Wisdom of Word
2 Timothy 3:0-0
We are the â€œChurch in the WOW!â€ By this I mean that we are pursuing three things in this church: 1 the Wonder of Worship, 2 the Wisdom of Word, and 3 the Witness of Worshippers. These three things will make a church successful before the Lord in any time and in any circumstances. In 2 Timothy chapter 3 the Apostle Paul is instructing his young apprentice, Timothy, to stay the course. In a world of compromise, stay true. In a world of sin, stay pure. In a world of hatred, stay loving. In a world of evil, stay godly.
And yet, sometimes it seems the odds are against us. It seems that instead of things getting better, things are getting worse. How do we respond? How do we resist the temptation to just go along to get along? I believe the answer is to rediscover and to cherish the Wisdom of Godâ€™s Word. There has never been, and will never be a real revival without a rediscovery of Godâ€™s Word. It informs our worship. It is the textbook of discipleship. It is the voice of God speaking to our circumstances. The Bible is the revelation of God to His people and without the Word we are left with the hollow ring of self-made religion where God desires heart-felt relationship.
All the signs of the times would indicate that we are living in the last days. As such, it is imperative that we know that we are walking hand in hand with God. Yet in these times Satan has unleashed hell in an effort to deter us from walking with God. Look at verse one of chapter 3 where Paul begins to list the things that the people of God will have to deal with in the â€œlast days.â€
3:1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. (Contrary to some of what is bring preached today, that things are going to get better and better as people of God establish the Kingdom of God and we, as His disciples sit in the seats of power and prestige, Paul said, â€œthere will be terrible times in the last days.â€ And then Paul goes on to describe what we can expect to see.
2People will be lovers of themselves, Narcissism, self first, others second.
lovers of money, One informal study showed that 60% of â€œChristianâ€ television had money as the theme of the program. Either raising money for the program, or telling people how they can get more money by having more faith and planting a seed in the ministry of the man behind the pulpit. If that is what is going on in the church, what is going on in the world?â€
boastful, Eighty percent of rÃ©sumÃ©s have some form of exaggeration or outright lies. We have churches and pulpits filled with people who are suffering from the â€œIâ€ disease. â€œI did this, I did that, I know somebody, I have something, I want this, I want that.â€ Did you ever notice that the Lordâ€™s Prayer never uses the first person pronoun? It always uses the second: â€œOur Father, Give us, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.â€
proud, Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Pride is the sin of thinking that we are better than others.
abusive, In the last days people will be willing to wound others to get what they want.
disobedient to their parents, Children growing up in this milieu begin to reflect the society they live in.
ungrateful, Not just children, but society at large begin to think that someone owes them something. If we always think someone owes us something, then we are never grateful
unholy, The word â€œholyâ€ means, â€œseparated,â€ therefore, to be unholy means that we are no different from the world, we are not different from sinners, and if we are no different from sinners, then we are sinners even while claiming to be Christians.
3without love, In the Greek, this refers to family relationships. I could be translated, â€œwithout family affections.â€ This refers to fathers and mothers who love money more than family and are willing to sacrifice their children for more stuff, and then wonder why their children are disobedient and ungrateful.
unforgiving, We live in the most litigious society ever known, simply because we will not forgive. We want our pound of flesh.
slanderous, (Gk. Diabolis,English word for devil) We live in a society where people will speak evil of dignitaries, where congresswomen can make outrageous claims about the president, where people can whisper half-truthes and whole lies about their pastors, and where people call house to house and slander the other person they just got off the phone with.
without self-control, The concept of self-control is gone. The credo of our time is, â€œIf it feels good do it.â€ We live in a society that is so deep in debt that they are just trying to keep up with the interest payments, never mind the principle, and it is because we want it now!
brutal, People are brutalizing one another. Yesterday two fifteen year old boys broke into a home, not far from us in Gwinnette County, and brutalized a man and his wife. These boys were caught and arrested, but after a few weeks in â€œ boot campâ€ theyâ€™ll probably be back on the streets. This word implies an animalistic existence of kill or be killed.
not lovers of the good, Not lovers of good implies that in these times people with be lovers of things that are wrong, or evil.
4treacherous, Canâ€™t be trusted. They are always ready to sacrifice truth or friendship if it serves their purpose.
rash, Moved by impulse instead of prayer. Moved by desire rather than by the will or Word of God.
conceited, Are convinced that they can sing better, pray better, preach better, and teach better than anyone else.
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- When it comes down to worship of God or worship of pleasure, pleasure wins. They only come to church when it is convenient. They only give in tithes when it is painless. The concept of personal sacrifice is foreign to their vocabulary.
5having a form of godliness Now look at this. The people Paul is talking about here are religious folks, even folks in the church. Heâ€™s not talking about the outright sinners, heâ€™s talking about people that dress up and come to church. People who know how to talk the talk, but who donâ€™t walk the walk.
but denying its power. He said they look like theyâ€™re all that. They got the religious part down pat, but they do not have the power that is inherent in a save, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost life. What is Paulâ€™s advise with respect to our interaction with these folks?
Have nothing to do with them. Donâ€™t sent them money, donâ€™t read their books, donâ€™t buy their tapes, donâ€™t attend their churches, donâ€™t listen to their complaints, donâ€™t let them teach, donâ€™t let them preach, donâ€™t pat them on the back and say, â€œIâ€™ll be alright.â€ Have nothing to do with them.
Then in verses 6 though 9 Paul tells us why it is so important that we do not have anything to do with such people, that we do not placate them, that we do not pacify them, that we have nothing to do with them.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,
If you give them a position they will lead the weak astray. Those who are not grounded in their walk with God are easily pulled in the wrong direction. They are tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.
7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. There are people who love to study the Word, who claim deep insights and knowledge, but they never come to the truth. And do you know how to tell that these people never arrive at the truth? Because they are in bondage. Bondage to some past hurt. Bondage to their overblown egos. Bondage to religion. Bondage to emotional highs and lows. They are in bondage so we know that they cannot have come to the knowledge of the truth because Jesus said, â€œAnd ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.â€
8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth-men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. Paul said that these religious people who deny the power thereof, these religious people who are always studying the Word but who have never been transformed by the Word, these self-righteous, self-loving, people will not get very far because their own words and actions will expose them for who they really are. Paul said, â€œTheir folly will be clear to all.â€ All, that is, except to themselves. They are living in the delusion that they are right, and everyone else is wrong.
THE WISDOM OF THE WORD
In light of everything Paul says about the last days, and those in the church, what is Paul telling Timothy to do? What should we do?
A) The Godly Example
First, Paul tells Timothy to consider the life of his mentor, that is Paul. Paul says, â€œMy life has been an open book to you Timothy.â€
10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings-what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
In other words, Paul is telling Timothy that he had tried to provide a godly model for Timothy to follow. We need men and women who will model godliness for the next generation. We need teachers and helpers who lives, and not just their words, demonstrate the love of Christ to our children.
B) The Ungodly Response
12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Paul also warns Timothy that when you chose to live a godly life donâ€™t expect to become the most popular person in the school, or at the workplace, or even in the church world, for that matter. Our light reveals the darkness in others, and they will try to put out your light. The godly will encounter persecution, while the evil men and imposters go from bad to worse. These are people who are deceived and who propagate their own deception even as they go from bad to worse.
- The Wisdom of the Word Will Lead You Through
The question we are left with, then, in light of the fact that evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived; in light of the fact that even in the religious world people will live self-deluded lives; in light of the fact that when we strive to live godly lives we will suffer persecution, what do we do? How do we endure? Itâ€™s like walking through a mind-field, and the question is, Who will lead us?
Paul tells Timothy that he already has the map, he can make it, even in these last days, because of the Wisdom of the Word at work in his life.
14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
Sometimes it seems like all the odds are against us. Sometimes it seems like the enemy is winning. Sometimes the very things we see in the religious world cause us the most grief. We see men and women who were once greatly used of God, fall into disgrace and sin, and we say, â€œIf they couldnâ€™t make it, how will I make it?â€ Paul would tell us, â€œGet in the Word. Read it, study it, but even more than that, hear the voice of God as He speaks through His Word, have a relationship with the Author of the Word and let His spirit give you the power to be not just a hearer, but a doer of the Word.
Jesus said, â€œIf you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for youâ€ (John 15:7, NKJV).
God said, â€œIsa 55:11-12
11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. KJV
Live by the Word of God and you will fulfill the Will of God and you shall have victory!