Today’s reading: 1 Chron 23:1–32, 2 Tim 3:1–9, Ps 88:1–18
Today’s theme: Created to work
We were created to work. Today we are encouraged in this and reminded that all sin leads to death, that God’s kingdom is here now and is not yet here fully and at the same time and most importantly, the simple reality that we actually know the truth.
1 Chronicles 23:1–32
Created to work
These were the sons of Levi by their fathers’ houses, the heads of fathers’ houses as they were listed according to the number of the names of the individuals from twenty years old and upward who were to do the work for the service of the house of the LORD. 1 Chronicles 23:24 (ESV)
We are a royal priesthood and have been saved for a purpose. We are not saved to sit by and watch the body of Christ working while we do nothing. No, we are called to work in God’s kingdom.
Work has sometimes been understood as a curse but God is always working as Jesus mentions in John 5:17 “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
From the moment man was created, work was part of God’s mandate. Genesis 2:15 states “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
Paul admonishes us to keep ourselves clean so God can use us in 2 Timothy 2:21 “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. “
Peter also reminds us In 1 Peter 2:5-9 that we as “… living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
2 Timothy 3:1–9
All sin leads to death
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:2–4 (ESV)
Paul’s vice list which he aims at the false teachers and those that follow their errant teaching and evil ways begins with them loving themselves. One of the last sins listed is worldly hedonism (loving pleasure in an evil way), all the other sins mentioned between these two are to do with self exaltation or pulling others down in some way.
Paul was making a point that this sort of hedonistic (pleasure seeking), nihilistic (nothing has worth and self destructiveness) and narcissism (self worship), although competing philosophies of life, each will work destruction in the lives of those who do not believe the truth.
False teaching can bring false confidence to the lives of those who believe that sin has no consequence, or that the flesh means nothing (Gnosticism), or that we have no obligation to live in holiness (Antinomianism which is the opposite extreme of legalism).
If we in lazy surrender give ourselves over to live like this, we deny the power of God to keep us.
Now and Not Yet
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:5 (ESV)
There are some who claim to be Christians who quite consciously live in selfish and sinful ways because of their agreement with some false teaching. Examples of these are the material driven “prosperity gospel” or “easy believism” which says once someone is saved it does not matter what they do after that they will still go to heaven. These beliefs are simply wrong and Paul tells us not to even engage with but to avoid the advocates of this sort of living and corrupted belief.
A belief that keeps us from this sort of error as seen in Paul’s day where they said the resurrection was in the past and they were already fully living in the kingdom of God so sin meant nothing, is our belief in the “Now and Not Yet” of God’s kingdom.
The kingdom is here now in some ways and it is not yet here in other ways. This is why we still have to struggle with sin until the Lords return, when He will bring the kingdom into full effect in the earth as He takes His place on David’s throne in Jerusalem to judge the nations.
We know the truth
always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:7 (ESV)
This should not be our testimony. Unlike the post modern view in western society, we do believe that truth is knowable and we have the objective guide of God’s word so that our learning is not futile. Our faith is not fluffy and mystical, we have solid, firm beliefs which have been made clear in scripture and throughout church history. Yes we can boldly claim to KNOW the truth.
Cry to the Lord
O LORD, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you. Psalm 88:1 (ESV)
All the man centred philosophies of this world want us to take our eyes off the Lord, We should turn our hearts to Him and cry out to the God who saved us.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 2 Timothy 3