Dec. 19. The First of three Letters from John; Assurance and Comfort

I Jn. 1:1-10

Around A.D. 90 or about ten years after writing his account of the gospel, John wrote a general letter to the churches. Scholars believe he was in Ephesus at the time of this writing.

As time had passed since the establishment of the church, unbelieving Jews and men called Gnostics who had left the church were denying that Christ had even come in the flesh. Some were teaching that since the body was evil, the spirit was separate from the body. By this, one could sin as much in the body as he desired and the spirit separate from the body would not be affected. Some of the purposes of John’s letter were to encourage and strengthen the faith of his readers and to warn them of those false teachers.

He reminded his readers of the Love of God and of the importance of man loving God and his fellowman. The writer also stressed the need for Christians to lead pure lives in order to have the hope of eternal life.

John began his epistle to refute the false teachers by stating his relationship with the Word (Christ) who had been present at the beginning of time. He had heard, seen and felt the life and fellowship of the Father and His Son Jesus Christ as a fleshly man and desired that all Christians would joyfully share in that same fellowship spiritually.

God is referred to as light. John stated that one cannot claim to walk with God if he is living in the darkness of sin. A true child of God walks in fellowship with Him according to His word even though he sometimes falls. As long as one keeps his trust in the saving power of the blood of Christ, that blood continually cleanses all of those sins. This is a most reassuring and comforting thought.

Some were saying that they had committed no sin, but John replied that all men sin and that those people were liars and had even made God a liar. A person who thinks that he is above sin has denied the need for Christ’s blood and has deceived himself. A Christian who has sinned must confess his sins and repent of them through prayer and they will be forgiven.

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Dec. 18. John’s Account of the Gospel of Christ

John and his brother, James were both fishermen who became apostles of Jesus. They along with Peter were said to make up a close inner circle with Christ. They alone were with Him on various momentous occasions. It is likely that James and John were fleshly first-cousins of Jesus. During one of His last utterances on the cross, He turned the care of His mother, Mary over to John.

The apostle, John did not refer to himself by name in his account of the gospel. It is highly likely that he was the “other disciple” of John the Baptist that left with Andrew and followed Jesus.

John was very active, along with Peter and the other apostles in nurturing the church in its earliest days in Jerusalem. It is thought that he spent many years in and around Jerusalem. In later years, he moved to Ephesus and it was in this area that he wrote five books of the New Testament.

The Gospel According to John was written about A.D. 80, several years after the other New Testament authors had written their works. He probably wrote it from Ephesus. John’s account was in a more accurate chronological order than that of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

John’s account of the life and teachings of Jesus focuses more upon His divinity than that of the other accounts. Note that he began by placing the Word (Christ) at the beginning of creation.

The purpose for John’s writing is found near the end of his narrative. “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Known as the apostle of love, John wrote extensively about God’s love for man and the love that man must have for Him and for one another.

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Dec. 17. A Letter from Jude to Christians

Jude 1-25

We are told that Jesus had fleshly brothers and sisters. At first, during His earthly ministry, His brothers did not believe in Him. However, they were later converted and were present with their mother and the apostles in Jerusalem soon after His ascension into heaven. James and Jude later became great leaders in the church and wrote the letters in the New Testament that bear their names.

Much time and effort were consumed during the early years of the church refuting the errors of false teachers. The purpose of Jude’s letter also was to forcefully warn about false teachers and the tragic results of following them. Sadly to say, if he were writing today, false teachers would still need to be identified and warned.

No one is sure when Jude wrote his letter, but many believe it was probably written from Jerusalem about A.D. 68. He directed his comments to Christians in general, but probably more specifically to Jewish believers. Parts of his letter are similar to portions of Peter’s second epistle. It is probable that as he referred to parts of the Old Testament, he also quoted Peter’s writing to emphasize some of his points.

Jude identified himself as the writer of this letter, a brother of James and also as a servant of Jesus Christ. As he began, he inferred that a longer and more general letter about their salvation had been planned. The need to urge them to fight for the faith (one and only faith) against false teachers caused him to change his purpose.

Evil men even denying God and Christ, his Son had slipped into the church. Their false teaching and vile manner of life were cause for Jude’s urgent concern that they be stopped immediately. They were a dire threat to the peace and harmony of the church.

Jude reminded his readers of examples of how God had dealt in the past with those who rebelled against His will. Even though He is loving and merciful, He is also just and certain to punish the unrighteous. He compared them with well-known Old Testament characters Cain, Balaam and Korah who were severely punished for their sins.

False teachers appear to offer much, but their promises are like empty clouds and barren fruit trees. They instead, like hidden reefs in the sea destroy those unaware of their presence. Enoch prophesied in an obscure prophecy thousands of years earlier about the punishment of these men.

Ungodly men are sly in their attempts to mislead God’s children. Jude gave some identifying marks of such men. They were described as grumblers, complainers, self-centered, flatterers and mockers. These people must not be followed nor tolerated because of the divisions they cause in the church.

As Jude began to conclude his letter, he issued a call for positive action. He urged them to build themselves up and keep themselves in the love of God by calling on Him to strengthen their faith. One calls on God through prayer and His reply can be found by a careful study of His word. One is kept in the love of God by conforming to His will.

Stronger Christians were instructed to have compassion on those who are weaker and to try to save them from the influence of the wicked men among them. Strong and vigorous teaching would be necessary to convert the more hardened sinners. Care must be exercised by teachers to avoid being caught up in their same errors.

Jude ended his letter with a tribute and praise to God. He is able and willing to keep His children from stumbling as long as they keep their eyes upon Him and His word. God is our Savior and He is wise. Glory, majesty, dominion and power are His now and forever.

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Dec. 16. Paul’s Farewell Message to Timothy and to Us

II Tim. 4:1-22

In view of the many admonitions that Paul had given Timothy in his letter, he began to conclude by giving him a charge to be strong and bold in his preaching. Paul realized that his time as an apostle was nearing its end. Timothy would have more responsibility and must be ready for all opportunities to proclaim God’s word preparing lost sinners for the judgment that is coming.

Paul warned Timothy that even his time as an effective preacher was limited. There was a time coming when people’s ears would itch for words that sounded good to them. Instead of listening to the pure gospel, they would seek false teachers to tell them what they wanted to hear. He was admonished to remain true to his work as an evangelist even if it caused him to become unpopular.

As the time for Paul’s departure (death) or release from this world came near, he reflected upon a life of service to God and the ultimate reward for such a life. He wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” These were words to encourage young Timothy to follow in his footsteps and to disregard the persecutions that he would endure as a Christian.

Paul followed his spiritual admonitions with instructions regarding personal items that he needed Timothy to bring with him to Rome. He stated that he was alone except for his long-time co-worker, Luke. Demas had forsaken him but he had sent Titus and others to assignments in other places. He asked Timothy to bring Mark to help him.

Many people had helped Paul during his ministry. Others had been great hindrances. He warned Timothy of a coppersmith named Alexander who had done him much harm.

Even though Paul stood alone as he was first arraigned before Nero, he was not alone! The Lord stood by him and gave him strength to proclaim the gospel even to those who witnessed his trial.

According to historians, Paul soon suffered a brutal physical death, but those who could kill the body could not destroy the soul that was protected by our loving God.

Since winter was near, Paul urged Timothy to come as quickly as possible. He needed the items that he had requested and he would probably be dead by spring.

As he closed his letter, Paul sent greetings to some of his friends in Ephesus. He also sent greetings from Roman brethren along with a prayer for the well-being of Timothy.

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Dec. 15. Steadfastness while Facing Evil; All-Sufficiency of the Scriptures

II Tim. 3:1-17

God has dealt with man in three distinct dispensations. In the first, he communed directly with the patriarchs (heads of families), Adam, Abraham, Jacob and others, for example. After using Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, He instituted the law of Moses to guide His people.

On the first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection, Peter explained that it was then the last days (Christian dispensation) that the prophet Joel had prophesied many years earlier. These “last days” or third dispensation will continue indefinitely until Christ returns to claim His own.

Paul named a group of serious sins that man would be committing during this period of last days. There would be many who professed to be Christians guilty of these sins. We can personally observe that man continues to be sinful today. He instructed Timothy to turn away from such people. Teach and if necessary, withdraw fellowship.

Hypocrites teaching false doctrines would gain the trust of weak Christians, especially of sinful women who were easy to deceive. False teachers will eventually be shown for who they are by the teaching of the truth and be punished for their wickedness. Paul mentioned two men who resisted Moses as he attempted to free the Israelites from Egypt. They were shown as examples of the folly of resisting God.

Paul reviewed the relationship that he and Timothy had shared from the times of his beatings during his first missionary journey with Barnabas and how he had endured faithfully until the time of this writing. He urged Timothy to remain faithful to the Scriptures that he had learned from early childhood. All who live godly will suffer persecutions either physically or mentally (ridicule). Just as Paul had been delivered by God from his persecutors, Timothy could expect that same deliverance. These Scriptures teach the way to salvation if one will only obey their commandments.

According to Paul, ALL Scripture was given through inspiration from God. Peter also stated that God, “…as His divine power has given to us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness…” All is an inclusive word that excludes everything that man might attempt to add to God’s word. Peter further stated, “…holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The Scriptures teach God’s commandments; rebuke evildoers; correct error and guide men toward right living. Christians must follow them in order to be complete.

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Dec. 14. Fatherly Advice to a Young Preacher

II Tim. 2:1-26

In view of the dangers of falling away due to persecutions, Paul gave his son in the faith some fatherly advice. He urged Timothy to be strong in the faith and to continue to preach the true gospel to others who in turn would also teach others.

Paul pointed out that in pleasing God, a soldier of Christ will suffer hardships. As in a military army, he must direct his efforts toward warfare instead of being involved with the cares of the world. Athletes must train and compete according to the rules of the game. Loyal soldiers and athletes receive their reward just as the farmer partakes of his crops after a period of hard work. The faithful soldier of Christ will receive his reward after the judgment.

As Paul continued his letter, he reminded Timothy that Jesus was of the lineage of David as had been prophesied and that the main point of the gospel is His resurrection from the dead in order that the elect (those who obey its commands) may obtain eternal salvation. If He was willing to suffer for mankind, man must be willing to suffer for Him. He stated that even though he was in prison because of his preaching of the gospel, the word of God cannot be chained. It will continue to influence men for good.

If one will die to himself and to sin and will endure with Christ, he will reign and live with Him in heaven. When one denies Christ, he will also be denied. A person’s lack of faith will not change the fact that Christ did indeed die to save the faithful.

After pointing out the hardships that Timothy would suffer, Paul turned his attention toward instructing him on the message that he must preach.

Timothy must avoid lost time and confusion involved with useless arguments over issues of no importance. False teachers were trying to inflict the Jewish law upon Christians. It is necessary for one to use care as he studies God’s word in order to separate the commands of the Jewish law (law of Moses) or any false religion from the gospel (law of Christ).

Paul mentioned two men who had misled others by teaching that the resurrection had already passed. He compared the effects of false teaching with the devastating effects of gangrene or cancer. It not only destroys those who teach it, but it also destroys those who believe its lies. False teaching however will not destroy the truth of the gospel. God will save those in the judgment who remain faithful.

As he continued, Paul pointed out that the church, the spiritual house of God has honorable members and dishonorable members just as one’s physical house has both honorable and dishonorable furnishings. It is the personal responsibility of each Christian to maintain his position as an honorable member of the house of God.

The young preacher, Timothy was admonished to guard his life by fleeing youthful lusts and avoiding foolish conflicts with others. Instead, he must pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. Correcting error in others must be done patiently and in humility.

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Dec. 13. Second Letter to Timothy

II Tim. 1:1-18

Sometime after writing his letter to Titus, Paul was arrested and returned to Rome. Dates are uncertain, but this letter was probably written about A.D. 67 or 68 from the Roman prison. By that time, Titus had left Crete and was in Dalmatia. With winter approaching, Paul asked Timothy to bring his cloak and to try to arrive before winter. Paul, an old man deserted and alone was expecting to be executed soon and wanted to relay a message of instruction and encouragement to Timothy, his young son in the faith.

This letter began with greetings from Paul, the apostle to Timothy. He reminded the young preacher of his own background of serving God with a clear conscience and how that he continually remembered Timothy in his prayers. Paul also praised Timothy for the genuine faith that he had received by word and example from his grandmother and mother. He was admonished to remain strong in the faith and to use his spiritual gifts to continue preaching the gospel.

Paul encouraged Timothy to remember that God had given him a spirit of power, love and sound mind that would help him to conquer the evils of the world. He would be able to boldly come to Paul’s aid in prison and also endure whatever sufferings that would accompany him in his preaching.

As he had pointed out in previous letters, Paul again reminded Timothy of the plan that God had for man’s salvation. He stated that it was not by any great works of man, but that through God’s grace, He planned before the beginning of time that His Son would come to earth and die for man’s sins. By faithful obedience and submission to Him, man can avoid a second death of eternal punishment. It was through this grace and hope that Paul was able to preach and to endure the sufferings brought on by his preaching. He would not reject his faith and trust in God because of his confidence of the heavenly reward.

Paul urged Timothy to continue to preach the sound gospel as he had heard him teach in times past. He had laid the foundation. It was necessary for Timothy and others to build upon that same base as had been inspired by the Holy Spirit in the faith and love of Christ.

When things are not going well, as in Paul’s imprisonment, weaker Christians tend to forsake their faith. He mentioned some who had turned away from him.

Onesiphorus was cited as one who had gone to the extreme toward helping Paul. He had aided him in his work at Ephesus and had searched until he had found him in the Roman prison where he continued to be of benefit to Paul.

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Dec. 12. General Instructions Concluded

Tit. 3:1-15

As in some of his other letters, Paul pointed out the importance of submission to governmental authority. The people of Crete were under the rule of Rome and the evil Nero. Whether or not one agrees with a law, he is bound by God to obey it if it does not conflict with His law.

The Cretans needed to be reminded to continue to obey the basic rules of Christian living and to remember how they had been rescued from a life of sin by the love of God. Man’s good works are not sufficient for salvation. It is through God’s love and mercy that He sent His Son to die for the sins of man. By faithful obedience to the instructions of the Holy Spirit, one obtains salvation through rebirth by baptism. This rebirth results in a change to a righteous life leading to a hope of eternal life in heaven.

Even though one’s good works will not earn salvation for him, Paul emphasized their importance by instructing Titus to constantly remind the Cretans to “be careful to maintain good works.”

Much valuable time and energy are wasted by disputing with people who are entrenched in religious traditions and denominational false doctrines. The final admonition of Paul to Titus was to avoid those disputes and to reject those who would cause division in the church if they could not soon be convinced of the truth.

Paul closed his letter with two personal messages. Either Artemas or Tychicus would be replacing Titus in Crete so he could rejoin Paul for the winter at Nicopolis. He also wanted Titus to assist Zenas and Apollos with the things that they needed on their journey.

Christians, wherever they are have a special love for one another. This was shown by the greetings sent by Paul’s companions to Titus and by the greetings they sent to the church at Crete.

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Dec. 11. General Instructions to Titus

Tit. 1:10-2:15

Paul pointed out that there were many, especially of the Jewish Christians who were misleading their fellow-Christians, even by lying and cheating to obtain dishonest gain. Titus was instructed to rebuke these false teachers sharply. After their appointment, the elders would be responsible for stopping and preventing these evils along with other disruptions to the peace and harmony of the church.

Those who sought to mislead had no respect for the truth. They taught man-made commandments instead of the pure word of God. Through their deceit, they professed to know God, but the fruit of their words revealed them to be evil liars.

Paul admonished Titus to speak a different doctrine than that of the Judaizing teachers. Since the Cretan church had been converted from heathenism, they needed to learn the basic principles of human relations.

As a preacher, Titus was to preach the pure word of God to all classes of people. He was to be a good example of the qualities that he preached to others. It was his duty to instruct the older men and women to set the proper examples of righteous living. They then were to teach the younger men and women to also be righteous in their lives. It is the responsibility of all to train the younger generations to serve God. As he had previously written to Timothy, Paul gave instructions for Christian servants to be honest and to respect and obey their masters.

Paul reminded Titus that all men through God’s grace are able to receive salvation if they will turn from the world, accept the blood of Christ and obey His commands. This salvation is from punishment for sins and for a home in heaven after Christ returns and judges all people. It was Titus’ responsibility to use the authority of God’s word to make these commands known to the Cretans.

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Dec. 10. Elders’ Qualifications Stated to Titus

Tit. 1:5-9

Paul’s written word served as a reminder of the instructions that he had no doubt spoken to Titus when they were together at Crete. The first priority in correcting deficiencies in the church was to appoint qualified men to serve as elders.

As he had written to Timothy, Paul also listed to Titus the attributes necessary for a man to qualify for the eldership. He must be blameless, the husband of one wife, have faithful children, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, hospitable, lover of good, sober-minded, just, holy and self-controlled. An elder must also be able to exhort and convince those who would teach error or otherwise try to undermine the church.

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Dec. 9. Letter from Paul to Titus, Another young Preacher

Tit. 1:1-4

Two of Paul’s most trusted assistants were the young Gentile men, Timothy and Titus. Titus was probably a native of Antioch. He accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Antioch to the conference in Jerusalem after their first missionary journey.

Titus probably delivered Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and then remained in Corinth to help them make the corrections that had been called for in that letter. Paul was expecting to meet him at Troas for a report on his work, but was highly disappointed when that didn’t happen. He was also highly elated when they finally did get together in Macedonia because of his report that the Corinthians were making great progress toward correcting their sins.

Titus also helped Paul deliver the contribution from the Gentile Christians to the poor Jewish Christians at Jerusalem as he concluded his third missionary journey.

Paul left Titus at the island of Crete as he traveled to various cities sometime after his release from the Roman prison. This letter was written about A.D. 67 from an unknown location to give him specific instructions for strengthening the churches there at Crete.

After many years of being a great apostle, preacher, teacher and writer, Paul remained humble. He identified himself at the beginning of his letter to the much younger Titus as an apostle and as a bondservant or slave. Christians should realize that after whatever greatness they may have achieved in life, they are still bondservants or slaves to our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. They must also accept the authority of the apostles because they wrote as the Holy Spirit guided them.

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Dec. 8. Continuing Admonitions from Paul to Timothy

I Tim. 6:1-21

Slavery was and still is a gross injustice to humanity. Christ did not abolish the practice, but His principles changed the relationship between Christian masters and slaves. Christian slaves were to continue to serve and honor their masters. Masters who became Christians were to treat their slaves as they would want their Master, God to treat them. Mutual love and respect as brothers in Christ would eventually abolish slavery.

As Paul was concluding his letter to Timothy, he turned his attention again to the serious nature of false teachers. Whether slave/master relationships, direct commands regarding how to become a Christian or any other aspect of Christian living, he commanded obedience to his teaching.

Paul warned against those who would attempt to use their Christianity as a means toward financial gain. He emphasized that the source of one’s gain and contentment is in godliness—not in amassing a large bank account. One should be satisfied with only the necessities of life. Godliness leads to eternal riches in the world to come. Even though riches are not evil, there are many temptations involved in gaining them. Paul stated, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…”

After warning Timothy of those who would seek for riches, Paul reminded him of the good confession he had made of his own faith in Christ as he began his Christian life. He pointed out the necessity of the preacher keeping his own life free from the sins which he was to preach against by fleeing from them. Paul further reminded Timothy to not just follow, but to pursue those things that would strengthen his life and influence as a preacher and to fight the fight of faith. By doing these things, he would be able to secure the eternal life.

Paul continued his admonition to Timothy by urging him to keep Christ’s commandments as he looked forward to His coming at the end of time. He reminded Timothy of the majesty of Christ as “The blessed and only Potentate (Sovereign), the King of kings and Lord of lords…”

As a final charge regarding the rich, Paul instructed Timothy to command them not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches that can be here today and gone tomorrow. One’s trust should be in God. His riches should be in good works willing to share those riches with others.

Paul ended his letter with an urgent plea for Timothy to guard the truth that had been given to him and to avoid the false ideas of men who have made error appear to be truth.

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Dec. 7. Paul’s Instructions to Timothy Continued

I Tim. 5:1-25

Timothy’s attention was turned to the manner in which he was to confront various individuals who needed to be corrected. A person rebuked is sharply criticized. Instead of rebuking, Paul admonished Timothy to exhort (urge strongly) older men kindly as he would his father and older women as his mother. He should deal with younger men as his brothers and younger women with the same respect as sisters.

Women did not have many opportunities for self-support during that period of history. Their best source for care was in marriage and rearing children. Many women became destitute upon the death of their husband. Paul gave Timothy instructions regarding the care of those needs.

Due to the great number of needy widows and the limited resources of the church at that time, it was necessary for certain guidelines to be met for one to receive support from the church. The foremost responsibility for their care was with their children and grandchildren to repay for the care that they had received.

Young widows were more likely to seek pleasure and become busybodies and gossips than those who were older. Widows under the age of sixty were admonished to marry again and when possible, to bear children and build a new life for themselves.

The church was responsible for Christian widows above sixty years of age who trusted in God; continued in prayer; were blameless; had been wife to one man; reported for good works of hospitality and child rearing.

Paul stressed that Christians who have a widowed mother or grandmother, are to care for them in order for the church to be able to care for those who are really widows. “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

The writer had listed the qualifications of elders earlier in this letter. At this point, he turned his attention to the support that elders deserve. Due to the magnitude of their responsibilities, they are worthy of honor and respect from the church which they are overseeing.

Elders are not to be greedy or covetous for money. According to Paul, if they are devoting a major portion of their time to that work, they should be compensated for that time.

All men are subject to sin. It is dangerous and forbidden to charge an elder with a specific sin unless there are at least two witnesses. Paul instructed Timothy to rebuke (sharply criticize) any elder publicly and without partiality who was found guilty of sinning. This was to serve as an example to influence others to avoid sinning.

In order to protect an elder’s reputation, one should not be too hasty to accept charges of sin against him. It is also wise to be certain that a man is qualified and fit for the work of an elder before appointing him to that office. Sins and good works sometimes are evident while at other times, they are hidden and hard to detect.

Timothy had a health problem with his stomach. Paul directed him to use a little wine as a medication for his frequent infirmities. Some have used this verse to justify using wine as a beverage. NO! This was a medical remedy.

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Dec. 6. Instructions from old Man to young Man

I Tim. 4:1-16

After having mentioned false teachers at the beginning of his letter, Paul warned Timothy that some Christians would be deceived into following lies. He stated that they would forbid to marry and to abstain from certain foods. There are those today who forbid to marry and command that certain foods cannot be eaten. Paul had remained unmarried, but that was his personal choice and not a command from God. He stated that all foods are to be eaten with thanksgiving. Again, one may abstain from certain foods because of personal choice, but not by commandment from God except from things strangled and not properly bled.

Timothy was instructed to preach the truth and to warn the church of the perils of following those who would deceive them with error. He was to be alert and reject any doctrine that was not from God.

Athletes exercise and train their bodies for sports events. This is important from a physical standpoint, but studying the Scriptures is far more beneficial for the spiritual side of man. Paul told Timothy to exercise toward godliness. His reward (and ours) is a fruitful life in this world and a glorious life in heaven.

One of the disadvantages of youth is that sometimes older people fail to give proper respect to the “young whippersnapper.” Paul recognized this as he instructed Timothy to, “Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” It was necessary that he continue to study God’s word and to show by his life his worthiness of their respect.

Everyone has certain gifts or talents. These gifts will be strengthened through use and destroyed by neglect. Paul urged Timothy to continue to use his gift of ministry for the salvation of his own soul and the salvation of those who heard him.

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Dec. 5. The Gospel in few Words

I Tim. 3:14-16

Paul had plans to meet with Timothy soon, but he wrote this letter in order to give instructions before his arrival. If he were unable to visit Timothy until later, this letter would help him to better minister to the Ephesian church, the house of God.

The church is not a literal house of brick, wood or stone, but a spiritual house comprised of Christians. Paul described it as the pillar and ground (foundation and support) of the truth. It is to teach by word and example the truth (gospel) to the world.

Paul continued by explaining the mystery of godliness (truth of the Gospel). God was made known in the flesh as Jesus. He by the Holy Spirit performed miracles showing that God was with Him; as the Son of God endured the cross; was raised from the dead and carried back to heaven. Angels ministered to Him at various times and announced His resurrection. Jesus was preached to the Gentiles bringing them salvation as well as to the Jews. Even though not everyone believes in Him, Jesus has had a greater impact on the world than any other person. He is now on His throne at the right hand of God where He is Lord of lords and King of kings.

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