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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another Brick in the Firewall, part 2 (Firewall cont.)

Continuing our look at 2 Timothy 3:14 – 17, we are looking at the second brick in the firewall that Paul is commanding his apprentice, Timothy, to erect against evil men and impostors who are teaching a different gospel.
Another Brick in the Firewall, Part 2 (Firewall cont.)
There are two elements in this brick:

  • Abide in that which Timothy has learned from his mother, grandmother, and Paul
  • The things that Timothy has learned are rooted in the Scripture

The result of this exhortation seems to be that Paul is reiterating the need for Timothy to remember his example and to abide in that learning as well as its source the Scripture, sacred writings, God’s Word.

This is where things get confusing for me.  Confusing in this sense.  There is no question that there are still false teachers abundantly multiplying and continually gaining followers.  The source of my confusion is how it seems that leaders in the Church seem to be attempting to deal with the false teaching.

I have seen communities focus on detailed doctrinal statements as a means to protect against false teaching.  I know of classes that have been held to teach the correct way for Christians to think about certain topics.  Messages have been shared from pulpits, podiums, chairs, videos, MP3s, and books that explain the proper way to think and or act as a believer.

What I don’t see is any of those answers in the text here.  The majority of the exhortation here is centered on the Scripture.  It seems like Paul is setting personal abiding in the Word of God as a significant brick in the firewall against the propagation of error.

Yet when and where are we equipping and encouraging people to dig into God’s Word.  How often do we exhort people, remind them how critical it is for them to be in the Word of God for themselves.  Not just reading the text, but digging in, allowing it to transform our thinking, reorient our priorities.

Christ tells us in John 8:31 – 32, that we are to abide (your Bible may say continue, but it is the same Greek word translated abide in John 15:1 – 16) in His Word.  John 15:1 – 16 repeats the idea of abiding in Christ and His Word 11 times in those 16 verses.

It seems that the clear message is that we are supposed to do this.

And yet there is more to Paul’s exhortation…

1 comment:

  1. As I think you imply having an active relationship with Christ and with His Word are necessary parts of an integrated whole. To know Christ it is necessary to know His Word. To really know God's Word I must experience it as a living reality in my life.

    In the last years of the 1940's Chicago pastor A.W. Tozer wrote a book, The Pursuit of God. In the introduction he talks about how evangelical churches have tended to replace true worship (which I believe requires both abiding in Christ and in His word) with what he calls "the 'program.'" His book is an incisive call to cultivate a passionate relationship with Christ personally and experientially. And that takes living in light of God's Word, which we are all responsible to do.