Today’s passage: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
- If Timothy was wondering where the content of his sermons and teaching was supposed to come from, Paul made it very clear: Preach the Word!
- This charge was not just from Paul, but in the presence of God the Father and God the Son, who is the rightful judge of all and coming again to rule as King. What a responsibility!
- This preaching is to consist of reproving, rebuking, and exhortation.
- Reprove – To scrutinize or examine carefully, bring to light, expose, set forth. To bring a person to the point of recognizing wrongdoing, convict, convince.
- Rebuke – To express strong disapproval of someone…warn in order to prevent an action or bring one to an end.
- Exhort – To urge strongly, appeal to, urge, exhort, encourage.
- Definitions from the “Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature” – University of Chicago Press.
- And this preaching is to be done with patience and with careful teaching. Sanctification is progressive. The faithful preaching of the Word over long periods of time is critical to the spiritual growth of the church.
- In Timothy’s time, and in our day, and perhaps until Jesus comes again, there will be people who want to go to “church” but do not want to hear the whole counsel of the Word of God. Their passions (There desires/wants) will result in the call of teachers/preachers who speak for the praise of man.
- Verse 5 and verse 1 are like antitodes for the poison of the fear of man in preaching and teaching.
Questions to consider:
- To whom does the preacher and/or teacher of the Word ultimately answer for what is proclaimed to the church? How does this help you to pray for your pastor(s) and teachers?
- Some people like to differentiate between churches that are evangelistic and churches that are more geared toward discipleship. What does Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in verse 5 (“Do the work of an evangelist”) along with the rest of the commands in this passage say to the idea that a church could be either or? If we are not evangelizing, are our people being rightly discipled?
- What is to be the result of preaching and teaching in the church? What makes a sermon enjoyable? What makes a sermon truly fruitful? If a congregant continually enjoys the sermons but no fruit comes, what might be going wrong?