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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Last Brick - Part 1 (Firewall cont.)

The third and last command Paul gives his protégé is in 2 Timothy 4:5.  There are four elements, four imperatives, four commands:
  • Be sober in all things
  • Endure Hardship
  • Do the work of an evangelist
  • Fulfill your ministry
The Last Brick - Part 1 (Firewall cont.)
The first, “be sober,” is strong.  The word appears only six times in the New Testament, of those six three are imperative: 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 4:7; and 1 Peter 5:8.  If we consider those passages in context, we see that the Spirit used the term in the imperative in the face of evil and false teachers (2 Timothy 4:5), the need to pray based on the reality of the ending of this world (1 Peter 4:7), and a solemn reminder that we are continually under attack by the enemy of our Lord (1 Peter 5:8).

In this passage, by starting with this imperative, Paul is adding enormous weight to his charge to Timothy.  This is not a casual assignment.  It is not optional.  It is deadly serious.  It is not one of several things in which we dabble; it is central to our life and calling in the Lord.

Many believers tend to delegate.  It is fine to delegate.  It is an essential business practice.  It is an incredibly important tool in the training of men and women in all walks of life.  However, there are some things that we cannot, or better, should not delegate.  Primary on that list is our walk with God.  We cannot live the Christian life by proxy.  We cannot know God through other’s study.  It is not OK to have several degrees of separation between us and our Savior.

Paul’s commands to Timothy are commands to us.  These are not marching orders for “professional Christians”.  We are called to be sober, serious, centered in our lives and relationship with Christ.  It is not ok for us to delegate that relationship to others.

The word accountability is much overused in the Body.  If you do a word search in your Bible app on your device or look in a concordance, you find that we are accountable to God, not each other.  In this matter, the word applies.  We are accountable to the Creator of the universe, the One who sent His Son to die in our place, the One who called us to Himself and gave us life and gifts for His purposes to be sober, serious about our relationship to Him and the work for which He designed us.

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