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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Household Order

Just finished an overview of 1 Timothy.  I have studied this book before but I always start fresh.  I saw things here that I have not seen before, and I revisited themes that were familiar.
Household Order
I have said this before but every study of a book should start with an overview.  If not you are in danger of not understanding the purpose of the book as you go through your section by section analysis.

It is interesting to me that this time through the thing that stood out was the concern Paul had that Timothy lead well, keep the household in order.  I saw some other things about one controversial passage but I will save that for later.

Paul is concerned about the teaching of sound doctrine in Ephesus.  Has the need for that teaching changed?  Other than my time in seminary, I do not recall much emphasis on doctrine in the churches I have attended in the last 40 years.

Apparently we do not need that any more.  Must have been a cultural thing.


  1. I do agree that study of the book should start with an overview.
    I do not agree, however, with your conclusion, Mike, that "we do not need that any more" -- teaching of sound doctrine. Knowing you, I suppose you use irony here; and the possible cause -- to trigger response. Did I catch your drift?

    1. And there is another issue as well...

    2. I know Mike also and didn't even question that it was anything but irony. Sadly, though, it is the case in much of our broader Community. There is such a tendency to dig our ruts of what we believed or the way we saw a truth in the past. Once we do that we find it difficult to get out.

      For me, that is tied to arrogance. I've got the truth and my self worth, or identity, is built on it; I defend it passionately to avoid being wrong.

      I've been studying Mark - again. I must say it is a new book since the shock of grief has shaken me out of a whole lot of my well worn doctrinal and application-oriented paths. I may have quoted C.S. Lewis on this before, but I need it emblazoned in my mind these days, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

      We are told that the Word of God is alive, sharper than a two-edged sword that separates the inseparable things, joints and marrow, and the thoughts and intents of our hearts. For me, that has been my mind and my heart. That's what is happening more and more, truth is getting from my mind deeper and deeper into my heart, like a surgeon' knife into a deep and wide-spread festering infection.

      One thing very foundational that I am learning to see in a greatly expanded way - the grace of God. New vistas formerly unknown have opened in His living Word. As a result I have greater freedom to allow God to probe my heart and spotlight the endemic sin that hides away there, locked away in self-protectionism (this AM in Mark 12 it was my hypocrisy). And something spectacularly astonishing to me is, that this is happening morning after morning in what a few months ago would have been a crushing, maybe immobilizing way. This has brought deep mourning and many tears - but not a sliver of condemnation. That is the result of finally understanding that condemnation went on the cross, and was washed away with the precious, unfathomable blood of the Son of God.

      This will go on until the Lord Jesus also comes for me. My sin has no fathomable depths. That will not change until I finally stand before Him and "am gloriously transformed."

      As a final disclaimer: there are certainly truths that must stand and not be fussed with. Even then, we should certainly penetrate more deeply into their limitless depths. That is also a lifetime pursuit.