From the Preacher’s Pen…
Far too often we become guilty of making excuses instead of doing what it right. Catch a child in some misdeed and listen to the countless, creative excuses as to why they had to do wrong.
God points out this very lesson along with our responsibility to grow up and do right: Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature (1 Corinthians 14:20).
So let’s examine just how far God takes this responsibility to be…
Don’t you love hearing and learning wise counsel? Good advice that is really useful and meaningful is a treasure! God, of course, has a lot of that treasure to share and, if we would be faithful to Him, so do we!
Listen to some of Paul’s final words, So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful people who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:1-2)
Now consider what he’s saying. An Apostle of Jesus Christ is facing his final days here on earth. He had a commission from his Lord and Savior to take the Gospel ~ the whole of the Gospel ~ to others in this world. Not only does he bring words of FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND SALVATION but he also brings the message to keep it going by teaching them to teach others (Matthew 28:19-20).
Paul is passing the torch to Timothy (as he did to others) in order for Timothy to pass it on himself. Consider again Paul’s actual words.
Be strong and not timid. God has constantly reinforced His people with this reminder to be courageous. He reminds us because we are apt to forget and let courage get away from us under severe trials.
The grace that is in Christ Jesus. Being strong is only real strength and only really useful when it is in the Lord. Paul had written many times to encourage strength in the Lord (cf. Ephesians 6:10) because real power only comes from the Lord (cf. Philippians 4:13). Strength enabled and empowered by God is going to be successful.
Entrust to faithful people the powerful truth that you have learned. It is not opinion or ideas that we have to pass on, but rather the truth that was once for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3) by the Apostles. What we have is so precious we must not just keep it but pass it on. And we pass it on, not to just anyone, but to those faithful ones that will continue to pass it on.
The qualification to TEACH is cited by Paul as a requirement of Elders (1 Timothy 3:2) but is, in reality, a requirement of all who would be worthy of God’s Good News.
Entrust to faithful people is a great honor and responsibility. The word Paul uses for faithful people (anthrōpos) is the generic term for human beings. Faithful (pistos), can only be defined by God as it refers to those that are reliable and trustworthy in God’s eyes.
People who will be able to teach others also is an absolute requirement for God’s people! We can never say that we just can’t do it. God calls us to do it! God not only says we can do it but empowers us. Notice the four generations Paul mentions: Himself, Timothy, faithful individuals and others. The chain of faithful teachers is one that reaches from the purity of the New Testament to us. And God calls on us to ensure that the chain continues into the future.
This is God’s vision of spiritual reproduction. Faithful Christians beget faithful Christians. If the Lord’s church is to be faithful in the future, it begins with us taking up our responsibility now.
Somehow, somewhere many supposed Christians have gotten the idea that they are without responsibility. Every real Christian owes a debt to those who taught them and a responsibility to teach others.
Without taking up our responsibility, we are not faithful.
— Lester P. Bagley