|4:1||Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;|
|4:2||Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;|
|4:3||Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.|
|4:4||For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:|
|4:5||For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.|
|4:6||If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.|
|4:7||But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.|
|4:8||For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.|
|4:9||This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.|
[Introduction] Today’s title is “A Good Servant of Christ Jesus.” In the passage we can see how Apostle Paul desires Timothy and the believers who are under his training to become good servants of Christ Jesus. This is for us too. There is a saying, “There’s two kinds of believers in a church: one is needed, and the other is just needy.” I believe all Yewon believers are needed ones; do not be needy ones. You must not become a liability when the church carries out its essential missions. I bless in the name of the Lord that all Yewon believers become the pillar of saving souls, the construction of the main sanctuary, and the world mission by learning who is a good servant of Christ Jesus through today’s pulpit message.
1. Spiritual Discernment
In 1 Timothy 4:1-2, Apostle Paul reveals that false teachings come through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared. Those who follow the deceitful spirits and teaching of demons lead a church into a chaos. Deceiving is Satan’s nature. He deceives believers by all means with one heart and whole heart continuously so they cannot stand on their faith. Apostle Paul emphasizes to Timothy that having spiritual discernment is important to become a good servant of Christ Jesus. In 1 Timothy 4:3-5, Apostle Paul reveals that what abstainers insisted was relevant to marriage and food. They considered human flesh to be evil so denied marriage and insisted not to eat certain foods. It is because they thought marriage is to pursue physical pleasure and certain foods can grow sinful desire. Marriage is a system God made. Moreover, whether we live a godly life or not does not depend on what we eat. There are a lot of confusing things in Paul’s era and present era. That is why we need spiritual discernment. If you look at verse 5 of today’s passage, it tells us that we get spiritual discernment through God’s Word and prayer. Here is the reason why 3 Todays are important to us. We are able to be spiritually awaken when today’s word, today’s prayer and today’s evangelism become our nature. Those who live the life of 3 Todays cannot be frustrated in front of the people or problems. We can even shine brightly in the midst of problems because spiritual countermeasure is already prepared. I bless in the name of our Lord that may all Yewon believers become good servants of Christ Jesus through the life of spiritual discernment and 3 Todays.
2. Training of Godliness
In 1 Timothy 4:6-8, Apostle Paul emphasizes that it is important to be nurtured by God’s Word and trained to godly to become a good servant of Christ Jesus. Simply put, we need training of godliness. The meaning of godliness is to take after God. From the moment we believe in Jesus Christ and receive salvation, we naturally live a life of taking after the Lord. It is to imprint, root down, and be natured with Jesus Christ. This is the training of godliness. When we look at today’s passage, Paul uses the expression of bodily training to refer to training for godliness. At that time, this expression was being used when referring to training athletes to win in games. Bodily training, as I mentioned before, we face several times of crisis in the process of building muscles. Our muscles get bigger and we have physical strength to win a victory only when we overcome such crisis. The same goes for living a life for godliness. And such crisis often comes in the form of hardship. But when we open our spiritual eyes, then hardship does not just end there. We can experience a spiritual new world only when we overcome hardships through our belief. So Apostle Paul confesses in Romans 5:3-4, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” And in 1 Peter 1:7 Peter proclaims, “So that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I bless you in the name of the Lord that may all Yewon believers live the life of tasting that the Lord is good, experiencing His power, and victors and have the evidence of standing as the pillars of expanding the kingdom of God.
[Conclusion] Arnold J. Toynbee, a historian, suggested a theory about the law of challenge and response. It is that civilizations arose in response to some set of challenges of extreme difficulty. It means that civilization arose by overcoming adverse conditions, sufferings, and trials. All the individuals of faith in the Bible went through such hardships. Verse eight reads, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” I bless you in the name of the Lord that may all Yewon believers enjoy the blessings of present life and life to come and stand boldly as the good servants of Jesus.