-16 Jesus says: “Go into all the worldand preach the gospel to every creature.He who believes and is baptized will be saved;but he who does not believe will be condemned.” The way that we live, the things we do and the things we say should be so that the world will know and believe not only how Jesus lived, but why He died.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; may I indeed live as You lived, but may my focus first and foremost be that the world would know not only how You lived, but why You died. May both my words and my actions be as Yours. May I love sinners and according to Your words, may I call them to repent. Amen.